I have always been an artist but in 2014 my life changed in a way I never thought possible. Whilst studying for a degree in psychology I myself was diagnosed with PTSD and received extensive therapy. Part of my treatment included art therapy. What my paintings revealed about my inner turmoil was astonishing. Pain that I had buried deep within and had been carrying around for years was suddenly exposed to me in the form of images. I really had no idea what I was holding on to and this revelation started me on my long road to recovery.
As a psychologist I often use art to help my clients reveal such emotions where words are just too painful. In many cases we have just learned to live with the pain making it part of ourselves, manifesting in ways that make our life so much more difficult such as poor sleep, recurrent injuries, lack of concentration, restlessness, poor self esteem; the list goes on.
With my website I want to not only share my journey with you, but encourage you to draw and paint and understand the pleasure and relief it can bring. Explore hidden meanings of what our art can mean with all the choices we have made when we draw such as colour, light, positions of people and objects.
I currently work from my own practice near Leiden, The Netherlands. My work is my dream job - a combination of everything I love:
as a psychologist and often using the secret language drawings to quickly get to the heart of any problems for
presenting webinars and workshops on the hidden meanings of drawings (https://www.meetup.com/the-secret-of-self-analysis-with-art-therapy-exercises/ ) in English or Dutch,
giving art lessons to adults and children,
giving lessons at the Volksuniversiteit (in Dutch) on the secret language of drawings with a course :the hidden meanings in drawings
and work as a online coach for Jay Hastings, London (https://askjayhastings.com/)
So why did I need therapy?
Well thankfully it was part of my degree course in psychology. For the last 30 years I’ve kept myself busy. When I say busy, I mean I did not stop working, studying, sports and having fun until my body forced me to STOP.
Physical injury was a frequent occurrence. I would be carrying shopping up the stairs and collapse due to a hernia or I would tear my calf muscle during a game of squash. Both the above have happened countless times. Having ignored all other signals my body sent me such as headaches, stiff muscles and the most significant in hindsight of course the restlessness.
If I’d ever looked up the signs of PTSD I may have realised that I had many of the classic symptoms;
– Problems sleeping
– Hyper state of alertness
– Unable to ‘feel’ emotions
Herein lies an enormous challenge; most people do not realise they have PTSD unless they are specifically aware of their own behaviour and the traumatic situation they have experienced is recognised. By recognised I mean a visible trauma: car crash, someone dying suddenly, a natural disaster, an accident, a medical misser…..
So many people suffer at the hands of others and it’s never seen and certainly not recognised.
Unlocking The Secret Language Of Art
When we put pen to paper to draw we have an idea in our head about what will be visible on the paper. What we actually draw can give so many clues to the current situation. Accessing the information is key.......
My Life So Far......
I have worked with people from all walks of life and from many different countries and cultures. If you are stuck in life, please feel welcome to contact me.
The early years
I grew up in Yorkshire and having travelled a lot I still find it one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
As a teenager
I moved from England to Holland and discovered a whole new world! In my early twenties I gave birth to my son.
I almost feel like saying you name it I've done it but that of course isn't true. Let's just say I've had very varied work! (See LinkedIn if you really want to know).
I am licensed to dispense medicine, I have a bookkeeping diploma, a Bachelors Degree in Engineering - Logistics and Technical Transport Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, (transpersonal) counseling and psychosocial work.
From ArcGis to EMDR to NLP too many to name.
I live with my husband, together since 1998, in Valkenburg ZH, The Netherlands.