My approach

My education was based on the cognitive-behavioural approach, which explores the links between cognitions, emotions and behaviours that underlie our personal issues, and states that the vicious circle between those should be broken in order to successfully solve any dysfunctional issue.

However, I do not limit my approach to cognitive-behavioural therapy, but apply a client-centered approach. I work by combining my knowledge and techniques from different therapy modalities and thus create a tailor-made treatment plan for each individual, depending on their specific needs and goals. I am greatly influenced by the attachment theory. My EMDR training inspired me to pay attention on the connection between body, mind and emotions. I therefore encourage my clients to be mindful and conscious of whatever is going on emotionally, cognitively and physically.

My vision of therapy is that each individual holds all questions and solutions within themselves, but sometimes we may feel doubtful about what is the appropriate action to take; which is why the external support of a specialist may be beneficial. 

Essentially, it’s only You that can heal yourself; I am there next to you to assist and encourage your growth process.

My role as a therapist is to fully be there for my clients, to offer them my undivided attention and support, to actively listen to what they say without judgment, but also to what may be hidden behind the words they use. I offer them an external perspective on situations that I may be able to observe when it eludes them. I aim to assist my clients to get in touch with their emotions, realize their self-limiting thoughts, explore the patterns in different areas of their lives, discover their strengths and empower their positive traits. I am here to listen to you, but also point out possible discrepancies or contradictions in what you say. Think of the therapist as a mirror; I reflect back to you what you say or don’t say, so that to help make sense of issues that may seem confusing or unclear.

 

I perceive the therapeutic relationship as a core healing tool. It is a microcosmos of whatever is going on in the individual’s life, and also a way to bring them back into the Here-and-Now.

Because all we have is Now: we are shaped by our Past, but we only have actual control of our Present, in order to bring forth the desirable effects to our Future.

 

Why Therapy

Everyone faces challenges in their lives, however the main reason that leads people to seek help from a professional is whether they feel somehow “stuck” to find their own solutions and move forward. Or perhaps you feel unusually stressed, depressed and anxious lately. Maybe you have relationship issues that trouble you and don’t know how to find a way out. 

When we recognize that a certain pattern of behavior is dysfunctional and hindering, we may want to make changes - but it’s often easier said than done. The role of the therapist is to assist, support and encourage you in your own process and with your own rhythm.

If any of the following issues has been troubling you, maybe it is time to try out therapy:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Adjusting to the Dutch culture

  • Identity issues

  • Relationship issues

  • Eating disorders

  • Panic attacks

  • Family concerns

  • Sexuality issues

  • Anger management

  • Occupational conflicts

  • Procrastination

  • Stress management

  • Trauma processing

  • Grief

  • Important life transitions

 

Intake Session

After the first contact between us, an intake session is scheduled. This session aims to determine if we connect in order to start working therapeutically together. The main question is “Why therapy now”. The focus is on the therapeutic goals; what you aim to accomplish by our collaboration.

 

During the intake, I will obtain your personal history relative to basic areas of your life. The intake also provides an opportunity to ask me questions about my approach and the therapeutic process.

At any time during therapy, I invite you to openly discuss with me any potential doubts or questions you may have about the process. We will be evaluating the process of our work regularly.

 

Terms

Trust and confidentiality

The psychotherapeutic relationship is characterized by trust and confidentiality. Together we form a therapeutic alliance, which is essential for progress and positive outcomes to occur. Whatever is discussed between us will not be repeated out of session to others from my side. The exception to this rule is supervision, as well as occasions when there is substantial risk of harming oneself or others.

The supervision of the therapist is central to the whole concept of therapy, because it guarantees the appropriate evaluation of the process and the continuous education of the therapist. It is possible that parts of the process may be discussed during supervision, without name referrals, in order for the therapist to be in a position to assist the client in the best way possible. The process of supervision has an educational scope.

Psychotherapeutic stability and cancellation policy

The psychotherapeutic process and relationship consists a contract between therapist and client, so it is desirable that it is regarded with the appropriate respect by both. The continuity and consistency in between sessions is very important to the process and progress. It is thus recommended to have stable sessions in terms of frequency and duration, because this helps to establish an atmosphere of trust and safety, which encourages the implementation of positive changes. The sessions are 1 hour long and they usually occur once a week.

Session cancellations are possible from both sides, as long as they occur at least 1 day in advance before the predefined date of the session, except in cases of emergencies (e.g. accident, sudden health issue etc). 

 

In all other cases, if the cancellation does not occur within this period or there is no notification at all (no-show), the session will be billed to the client as normal

 

Notifications of cancellations may occur by telephone, text message or email.

Communication in between sessions

You are welcome to communicate with me by email/text at all times, and by phone in cases of emergency. 

I am available from 9am till 9pm. 

Should there be a need to communicate out of these hours, it would be preferable by text message or email. I commit to reply as soon as possible.

+31 (0) 644 333 494

joanna@youniversetherapy.com

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Psychology Practice for Internationals in The Hague.

KvK: 69982708