What I write about

Metathoughts are thoughts about thoughts, one can think of them as thoughts on a higher level. They are more conscious, clear and reflective than the ordinary thoughts that pass our mind all day. They stand out, provide awareness and move us forward. In my blog, I write about those kind of thoughts we can foster in order to grow psychologically, raise our consciousness and gain emotional well-being. In my work as coach, psychologist and facilitator, it is my goal is to enable people to think Metathoughts for their personal development.

Positive Psychology is a branch of Psychology which is concerned with the positive, adaptive, creative and emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behavior (e. g. character strengths, well­-being, peak performance). The goal of the field is to use psychological theory, research and interventions to develop conditions that allow people to thrive and flourish personally and in their institutions, like workplaces or communities. This is seen as an expansion of Psychology's traditional emphasis on healing pathology.

Transpersonal Psychology integrates spiritual aspects into modern psychological theories. Transpersonal experiences mean that they transcend a person's everyday experiences beyond the personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche and the universe. The intention of the field is to make scientific sense of those experiences which traditionally would have been called “religious”, and to develop wider conceptions of the mind, consciousness, human nature, and reality than the traditional branches of Psychology established. Areas of investigation are questions of meaning, the evolution of consciousness, psychedelics and meditation research, spiritual development or mystical experience.

What I do

Coaching: A development process in which a coach supports a client (coachée) to reach specific personal or professional goal.

It is part of coaching to:

  1. clearly define the goals and their time frame
  2. explore ways to reach them and to take action
  3. measure success

I follow the principles of Co-Active Coaching, which means instead of providing pre-cast solutions, I ask questions that challenge my clients to find answers and strategies themselves, in collaboration with me. This is based on the fundamental assumption that every person is the best expert on their own lives, and authentic realisations leads to the greatest shifts. Coaching is a powerful process for anyone who wants to change, grow, gain awareness and ultimately, live their life better. Read here about the difference between Coaching and Psychotherapy.

Facilitation: The root of the term facilitation, is facile referring to a process that is being made easy. A facilitator is an unbiased enabler, someone who helps a group to achieve their objectives. A facilitator assists by contributing structure and process and uses participatory methods that stimulate dialogue between the participants. A facilitator does not have to be an expert on the content, but is rather an expert for group processes like team building or strategic planning. Coaches follow the same principles in one-on-one work, as they also don't instruct or advise. Thus I see coaches as facilitators of individual learning.
You can read more about the methods I use as a facilitator below.

Psychotherapy: A therapeutic development process between a person or group and a psychotherapist (a health professional trained in psychotherapy, e. g. psychologist or psychiatrist). The goal is to improve a client's mental health. There are many systems of psychotherapy which make different assumptions about the nature of the psyche and the origin of psychological disorders, and therefore also propose different routes to healing. While I believe that each system contains essential truths and has its merits, it is important to ask prospective psychotherapists which methods they use, and why, because not every method suits every problem or person.
My current training is in Behavior Therapy which focuses on identifying and changing maladaptive thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.
Read here about the difference between Psychotherapy and Coaching.

Organisational Development (OD): OD practitioners apply the principles of behavioural science to conduct change interventions, aiming to realise possibility and increase effectiveness in organisations. This includes work with individuals (e. g. coaching), teams (e. g. team building) and throughout the entire organisation (e. g. large scale feedback surveys).

Methodologies I work with:

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based process for facilitating positive change in organisations, groups and communities. The process helps people to identify what they deeply care about when they perform at their best, and then leads them to actions towards their vision. Appreciative Inquiry encourages solutions instead of problem-based thinking, and inspires groups to consciously shift to an appreciative approach that will help them to focus on what's right, good, and life-giving in their organization. Appreciative Inquiry is aligned with the principles of Positive Psychology and was pioneered by the two professors David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva.
I am an accredited AI Facilitator and find the method especially powerful when a change of culture or outlook is desired.

Forum Theater is an application of the “Theater of the Oppressed”, a theatrical form invented by Auguso Boal in Brazil, as a means of using theatre to transform social reality and empower participants. It is based on dialogue and interaction between the audience and performers. Real, problematic scenes are being played out and both the actors or audience members can stop the performance, often a scene in which a character was being oppressed in some way (e. g. a factory owner mistreating an employee). The audience can propose any solution, as long as they convey it on stage through working, acting and directing. Through this process, the participants realize and experience the challenges of achieving the suggested improvements, and it continues, until viable solutions have been found.
This method is especially powerful when people are in a situation where feel they are unable to change their circumstances.

Applied Improvisation for personal and organizational development is based on the realisation that people have to improvise and play roles constantly: organisations require people to adapt and take responsibility quickly, under high pressure and uncertainty in order to provide new and creative solutions, most of the time in collaboration with others. The organisation can be seen as a metaphor for the stage on which a group of improvising actors need to perform in the moment without a script. Improvisation exercises help participants to develop skills for leadership, teamwork, innovation and dealing with uncertain and changing environments while the learning happens in accordance to the learning principles of the brain.
Read more on why neuro-scientific research promotes Applied Improvisation.

Story Strategy: Different stages, archetypes and elements of stories can be used to design processes of transformation which help individuals and groups to gain a new understanding of their place and purpose in their team, organisation or life (term coined by Dr. Petro Janse van Vuuren, co-founder of Playing Mantis).

Transactional Analysis (TA): is a theory of personality and communication developed by the psychiatrist Eric Berne (*1910 – †1970). Berne proposed that anything that happens between two or more people could be broken down into a series of single transactions which can be analysed and transformed. Transactional Analysis can be used in any context where there is a need for understanding individuals, relationships, communication and systems.

The World Café Methodology is a technique for organisational and social change. The approach is based on Karl Jung's theory that the collaborative, creative intelligence of a group is bigger than the sum of the individual intelligences together. Its aim is to harness group intelligence through a specific kind of cooperative dialogue around relevant questions which leads to new answers and possibilities for action.