As you can tell by my name I do not (only) have a Dutch background. My parents were born in Portugal. I was born in The Hague and I have also lived in Brussels and in Portugal with my family. Living in an environment with cultural diversity has always intrigued me by the different perspectives and possibilities to solve problems in life. After my study I lived in Italy for a while where I gained experience in living and working in the vicinity of Rome where I mostly worked with expats from different cultures.
I completed my study of clinical and personality psychology at the University of Leiden in 1993. Later I got my mental health psychology degree. The strength of relationships and families has always fascinated me and that’s why I chose to follow a course in systemic therapy which I completed in 2011.
I have gained experience in the field of mental health care for both adults and for children. I have worked for Juvenile Protection and as a counselor for families experiencing problems in parenting. Besides that I have also worked as a treatment coordinator at a Medical Kindergartens Daycare (MKD) where I have also gained experience in teaching heads of staff to focus on working together with parents. I have worked in the adult mental health care since 2004 within treatment programs with an extensive expertise in the field of systemic therapy and consultation of individual clients, couples and families.