I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Then, I spent a year in Colorado, where I attended high school and lived with American families. After receiving my Bachelor’s in political science in the Netherlands at the University of Amsterdam, I obtained my MBA at Columbia University in New York. I, then, worked for 20 years in Human Resources Management (HRM) for companies that operated internationally. My background in HRM plus having been a member of management teams help me better understand how decisions are made in corporate settings and what that can mean for (those of) my clients who work in them. I studied an additional year at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in a postgraduate program in labor relations.

In 1995 I enrolled at Antioch University in Los Angeles and studied for a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. In 2001 I earned my marriage and family therapist (MFT) license. In 2005 I completed my doctorate in psychology (PsyD) at the California Graduate Institute.

I completed my internship for the MFT license at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic in Silverlake, where I worked with clients of diverse backgrounds. I have retained my association with this clinic and currently I volunteer my time supervising interns. As part of my professional experience, I also served for two years as the co-president of the Board of LAGPA, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles.

After completing my doctorate I worked as a therapist with a variety of clients, including many workmen’s compensation clients, who often had traumatic experiences as well as victims of domestic violence and child abuse.