Psychologist with a personal touch
Guidance and training from a psychologist who helps you in a very special way. The founder of Ontwikkelingswerkplaats, Denise Jonker, undertook her own quest to discover how to deal with her sensitivity. Her trip to Uganda and Peru led her to discover that the Western world has much to learn from developing countries, including: living in the moment and making the best of every situation. Her guidance, which uses positive psychology and mindfulness, can help contribute to achieving this state of mind.
In 2011, Denise Jonker graduated cum laude in clinical psychology from Radboud University in Nijmegen. Afterwards, she worked as a psychologist in an institution operated by the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ). Due to her own sensitivity to time pressure, expectations of others and perfectionism, combined with the pressure placed on her by the institution - where the threat of reorganisation loomed - she became overworked.
Life changing experience in Uganda
At the time, she had already planned to participate in a volunteer project in Uganda, which was an entirely new experience for her. The project didn’t have a tight schedule, so that she could carry out her work in a relaxed manner, paying attention to people, and there was time and space for her own creative input. We have much to learn from developing countries. Through our development, we have forgotten to live in the moment, and also forgotten to devote time and attention to ourselves and each other. Another thing we can learn from developing countries is to look at positive aspects and opportunities, rather than what is missing. But that's easier said than done!
Her search in the Netherlands
Back in the Netherlands, she began her search for ways in which to deal with her own sensitivity and how to sustain herself in our fast-paced society. When she came close to hitting a wall again, she decided to quit one of her jobs and to turn her sensitivity into a strength with which she could help others. Her guidance is characterised by its personal approach combined with the use of various psychological interventions.
She currently works part time as a psychologist/POH mental health care provider at Gezondheidscentrum Katendrecht. Through her knowledge of and experience with regular mental health care, she can, if necessary, assess whether a referral to the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ) is necessary. She also successfully completed the certified training as a Mindfulness Trainer at See True. Recently, she followed the course "Psychotherapy for high sensitivity" created by Dr. Elaine Aron.
Each month she writes a blog about "what we can learn from developing countries," which is available via the following link: www.ontwikkelingswerkplaats.wordpress.com.