Catherine Schook MA, MSc
I am an international mental health professional by education and experience, and an English communication expert by trade. I hail from Portland, Oregon, USA and have lived in the Netherlands since 2009.
I am a registered psychologist and counselor and use the title Counseling Psychologist. I am accredited with the Netherlands Institute of Psychology (NIP; # 227012) and am a Registered Counselor with the General Professional Association of Counseling (ABvC; # 118239).
I hold two master's degrees on understanding the human experience: one in Counseling Psychology and the other in Public Health. For more on my background, see the FAQ.
My professional work is driven by the motto ‘knowledge is power’. My drive and enthusiasm comes from this instinctual curiosity in observing peoples and practices, dissecting word choices and patterns, learning how to speak a client's language, and finally bringing validation to a client's strengths and hidden potentials. This therapeutic relationship and the client's awareness of themselves helps to form a toolkit of skills and strategies to battle past, present and future struggles.
I incorporate a range of psychological approaches in my work, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, schema therapy, narrative therapy and person-centered therapy.
I work with individuals, relationships and groups. As an educator, I also create workshops with collaborating partners for their private practices, big meetings and for the lecture hall.
Below is a sample of published articles I authored:
My practice space is located in Utrecht, the Netherlands and I work digitally with global clients. Vektis Praktijk AGB-code for this counseling practice is 94106398. Vektis Zorgverlener AGB-code is 94065163. The Chamber of Commerce registration number (KvK-nummer) is 58396977.
金継ぎ (n.) “to repair with gold”
The ceramics art form of carefully repairing a once perfect piece of pottery by illuminating the newly formed broken cracks in gold.
The pottery becomes more valued for having been broken and repaired because the scars are now seen and seen beautifully.
The Kintsugi Lens
In my therapeutic practice, I employ, what I refer to, as a kintsugi lens. I find this ceramics artform and the metaphor of breakage = beautiful as a fitting description of what the human experience can be described as - if we let it.
We all have scars. Few of us are still metaphorically perfect vases with no chips, missing pieces or broken edges. By embracing our jagged edges as they have been jagged by life, we have the choice to illuminate our lived experiences in bright gold when we put ourselves back together.
And by doing so – in therapy perhaps – we learn acceptance that our scars in fact add flavor, richness and uniqueness to our lives. And that we are (and can become) better for them.
Below are the five core pillars I have built the structure of my practice on.
It's also how I choose to position myself in the professional field (and business) of counseling psychology.
Add a therapist to your health team, and make sure that therapist (this therapist) works in unison with your team as she is not only a therapist but a public health professional and advocate.
Solutions & Strategies
Dissect, label, rewrite. Whether it is a behavior, thought pattern or emotional response, a solution-focused direction is not a bad way to go when you have practiced strategies in your toolkit.
Short and long-term work together that tackles bumps in the road as they come (and don't they always come) with insights and reflection into old patterns while making new ones at the same time.
Not each struggle needs an answer or remedy, so here is an open invitation to examine the human experience from above, conceptually and philosophically and with all the metaphors we can think of.
This practice was built on the fundamentals of providing services that remain accessible, affordable and flexible, especially for those who have been systemically marginalized from mental healthcare services.