How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.
Who is Felicia?
Since my childhood I have been an incredibly inquisitive person with a huge imagination, which naturally guided me towards research. My love for art (music, painting, ice dance) along with an appreciation of things that deviate from the norm, and my studies in biology and psychology sparked a specific interest in the reasons why people use drugs, why they prefer a certain substance/combination, and what happens when these habits start taking their toll on their health and life. Working in eating disorders research I learned how patterns of binge eating resemble bingeing on substances in giving someone a feeling of control over emotions.
While working mainly (but not exclusively) with substance users, gamblers and people with binge eating patterns in treatment, all that knowledge proved useful for helping people to better understand themselves and to make their envisaged changes happen.
The ‘side effect’ of my practice and research was learning about myself.
I give space in my sessions to more than only your substance use and gambling, as they never come alone: they can be about coping with or escaping anything like daily stress and challenges, frustration, boredom, chronic illness, loss, trauma. They can be about a wish to fit in the society, a wish to be always happy, or an endeavour to be your ideal self.
I consider that with understanding yourself and your substance use or gambling comes the acceptance of your and the world’s flaws and failings. And beyond acceptance there is the space for embrace. Embracing and loving your ‘imperfect’ self and the world we live in is where you start seeing chances, where you start seeing that perfection is frankly boring because there is nowhere else to go from there. Being in peace with being unhappy at times is a place you won’t NEED a substance or a game to get through, a place from where you can make bigger changes happen.
Education Experience Affiliations
→ MSc Psychology, (Distinction), University of East London, UK
→ Postgraduate certificate Health psychology, Derby University, UK
→ PhD Biology (Magna cum laude), Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Since 2014 I have been working in treatment centers for substance use and gambling, and in research. If you want to know more about my work experience see my LinkedIn profile.
I am member of: Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen (NIP-number: 232780)
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