Psychological symptoms should be taken seriously. They have meaning and need to be understood.

I do not take the stand that psychological symptoms are signs of an underlying disease for which certain genes are responsible (the disease model of psychological symptoms). It becomes increasingly clear from science that the situation is more complicated: the environment influences the genes and vice versa.

In fact, it appears that someone with a discovered gene for a particular mental illness may blossom in a well suitable environment. This is particularly true for children. So what does that gene stand for: a mental illness or for something else, like a particular talent, that can only come to fruition under the right circumstances? I think this shows we should take our essential psychological needs very seriously.

My work leads me to think in terms of essential psychological needs. I want to avoid concepts like “diagnosis” or “treatment”. I do not emphasize “overcoming psychological symptoms”, but rather finding your inner compass and your creativity so that you can develop your own frame of reference from where you can judge what is good and bad for you.

Jacqueline Medendorp

psychologist nijmegen jacqueline medendorp. psychology practice nijmegen. expat psychologist nijmegen. english speaking psychologist nijmegen. english speaking therapist nijmegen. english speaking coach nijmegen. expat psychologist netherlands. jacqueline medendorpI am a Dutch psychologist with extensive experience in mental health care as well as personal experience with emigration and living abroad. Since my graduation in 1992 from the Radboud University in Nijmegen in clinical psychology, I have worked in different settings and several fields (clinical psychology, occupational and organizational psychology and somatic health care). As a result, I am also well versed in work-related issues.

I have specific knowledge and experience in working with clients with psychological symptoms and problems arising from adverse childhood experiences. Not only sexual abuse or severe neglect, but also childhood experiences that are usually considered quite normal can result in detachment from the true self. The work of Alice Miller, who has written extensively on the critical importance of childhood for later life, has profoundly influenced me. Concretely, I like to help clients emotionally understand the source of their symptoms and problems and I position myself deliberately on the side of the inner child.

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