“While assisting people in their development I am privileged to share in their thoughts, stories and emotions. It is wonderful to facilitate the space for someone to feel, experiment and reflect.”Leonie
Leonie der Kinderen
The beauty I find in human growth, connection and development is the main reason I have been developing as a mental health specialist since 2007. (If you would like to learn more about my credentials scroll down for some impressions or visit my Linkedin page.)
Currently I am putting all my love and care into creating a center for the Arts Therapies. We offer therapy that has learning through experiencing at it’s core. My background is in drama therapy, where I have learned how to use theater and play in a therapeutic manner. Since then I have developed many additional ways of assisting the therapy process using exercises from other art forms and psychological frameworks. The kind of exercises depend on the preference of the client, some like to talk mostly, some like to use art or poetry. It’s about creating an environment that is custom made for the person who is looking to process past experiences or develop themselves further.
Impressions and Experiences
An experience from when I worked with young people with personality disorders at de Viersprong:
“We walked onto the mudflats with the group, and I took one of the clients under my wing. This girl had been extremely depressed for some time, and struggled with suicidal thoughts. On the mudflats the wind flew through her hair and I spurred her on to run, together we jumped into puddles. She screamed and laughed, and her eyes shone in a face covered in flecks of mud. These moments, in which I could make contact with one of the youngsters in playfulness and humor, were the most beautiful.”
Fleur van der Elzen - Dramatherapeut
“The DvT group led by Leonie and Casper has expanded my playspace and helped me to get over my resistance towards DvT.”
An experience from when I worked as a drama therapist with adults with a mild intellectual disability and behavioral problems within the organization ‘Dichterbij’.
“The client no longer knows what to say and falls out of his role. “Shit I’m doing it all wrong again.” The client stammers. He looks so dejected I can’t help but laugh. ‘You were doing so well! What happened?’ ‘… I did not know what to say anymore. That’s exactly what normally happens to me!’ I propose to write down some helpful thoughts and use them as a cheat sheet. He writes things down like ‘just stay calm and something to say or ask will come up’ and ‘ it’s okey to say that I don’t know what to say’. The second sentence is beautiful to me, because it is so hard for him to be vulnerable. He tries so hard to hide his disability, and is therefor often stressed and insecure in conversation with new people. We resume the role play and he practises saying: “I don’t know what to say right now.” A week later he comes in with a big grin: ‘My date went well! Sometimes I didn’t know what to say, but that did not matter at all!’“
Ingeborg Meessen - Neighborhood Theater Mariaberg
“We have only worked together for a brief time. But I have experiences you as a nice and capable person. Thank you for your understanding, support and time!”
Experience from the field when I was working with a multiple handicapped boy at Tyltylschool de Maasgouw.
“Carefully I lowered the lift until his feet touched the water, then the fun started. Laughing out loud and waving his arms. While holding him gently I carried him through the pool where we played all kinds of games. Looking for the inflatable shark, making all kinds of water sounds, he would be splashing and screaming with pleasure. There were also quiet moments when we were alone in the pool, then Maurits would just look around with his big, calm eyes. Sometimes I told him stories and sometimes I was quiet and amazed how he could enjoy the small things so intensely, and how he beheld the world with an everlasting childish innocence. I learned something that I can not explain with words, something I can only feel.”
M. Lutgens - Moeder van Cliënt
“Ik denk, weet wel zeker, dat jij een goede aanvulling voor de kinderen was daar op school. Jij had Jesse zo goed en snel in kaart en hoe je met hem omging en het resultaat daarvan was geweldig. Ik stond er versteld van en was erg onder de indruk van jou aanpak. Mensen met een kijk zoals jij hebt op kinderen vind je maar zelden.”