So…, what should I tell you about me?
I am Saskia….
I am a coach.
I am a media-scholar.
I am a learning designer.
I am neurodivergent.
I am a mother and a wife.
I am a forever student.
I am someone who loves science, creativity, and problem-solving.
My identity – like yours- is multifaceted.
I am forever on the path of finding out how to better express it, find joy in it, and pursue my genuine and authentic interests, values and goals.
Because I have so many sides, nobody will ever know me completely. So I find it very hard to decide what to write here. Your best way to get to know me is to interact with me. But having to write something that makes you want to invest in that interaction is scary. How do I present myself? Is there a right way to do this? A wrong one? I want to go about this the right way…
Ah yes, I am also a recovering perfectionist… The fact that this website is even up, is proof of that. If I were still completely stuck in perfectionist mode, I would never finish anything… Let alone something to present myself with online.
My journey with neurodiversity
Perhaps it will be useful to know that I got a late diagnosis of ADHD after I became self-employed. And that this seemed to explain and alleviate a long history of battling (high functioning) anxiety, depression, and generally getting STUCK, better than any other insight so far. That I immersed myself in studying ADHD and neurodiversity from that point forward and I learned so many things that changed my outlook on life forever, and for the better, that I really want to pay it forward. And not only my outlook, but also improved my ability to perform and find structures and strategies that support me. My family and friends are rife with neurodivergence (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) and I’ve seen many of them struggle and do battle to find their ways -and their spaces- to fit in and thrive. I am sure coaching, education, and some recent scientific insights can speed up that process for most of us.
For instance, having the lens of neurodiversity has helped me learn about my other neurodivergents traits and pull from research and many possible strategies around autism, dyslexia, sensory sensitivities, trauma, and general mental and psychical health to support myself to thrive like never before.
I want to do my part in making this a more fun, joyful process, rather than a battle. A journey of exploration, that allows people to come to see their own strengths and to contribute to the world. So I decided to build on top of my previous experience as a learning designer and coach. I want to specialize in coaching those people who challenge the norms, feel like they do not really fit in, or are left wondering how they are able to thrive in a world that seems to appreciate and demand conformity to norms and rules that keep tripping them up. The creative, chaotic, too loud or too shy, scatterbrained, überlogical, or hyperemotional. All of you weird and wonderful people.
And I want you to get more comfortable with your own multifaceted identity. To accept that one day you are dodging chores like a big kid and the other day you are taking on the world for a cause that moves you. That you may feel smart and confident in one arena, and helpless and stupid in the next. And that all of this is no reason to hold off on pursuing your dreams EVEN if that means stepping out of the arena’s you are comfortable in.
If you want to know something about my coaching style:
I like to work with a mix of evidence-based methods and some more creative exercises that help you find the divergent thinker inside you, that can help you get unstuck. I see the body and the mind as inextricably intertwined so coaching is both a mental and a physical process for me. I like finding ways to help you keep track of your goals and keep taking action in between coaching sessions.
So this is where I hang my shingle:
All ye who enter here, be prepared to be appreciated for who and what you already are, as I work with you to create space to bring some of your dreams and goals into reality, by finding out what works for YOU.
If you see opportunities to collaborate: feel free to book a 15 min “coffee” call with me to explore how we may help each other… When we click we can have a longer talk.
Or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and questions.
Just to give you some other perspectives than my own, here are some testimonials from a few of my clients:
With Saskia’s help I was able to finish my master’s thesis. During this process I struggled with multiple obstacles of organizational nature but also lifelong negative beliefs that originated in ADHD.
For the former problems she always found practical but personal solutions where I felt confident in them, working for me. With the later problems she somehow eased my pain, put them into perspective and created room for them to change slowly but surely.
Guiding me through all these stressful issues, Saskia always made me feel safe with her extremely capable and sensitive coaching style.Eva, student
Working with Saskia has been life changing, no exaggeration. It has allowed me to work past an 18 year long battle with academic anxiety to finally finish my undergraduate degree. I’m now in a position where I can seriously consider pursuing a graduate degree or other academic certifications and know that it is actually possible for me.
Saskia has a creative and curious lens along with a unique appreciation of difference and neurodiversity that allows her to help all people – neurodiverse or not! – make real, powerful change happen. With her help, I have uncovered my strengths, identified behavior patterns, and learned ways to use my strengths to work around negative behavior patterns.
Saskia helped me unlock myself to myself and I’m eternally grateful for it. Thank you!Anna, educator
Looking back, I was able to look at myself in a different way through your way of working and coaching. I am very grateful to you for that. It has given me a new perspective on my possibilities that give me space for the future. Very cool to see that your wise and refreshing way of coaching gives a new perspective on my own development possibilities. I thought it was a special process that I look back on with great pleasure. A beautiful experience that gave me energy and a clear view of the future.Miriam, mom and volounteer worker
Thank you for that!
Through the effective guidance of Saskia I gained insights that helped me along a lot and that I would never have come up with on my own. The chosen techniques were relevant and I not only gained insights but also immediately received tools to do something with them in practice.Martin, consultant and business developer
Thank you, Saskia, for helping me to see where my talents lie and how to use them to make my work more fun. What a refreshingly positive view: not looking at pitfalls, but at talents! I have experienced your coaching as being intensive, but very helpful. You understand the art of looking, listening, and empathizing carefully and then linking theory to bottlenecks in a very practical and positive way. Thanks for the creative, positive sessions, they helped me a lot!Tineke, Lead Auditor
My education and training credentials
If you would like to know more about everything I’ve learned along the way that has impacted my coaching, it’s probably most important to know that I NEVER stop learning
I regularly participate in Masterminds, coaching enrichment training, and I read up on the latest methods and collaborate with other coaches to practice and deepen skills. So this list is probably out of date by the time you read it…
But here are some of my more formal degrees, certifications and continuous learning efforts:
- Masters degree in Media studies at Universiteit van Amsterdam after a propadeuse degree in Art History
- interdisciplinary final thesis focussing on visual media, cognition, metaphors, cybernetics and the mental models we use to think of humans (and human psychology) in terms of machines/A.I. and of machines/A.I in terms of human behaviour and psychology…
- Instructional Design training from Kessels & Smit
- 1 year post master program with a practical project in the workplace to apply the learning.
- Strengths- Based and Systemic (constellations) facilitation and coaching at Kessels & Smit
- PECAN coaching program- at Bewezen Effect
- 1 year coach training in three evidence-based coaching methods (motivational interviewing, solution focussed coaching and ACT) and playful/ provocative coaching
- iAct center Certified ADHD coaches training (CALC)
- ICF certified 1-year program with expert teachings and practice labs to rehearse ADHD-specific coaching skills. Included mentor coaching and a support program to prepare for ICF certification levels
- Emotions in Motions
- Erasmus + project on emotional intelligence and emotional agility. A program for Youth workers and facilitators in Budapest, Hungary
- trained as an IFS informed coach through the introduction training and the Online Circle program from IFS Institute and their UK partner Internal Family Systems Training
- Many short and specific workshops and training modules from ICF (International Coaching Federation) and ACO (ADHD coaches organization)
- Creating training and Learning Labs on Neurodiversity specific coaching with the NeurodIversity Foundation for Neurodiversity Education Academy
- Monthly mastermind meetings in the Flex your ADHD membership community for the coaching professionals group (previously with my iAct center training cohort)