I utilize an integrative and holistic approach that allows the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of self to be explored and reconnected. I used to see my clients from my office in The Hague, but have decided to continue my practice online, so that it is available to anyone, no matter where you are.
I am a firm believer that we all possess the strength and ability to navigate through the journey of life, but some journeys are better taken with the guidance of someone else. I am merely a guide, leading you to powers you already have.
I am a therapist from Los Angeles, California and my qualifications include a BA (Honors) in Psychology as well as a MA in Counseling Psychology. Additionally, I worked as a research assistant for the Bijlmer Project, a research and intervention based project that focuses on the psychological and social needs of victims of human trafficking. Up until February 2020, I had been living in the Netherlands since 2010 (in Leiden and The Hague). Since then, I moved back to California, although I still practice predominantly in the Netherlands, as well as all over the world with online sessions. I was a licensed therapist at the Register Beroepsbeoefenaren Complementaire Zorg (RBCZ) and a member of the Algemene Beroepsvereniging van Counseling (ABvC), while living in the Netherlands and I’m currently a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA). I regularly attend psychotherapy conferences and trainings to stay up to date with advances in the field.
In The Hague, I worked mainly with the expat/international community. What I have enjoyed most about working with this community is that I have had clients from well over 30 different countries and have worked with individuals in high profile jobs at the International Criminal Court, the Peace Palace, and Europol. This has greatly expanded my knowledge in more ways than I could have imagined and I am eternally grateful for those opportunities.
My decision to move back to the US was not taken lightly. It was a hard decision, as I had established myself in The Hague, but I felt something was missing in my life – mainly a connection to nature. Our planet faces an undeniable crisis right now and I didn’t feel good about the way I was living and the lack of knowledge I had about trying to live in a way that works more with nature, rather than against. While I am still very much committed to being a therapist, I am also on a personal quest to learn how to do more things with my hands and with the earth. I recently completed a two-week internship on building an earthbag house and it is my dream to build a cob house one day (if you don’t know what this is, definitely google it).
In my practice, I work individually with adults and adolescents from the age of 16+. I am a feminist and have a strong passion for women's rights, as well as the social, cultural and health issues that impact a woman throughout her lifetime. This includes difficulties surrounding pregnancy,abortion, miscarriage, menopause, sexual assault, domestic violence, body image, discrimination, racism and harassment. As a human and a therapist, I believe it to be crucial to challenge the often rigid and stereotypical notions of gender. I also work with concerns of sexual functioning, sexual pleasure and alternative practices in sexuality and relationships. I am a supporter and ally of the LGBTQ+ community and feel competent in helping those who struggle with issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
I often find it relevant to put issues a client may be facing into a greater context regarding the current state of our world. Things are changing at a rapid pace, which can leave many of us feeling fearful, anxious, and disconnected. We cannot deny that things like pandemics, climate change, social justice issues, politics, and our increasing reliance on technology and social media have a great impact on our mental and physical health. I will always help clients challenge the idea that their value is dependent on how well they fit into a society that is abnormal and unhealthy in many ways.
-Anxiety and stress related issues
-Depression and mood issues
-Sexuality and relationship issues
-Career and school challenges
-Trauma, grief and loss
-Self-worth and self-esteem
-Women and feminist issues
-Coping with difficult emotions
-Communication and boundary issues
-Loss of meaning or direction in life
-Adjustment and acculturation/expat issues
It is a common misconception that those who seek therapy must be experiencing emotional distress. Therapy can also benefit those who simply wish to learn more about oneself and to grow personally, socially, or spiritually. Increase insight, self-acceptance, and self-compassion are all potential therapy goals as well.
Therapy can be a personal opportunity to receive support and experience growth during challenging times in life. It can help you to identify goals and potential solutions to problems, which cause emotional turmoil. It can also help you to improve communication and coping skills, strengthen self-esteem, and promote behavioral changes. Therapy can help one deal with many personal topics in life such as, but not limited to:
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
My aim is to help you know your mind and heart better.
Therapy should ignite a sense of curiosity in one's self.
Therapy can be hard to describe in general terms because it often varies depending on the clients and the issues brought forward. Since each person is unique, often a new therapy is developed for every case. I work in an integrative and holistic way and will employ different psychological approaches in my work. I am most inspired by existential, mind/body (somatic) approaches and Buddhist psychology.
Therapy can lead to more awareness and understanding of who we are - to really know our heart's and mind's intimately. In working from this perspective, I find it useful to emphasize self compassion and self acceptance practices, as societies have conditioned many of us to feel badly about ourselves around many things. It is pervasive in Western society to judge ourselves about everything; being at war with ourselves is maybe one of the most debilitating things a human experiences. I find that when we are able to view ourselves through a compassionate lens, we can move through difficult times much faster and effectively. It can also give us an opportunity to do things differently when we can break free from judgment and automatic patterns.
Therapy can help us become more aware, thus more free to consciously choose our way.
The world of psychotherapy has often neglected the connection between mind and body. This is a problem, as we cannot deny that they are in fact connected! Many of us live from our neck up (meaning: we're in our heads a lot!) and we often do not consider the great amount of insight and wisdom the body has. We also tend to forget that our minds secrete thousands upon thousands of thoughts a day! Many of which do not deserve our attention, yet we tend to give thoughts a lot of power and we're usually unaware of how these thoughts register in our bodies. Ironically, nearly all of the information we process is first registered in the body rather than the brain.
Working in a more holistic way, with a focus not only on thoughts and beliefs, but how the body feels as well is essential. I often incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices in sessions, as these have been proven to help individuals gain more awareness and connection with the body and mind. I enjoy including all of this, a bit of humor (because laughter really can be medicine) and whatever else my clients find most useful in our work together.
Above all, the quality of the client-therapist relationship is most important for achieving goals in therapy. A willingness to collaborate and be authentic with each other will maximize the outcomes of therapy. Therapy works best when you feel at ease, a sense of trust and comfort to fully disclose with your therapist. My job is to provide a compassionate, safe and non-judgmental space for you to discuss whatever thoughts or concerns you may have. I encourage those seeking a therapist to “shop” around for a person that they feel most comfortable and secure with. With that in mind, I am more than willing to answer any questions or concerns via email or telephone before we decide to schedule a session.
I only take on a maximum of 10 clients a week. Due to this, I may have a waiting list when you contact me. I find that this way of working suits me quite well. I love this job, but it’s hard work and I invest all of myself in it. I take this work very seriously and spend a great deal of time reading, note taking, and thinking a lot about ways in which I can help my clients. I also recently discovered I am a highly sensitive person (https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/ - maybe you are too?). Learning more about this for myself and my clients has really changed the way I take care of myself and also how I work with clients. Because of this, I believe I am able to create a very warm, compassionate and strong bond with my clients.
"Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”
"To be enlightened is to no longer have anxiety about imperfection."
An online therapy session typically lasts 50 minutes. The first couple of sessions will focus on the concerns that have brought you to therapy as well as your past. This is to get an understanding of how past events could be influencing your present circumstance. The intake procedure will help me to get to know you better and provide you an opportunity to feel what it is like to work with me. After the intake, we can discuss your areas of strength, improvement and goals for therapy.
Clients are always responsible for payment directly to me, however, you may be eligible for reimbursement through your health insurance. International health insurances will generally cover the costs of therapy. I highly recommend that you contact your health insurance provider directly for more information and to determine your coverage. I am more than willing to help provide you with any information I know regarding this matter.
I am willing to be flexible with my fee in relation to your financial situation. I typically work with a sliding scale, as I feel that everyone should be able to access mental health services. If you have any questions about my fees, please contact me.
My cancellation policy is that sessions will be charged in full if I am not given 24 hours notice.
I am often available to schedule sessions in the evenings and on Saturdays.
+1 (818) 620-2034
©2020 by Nicole Rand Counseling & Therapy