I was born in the Dutch province of Groningen, in the village of Uithuizermeeden. As a child I grew up in the city of Enschede, in the eastern Netherlands.
My husband and I lived for several years in the Islamic northern part of Nigeria. We are parents of six children and grandparents of fourteen grandchildren.
I obtained my degree in cultural and religious psychology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jan van der Lans. In 2003 I obtained my PhD at Utrecht University, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Trees Andree. In my PhD research I focused on the development of the concept of God in children raised in an intercultural and interreligious educational context.
I have acquired expertise in the theory and methods of the Dialogical Self Theory , the Self Confrontation Method, and Transactional Analysis. I expanded upon this expertise by completing a training to become a psycho-dramatherapist.
In 2001 I started a private coaching and consulting practice, called ‘S-in-conversation’. The Dialogical Self Theory and the Self Confrontation Method serve as an important source of inspiration for my coaching and consulting activities, in combination with practical work forms derived from psychodrama methods.
In my academic research, in my private practice ‘S-in-conversation’, and in collaborative research projects with other scholars, I always search for the connection between the personal and the professional narrative. This includes both the narrative of the individual, and that of individuals who function in a team. In my publications this variation is visible in a double focus on the identity of the person and the context in which the person participates.
I see identity as an ongoing process; identity is ‘work in progress’.