Hello and welcome!

I'm so honoured you're here and I'd like to help

My name is Elly; I am the founder, author and webmaster of this site and I'm Dutch.

The stunning Dutch bulb fields in the spring

I moved back to the Netherlands in late 2012 after 33 years in the UK (hence I write in British English!).

I now devote my time to creating the best website I can - based on my 24 years of experience as an expert (relationship) counsellor/therapist. 

I sincerely hope that the information in my articles will contribute to your happiness and contentment in your intimate couple relationship(s).

What qualifies me to write these articles?

I started as a volunteer telephone counsellor, which made me realise I wanted a career in counselling.

  • I qualified as a RELATE counsellor, working with individuals and couples for 24 years. I received additional training in dealing with domestic violence, addictions, grief counselling and counselling young people. I mentored new counsellors and was a representative on the local executive committee.
  • I qualified as an NLP Practitioner with the father of  NLP: Richard Bandler and UK renowned hypnotherapist Paul McKenna.
  • Lastly I gained the Human Givens Postgraduate Diploma accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). This qualification allowed me to get rapid results treating people with conditions such as depression and anxiety, and particularly trauma.
  • I was a trauma specialist with a large UK county police service for 12 years (see Certificate of Merit), a school counsellor for 11 years and in private practice for 22 years. I also worked in a doctor's surgery for 2 years.
  • Until my move to the Netherlands I was an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) until my 'retirement' (I work near-enough full-time on this site!)

CLICK HERE for testimonials.

My values

My values are kindness, empathy, integrity, loyalty, fairness, openness, self-awareness, personal growth and second, third and sometimes many more chances.

Do I screw up? You bet I do, just like you! :-) That's life and I'm learning and making changes as I go along.

Oh, and I support the Afghan Children's Mobile Circus.

It's warm here

"I have been visiting your website and reading your interesting contents. It is warm there... thank you for inspiring and sharing your professional experiences with people like me, needing a positive perspective in difficult moments"

- Patricia

Are you going through a difficult time?

If life is tough for you right now - hang on in there. I know you can manage it - I believe in you! I know that you were born not just to survive but to thrive, and I want you to hold on to that belief too - every single day.

I'm aiming to increase your knowledge, awareness and understanding of the psychology of human relationships so that you'll feel stronger in the face of any challenge in your relationship. I hope to empower you to be bold, and courageously make the necessary changes to enable you to overcome your problems. Ultimately, this will help you to regain your peace of mind and happiness.

In need of counselling or coaching?

Maybe you were hoping I could help you with your problems, in which case I'm really sorry to have to disappoint you. I'm unable to be there for you personally - click here to read more about why this is.

I am now focusing all my energy on making as much information freely available here on my site to help as many people as possible. More than 14,000 people a day visit my website and right now you are in the company of 50 other visitors at the very least.

Although I can't help you personally, I certainly can point you in the right direction - click here for expert help.

Here is my sincerest wish for you...

Chief Dan George

"May the stars carry your sadness away. May the flowers fill your heart with beauty. May hope forever wipe away your tears, and above all, may your silence make you strong."

Chief Dan George

Do remember though that your silence may not necessarily be golden. I therefore hope that you do find someone you can really trust so that you can open your heart and share your troubles.

How I built this website (and online business)...

Well... that was after endless searching, trying and trying again, and failing!

I finally found a system that ultimately made me successful. Read the full story here.

I haven't just built a website, I built an online business - without any formal business or webmaster training. :-)

Just a little about me

Photo of Elly, with her dog TeskeWith my Friesian Stabbyhoun Teske

My father printed the local paper in a small town in the Netherlands. I am the eldest of five children. I am divorced and have one son. I live in a tiny village (uhhh... it has city rights!), love to walk my dog, row (St Ayles skiff), read, and spend time with my family and friends.

I spend much of my time, however, maintaining and improving my website.

And then there's my very trusted Virtual Assistant Caroline...

Caroline - my VA

Caroline takes care of my editing, since I'm not a native English speaker (I have to admit though - I sneak in bits of text by stealth, so don't blame her if you find some dodgy text!).

In addition she takes care of my email box whenever I'm not available, as well as doing all kinds of other admin tasks.

Caroline over-delivers, is unmissable and always ready with ideas and advice. You'll find her here, but don't 'steal' her.

'Ode' to my father

My father was my inspiration. He was always cheerful, positive, kind and considerate. I feel immense gratitude towards him and my mother for their love and the great start in life they gave me.

printer:lettersMy father printed the local newspaper in the old-fashioned letter-by-letter way

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Image courtesy of: Ooh-food and Jim Flanagan
Image of Elly courtesy of:
Maayke de Ridder Photography and Vis a Vis Designers