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Angelika Matthias
Therapist for Expat Couples and Individuals in The Hague, NL
Therapist for Expat Couples and Individuals in The Hague, NL
Angelika's posts

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My website has a new design since yesterday! Please have a look.

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If you work with adolescences and or families this might be very helpful for you. However for parents and adolescences themselves it is advisable to now more over Dr. Dan Siegels approach and his work with the young generation. We can learn so much about each other, which would help all of us to live a more integrated and satisfied life. 

Why it is not enough to be self sufficient

We as individuals sometimes struggle a lot with our own identity and our close relationships.
There are deadlines to meet, the train is not waiting, the biological clock is ticking, the house is almost on fire all the time. We have to rush and be efficient, well organized, try to be on track all the time. Run, run, … but where? … and then? … What is the next goal? .... The only unreliable resource in this game is the human being!
We are soft, slow, stubborn, fearful, too weak, too young, too old, too lazy, too ambitious, we get tired, get hungry, get sick, get thirsty. We get bored or talk too much and sometimes without thinking. We struggle.
We want to have security, loyalty, we want to trust. However, it is so difficult to judge human beings. There are all these people in our way and therefore we cannot give our best, get stuck, get stressed and frustrated. We always have to wait for others! They are always keeping us from being perfect. Everything would be so good, if there would only be me. I would meet the deadline, I would catch the bus, I would be on time, I would not get stressed, I would be well organized, I could use all my money for myself. Moreover, I would be the nicest, the richest, the smartest and prettiest on earth. Everything would just be wonderful! … Really? … Of course there are moments where the biggest gift is our privacy. And of course people can be annoying, demanding and stressful.
But the truth is, the human species needs each other to survive. A little baby would not survive without any help from others. Cooperation was always our strength and brought us forward. We would wither without love and care. We all need loving connections to people until we die. We
Why it is Why it is Why it is Why it is not enough not enough not enough to be self to be self to be self sufficient sufficient sufficient
are social creatures, who need to talk, need to get feedback, need to learn from each other and
need to feel loved. That makes us strong! Therefore, it makes sense to invest in healthy and
strong relationships. Healthy relationships help to get the best out of us. They make us feel
good, help us grow and they make us happy!

Angelika Matthias, Therapist for couples and individuals in The Hague

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I´m proud to be part of EFT community myself and can help people to bring more satisfaction into their relationships. 

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What is Emotional Focused Therapy?

Here an explanation from Dr. Sue Johnson the founder of EFT.

Mindful in your daily life

There is a lot of talk nowadays, in the general public and media, about “mindfulness”. However, it is actually not a new age phenomenon but “mindfulness” has been around for a very long time. So what is it and where does it come from?

Mindfulness is an awareness that arises through paying attention in the present moment without judgment and on purpose. Mindfulness is about knowing what is on your mind, according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, the leading authority on the matter.

Recently mindfulness has become more prominent, especially because more research has been done on the subject in recent years and it has been proven that mindfulness has positive effects on your mental balance and it has greatly benefited psychotherapy.

Mindfulness has its origins in the Buddhist teachings, but you do not have to be religious or spiritual to practice mindfulness. It is a tool that can help you to live your life in the present and find mental balance in stressful situations.

With regular training, you can increase more positive emotions and therefore help to decrease negative ones. Which in turn has a positive impact on reducing depressed or angry feelings. With breathing techniques and controlling your thoughts, mindfulness has found a way to teach people to live more effectively in the present moment. This is especially important when you find it hard to cope and your self-esteem is at a low.

I myself went through a mindfulness training with Jon Kabat-Zinn. Furthermore, in a difficult time in my life, I experienced myself how beneficial and calming it can be to live your life in the present moment. It does require regular training, it is like going to the gym and training your body, only here you train your mind. Many successful people, like F1 world champion Nico Rosberg, actress Jennifer Aniston or singer/songwriter Paul McCartney who lead high stress lives have been utilizing mindfulness in their daily lives.

“…What progress, you ask, I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself…”
Hecato, Greek philosopher (Patricia Demierre-Berberat, 2012)

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Living in good and healthy relationships has a high positive impact on our mental and physical well being. See this little talk about a research project done over the last 75 years in the US.

If you think you want to learn more how to improve your close relationships and you need some professional help, please have a look on my website:

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Sue Johnson explains what kind of impact a long and safe relationship has on our sex life. Research shows that the safe emotional connection, that we have to our loved one has a great impact on how much we are turned on “in bed and out of bed” (Sue Johnson). Additionally, it shows us why women need to check first, if the relationship is save, talking to the partner.
When you hear about all this positive outcome from the research, it might help you to see, why it is worth it to put more effort/work into an emotional, close relationship. Even if it might feel like a lot work or perhaps you see no need for more closeness in your relationship, the payback might be worth the effort.

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Love does not need to be a mystery anymore!
“Scientists decoded the myth of love.”(Sue Johnson)  – That sounds great, doesn´t it?
There has been done a lot of research on love in adulthood over the last 30 years. Sue Johnson is the one who is heavily quoted on this field. Love is very much about bonding and closeness with our partner. Which means, that having an emotional responsiveness exchange about our needs with our partner is an important factor when talking about love. An example for that is, that you can feel save enough to go to your partner and ask for emotional support. 
This holds true especially in today’s society, where all this flexibility in the world makes our original social support system become very small. We do not have a big family or a whole village as a social support system anymore. However we, as human beings, are wired to live together. Feeling securely connected with our partner leads to a loving relationship, as more and more research shows.  When we can be sure about love, in our close relationship, we feel secure enough to go out and face the world. 
Equally important is to keep in mind, that emotional isolation might be as dangerous as smoking or alcohol abuse. It might lead to depression and emotional isolation can lead more easily to a stroke or a hard attack. Many people put a lot of effort in healthy living, sport and meditation, but there is still little knowledge about how we can be close to the individuals who are important to us. The good thing is, that we can learn how to connect, communicate better and how to do this in a more effective way. Close connections lead to love and secure love leads to a better sex live as well.
However it can feel a little difficult and scary. In couples therapy people learn how to address each other with their needs in a more open and valuable way. This draws their partner in instead of pushing them away. 
You can find more information on my website:

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Expat life might affect your well being

When people hear about Expat life, most of them are associating it with pictures of a nice and exciting life in a foreign country, like a good paid holiday. Of course it is true that you have the chance of discovering another country in more detail, which might bring a lot of excitement and fun. However living an expat life demands a lot of flexibility and challenges from the individual. Independent from whether you are the one who provokes the move or are the accompanying partner, or you had to prevent unemployment. Changing the environment, losing the familiar social network, has apart form a lot of positive exciting effects also a huge impact on your daily life and on your mental health. Therefore it is important how you deal with these challenges.
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