When Life Happens - The Podcast 

"When Life Happens" is a podcast in which I conduct informal but inspiring conversations about psychological well-being and the effects, forming and processing of traumatic experiences. I speak with brilliant minds, professors, grief counsellors, change makers, and young people who have found their own empowerment.


"When Life Happens" is een podcast waarin ik openhartige en inspirerende gesprekken voer over psychologisch welzijn en de effecten, vorming en verwerking van traumatische ervaringen. Ik spreek met briljante geesten, professoren, rouwbegeleiders, veranderaars, en jonge mensen die hun eigen empowerment hebben gevonden.


Episode 01: Candice Mama

Episode 02: Dr. Shirley Steinberg

Episode 03: Marrit van Exel

" Candice forgave her father's murderer "

" Cause and effect: Development of children during covid19"

"Marrit lost her husband and daughter within a few weeks"

In this talk I speak with Candice Mama about trauma, recovering and finding your way in life. Her work in forgiveness, reconciliation and trauma began after her story of forgiving apartheid assassin and her father’s murderer, Eugene De Kock, made international news. Now she is one of Vogue's Magazine top 33 most inspiring women alongside Michelle Obama and Malala. Beside that Candice is named in the top 20 most inspiring women by The UN. But above all she is an amazing human being. I recommend everyone to read her book forgiveness redifiened.

In this episode I will speak to Dr. Shirley Steinberg. We will speak about the psychological effects of Covid19, How transforming educators, community workers and other significant parties in the life of children can help them deal with this life event and how Covid19 changes childrens development. Dr. Steinberg is an educator, author, activist, and public speaker whose work focuses on critical pedagogy, social justice, and cultural studies.  Steinberg is the Research Chair of Critical Youth Studies at the University of Calgary and is the executive director of the Freire Project freireproject.org, 

Marrit van Exel lost her husband and her daughter in a short time. Despite this, she found the strength to endure the process of mourning and wrote the book Survival Guide for Widows.
Now she coaches widows and widowers who are going through a similar process. During her own grieving process, she discovered that there is no legal arrangement in the Netherlands for bereavement leave. She has therefore started a petition which you can sign on here website MarritvanExel.nl. I had a wonderful open conversation with this woman full of resilience and zest for life. Thank you Marrit.


Episode 04: Elisa L. Iannacone

Episode 05: Angelique Starreveld

Episode 06: Leoniek van der Maarel

" Elisa faced the beauty and evil of humanity "

'PTSD within the police force"

"There is no time limit when it comes to grieving

Elisa endured a horrible traumatic experience. Not a decade later she wrote the book: The Spiral of Containment: Rape’s Aftermath. Sharing her experience as a rape survivor healing trauma alongside 24 fellow survivors. In this video we will speak about healing trauma, the process of moving on, dealing with your environment and finding back your self-confidence. Elisa L. Iannacone worked in 30 countries across six continents and faced the beauty but also the evil of humanity. Covering challenging environments, from the Rabaa massacre in Cairo, to domestic violence within Iraqi refugee camps. She worked as a journalist and documentary cinematographers and worked with National Geographic, BBC World News, Newsweek and Vice. 


In this podcast I speak with Angelique Starreveld about PTSD within the police force. About taboo, shame, effect on the family and influence PTSD has in your daily life. Angelique Starreveld worked from 1990 as a police officer in Amsterdam, experienced several traumatic incidents and developed PTSD as a result. She wrote the book "Als de sirenes blijven loeien" (When the sirens keep going ) in which she shares her story, together with that of colleagues who experienced similar incidents.

Leoniek van der Maarel is a grief therapist, youth therapist and co-developer of the SCHIP method. She has grieved herself immensely and has been working in the field of psychology and bereavement for over 20 years now. In this conversation, we talk about the importance and definition of grieving, the feelings that come up during a grieving process, and the SCHIP methodology focust on grieving after  divorce that she co-developed with Tineke Rodenburg.

Episode 07: Simone Mark

Episode 08: Madeleine Black

Episode 09: Stephanie Beijnes

" Touch is a necessity of life "

"We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up" 

"Every human being has to deal with some kind of loss"

In our conversation, I spoke with Simone about (dis)attachment and fysical contact. What are the consequences in the development of children of losing contact within a society bearing Covid19? How do we make sure not to lose contact with ourselves? And what changes occur from a neurological, physiological, and socio-emotional level due to the infliction of contact loss? Simone Mark is founder of the Center Pedagogical Contact and author of the book Pedagogical Contact. Her lectures and master classes are about the quality of the contact between educators and children/young people. Simone worked for years in special education, studied pedagogy. She is also a certified trainer for the Reporting Code for Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. She also worked as a trainer for the Child Protection Board, the Ruud van Nistelrooy Foundation and the KNVB

In this episode I will speak to Madeleine Black. Madeleine has an unusual personal story which she uses to inspire and motivate others. Violently gang raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will. Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way. Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all; leading a fulfilling and happy life. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. A deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity. We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up.

In this podcast, I spoke with Stephanie Beijnes about grief and loss within organisations. She offers answers for managers, employees and teams who face challenges in the grieving process. No one lives life in a straight line. Every human being has to deal with some kind of loss. We all by nature try to avoid pain, that is our survival mechanism. And when we become aware of this, choice arises.
Organisations are made up of people, who can either be in a survival mode or not. Stephanie tells us how teams can rediscover how to reach their goals in time, including a real understanding for each other.


Episode 10: Laura Overbeek

Episode 11: Prof. Ineke Edes

Episode 12: Dr. Damon Silas 

" wife, mom... widow before 30"

" The value of Pedagogy with an ecological vision"

" The only way out is Through"

Laura and Renee were best friends and lovers from their teenage years. When they were both in their early twenties, they bought a house and not much later became parents for the first time. A year and a half later, they welcomed their second miracle into their arms. In their twenties, young parents and a happy life ahead of them. Until one morning when Renee unexpectedly died. From that moment on, Laura literally had to survive. Sailing on her intuition and motherly love, she dragged herself through this process. In this interview she candidly tells her story. A story about unexpected loss, motherly love, mourning, heartache, surviving and living again.



A conversation about the meaning of Pedagogy with an ecological vision.

I entered into a dialogue with (my former) professor Ineke Edes professor of Ecological Pedagogy at Hogeschool Utrecht.

We talked about the role of a pedagogue, practicing pedagogy, the importance of reflection, and the value of the movement we call ecological pedagogy. This is a podcast for everyone who wants to know more about the content: Pedagogy with an ecological vision through the eyes of a professor, and the reflection of a former student.

In this episode I will have a talk with Dr. Damon Silas. Dr. Silas has extensive experience in how trauma impacts every aspect of life, often being the basis for many diagnoses including anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. He utilizes an integrative, holistic approach for each individual. We talk about EFT also known as tapping. EFT utilizes the body’s energy meridian points by stimulating them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.We also speak about the importance of acknowledging  mind-spirit and body as one whitin the proces of healing.  In this podcast Dr. Silas tells about his thrive and journey to become a psychologist. Because like all of us our purpose has his origin.

Episode 13: Kim van Haeften

" Acceptance of  Change"

Episode 14: Steve Phillip

" The signs of suicide"

Episode 15: John Portelli 

" Breaking Boundaries"

After an accident with her bicycle, Kim suffered brain damage. At first it seemed to be just a concussion, but then the symptoms persisted and it became clear that there was more to it. Kim's life was turned upside down and after rehabilitation, she had to reinvent herself. What could still be done and what not? What was the impact on her sons and husband? What other changes would come her way? What was her new identity? In this podcast you will hear how a powerful woman transforms an accident into opportunities and sees chances where others would see obstacles. Kim shows what the power of vulnerability means.


In this episode I speak with Steve Phillip who lost his son.

We talk about how suicide awareness can contribute to prevention. In addition, Steve speaks openly about how he, and his family still have to cope with the loss every day. In memory of his son Jordan Steve set up the The Jordan Legacy CIC. The Legacy's mission is: 𝘛𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘺; 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦'𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭-𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦'𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦

John P. Portelli, is a Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto. He has published over 100 academic articles and 22 books, including four bilingual collections of poetry. In this conversation we speak about the effects of using poetry within education and the effects poetry can have within the proces of traumatic healing. John will also gives us a peek into his own childhood, traumatic experiences and how poetry and sports aloud him to grow and live again.

Episode 16: Shona Hirons

" You can either give up, or get up! "

Shona is a woman of resilience and an example of how positive thinking really affects recovery. She took me back to her childhood, having to live up to the expectations of others, her time as a lawyer, the values within this system that were poison to her well-being, and the transition in lifestyle and awareness she went through after her accident.

Now Shona is an award-winning coach, running her own company Mindset in Motion, and speaker. In short, a source of inspiration.


Episode 17: Nick Wilson

" War, Suïcide, PTSD and Life!"

An interesting and in-depth conversation with Nick Wilson . He had and still has to deal with suicidal thoughts but fights for more insight in mental health problems every day. We talk about how to support one meaningfully and sensitively, how important real listening truly is, and what makes life worth living. Thank you Nickfor sharing your story.

Episode 18: Dick Kleijn

" PTSD, the impact of the street" 

Dick Kleijn has more than 25 years of experience in the police force and, like many of his colleagues, has been exposed to violent situations which in some cases have led to PTSD. Together with a colleague, Dick decided to set up a foundation to take care of the person behind the uniform. In this podcast Dick talks about his experiences in the Dutch police force, how he deals with PTSD and now helps his colleagues through Stichting Politie Veteraan.

Episode 19: Dr. Richard Schwartz

Founder  of IFS 

Episode 20: Professor & Therapist Irene van Rijn

" What we don't know, but should know about playing"

In this podcast Simone Boersma talks with Dr. Richard Schwartz about the method of Internal Family Systems. Richard Schwartz began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. During the conversation Simone and Dr. Schwartz talked about the parts, the Self, the eight C's and most important making a connection and awaken curiousity.

Irene van Rijn is a college professor and play therapist. In this podcast we talk about the meaning of play, the value of facilitating play and share our thoughts on the importance of basic neurological knowledge for professionals working in the field of pedagogy, psychology and education.

Copyright: Kinderwijs-Gouda