About Cara

Me now

I am passionate about supporting human beings, wishing each of us to experience equity, joy and meaning in our daily lives and where possible, through cooperation and mutual support.

I have become inspired to approach this not just at an individual level (which I did for a decade as an EMCC-accredited coach), but to address the systems in which we operate. This is why I became a certified Nonviolent Communication trainer and why a subscription service is my preferred way of working with organizations.

In this way I can support in a sustained way with, e.g. moving out of fear-based settings and growing trust and capacity; creating a means for fair and equitable decisions that address as many needs as possible; providing enough safety for honest and effective feedback and conflict resolution; allowing for full humanity to be accepted.

Here's my background story

Like many others raised in the U.S.A., I had learned to “put my best face forward,” which for me meant showing the world a particular I-have-it-all-together mask. Even when (maybe especially when) I most certainly did not experience life this way. By the time I was an adult, I found myself living with a harsh inner critic with impossibly high standards, working hard with little room for play, a practice of avoiding conflict, pleasing, being nice, and a must-hide-all-unpleasantness mask that I didn't realize I was forcing myself to wear most of the time.

In 2004, I was hit with a lot of insecurities. Trying to give 100% to each of my roles - mother, partner, employee, colleague, daughter, friend - just didn't add up. My inner critic was constantly letting me know I was failing at everything, and I was feeling terribly unsatisfied and alone with my reality.

When I moved with my family of four to the Netherlands in 2010, all things familiar were gone and none of my old patterns were working anymore in my favor. At some point I realized that I had lost myself completely, not knowing who I really was or what I really wanted, and most of the time I felt quite frustrated and lonely. My inner stress showed up in nearly all of my relationships contributing to their fragility.

I rarely use labels, yet I realized one day that I was in a “good ole mid-life crisis,” and that's when I knew I wanted to seek out some support to help me gently find my way out of it.

I found it in many coaching and communication training sessions that primarily helped me discover myself, the “real me.” I learned how to speak to myself compassionately and listen to what's MOST important to me; how to stop pleasing others for belonging/connection and to rely on honesty instead; to get in touch with my personal needs how to come up for them, and care for myself (like finding refuge in nature) AND stay in connection with important people in my life.

After a decade of individual and relationship coaching, I am still passionate about helping others finding their way, and now also working in international team settings.

This may also be handy to know about me

I hold the European Mentoring & Coaching Council's European Individual Accreditation at Senior Practitioner level.

This is for me an important distinction, given that anyone can call themselves a coach. It identifies me as having not only solid training, but also proven experience and commitment to ongoing supervision, learning, reflection and development.

It helps to guarantee safety and quality due to the standards I am required to meet and my commitment to follow the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches & Mentors.

I have undertaken extensive communication training and as a certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer

Recognized by the Center for Nonviolent Communication, this training promotes the NVC model created by Marshall B. Rosenberg on a worldwide basis.

NVC has fundamentally changed not only the way in which I speak with myself, but also the way I approach people in both my personal and professional life. It is one of compassion, trust and acceptance while seeking clarity and deep honesty.

It helps meet my needs for well-being, honesty and connection more than anything else I've encountered. I use it as a basis for my coaching and facilitation work, and where desired teach NVC-themed courses.

Most importantly, I genuinely care about authenticity, connection, equity and true cooperation.

I believe this is what the world needs most right now. I love supporting others who care about these life qualities.

If you do, too, let's talk and see how we can work together.

I am a native English speaker and also fluent in Dutch.

EMCC EIA senior practitioner European Individual Accreditation CRKBO geregistreerde instelling Certified Nonviolent Communication trainer