Nederlands / English

Many of us would like to give more room to their voice. To just sing a song (and not just in the bathroom), talk easier and less monotonous; speak up to say something that you find difficult. Phrases of the past as "You sing as false as a cat", "Shut up" or "Please lower your voice" do not make it easy to freely make use of your voice. Our voice is closely linked to our heart. Who we really are or really want to be (the inner playful and creative child).

Now, I would like to give you an impression of the method and style I work with in my own practice in Nijmegen. The goal is to train the voice in a playful and therapeutical way. To accomplish this I use methodologies from different sources. The core is that the client learns to express oneself using his/her voice. All sorts of complaints from the throat area, which do not have a physical cause, can be seen and heard. This can also be emotional problem a client may have, like sub-assertive behaviour, difficulty in communicating, lump in the throat, feeling stress in social environments, etcetera.

I will try to create a clear picture of the way I work. Hopefully this will provide some clarity.

At the start of the sessions, I use the principles of neuro-linguistic programming. What does the client want? What are his/her wishes and desires? What are the problems, limitations and negative patterns related to these goals and needs? I work quite dynamically. This means I invite the client to get out of the chair, stand up and position him-/herself in the middle of the room in the beginning of the session (except during the exploratory interview). In other words, I invite the client to enter the world of the performing artist. The world of playing. To make contact with and experience the sense of playing, moving and singing.

I work on a large rectangular mat. This mat represents your own area, your territory. The client is the centre of the mat. He/she looks forward. Looking forward can be seen as looking into the future with all your dreams and wishes. The space behind you represents your past. Standing (still) in the centre of this space symbolises standing in the Here and Now. With aspirations and the reality of the present. In that sense, I am more focused on goals and solutions than complaints. The complaint is a starting point and has to be experienced and recognised. But the complaint is placed in a broader perspective to allow the client to regain their faith and imagination. The client is able to shape his/her own life in the way he/she wants. The sessions are devoted to what extent the client - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually - truly chooses to experience an inner process that follows from his/her goals and desires.

Then, he/she truly enters the Podium of Life. On the Podium of life he/she can play and fully express his/her creative powers to the fields of music, drama, visual arts, rhetoric, and so on.

In the following paragraphs, I will briefly describe 7 psychological and spiritual angles. These angles together form the basis of my work as a voice coach. I am very inspired by the approaches of the body-, expressive- and voice-oriented teaching methods.

1. Roy Hart Theatre

I am mainly specialized in the human Voice. In 1979 I met the Roy Hart Theatre in Nijmegen. This is a theatre group from the south of France. In their theatre work, the voice lies at the heart of their thinking and creativity. Their mission is to play as authentic as possible. To bring soul in the play and voice. I found this quest to the soul in the voice very fascinating. Because this game of resonance and unpolished sounds was purely verbal, I decided to look for a broader framework in which these sounds could be given meaning and could be translated into words.

Roy Hart demonstrates his enormous reach

2. Core Energetics

I found that framework in the Core Energetic work of John Pierrakos. Pierrakos derived his theory from Lowen's ‘bioenergetics’. Core Energetics is more focused on a person’s spiritual dimension, and the chakra system from India (the idea that our personality is composed of 7 basic chakras). This system provides a clear opportunity to organize experiences and give them a place in your emotional and spiritual growth. Using Core Enegetics I could place the strong emotional expressive work of the Roy Hart Theatre into the basic processes and structures of man's development from baby to adulthood. In the course of time, my work shifted from vocalisation to voice expression/therapy. The voice, the area of the throat, refers to a number of fundamental human themes; to stand up for yourself, dare to speak your truth, creativity, willpower, communication, dare to express yourself without constrains, the desire to be heard, and integrity.

3. Voice Dialogue

Voice Dialoque's goal is to understand the ‘me’ power (personal space). It is a method based on the idea that our personality is made up of many sub-personalities. You can see them as different sided of yourself. All these sub-personalities - with at the core your natural ‘me’ - have a great voice: their own sound, their own timbre, their own way of speaking. This is a natural part of every person. Well-known examples of sub-personalities are: the Controller; the Critic; the Dumb Blonde; the Beast in us; etcetera.

4. Systemic Thinking

A recent development in my work is the discovery of the work of Bert Hellinger. He developed a systemic way of perceiving human problems. Systematic Thinking places problems in the context of inter-familial relationships (including grandparents). Traditionally, psychological problems are perceived to have an intra psychic nature. I have a problem so the cause must lie within me. I am doing something wrong or I got stuck somewhere in my development. In Systematic Thinking, the personal problem is placed in the broader perspective of all the relational ties within the family. How do people function in his/her family? Which roles are adopted? What kinds of entanglements are taking place in the family? The child with the problem also says something about the well being of the rest of the family. This theory gave me the opportunity to place body languages and the use of the voice in the context of familial relations. It is really important that you take your position in your family.

5. The Lichtenberger Method

The core of this methodology is to develop a free tone of voice. Observing your own sound is essential. It allows for a new arrangement of the body. All the spaces in the body will be connected through resonance. The result is that you can create broader and livelier sound with less effort. The challenge lies in discovering the richness of every single tone, and the realization of the enormous musical potential that you have.

6. The spiral of Creation by Marinus Knoope

In 2006, I collaborated with Marinus Knoope and Hanny Kusters for the project The Spiral of Creation. The Spiral of Creation is a detailed set of paradoxes with the aim of realizing your own dreams and wishes. Paradoxes provide an answer to the question why people emotionally/spiritually stagnate in their process from wish to reality. Marinus Knoope has organized and arranged around 300 emotions in 14 paradoxes. From "desire", "imagination" and "believe" to "relax".

In short, it comes down to this:
By embracing difficult feelings you come into contact with the quality that is hidden in that uneasy feeling. For example, if you find anger a difficult emotion, creatively expression of that emotion can help you to make a connection with the quality ‘take control of your life’.

7. William Yang

During the last 2 years, Yang's work has really inspired me and has increased my understandings of the meaning of relaxation and connection with Being. And above all, his work clarified the interaction between what he is doing and my work focused on playing, voice expression and coaching.