I do… listen!

Eventhough people might constantly ask you how you are doing, do they actualy listen?

People seem to spit their solutions (with the best intentions) before you are even finished trying to find the words to make your first sentence. You are defenatly not looking forward to waist more energy to explain everything it all over again. You also don’t feel like defending yourself over and over again for your feelings. Maybe you feel so many different emotions at the same time that everything just blocks as in a short circuit? Or maybe you do understand  evrything on a rational level, but somehow your emotions do not coincide? Or maybe… probably most likely:

Your story is totally different and I should just shut up and listen?!


“Deeply hidden between all the noise of your explanations, your statements, and your words we can hear your real story.”
So ok, tell me, I am willing to listen !

Deeply hidden between all the noise of your explanations, your statements, and your words we can find your real storyMaybe you feel some of your real feelings should never be spoken out loud, they are way too horrible, too illogical, too complicated, too childish, too inappropriate or too contradictory. Sometimes you don’t have names for the feelings you experience or maybe you are unable to recognize which feelings they are, because they are so too deeply entangled to be recognized.

Feelings unspoken will continuously try to seek recognition and attention. Not being recognitized, they will start to shout harder and harder for attention untill they explode like a continously inflated balloon. This will be expressed diffrently in evryone, but the explosion feels almost unbearable, and will leave scars that will take a very long time to heal.

Therefore, I think it’s important that there is a place where all your feelings can express exactly who they are: self-criticism, disappointment,  frustration,  despair, fear, sexuality,  guilt, shame, your constant restlessness, your pain and many more. Paying attention to all those feelings can help to prevent that terrible explosion.

Speaking your mind can sometimes just bring you that little bit of air you need to be able to get back on track

We will continue to tune in to find the method that suits you best at the time. And sometimes that means you will only come to speak your mind. Sometimes seeing your story through my eyes creates the exact distance you need to see clearly. The resulting overview gives insight and the distance gives air. It can just give that bit of hope that you need to be self-reliant, to further develop yourself.



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Do you need more then just someone who listens ? Read More

Do you need help in the search for your deep patterns ? Read More


Brains don’t have sex?

According to brainscientist Daphne Joel brains do not have a particular sex.

She claims instead of speaking about the diffrence in sex, it is better to speak about the diffrence in form only. As she has shown that  some parts of the brain change from the female form to the male form and the other way around after only 15 minutes of stress.



“Taking a closer look at the content of this interaction I strongly disagree” 



On the left side of the image above we can clearly see a big difference between the male and the female brain. Without stress a female Axon is densly covered with dendrites and a male axon not so much. An Axon is the tale of a neuron (Read more .. ) .The dendrites on the axon are all possibilities for the axon to connect to another neuron for assiociation and communication.

After engaging both brains in only 15 minutes of stress the density of the dendrites increases on the male axon and the density of  the female axon decreases. Looking at the picture it seems like they unrecognisable switched places. Daphne Joel concludes as their forms are dynamic over time there is no use to diffrentiated them according to sex.

Taking a closer look at the content of this interaction I strongly disagree

The increase of dendrites on a male axon during stress opens up the neuron to more associative connections, it gives the normally rigid problemsolving male mind the opportunity to think outside the box during stress. The female stress-related decrease of dendrites on the other hand might portrait the change in prioritizing focus on the most effective and efficient way.

There are on averageover one hundred differences in brainstructure between men and women. For example female brains are on avarage smaller, have a thicker cortex, have a higher proportion of gray matter (the neuronheads), have a lower proportion of white matter (the axons) and have smaller ventricles (the big airholes in the middle of the brain). According to Daphne Joel the higher proportion of neurons with the larger ventricles compensates for the diffrence in total size and results in not so much diffrence in the end.

Again I disagree, as I believe the difference in total build up and how the brain is wired is more important than the amount of neurons.

The popular view “Men come from Mars and Women come from Venus” in which Men’s behaviour is build around pursuing sex and agression; and Women’s behaviour is build around emotion and communication, is largly exaggerated and opposite with scientific results. It has been repeatedly shown that there is no significant sexdifference in intelect, cognitive and emotional functioning, no significant differences in personality, interest and attitudes. The only significant difference we found between men and women are in aggression and compassion, and these diffrences are very small and large variation within the sexes.










Untangle the Entanglement

Do you need more? Do you feel the distance gained by “feeling heared” is not going to be enough to untangle the chaos in your mind? Is your mind entanglement just to complex? Most standard psychotherapies work on reducing symptoms. Medicine,  or relaxing techniques can be very effective on the short term, but they will not fix the underlying problem. Together we will take a closer look !


Every personal story is unique. That’s why we will take our time to map out which influences, which factors are effecting your wellbeing and how. We will draw which factors are changeable, and which factors are not. We will draw which factors are constructive and which factors are not. The map will show how some behaviours who are clearly destructive for your well being in the longrun keep being used for their benefits in the short term. Finally the map will clearly show which button needs to be turned to get evrything moving again. (Cognitive Therapy)


Unfortunately these clear insights alone are not going to be enough to really change your deep wounded brain lanes for the longterm. Your new insights about the use of more constructive behaviour first have to be worn down by practicing exercises, for this new behaviour to become the automatic behaviour.  Without practice you will automatically keep choosing for the old deeply wounded destructive behaviour in circumstances without enough intentional conscious behaviour. Together we will create exercises that are just feasible, but still challenging. The new constructive helping behaviour will sink in by completing the exercises regurlarly.





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Misophonia – a simple explanation

“Ggggggggggggggrgrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaahhhh ..” Are you familiar with that feeling?The feeling of huge explosive anger in your body: your heart starts beating louder and  louder, you can feel the pounding in your chest; The pressure on your bloodflow rises so high that it seems as your vains will explode any second now. Everything in you shouts you need to do something NOW to end it .. !!

At the same time, in your mind clearly know that there is actually nothing really important going on. The trigger that gave rise to this huge anger in you is not a bear, a lion or any other dangerous animal; You are clearly aware you are not in a threatening or degrading situation in need of direct solving. The trigger for your huge anger is innocent. Your trigger is an innocent sound!!

Smacking, slurping, swallowing food; the pronunciation of certain letters; the typing on a keyboard, the ticking of a clock, etc …. All these sounds do not directly refer to a situation that needs solving, but they are all sounds others say you should easily be able to tolerate. Yet everything in your body cries out that this noise should be stopped NOW!

Anger & hate. Your body is making sure all your body parts have direct acces to the enormous energyflow that is needed to take direct action to stop the endangered / degrading situation you are in. Your body is mobilized to attack, putting an end to the situation in an aggressive way.

People who suffer from Misophonia (literally “hate for sound”), experience an automatic rise of anger and hate in their body when hearing a particular noise. That sense of anger is automatic, there is no room for thought about whether or not there is an argued reason for this anger. The anger is right there and does not go away through thoughts about how not threatening the situation is. Actually thoughts about how “not logical” these anger feelings are not helpfull in this situation only makes the anger worse.

People who for example suffer from an anxiety disorder, also experience this automatic triggering of an emotion. Fear, unlike anger, does not have the function to solving a threat, but the function to prepare you for possible danger that will come. You experience a trigger that predicts danger to you and your body will prepare to flee or attack. This feeling of fear is reduced by soothing thoughts and the automatic response if you have often experienced that this particular trigger does not predict any danger (more).

Unfortunately, with Misophenia, exposure to the trigger does not cause any reduction in the immense auto-rising anger response. Fortunately, recent research from the AMC (Amsterdam Medical Center) has shown that other treatments are possible that can dramatically improve living conditions (Denys et al, 2017). Read more

  • CGT: Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
  • Attention Training (Mindfulness)
  • Counterconditioning
  • Relaxation

By Hagar Donners, Psychologist To make an appointment?


No time like the present!!

“It was time.

Time to really start working on myself. But where to start and with whom?  So many different counselors and therapies had tried, but failed . Who will, and above all, who could really help me?

Then I found Hagar, through social media. Luckely, it was possible to make a reservation for a free introductory consult right away within the same week. So nice! In my own time, online through skype, easy to book through her website neurowiki.nl . No travel time / no stress /no parking fee, and most important comfortable on my own couch.

Feeling an immediate click, I was able to continue onwards without the normal waitinglist period, with weekly follow-up sessions. Currently we are starting session nr 9. I have never been so happy with therapy! Finally, I’m actually working on myself.

Hagar shows me how to make room for clarity and space in my clutter by giving me insights into my own brainprocesses. The reflections and the schemes she uses clearly show me me she understands what is going on. She teaches me useful tools ready for use in my everyday life. Furthermore she teaches me to live more consciously, to do everything with more attention. That’s the result of practicing the exercises I learned in therapy. Clearing all this clutter in my head is heavy work but very illuminating and defenatly worth it.

The helpfull insights Hagar gives me into my own brainprocesses are without difficult words and with easy to understand examples and metafors. One of those insights even made me start to exercise without a direct assignments in therapy?!

Thank you Hagar!”

(Anonymous, Amsterdam  June 2017)



“Before flying back to Brussels from Athens”

“Before flying back to Brussels from Athens last week, I was sitting in the waiting area at the gate next to this guy who was making me feel really nervous.

Looking closer I noticed the guy was continuously fidgeting…”

19-01-2017 Gate Conclusions

Being a traveling mindexplorer, I always end up in lots of interesting situations. For example last week, before flying back to Brussels from Athens, I was sitting in the waiting area at the gate next to this guy who was making me feel really nervous.

Looking closer I noticed the guy was continuously fidgeting, he was making small movements with his hands, alternating which one of his other fingers was touching his left thumb, his other hand was alternating a deep crunch with a seemingly more relaxed pose. Additionally I could see he was sweating, a slow stream of luiquid was running on his neck, where there was also a vain visibly pumping blood to his brain.


“What was happening in my brain?”

Not being immune for the current millennial influences, the first thought in my head included the concept of a suicide bomber, which made me feel nervous. Were my thoughts a warning, was this first thought my intuition? Why and how did this happen in my brain?
As a brain tries to understand the world, there is an ongoing competition between several possible top-down conclusions being filled up with bottom-up sensory information. The conclusion that meets their target-threshold first while being filled up will immediately enter your consciousness.

While I was waiting for my plane to Brussels at the gate, there were several conclusions I could take on the basis of the sensory information that was coming in. The guy could be feeling very warm due to wearing too many cloths; the guy could be claustrophobic; the guy could be afraid of flying. The more confirming information/evidence for each conclusion entered my brain, the bigger the chance this conclusion would be triggered to enter my consciousness. For example feeling warm myself, would fill up the conclusion of the guy feeling warm with confirming evidence.

Thresholds of conclusions that could prevent life risk or thresholds of conclusions that are primed by availability are lowered. In our story the possibility of a suicide bomber would need a lot less confirming information to come up in my brain. Only the facts that we are flying to Brussels, the guy showing possible symptoms of nervousness and is wearing a suitcase are enough to trigger this thought into my mind.  Their target-thresholds would need less confirming information to be triggered then their fellow top-down conclusions. These conclusions coming up in your mind first is an automatic process against which you are not really able to do a lot about.


You could try to limit the presence of this information in your environment; this would make the availability of these conclusions less prominent in your brain. Lower availability would reinstate its threshold. Unfortunately it would take a lot of effort and attention to shield yourself from this information and would exclude you from useful information to understand what is really happening around you.

Actually the pure fact that a conclusion is coming up in your brain without enough confirming evidence is not really a big problem, if you keep being consciously aware that this fact does not necessarily mean this conclusion or thought is the truth or your true opinion.

Always be aware your first thought is just the one whose target-threshold is met first.

Depending how well fitted your thresholds are pre-calibrated during your life, your first thought will have a useful meaning, but never assume this meaning without search for evidence. At request more about this in another article soon..