After obtaining my MSc in Developmental Psychology in 1980 at the Free University in Amsterdam, diversity, non-discrimination and ethics became major themes in my professional career.
I started in 1981 an independent private practice ‘C5’, with a combination of individual and organisational work: counseling and therapy with individual clients, children and families, next to implementation of diversity policies emancipation processes in organisations, and training of teachers in multicultural education.
As a lecturer at University Colleges in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, I taught courses on ethnicity and identity, and developed curricula, a.o. in ‘Transcultural Pedagogy’.
I was a consultant to the municipality of The Hague for combating racism in the educational system, developing and guiding training programs for school teams, educational materials for children in multicultural classrooms and mediating in ethnically diverse school teams; I was the co-author of the ‘Non-discrimination Code for Education’.
In the Netherlands, I have been chair of the Section on ‘Interculturalisation’ of the Netherlands Institute of Psychologists (NIP), where I co-organized two conferences on exclusion/inclusion: ‘Frantz Fanon, Exclusion makes Ill’ and ‘Identity, Professionals show their True Colours’. Since 2014, I am chairing the Human Rights and Psychology group of the NIP, with special focus on refugees.
At the European level, I Initiated the Task Force Cultural and Ethnic Diversity of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA). I was the first convenor and now an member of the Board Human Rights and Psychology of the EFPA.