Angelika Mellema PH.D., RP

Registered Psychotherapist & Psychoanalyst

Angelika Mellema Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis



Panic attacks



Post Traumatic Stress


Life stress

Social phobia

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Generalized anxiety

Obsessive thoughts

Compulsive behaviors

Executive stress

Professional stress

Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent mental health issues to date. They can manifest themselves in many different forms and are characterized by prolonged feelings of fear or distress. Ultimately anxiety can take a toll on your physical health. You may suffer from a phobia, which is characterized by an excessive and persistent fear of a particular situation (e.g., flying, heights) or object(s) (e.g., certain animals such as snake, spiders etc., natural environment, seeing blood) and possible escape behaviors which are hard to control.

Or, you may be fearful and anxious about public transportation, being in open or enclosed places, standing in line or in a crowd, or being alone outside home in other situations where you think help may not be readily available (agoraphobia). Some people have an intense fear of public performance where one can be judged, such as public speaking or social interactions (social phobia).

Or, you may feel anxiety when separated form your partner or loved ones. A phobia can but does not have to be accompanied by a panic attack, which is a sudden intense fear with physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, and thoughts of, for example, fear of dying, and/or losing control, reaching a peak within minutes. A panic attack can also occur without a phobia totally unexpected.

It is also possible that your anxiety is more general (generalized anxiety), where you may feel a persistent or excessive anxiety and worry about various areas of your life, such a work, school performance, that are difficult to control, and feel restless, keyed up, or on edge. You may have difficulty concentrating or your mind may go blank, be irritable, have muscle tension, and/or have sleep disturbances.

You may experience persistent, unwanted, or ruminative thoughts and/or engage in repetitive behaviors, either one of which is difficult to control (Obsessive and/or Compulsive Symptoms or Disorder). Such thoughts can be, for example, extreme preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, details, rules, control, aggressive or sexual thoughts, and behaviors can be, for example, counting, checking doors, or hand washing.

Alternatively, you may have experienced an extremely stressful or traumatic event in your life and suffer from flashbacks of the traumatic experience, nightmares, depression, and/or anger (Posttraumatic stress disorder or symptoms). These symptoms can but do not need to occur immediately and can manifest themselves at a later point in life as well.

Stress is part of life, and different from anxiety and it can be positive and negative. However, when negative stress is ongoing it can affect your personal life, job, and physical health. Becoming aware of the triggers of stress and effectively managing stress is highly important for your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Psychotherapy increases one’s self-awareness, offers the ability to address the underlying issues, and manages anxiety and/or stress in a more effective manner. Some people resort to drugs and medication which may blunt the feeling of anxiety and/or stress, but these do not provide a solution for the underlying problem.
Depression and Other Emotional Disturbances

Overwhelming feeling of sadness or grief

Overly self-critical, feeling inadequate

Tendency to cry easily

Emotional Volatility

Feeling worthless, helpless, or hopeless

Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

Loss of energy

Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions

Appetite change

Sleep disturbances

Thoughts of Death or Suicide

Persistent Irritability

Feeling stuck/empty

Inability to know what you feel

Mood issues can come up in many different ways and if extreme or ongoing can be or become a mood disorder. They can be present with our without anxiety symptoms.

When you feel down, sad, hopeless, empty, irritable, worthless, selfcritical, and/or have lost interest in activities you used to enjoy, cannot enjoy life, have sleep and/or appetite changes for extended periods of time, you may be depressed and need psychotherapy.

You may experience an array of emotions that negatively impact your life, making you volatile and/or feel like an emotional storm. Alternatively, you may not know how to express how you feel, stuck in an empty or bored state. Although you may feel hopeless and have the idea that there is no way out, the problem can be helped by psychotherapy.

Pattern of distrust & suspiciousness

Social inhibition

Detachment from social relationships

Acute discomfort in close Relationships

Pattern of troubled relationships

Excessive emotionality

Excessive attention seeking

Marked impulsivity

Ongoing feelings of inadequacy

Fear of negative evaluation

Overly submissive or clinging behavior

Argumentative/defiant Behavior

Preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism & control

Identity, self-image, self-esteem issues

Personality issues are characterized by ingrained, enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about your environment, people, and yourself. They can cause distress to you and/or difficulties in your relationships and work. You may not be aware of the types of behavior patterns that lead to unattended or unwanted outcomes in your relationships, work, or family, which may be a result of such ingrained personality patterns.

Psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy or psychoanalysis offer the opportunity to gain insight into the possible origin and underling issues of dynamics, bringing dysfunctional beliefs and thinking patterns to the surface in order to make lasting positive changes.

Anger management issues

Chronic impulsivity

Argumentative/defiant behavior

Social discomfort


Video game addictions

Internet addictions

Shopping addictions

Work addictions

Phone Addiction

You may want to address specific behavioral issues that stand in the way of your work, personal life, and/or relationships such as anger management issues, chronic impulsivity, social discomfort or certain addictions. Psychotherapy can help to address each of these issues.

Job loss or change

Work-life balance

Professional identity issues

Leaving home

Starting a career

Getting married

Parenting issues

Committing in a relationship

Becoming a parent


Loss of spouse or partner

Grief and bereavement


Ending a career

Life can ask us to make significant changes and/or adaptations. Sometimes these are expected and planned, at other times a result of unexpected or traumatic events such as an illness, loss of a partner, or one’s job. Some may require us to adapt to a new role such as leaving home, starting one’s career, getting married, being in an intimate relationship, or becoming or being a parent. Or, you may want to change your career, struggle with professional identity, or retirement.

These adaptations involve a loss of the old and a beginning of the new, which can lead to psychological turmoil or simply leave one overwhelmed or at a loss of how to be in that new role or what to do. Thoughts, feelings, or issues may come up that you have not expected and that you may want to come to grips with. Psychotherapy or counseling can help in your transition and help you to overcome your problems, integrate the old and the new, and find answers to questions you may have, helping you to move forward in a more satisfying manner.

Intimacy concerns

Fear of closeness or commitment


Ineffective communication & conflict resolution

Anger and on-going fights

Dependency & independency imbalance

Power and trust issues

Sexual issues

Family stress

Extended family issues

Multi-cultural relationship issues

Pre-marital consultation

In any long-term committed couples relationship, issues come up that need to be solved. If these issues become in-grained, persistent, repetitive, and/or difficult to solve, couples or relationship therapy can help. It can provide a way to gain more in-depth awareness and insight into your relationship dynamics and their contribution to your relationship issues. It can add another perspective when feeling stuck with no way out.

Once you gain more in depth understanding of the issues, learn to communicate in a more effective way, and resolve conflicts in a more constructive manner, there is a potential for individual and joint growth and the necessary intimacy leading to a more joyful and satisfying way to be together.

My approach to marriage or relationship counseling is also based on the psychodynamic or psychoanalytic models of mind in the context of relationship dynamics. The counseling process focuses on the relationship between you and your partner where honest relating is encouraged in a save and constructive environment.

Culturally mixed relationship issues

Intergenerational conflicts

Identity conflicts

Work diversity issues

Intergenerational trauma transmission

Expatriate adjustment

Immigration adjustment

Living in a culture other than one’s own as a result of immigration or temporarily as an expatriate is a psychologically difficult process which takes energy. Emotional or other issues that you may not have experienced before can come up. “Culture shock” has been described as “being shocked or feeling disoriented by being in contact with a foreign culture (values, beliefs, expectations etc. different from one’s own) or alternate reality and it can affect you physiologically. Longing for one’s home culture has justifiably been called “feeling homesick.”

You may have grown up in a multi-cultural family or be in a culturally mixed relationship that can bring up various issues of relating, roles, and identity. Cultural issues also often come up in addressing other problems in therapy. Or, you may want to specifically focus on intergenerational conflicts, identity conflicts, work diversity issues, intergenerational trauma transmission, or expatriate adjustment.

Through my own extensive multi-cultural experience and work, I am highly sensitive and attuned to the issues that a multi-cultural background brings to the therapy process. I am multi-lingual and can offer treatment in English, Dutch or German, and have a working knowledge of French and Portuguese.

You may be fluent in English and would like to have therapy in English, but it may be helpful to see a psychotherapist who speaks your native tongues as well as English even though the therapy is conducted in English and who understands your culture. I offer online/ telephone counseling for expatriates overseas.

Executive coaching & development

Executive assessment

Leadership development

Team development

Team facilitation

Expatriate issues

Off-site facilitation

Strategy implementation

Emotional Intelligence

Career counseling

Family business issues

Work diversity issues

In today’s rapidly changing business world keeping one’s finger on the pulse of the organization and rapid intervention is a sine qua non. This necessitates effective leadership by the CEO/President and the senior executive team as well as effective cooperation between the various stakeholders. Clarity of direction, corporate and team alignment around the business objectives and the motivation to work together optimally in order to effectively implement the strategic plan to achieve the business goals is required.

Optimal effectiveness is often impeded by the lack of productive dialogue between the senior executive team and their leader, and/or the rest of the organization. Indeed, “hidden” and “unspoken” issues have been found to derail an organization’s success and tuning in to the human side of the organization becomes a focus of utmost importance. There is not one “template” or “quick fix” that can address all business, leadership, and team concerns, in particular, at the higher level of an organization and requires an insight into the challenges, context, and culture of each particular organization.

Through my extensive experience in business consulting, together with my in-depth knowledge of psychology and organizational behavior, I offer an integrative, customized approach to your business issues with a sharp focus on the human of side of the business, such as senior team effectiveness, leadership effectiveness, executive effectiveness, as well as selection assessment for job-task-culture-fit. My approach takes into account my background in psychology, organizational behaviour and psychoanalysis offering more in-depth insight into the organizational dynamics than more superficial models of change.
High performing teams are crucial to business performance. Nowhere is this more important than in the executive suite where high level complexities have to be dealt with, effectively and efficiently responded to, and the direction of the organization decided upon. Lack of clarity around direction and misalignment at the executive team level will create misalignment and ineffective functioning in the rest of the organization.

Team members’ emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and motivational make-up, together with their knowledge, skills and experiences are the team’s most powerful tools. If team members are able to work in concert, capitalizing on their strengths and overcoming their weaker areas, and move forward in a motivated and aligned manner they will effectively propel the organization forward. On the other hand, unproductive dialogue with “hidden” and “unspoken” areas of concern at the senior executive team level has a high likelihood to derail the organization. No one approach will optimize every team’s effectiveness. I work with CEO/Presidents and executive teams in an integrative customized manner, to help you gain insight into the areas of strengths, weaknesses and potential blind spots of your team, as well as bring into constructive dialogue “hidden” and “unspoken” areas of concern and develop a team development plan, whereby stakeholders have input based on the day-to-day operational challenges.

My work with teams is based on validated organizational behavior methods and tools, as well as my in-depth psychological and psychoanalytic knowledge. I partner with leaders, executives and teams to help them achieve their goals and am happy to meet with you to let you know in more detail how I can be of help to your team and organization.
Even when one functions well as an executive or leader, there is always room for growth, fine-tuning, and expanding one’s capabilities. In fact, ongoing learning helps to prevent stagnation in personal and professional life.

There is not a single approach in the complex world of high level leadership and executive development. It requires a more personalized guidance customized to the unique makeup of the individual and the specific business needs of the organization. Management programs designed for a larger number of participants used at other levels of the organization are not effective at this level. I work with top executives individually to custom design and deliver a development approach that is integrative, taking into account the executive’s leadership personality, capitalizing on strengths, overcoming weaknesses, and bringing blind spots into awareness while taking into account business needs and responsibilities. This integrative approach involves understanding the organizational context, direction of the organization, and executive assessment in order to gain efficient and effective insight that the right areas of strengths can be capitalized on and the right development areas targeted. A development plan is created that is based on the day-to-day operating of the business, feedback and involvement of stakeholders to accelerate growth.
Having the right structure, business direction, and strategic plan in place also requires individuals whose strengths match the needs of the role, team, and business objectives as well as the culture of the organization and team, for effective implementation. Matching individuals with the role becomes important. I offer executive assessment for job-culture-fit using validated tools for assessment.
Through my own extensive multi-cultural experience and work, I am highly sensitive and attuned to the issues that a multi-cultural background brings to the business world. Work diversity issues may come up in day-to-day relating and may significantly impact the effectiveness and efficiency with which work is carried out. I offer consultation on expatriate adjustment issues as well as work diversity issues in the organization.
Sometimes you may wonder which direction in your career you would like to take or where your strengths can be best used and you could make the biggest impact. Or, because of necessary job changes, you may like to articulate or review your career goals. I can function as a sounding board, offer personality, interest, and motivation assessments to help guide your search in order to come to a deeper self-awareness where the best fit would be for you.
Executive team development often requires an off-site to work together on various business and interactional issues. I facilitate and custom design off-site for your business and organizational needs, such as articulation and alignment around a business direction, strategy implementation, and executive team development.