About Me

Introducing Maria

My name is Maria van Zetten and I am originally from the Netherlands. I have lived in England, Australia and now I have made Ireland my home.

I started my journey of personal growth more than 25 years ago. On a frosty morning in February, I cycled from Breda, a town in the the south of the Netherlands to a small place in Belgium, called Sint Kruiswinkel close to Gent. I was on my way to attend my very first workshop of self-discovery “Who Am I?”. Since then I have never looked back as it was the starting point of a big adventure that I call LIFE.

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Empowering People

Since then I have lived my life and worked on empowering people to become involved in their own life so as to help them to ground themselves in their own life, with its own unique and creative potential. When our unique and personal gifts are actualized, we develop more constructive behaviours and more life-giving attitudes. Our personal happiness and that of others around us grows. This way of growing involves every person from all social and economic backgrounds. The benefits of our personal growth helps humanity to move forward, one step at the time. This has always motivated me to continue my work and why I attach such an importance to training, observation and self-reflection, so that we can choose and become responsible for ourselves, without blaming oneself or the other.

I am also aware that when I speak about personal growth there is also suffering in our daily life and the sufferings that comes from past trauma’s and life events. In my work I invite the person to relive and work through the pain that is still left in the here and now, by these wounds, in order to free themselves from it.

I believe that we are not created to suffer even though at times we do suffer deeply. I believe that we are created for life. Over the years this has become abundantly clear to me when we let life take its full place inside us. For us to live life, we make choices that are consistent with the aspirations and creativity within. These choices do take courage and they require that we reflect on ourselves.

For me, being human, means to be good to myself and to others. It means to live and act in accordance with the goodness I feel within me, that flows from the heart of my being. I believe that each person caries this goodness within them, and that they have the ability to work in their own way to the humanization of the world we live in.

Professional Qualifications

I have always aimed at supporting my lived experience with professional qualifications.

  • I graduated with a BA (Hon.) in Counselling and Psychotherapy and I am an accredited member of IACP.
  • I completed a nine year professional training program to become a personal coach and Educator in Personality and Human Relations. See for more information: www.prh-international.org
  • I have completed and graduated from a Masters Practitioners Programme in Eating Disorders and Obesity organized by NCFED National Centre for Eating Disorders. See for more information: http://eating-disorders.org.uk
  • I have a certificate in Couple Counselling. See for more information: http://vitalconnexions.org
  • I am a qualified Trainer, FETAC level 6.
  • I am a qualified RGN (Registered General nurse) and I worked as a RGN in the Netherlands, Australia and Ireland.
  • I have an advanced diploma in Youth & Child Development and I have worked with children and adults who have special needs in the Netherlands and Ireland.
  • I have worked as a full-time volunteer with the Dublin Simon Community.
  • I was the founder of Home-Start Lucan, a voluntary organization that support families with young children under five.

Influences on Maria’s Approach

Other influences that contributed to the developments of Maria’s approach are

Andre Rochais www.prh-international.org

Andre Rochais developed a method related to both pedagogy and psychology. His focus was

  • the growth of persons
  • harmonizing behaviours
  • improving relationships

He wanted to equip people with tools to discover their positive zone and the strength of their personality, and to support its development.

Alice Miller was a trained psychotherapist and one of the most articulate children’s advocate in the world. She wrote many books about parents-child relationship. She says, ”Learning is a result of listening, which in turns leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn form the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.”  

According to Victor Frankl human beings aspire to basically find meaning in their lives, and what motivates them from within. He developed a therapy called Logotherapy that is focused on transforming an apparent difficulty into a strength around a renewed sense of responsibility of one’s life.