Interview with Rob Van Aert
Years ago, when EARTh was a young association, Anita Groenendijk and Yasemin Tokatli started out an initiative called Estafet* which was a series of interviews in our newsletter that was intended for our official members; we were semi-strangers to each other back then and knowing more about our colleagues was informative for the rest of our membership.
Now, 16 years later, we like to introduce our esteemed colleagues to a wider audience, both among our membership and the public, by giving a second chance to EARTh Estafet, this time as video interviews.
In this first video, our dear executive secretary Anna Merkulova interviews Rob van Aert from Netherlands.
And Rob chooses the next member you will meet in the second video.
*A courier who conveys messages to another courier
EARTh Estafet Video 1 Transcript
Anna: So, hello! It’s Anna here. Yeah, and I welcome everybody to this first episode of the Estafette where we get to know and meet the therapists who are members of EARTh and we will be doing that- Watch out! Maybe you’re the next one.
And today I have my first client or “victim”- whatever, as a guest I have our member Rob from Netherlands- you might see the tulips and I’m already in Netherlands myself- and we’re just going to go through some questions and see what comes out. All right, Rob?
Rob: Sounds fine to me.
Anna: Very good. How are you today?
Rob: Fire away! Thank you very much. I am pretty good. It was a busy week, as usual. So, it’s nice to have a Saturday off and then you came, if I want to participate in this and I gladly do so-
Anna: Yes, I thank you very much for your time today- also, you have a nice view behind you.
Rob: Yeah, thank you. It’s- I feel very happy to have this view. Usually when people see me on the Zoom then the camera pointed on the other side and that’s where the curtain is- but now you get to see what I am looking at normally. So, I’m very happy to be in this practice here in the south of Holland.
Anna: Very good. So, you are in Holland and you are from Holland, correct?
Rob: Yes, I was born just- I think 20 kilometres that way and I’ve been living here for almost 30 years now- so I’ve moved over quite some time- a few times in my life but I’m very stuck to this place. I really love it here, I’m happy too that I took this place to be born.
Anna: You see how that’s the most important- if you love it keep it!
Anna: All right! so I’ll just hit you with some questions that we prepared and we’ll see- Could you tell me about your education and your training that you have in your life?
Rob: Okay, yeah- Well I went to university, I was trained in communications. I worked as a copywriter and I was a teacher in Dutch, the Dutch language and mostly in communication I’ve worked and I was trained at Tasso. I think I did there about all the courses they have there. I’m very happy I did that and I took- Actually I’m doing a repeater course now and just I’m an observer now and I did Tasso for the second time.
And I also went to Rita’s school in Belgium for a year just to attend and I’m also glad to be teaching a little bit- just very tiny bits there and in Holland as well, so it was good.
Anna: So, you are also teach?
Rob: Well, just a little bit, tiny tiny bit.
Anna: Cool. Very interesting progression from what you did before and regression but we’ll get there, we’ll get there, wait. So, what is the job you do now?
Rob: At the moment I am a full-time regression therapist for about seven years now and it is actually a bit funny because I always thought that therapy was something for crazy people, as they do in America but it turned out not to be so. So, I never thought of becoming a therapist but actually, now I’m doing it full-time and I’m really loving it.
Anna: Full-time means every day, right?
Rob: Every day, just from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. I don’t work in the evenings because I need some time to recover from all these heavy stories people are telling me but yeah, full-time.
Anna: Fair enough, yeah.
Rob: That seems to be an exception, not many people in EARTh are doing this full-time, I’ve heard. I think Holland is a bit more in advance more people in Holland are doing it but let’s, let the rest of the world follow quickly.
Anna: Yes, hopefully. It depends now on the country and the rules also. Like in Germany it is a little bit different so you have to find the right way to exercise this kind of therapy. True.
Anna: Okay, my next question would be as follows: How did you actually find out about regression therapy for the first time?
Rob: Well, I was quite young when I first came in contact with regression therapy. There was a lecture here, in my city by Henri de Vidal de St. Germain. Just by the name, you should go to a lecture of his and he was one of the first students from the first class of Hans Ten Dam and he came here to tell about his experiences, and I found it so fascinating that I took his business card and I called him up the day after and I said “well I would like to know something about my past” and he said “well that’s too bad because I’m not working with tourists just like you, I’m only working with serious cases and especially for children because they have the most to gain so I’m very sorry but I can’t help you there” and I was a bit disappointed and also impressed because I didn’t really get the point that it actually was therapy for serious things. I had heard, just heard the spectacular stories. So, I had to wait and a few years later I got into a burnout and I felt really bad, I couldn’t move from there from the couch to the kitchen so I thought well maybe now I’m, my case is bad enough so I can come. So, I called him up again and he heard my voice and he said “okay I can hear it’s not really going well with you, so I have some opportunity for you next week so please come quickly and we’ll see what we can do about it”. And the regression session didn’t cure my burnout but because of that session I could recover from the burnout by myself and I didn’t feel able to do that before. So, at the end of that session I thought “wow, this is what I want to do too”. And I had this inner voice saying “well of course everybody’s saying, thinking the same after a session”. But no, that’s not the case. More people have gotten inspired to do this as a training or to go to… or know more about it but not everybody wants to do it. So, it nearly took half of the burnout extra to really learn that, I should really start doing something about it and actually I knew since I was a child- as a four- or five-year-old, I knew I was going to do something like this. And I knew that before being able to do it I had to have my hair grey. Actually, I qualify by now so I can do this.
Anna: You have the best qualifications now, perfect.
Rob: I knew that I can do something with talking to people. That’s what I thought as a four- or five-year-old that it would involve something as talking to people. Regression therapy didn’t really exist by that time, I think but somewhere in my subconscious I was aware that I was supposed to do that.
Anna: It was a more subconscious thing or you really had some sort of thoughts as a child? Well, how was it, you know? When you know how do you know?
Rob: How do we know? We never know. I didn’t have an example of somebody I saw doing it. It didn’t exist by the time. So, I think my soul must have known because I really feel that I’m doing what my soul wants me to do now.
Anna: Great, we wish more people feel like that.
Rob: Yeah, they will come, I think.
Rob: I hope, we’ll see.
Anna: Is there anything in your practice that you like to use as the induction methods? Anything special or anything- erm, you can say favourite.
Rob: Well, I use them all. I think it’s really important to have them connect to the body. Since I was- well, I’ve been working with my mind all of my life, so I tend to be something someone mental. So, I had to learn that. I had to involve the body as well and that turns out to work fine. So I always ask for connecting the body and somatics; and from there on the emotions always come. And I always start with a body scan- that’s I think the secret to the trade. So, now you all know. And I probably think you already knew before.
Anna: Yes, yes. I think it’s one of the best ways to go in, also for me- definitely as myself as a person, as a client let’s say.
Rob: And you are, of course, a body person. That’s your life.
Anna: For me it’s very easy, yeah.
Rob: I wanted to say half your life but it’s your entire life I think.
Anna: So, and also- do you use any other therapies or you just work purely with regression in your practice?
Rob: I’m pretty much pure in regression. I did take the course from Roland Duchateau in Emotive Therapy -which was interesting but not really for me. I do use some tools of it and I tend to use a lot of things I have learned in face reading and Chinese face reading. Now that could be interesting for all of us but I hardly have ever heard anyone talk about it. Except for this week, during the workshop that Nassos gave and then, Haike Bettendorf told me that she was also into face reading. So, next congress or convention I have to definitely talk about that with her but I didn’t know that’s the first time I heard someone talk about it. It’s really very interesting but that’s another topic- maybe nice for a workshop or whatever. We’ll see.
Anna: Yeah, I will remember that. Be careful. I will find you for another workshop.
Rob: I’m not the person to teach in that but there are people who are better at it. And I also use a lot of language stuff because that’s my background and I am very attentive to special little words or the way people say it. A week before, a client told me that she sometimes hated me because I do something that she tends to do with other people; she takes their words and turns them against the one who is saying it and I did that to her and she didn’t like it. Sometimes the words people use can say a lot about their problems or character or whatever so I am very attentive to words. I’m much- I’m very much a language person.
Anna: So, your background- it’s actually very useful then for the therapy.
Rob: It’s- well of course it’s a talk therapy so where we have to pay attention to what other people say and how they say it. Very important. Yeah.
Anna: Wow. And what is your favourite thing about being a therapist?
Rob: Well, the great thing about it is that we get to have a look inside the lives of a lot of other people. And sometimes I get very impressed about the courage they take as a soul- to take the challenge to lead these lives. A lot of clients are much more courageous than I am so they take- they take upon the task of resolving karma. I would never have the courage to do so I tend to make a deep bow for them, and especially the clients that are feeling very down are impressed by it and they think “but you are a therapist” “yeah but you actually do it, I am only- I’m here to guide you a little bit with it” but erm- I’m very timid about what a lot of clients do.
Anna: It’s also good for clients to realize what they’re doing.
Rob: Yeah, yeah.
Anna: For their own understanding of their path.
Rob: And you get to know people in all kinds of parts of society and all the extremes -being very famous or rich or very poor or living in harsh conditions or suffering very severe mental conditions. It’s extremely interesting and it never wears out. It’s- it’s a miracle every day. So, I’m really very grateful to being able to do this job. Yeah.
Anna: Do you have a favourite story that you could share with us?
Anna: Probably have many but-
Rob: There are many and every day there are more but what impressed me most was- I was actually maybe I had just graduated or was about to graduate and then- some lady called- it’s actually a fun story about how she came on my path. She had read the book by Michael Newton, “Life between Lives” and she was talking about it with someone else “Oh, let’s do that oh but we have to go to America, that’s going to be expensive and it’s going to take a lot of time, so pity but maybe there’s a way of doing it in Europe, okay let’s find out.” So, they started to Google and they found out it was possible to do a session like that in Europe and it was even possible to do it in their own country, in the Netherlands. And then they started digging deeper and they found out that just three kilometres from their own house there was this guy doing this, so they didn’t have to go to America. So, that’s the way we- they came across me, and she called up and she said I want to do her life between life sessions. Okay, we can do that. So, we made an appointment and at that time I was not too experienced so I didn’t have a really great procedure about intakes, so I did not know much about this lady. And then the time she came here, she was actually handed over by her mother and she was- well actually she was pretty much dead. I saw death in her eyes when I opened the front door for her- so that’s giving me goosebumps now- because I wasn’t too experienced by these things at that time- erm, and it turned out that she was well very depressed for a long time and she didn’t want to live any longer so she had really concrete plans of ending her life and it was not going to take much time and I think that this life between lives session was just to get a sneak preview of what was coming next after she had done that. But it turned out to be different because in the session we resolved a deep depression- that she was depressed and she had a really deep depression for over 20 years and resolved that in one session. And it was amazing for me to witness it disappear- and oh yeah, I still was graduating then because I was doing research on brain waves and I was recording brain waves and I wanted to do a statistical analysis on that which is not really my thing and after that session I realized that I shouldn’t be doing any statistical analyses. I should just be doing this, the real job and let the statistics be done by someone else. That was really impressive for me.
And another nice story which was impressive for me was: one of my first clients was referred to me by friends and she was a young girl. She didn’t have much confidence and she was- well not having a really nice life and we did one session. And well, it worked out fine I thought and then she contacted me. She came for the second appointment and she said “Well, Rob I’m very very sorry to tell you but I came here just to tell you that I don’t want to continue because it’s too vague for me and I’m not sure it’s something for me.” Okay, so that’s disappointing but I have to accept that and I told her, “Well since you’re here now do you want to do another session, just to end it?” And then she said yes and then she left. and I didn’t hear anything from her for over half a year and I was a bit disappointed because I knew there was a way of resolving things and she had really worked well in the session. And then after this half a year she contacted me again and she said “Rob, I’m very sorry I didn’t give you any notice but I was so busy catching up with my life because I was feeling so worthless, and now all these feelings of being depressed etc have gone so I really start going out. I have friends, I am having dates, I’m starting to study.” So she didn’t have time to contact me and I’m totally fine with that. I’m glad that she took the time to catch up with all the things she had to do as a youngster. And that was very very impressive as well.
Anna: Nice knowing when the client contacts you later and then gives you such a feedback.
Rob: Yeah, that’s it is always nice to hear but a lot of times you don’t hear anything about them and it actually can be a good sign.
Anna: Yeah, that’s true. Maybe they’re just following their road and hopefully enjoying it. Yeah, nice. Thank you for that- for sharing that. Are there any other activities you do in regression field? I know you’re a member of other organizations also not only EARTh?
Rob: Well yeah, I’m not- I don’t have any official jobs but I do things along the line and more in an informal way than really in a formal function. I’m not really much of an association person but I’m a people person I think but who knows, one day perhaps.
Anna: We are very glad to have you in our association.
Rob: I am involved, it’s really my passion so I’m contributing the way I can but along the line.
Anna: Along the line. How many years you’re already with us in EARTh? How long have you been a member, do you remember?
Rob: Maybe five years or so, I don’t know really for sure.
Anna: Actually yeah, you probably- you joined after me because we- I think when we met at one of the conventions- probably was one of the first years…
Rob: My first convention was in Holland in Baarlo.
Anna: Yeah, yeah. So that was probably when you joined or maybe just previous year that was- how many years ago? Yeah, five years ago.
Rob: Yeah, more or less.
Anna: More or less. Nice.
Rob: Time flies, who cares! Time does that.
Anna: Flies, yeah, it’s true- yeah, I just- I do remember my first- the first conventions with EARTh are always the ones- I remember my first one also very strongly. It was an amazing experience also.
Anna: All right. So now you’re gonna get- you get a chance to choose who is going to be the next person interviewed from our members and you can choose from all the members that we have. Make your choice.
Rob: Well, I would love to hear more from Olga. Olga Chatskaya. I think I pronounced it right.
Rob: Because I told you that I pretend to be modest but I think she’s even better in being modest. She really is doing a lot of work. I’ve seen her work at a congress and she is really- she really rocks! But she is always- well, a bit in the in the background and I would love to put the spotlights on her. So, Olga, here you go! This is your way to be out of the comfort zone but we love to hear from you. I have seen you work and I know you’re doing great work together with Gennady in Moscow so we love to hear from you and since this is a worldwide association, let’s move over from Holland to a few thousand kilometres further away.
Anna: Yes! Great choice. Thank you! So, we’ll see Olga in our next episode. And I really thank you very much, Rob for your time. It was a pleasure to have you and chat with you, and I wish you again all the best. Make sure you rest and enjoy giving, doing your work that you love and keep loving it!
Rob: Well, that will be won’t be too hard because it’s just something I love to do. Thank you very much for all the effort you are putting into EARTh because it’s not just a job for you, I see, it’s also a passion, you are putting much more energy in it and it’s coming back multiplied, with all the things that are starting to happen just because of what you are doing so I’m really grateful and I think I’m talking to you on behalf of a lot of other members as well.
Anna: So, thank you. It is my pleasure, it’s true. I really enjoy doing it, I’m very passionate about the whole organization.
Rob: It is- isn’t it miraculous that we are this extended family and we are gathered, connected from all around the world. It’s always nice to see everyone at conventions or even online. Of course, it’s much more fun to do it real life but still we are all together in this crazy business.
Anna: Yes, and I hope now this new format will bring us even closer so we really get to know more people. So, that makes me very happy I wish I could travel with my camera and go to everybody. Maybe one day.
Rob: That would be fun.
Anna: I would film from the location.
Rob: I would love to be your assistant and carry your bags. I volunteer if EARTh has a big pot of gold to finance it.
Anna: Yeah, all right. You have the job so, be at the airport and we’re flying to Russia.
Rob: Okay- oh in that case I want to nominate someone else.
Rob: Somewhere in more sunny space if we’re.
Anna: Oh yeah, no change! That’s it. Maybe the time after that we will go somewhere warm.
Anna: All right. Thank you so much, Rob and thank you everybody for watching and being with us. And I see you soon in the next episode.