Relationship therapist Peter: ‘Taboos about therapy and coaching should really be lifted’

“Do you rate your relationship with your partner or family member with a seven? Why not make it a nine!” says relationship therapist Peter Verger. He likes to tell people that couples therapy or couples coaching is nothing to be ashamed of. “Maintaining a good relationship is not that easy and talking to each other really helps.”

Together with two other therapists, Saskia Velsenk and Los Luosinc, Peter has the Clinic de Mainstrom in Utrecht. “Everyone has a relationship, whether it’s a love affair or a family,” Peter says of why he chose this direction. “I have always been interested in why some relationships fail and others fail, and what you can do to improve relationships. Everyone has to deal with this and struggle with it from time to time.”

The difference between treatment and training

At De Minstroom they make a clear distinction between couples therapy and couples coaching. “You can come to us with everything when it comes to couples therapy,” Peter says. “If you choose to continue together, we will be happy to help you. Whether there is an affair, there are many quarrels, for example one of the two has been diagnosed with autism or even there has been domestic violence.”

“However, when you talk about relationship training, there is often no big problem. But people have the desire to improve or deepen their relationship, to make their relationship not seven but nine. For example, think about couples who are having a good time but no longer have Real conversations. Or partners who have sex with each other but the tension is over. Differences of opinion in upbringing, for example, are also discussed.”

Test your relationship

Do you want to test your relationship performance easily? You can take a short test online at De Minstroom. “Often you know or secretly feel what’s going on, but that test and guidance or treatment give the words for that,” Peter says. “Make sure you go to a strong therapist, not someone who says they can help you after one session. I made the video below about this:

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Peter explains how to find a good relationship therapist

afraid to start

“I often hear that people are afraid that if they suggest couples therapy, it will scare the other person. Or they think it won’t help anyway. Too bad, because research shows that talking definitely helps and that your relationship is significantly better. You’ll never be late, but the longer it takes.” Waiting for you, the more difficult it becomes. Then often a lot of pain and frustration already accumulates. If you come earlier, you can start from more fun and communication.”

A relationship is like a car, keep it old.

People often also think that a relationship should go well on its own, Peter notes. “If not, you probably don’t love each other enough, they think. That’s a wrong assumption. I often use the car analogy in my therapy. It goes like this”:

“When you only buy a car, you are always happy with it. It will take a while, because there is still so much to discover. At some point, you know the car is through and through and you are satisfied with it as long as it keeps driving. But then you will drive worse.” If you don’t service it, it’s no longer a nice car. That’s when you buy another one. What happens next? The whole process starts over. This cycle is inevitable if you don’t maintain the car constantly. If you do, the car will last a long time and will become Old: We’re proud of that.”

The same goes for relationships, Peter explains. “If you don’t keep these things up, you may eventually break up and look for another partner. But you don’t solve anything with this, something always comes up. Research also shows that people who have been together for a long time are better off mentally, physically and financially. Reason enough to keep on the relationship.”

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Training room at De Minstroom


No matter what people think, the stigma of the outside world also plays a role when it comes to delaying or denying treatment. “We have built a society in which people believe that everything can be made. As a result, therapy may seem like a failure, ‘so you can’t do it’ and others think you are pathetic. But in reality you have to realize that relationships are always complex and you never stop Learning. As a therapist, I’m surprised when people do it right on their own!”

Stay together or everyone go their own way

Peter explains that going to a relationship coach or therapist doesn’t necessarily mean you should stay together. “As a therapist, you ask questions that partners don’t dare ask each other, but that should be asked. Conversations sometimes show that there is a lot of respect for each other, but that is just done. Until then the therapy has been successful. You come as a couple with a lot of questions And you don’t know what to do, and in the end you can go your own way in a gentle way.”

There is no waiting list

Since De Minstroom is a private clinic, people can make an appointment right away. “We believe that when people ask for help, they should be able to get it quickly. So you won’t be on a long waiting list. Our profiles are listed on our site, so read more about us there. If that appeals to you, you can immediately book Make an appointment on one of our calendars or call us.”

You are far from alone.

“I would advise people: don’t wait until you have serious relationship problems, just come and visit us. It’s not good to have a conversation about your relationship. We’ve treated hundreds of couples in the last year alone, so you’re not alone,” concludes Peter.

Would you like to learn more about De Minstroom and her therapists? Visit the site and read private reviews of couples treated here.

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