Emmy is is an existential therapist and honorary professor at the University of Sheffield. Born in the Netherlands, she studied in France and came to live in the UK in 1977. founded the Society for Existential Analysis (SEA) and its Journal of Existential Analysis in 1988 and she has been instrumental in the creation of the World Confederation for Existential Therapy (WCET) and the Federation of Existential Therapists in Europe (FETE), both founded at the first World Congress for Existential Therapy which took place in London in 2015 and which was organized by the Existential Academy and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling.
Her work has inspired many therapists to take courage to help clients tackle the big questions that confuse people and to illuminate and challenge a person’s position in the world, helping them to realise how they want to live and be. Her case studies highlight her directness and presence in the dialogue, as she rekindles people’s passionate engagement with the world. By using the phenomenological method of attunement and intentionality, new focus emerges from which people derive confidence in their ability to make a contribution to the world. Existential work frequently leads to the discovery of deeper values, which allow a person to find new freedom, courage, purpose and direction. She has written multiple books, translated into ove a dozen languages on this subject. More recently, she has become a leading campaigner for the rights of EU citizens in the UK.