Petra Deij

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Petra is a systemic family therapist, supervisor and trainer based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. As long as she can remember, she has been fascinated by the strength of connections, the resilience and the hope that comes forth from meaningful engagements. Since she was 17, when she started as a nurse, Petra has worked in the helping professions as a group and individual therapist, social worker, and systemic family therapist. She experiences working with people about their mattering relations as fulfilling and is grateful to be part of that as her work allows her to form many meaningful connections. She considers supervising and training systemic practice to others as an extra, as she loves collaborating with others, sharing, exploring, and keeping curiosity alive. 

Interaction is crucial in Petra’s life and work. She experiences how meaning-making emerges and maintains via language, not only spoken or written words but also embodied language. This happens in families, teams, schoolyards, and on the street; this even happens when we interact with the environment. Conversations and dialogues, with told, untold and not yet told stories, help us understand and construct the world around us. 

Petra is at the end stage of her professional doctorate in systemic practices at the University of Bedfordshire where she inquires into the clinical supervisory relationship. Her working title for her thesis is ‘Getting there. Co-creating a good supervisory relationship’; this title will likely stay on, as she does not think that a relationship is ever there; it continues to develop, even when it has ‘ended’, as it will stay with us inside. She is curious about what meaning people give and receive in their supervisory relationships and how they collaborate to achieve a connection that works for them at that time in their lives and development. After graduating (expected in 2024), she hopes to continue her training, presenting and workshops, writing and direct work with clients. She is excited about what possibilities and new explorations lay ahead of her and how she can turn all she has learned into new learnings.