Credentials and Biographical summary of
Klaas Tuinman

Hello, I'm Klaas, also known as Opa.

How can I be of service to you?
    NOTE: credentials are at the bottom of this page.
    At the beginning of my professional career, I discovered that the contemporary approach to mental,
    emotional and spiritual health didn't work well, and often didn't work at all for clients and "patients". So
    following that tradition was not an option for me.

    Therefore, I took a different road - one that would allow me to become one who is able to be
    of positive, constructive service to those who request my assistance in becoming well, and reach
    their human potential. So far, as a  non-conformist explorer, path-finder, and consulting
    specialist-practitioner, the road I've taken was, and is, a different one. That that path has worked
    well, both for me and for my students and clients. And I'm actively engaged in refining and
    expanding on what I've learned.

    From childhood on, I've been a student of Life and of people; as well as being the creator of Dawn
    Cove Abbey, a Life Skills Facilitator, a college professor (currently on pause), a chaplain, and
    a practising clinical anthropologist - serving as a mentor, guide, counsellor, facilitator, and at
    times a tutor; I'm a listener and observer.  I use what I have learned from people, and about
    people, to help folks find solutions to their issues and "problems" - either how to overcome them,
    or else how to live, and cope with them in new, better ways - ones that work for them.

    My professional formation began early in my life: knowledge I began to acquire from folks (the
    elders) I grew up with, neighbours and family, friends at school and college, my children,
    co-workers, students, clients - people from all walks of life and cultures, all engaged in a hugely
    diverse activities, customs, and experiences, etc. People are fascinating: at once interesting,
    and yet so often beautifully - but at times so frustratingly, contrary. We are enigmatic, while
    simply being "just" human  - in all our complexity.

    I am grateful for the knowledge I've acquired, and continue to acquire, from them. It's kind of  the
    "meta knowledge" - the template- that all the "data", information etc, that I've gathered, and
    still do, about life and people, "fits into". My educational journey, so to speak, is an organic,
    on-going, as-yet-incomplete,  academic doctoral dissertation, that will never be finished: for
    the story is a never ending one - there is never a point where it is all definitive - an end point.
    Frequently,  just as it feels that you're "almost there",  some totally new unforeseen and unexpected
    experience or behaviour, or insight or perspective will pop up, that alters, contradicts or skews - and
    thus changes, the whole accumulated "picture" - life is dynamic - as are people.

    That dynamism equally applies to all of us, because the observer-participant (in this case, me)
    we all are, are on continual growth journeys at the same time: ones that are also dynamic, organic
    and ever expanding, modifying, adapting, changing: - so it is for all of us. I am hugely indebted t
    the elders of the two culturally different communities I grew up in: it helped form the "meta-
    knowledge" template. It was, and remains, invaluable knowledge and insights that I derived from
    listening to them.

    One outstanding characteristic quality, or trait, that I came away with from my interaction with,
    and exposure to them, was that no person ever was a "some-thing name" (label) to them. To
    them people were simply, "people they knew", people who were well-established in their own
    given name; people who in many cases had challenges to overcome - and did so to the best of
    their ability, without the benefit of many of the "problem-solving" methods  in vogue,
    or use, today.

    It contributed to my intense dislike for "labels": not only were they demeaning of people, but
    they were often incorrect: and once someone had been given a label, they would be judged
    and treated according to that label. That label was usually given for life - it was/is pure
    stigmatism. And the other "down" side of this is, that those who were given the label often
    began "living up to" it:  it often resulted in using it as an excuse for their behaviour and ways.
    Over the years, my views on labels have only intensified.

    I also read a lot from childhood on, eclectically, for in reading, you encounter more people, in
    different situations, places, times and circumstances, and you learn about how they went about
    life, and lived through and its ups and downs. It doesn't matter (it certainly didn't to me),
    whether it was fiction or non-fiction; books are written by people, who are speaking/writing
    about the human condition (as they saw and experienced it). Much can be learned from others,
    in many ways - on many levels. For, while reading (particularly in fiction) we can/do slowly
    blend ourselves into the story, and connect with certain portions that resonate with us - and we
    momentarily reflect, and in that moment we often get an insight, or a totally new perspective, on
    Life, and our situation in it.

    Early in my youth, we moved from Holland (Netherlands) to Canada, and after learning the
    language, I once again listened to the stories told by the "old folks" (they were now the "new" Old
    Folks - in a different culture), and once again I learned much. One such thing was that certain
    human challenges appear to be "universal", but are often regarded (and treated) in quite different
    ways from culture to culture. Not "better" or "worse", just different. Even more interesting, and
    somewhat exciting, was that different cultures  tend to have different ways of dealing with things.
    How awesome. And it generated a desire in me, to help people solve their "problems" and challenges,
    by drawing upon what I'd learned from the adults in my life, as well as my subsequent learning.
    A kind of "paying it forward", so to speak.

    One of the most helpful insights I gained from all the experiences above, is that getting "know"
    a person, is like learning a new language (and culture). That insight has served me well over
    the years: as a person, as a teacher/facilitator, and in my professional encounters with clients.
    Consequently, as I began to focus more on my desire to help people, I went back to school
    (university - in my 30's).  I came, ready to gain new insights and "secrets", but to my astonish-
    ment (and disappointment, I encountered no "wise old women and men" of the caliber I was
    used to, there: people who understood humans. In this "new world, alien and new to me,
    I encountered (among others) "scientists" in lab coats, working with mice and rats, etc, and then
    transposing their findings from those to humans and human situations.

    Others compounded chemical concoctions that  they gave to their "patients" - yes, they called people
    in existential trouble, "patients", as if somehow they were sick and could be "fixed" with some chemical
    liquid or solid (there are, of course situations when these DO have their place). Others yet, mapped
    the brain and generated theories on how it was a problem in the brain that created the patients'
    problems: this was the neuro-bio-chemical approach (for example, using insulin instead, to shock
    the brain into "normalcy"), and also to electro-shock the brain, to "fix" them. Another more extreme
    form (effective in some cases) is a frontal lobotomy was also quite common in the not to distant past.
    This bio-zoological approach made people "calmer" for those around them - but very little for the
    quality of their inner being.

    Sociology too, trend toward being "scientific" . The overall goal of both Psychology and
    Sociology was on making people "fit in", and on being "well-adjusted" and if they weren't,
    that they were to be "fixed" through the use of chemical or other forms of restraint, or
    other forms of forced behaviour modification - to make them "fit", even if it meant life
    incarceration in one form or another (physical or emotional - and sometimes both. This
    was, and is, so far removed from everything I'd learned from all my accumulated previous
    sources, that I hardly recognized we were dealing with the same "subjects": human beings.

    Only in Anthropology (and from other more ancient students of humans and their ways) did
    I encounter folks who still approached the people they studied and tried to learn about, from a
    very caring and humanistic perspective - one that I could relate to, and learn more from.
    Which is exactly the path I chose, and I learned more, new things, from this range of studies;
    useful, and helpful things, toward understanding the human condition, and ways and means of
    helping them deal with challenges, issues and obstacles in their lives: and the importance of
    hearing, and heeding, their stories. So basically it was primarily a collegium of scientists: where
    were the humanists?

    My reading included the works of such "renaissance", humanistic folks, psychologists/
    psychiatrists/writers/philosophers as R.D Laing, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo
    May, Erich Fromm, Edgar Cayce, Scott M. Peck, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Vicktor Frankl,
    Gregory Bateson, Andrew Weil, Margaret Mead, Edward Sapir, C.G. Jung, etc. As well,
    there were the writings of the "ancients" I mentioned above. These folks also added greatly
    to my understanding, and my growth, in being able to help people in emotional, mental
    and spiritual need. They were much more in line with the human, and humanistic realm
    of the old folks.

    Soon after completing my academic post-graduate studies, I began to teach "Abnormal
    Psychology", Communication, Anthropology, and related subjects at St. Lawrence
    Community College, in Kingston, Ontario; always giving my students the "au courant"
    approach, as well as my own  (they needed to survive among the other "required" knowledge
    and  information in subsequent courses); and not just the gleanings from my humanistic

    I took special training to be a Life Skills coach/facilitator (see below). And because the
    spiritual dimension of life is so important, and there is such great variation in religious
    and spiritual beliefs and their impact on people, I did religious studies - in order to gain
    more understanding of these, and also to gain people's confidence in the help I was
    offering them, in ways that resonated with them.

    I also engaged in self-directed studies in Oriental Religions and Mysticism. I was ordained a
    catholic priest in 1998  (not Roman Catholic), and am a member of the Catholic Apostolic
    Church Of Antioch.  At my ordination, I was commissioned to be a tent-maker "itinerant/street"
    priest (meaning earning my own living and not being a paid "employee" of a parish); thus my
    commission was to provide spiritual, emotional and mental support and help wherever I found
    someone in need: to serve them ("ministering to") ecumenically, non-denominationally; -to
    address their needs, and to celebrate the sacraments when and where needed- no evangelizing.
    It is a joy, and privilege, to serve in that capacity: Click Tap HERE to see the range of Services I offer.

    Concurrently, in my private practice,  I found myself dealing with alcoholism, family dysfunction,
    other addictions, violence and abuse, stress, anxiety, fear, grief, anger, etc: a whole new world.
    Soon after, I began simultaneous to use online methods of providing information and help to
    people  - and still do as an option (once a teacher, always a teacher). Along with this, I do
    workshops and seminars. I am still in private practice, as well as being a mental, spiritual,
    emotional health consultant to a community alternative healing organization: M.E.N.D.
    located in Meaford, Ontario.

    Over the years I learned more from my students and clients, than they may, at times, be
    learning from me. I am grateful to all of  them, and am happy to pay it forward by helping
    others. And it is from all of the above that Dawn Cove Abbey as it is here as a site, evolved.
    It's format is like a gigantic Library with information, stories, articles, and essays and poems
    - all of which contain elements of what I've written above, and any, or all, of which can be
    the "nudge" that points people in the direction of healing, recovery and empowerment.

    In my journey, as I stated above, it became clear that a large number of so-called "disorders",
    "spectrums", etc,  aren't really disorders at all: rather, they are people's reactions to circum-
    stances, and the coping methods/mechanisms they use to deal with whatever triggered the
    response, and the response itself: see About Healing, for more detail. And with that being
    the case, those mechanisms require being responded to not as disorders per se, but as
    responses and coping mechanisms, and help clients to identify the trigger - and why the
    trigger was/is there in the first place, and together discover ways of dealing with it/them,
    for recovery and healing. Fear, is also an important big factor in both "disorders", "phobias",
    and addictions and I do not think that the connection between these has been adequately
    explored nearly far enough in regard to these, nearly as much as it could be, let alone utilized.

    To sum up what I just said, let me repeat: it is my opinion, there are very few real "disorders".
    Most of what are called "disorders" are not medical, physical or "mental" problems. They are
    reactions, coping mechanisms and strategies of people (victims) who were damaged by a deeply
    dysfunctional culture - and then having tried to "fit into" it, unsuccessfully. The so-called
    "disorders" are behavioural patterns and modes, that they employ to gain or regain their sanity;
    to recover and heal, but because of the fear, they are not always successful.

    I will walk your healing journey with you, but since it isn't my journey, because it is yours; we
    don't walk MY way. We will walk YOUR way. My role is to help you avoid the pitfalls along the
    way - and point out new alternatives and options - at your speed, and based on Your need.

    While professionally I am a clinical anthropologist, I am also as psyche-therapist (not psycho
    therapist), and priest (actually, those two titles are synonyms, but that would take another essay
    to fully explain why this is so). However, the better description is that I am a Healing
    Facilitator/Tutor/Mentor. Above all, I remain a "Willing Student".

    In my "other life", I love the great outdoors, and nature photography is a passion. It's what I do
    for stress-relief; the outdoors and walking are good for that. I also enjoy creating inspirational
    graphics: both activities give my creative centres an outlet. I helped raise 5 children, have 13
    grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren, as well as 2 great-great-grandchildren (to date), and
    I feel forever young. Oh yes, I'm 76 years young (2019).
    Bless you, I wish you well on your journey

                                               The experience and credentials information follows:
                             Training, Education, Preparation & Other

    Queen’s University, B.A (Hon), M.A - Kingston, Ontario,
    Canada: Psychology-Sociology and cross-cultural anthropology

    Thornloe College - Theological College at Laurentian University,
    Sudbury, Ontario (Religion and spiritual studies)

    Post Graduate: (open-ended doctoral studies)
    * Oriental & Muslim Psychology, Philosophy, Religion
    * R.D. Laing (healing behaviours of clinically labelled patients)
    * Gregory Bateson (reflections on the Double-Bind)
    * Shamanic and other studies
    * Anthropology, and the ancient thinkers and healers

    Other Related Training and Preparation:
    * Saskatchewan New-Start program (Life Skills facilitation)
    * Eastern Ontario Clinical Hypnotist Association, Kingston, ON
    * Greater NE Academy of Hypnosis, Peabody, Massachusetts
    * Logos Program  - Anglican Church of Canada (specialized
      group  facilitation)

    Related Professional Experience:
    * Teaching Assistant in  the Faculty of Arts and Science (Sociology)
      at Queens University.
    * Professor at Saint-Lawrence Community College (Kingston Campus)
      Faculty of Human Studies: Abnormal Psychology, Anthropology,
      Communication, Sociology, Introductory Psychology
    * Life Skills Facilitator in a program for rescued "street youth",
     called "Ontario New Start" - and later "Futures".
    * Co-moderated of AOL's Abuse Survivors forum (4 years)
    * Online Social Science tutor for University of San Francisco
    * Life Skills Coordinator-Facilitator, Yarmouth Community
      Learning Centre; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
    *  Itinerant rural LifeSkills and phys ed facilitator for the
      Kingston Ontario school board.
    * Hosted two online eLists (early internet days)
    * In 1992) I opened and operated a Self-Help electronic
      Bulletin Board  System, which grew into this website eventually;
      which is a work in process and progress, as I am, also.
    * Guest speaker (and sponsor) at A.A and N.A chapters in
      Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
    * Currently returned to private practice helping people re-create
      their lives:
    * As well, I am an independent mental/spiritual/emotional health
      consultant to M.E.N.D. a Community-Based Alternative,
      Educational/Healing Organization in Meaford, Ontario;
    * Am also engaged in  chaplaincy/spiritual services.
35+ years in private practice - (incl. 25 years online Self-help and Support provider),
and engaged in Inner Child recovery, healing and empowerment, and Spiritual
Advancement activities; as well as facilitating Workshops and Seminars

Others have called me: Chaplain, Life Coach, Facilitator, Teacher, Mentor, Priest,
Psychetherapist, Clinical Sociologist, Padre

But to me, I am simply a:
Life & spiritual Student, Teacher, Tutor, Chaplain,  Mentor, Guide and Facilitator:
just me: doing what's Right - rather than what's "proper".
Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A  © 2007-2020
Namaste; Peace
Questions and Comments welcomed.
All inquiries held in strictest confidence, and there is no obligation
I invite you  to explore the site and
what it offers for
Services/Assistance, at
your leisure.

Thank you for visiting.
How may I be of service to you?