|Hi, I'm Klaas, also known as Opa.
How can I be of service to you?
A little bit about me, Klaas Tuinman
|35 years in private practice - 25 years online Self-help and Support provider, and
engaged in Inner Child recovery, healing and empowerment as well as Spiritual Advancement
activities; as well as facilitating Workshops and Seminars
Others have called me: Chaplain, Life Coach, Facilitator, Teacher, Mentor, Priest,
But to me, I am simply:
Life & spiritual Teacher, Tutor, Guide and Facilitator
| Training, Education, Preparation & Other
Queen’s University, 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 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, Ontario
Greater NE Academy of Hypnosis, Peabody, Massachusetts
Logos Program - Anglican Church of Canada (specialized group
Related Professional Experience:
Co-moderated of AOL's Abuse Survivors forum (4 years)
Online Social Science tutor for University of San Francisco
Prior to that, I hosted two online eLists
And before that, operated a Self-Help electronic Bulletin
Currently developing/hosting this website and helping
I am a volunteer consultant in a Community-Based
Alternative Healing/Educational Centre in Grey-Bruce
County, Ontario, called M.E.N.D
|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 © 2007-2017
Questions and Comments welcomed.
All inquiries held in strictest confidence, and there is no obligation
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 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 behavioral 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 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.
If a Label is needed, the most suitable one, I believe, is that I'm a Listener-Teacher/Tutor.
How did I get here? Let me share part of my journey, and what I do with you.
From childhood on, people have fascinated me (they still do): they are so interesting, and yet often so
extremely exasperating as well. You've likely experienced that too, and no doubt we've both come across that
way to others at times, also: we are "just" human.
Because of circumstances of my youth, I had few young people to interact with, and instead spent a lot of
time with, and around, "the old folks": the elders. I sat and listened to them, and their stories: stories about
what they had observed, heard and experienced in life, and what they had learned from all that - and they'd
applied what they had learned into their own lives. They spoke of triumphs and tribulations they had
experienced, as well as having observed those in others.
Most importantly (to me), they also described how they and others dealt with each of those. And one thing
stood out (I only realized that later in life), they didn't give names (labels) to the challenges others had (nor
to their own): they just gave descriptions - and yet, there was great variation in all the experiences among all
But no person ever was a "some-thing name" to them. To them they 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. They had acquired "wisdom", something that there is a seemingly short supply of these days.
I never thought about it that way at the time, mostly because I didn't have the current approach to dealing
with "emotional", "mental", or "spiritual" challenges and "problems", to compare them to. I would only learn
about the current ones later (and I'd learn a whole list of "labels" as well).
When I wasn't hanging around the older folks, I read a lot; when I wasn't out wandering in the fields and
forests - (I love the outdoors, and nature). My tastes were (and are) very eclectic, because usually I could only
choose from what was available; and in reading, you encounter more people, in different situations, places,
times and circumstances, and you learn about how they went about life 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. Much can be learned from others, in many ways - on many levels.
How so, you ask? The answer is easy. Often, while reading (particularly in fiction) we 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 our situation in life.
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", and once again I learned much. One such thing was that
certain human challenges appear to be "universal", but are often regarded 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.
Thus, later on in life I decided to focus more on that desire to help people, and went to college (in my 30's) to
see what I could learn there that would be of use to me in my endeavour. I came, ready to "learn" new insights
and "secrets", so imagine then, my astonishment, to find that there were no "wise old women and men" there,
who understood humans. Instead, I encountered people in white lab coats, playing with mice and rats, and
then transposing the findings from their "tests" to human situations.
And there were others in similar white coats who compounded strange chemical concoctions that they gave to
their "patients" - yes, they called people in trouble, "patients", as if somehow they were sick and could be
fixed with some chemical liquid or solid (there are, of course when these DO have their place) . Others yet,
mapped the brain and generated great 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, for example, to shock
the brain into "normalcy"). Worse yet, these folks also subjected "patients" to electro-shock the brain, to "fix"
them (that travesty of all human decency and respect, is still employed) - as well as "frontal lobotomy".
In Sociology also, the trend was to be "scientific" - like mathematics and physics, with "complete" theories that
could/would be applied to people.
The emphasis I encountered in both Sociology and Psychology was on ensuring that people "fit in", that they
were "well-adjusted" and if they weren't, that they were to be "fixed" through the use of chemical or other
forms of restraint - to make them "fit", even if it meant life incarceration in one form or another. I was
appalled. This was so far removed from everything I'd learned from the old folks, 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 from, from a very 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 field of studies; useful, and helpful things, toward understanding the human condition, and
ways and means of helping them deal with challenges in their lives.
At the same time, I returned to such psychologists/psychiatrists/writers 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. Aswell, 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
humanistic realm of the old folks.
Soon after completing my post-graduate studies, I began to teach "Abnormal Psychology" and other social
science subjects at the local St. Lawrence Community College, in Kingston; always giving my students the "au
courant" approach and the gleanings from my humanistic approach. At the same time 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 beliefs and their impact on people, I also enrolled to become a priest -
in order to gain more understanding, and also to gain people's confidence in the help I was offering. Along the
way, I engaged in self-directed studies in Oriental Religions and Mysticism. I was ordained in 1998: a catholic
priest (not Roman Catholic), and am a member of the Catholic Apostolic Church Of Antioch.
Concurrently, I opened my private practice, and almost immediately found myself dealing with alcoholism,
family dysfunction, addiction, violence and abuse: a whole new world. Soon after, I began to also use online
methods of providing help to people - although I seldom use that now. Along with this, I do workshops and
seminars. I am still in private practice, in conjunction with a community alternative healing organization:
Over the years I learned much, and each day I learn more: I can truly and honestly say that I often learn more
from my students and clients, than they may 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 stories and articles, information, 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 you in the direction of healing and recovery.
What did I learn? Well, I learned that a large number of so-called "disorders", aren't really disorders at all:
rather, they are people's reactions to circumstances, and the coping methods/mechanisms they use to deal
with whatever triggered the response,and the response itself.
And with that being the case, those mechanisms required being responded to not as disorders, but as
responses and coping mechanisms, and help the person identify the trigger - and why the trigger was/is
there in the first place, discover ways of dealing with it/them, and recovery and healing.
The second thing I learned comes from my involvement with people who experience major problems with
alcohol; particularly with alcohol being an "inhibition remover". It actually works, and works very well. BUT, I
don't think it is the alcohol, because if it were, it would work that way on most alcohol consumers. I think the
key is in the decision made just before taking that first drink, or actually, it lies in the reason for making that
choice, because that indicates a great level of self-awareness, and of something that should be addressed, but
is not being done. That process is by-passed by taking the alcohol. What IF, we began helping our clients with
that knowledge to guide us? I have done so, with various degrees of success, because the trigger, and the
reason for the trigger are usually very deep, very painful and very powerful things; things that the pain and
fear resist dealing with. So that introduces another important factor: fear (which is understood as being
connected to many "disorders" and "phobias" for example, but I do not think they have been explored far
enough, or that the knowledge I share here has been utilized nearly as much as it could be.
Professionally, I am a psyche-therapist and priest (actually, those two titles are synonyms, but that would take
another essay to fully explain). However, the better description is that I am a Healing Facilitator/Tutor.
At my ordination, I was commissioned to be a tent-maker priest (meaning earning my own living and not
being a paid "employee"); further, I was commissioned to be a "street priest": itinerant (mobile), providing
spiritual, emotional and mental support and help wherever I found someone in need ("ministering" to their
needs). It is a joy to serve in that capacity.
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 11 grandchildren, and 11
great-grandchildren, and I feel forever young.
Oh yes, I'm 75 years young (2018). Bless you, I wish you well on your journey.