top of page


Addiction counseling, coaching, advice and relapse prevention


"The secret of getting ahead is getting started"

   Mark Twain


Experienced, professional, supportive.

I am Sjoerd de Haan, 63 years old and I live and work in Utrecht, the Netherlands.  I am a (registered) counselor with ample and thorough experience in the treatment of addiction. I have experience in coaching, (crisis) interventions, mindfulness, individual therapy, family therapy & group therapy.

Now more than 15 years ago I myself was successfully treated for an alcohol addiction in a 12-step clinic abroad. After first having tried various treatments in the Netherlands that didn’t work for me, this method did. I felt heard, taken seriously and met therapists and people who had learned to live with their addiction and no longer had the urge to drink or use drugs. This gave me confidence this could work for me too. To pass on this experience, I eventually chose to make a switch to professional addiction care. I also worked in theatre management and as an independent entrepreneur. To get a broader view of addiction (than the limited Dutch), I chose to do a Master’s program in addiction counselling in  the US, at the Hazelden / Betty Ford Institute in Minnesota. Both have been world leaders in the treatment of addiction for many years now. Also, here the Minnesota model was created in the 1950s, and since then further developed.

I completed this counselors training at the Hazelden / Betty Ford Institute in 2011. It is  an also in Holland accredited master’s degree. Back in the Netherlands I chose to transfer, fit and use this experience in my work. During my studies I worked for one year at Hazelden in the United States. After that, I first worked for SolutionS-Center in Voorthuizen for five years, at that time the first twelve steps clinic in the Netherlands. Then several years at the Jellinek / Minnesota in Amstelveen and Utrecht. In 2020 I completed a study in social work/mental health care with a bachelor's degree. Currently I work for Lister in Utrecht as recovery coach, next to my own practice, "Tomorrow I'll Stop"     


Substantive & practical information about the treatment


What does a first session look like?

The first appointment is an intake session of half an hour, this is free of charge. Possibly we immediately start with a first counselling session. This first session therefore takes about one-and-a-half-hour in total.

What do we do?

We can get to know each other better during the intake interview. Together we determine a goal for treatment and a plan of action. In a first interview you may, if you wish, also bring family or relatives along.

Then, after agreement on a follow-up, we do a counseling session in which we immediately discuss your problems and start working on your addiction. Keep in mind that in addition to this appointment, you will also have to spend several hours per week during your leisure time (for example, to carry out assignments and visits of Anonymous Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous or other meetings).

Which addictions do you treat?

I treat substance addiction (alcohol / drugs) and gamble and game addiction. If a detox is needed, I possibly will refer you to a clinic with these facilities.

Can I also meet in the evenings because of my other obligations?

Yes, that is possible and there are no extra costs involved.

According to which method(s) do you work?

I use the Minnesota model for treatment, and also use motivational interviewing.

How does the Minnesota model work?

The Minnesota model is a framework for the treatment of addiction that originated in the United States in the 1950. Then they left traditional remedial / confrontational treatment methods and formed a therapeutic community of alcoholics and other addicts who respectfully and lovingly were treated and worked on their issues . Often the Minnesota model is also immediately associated with the 12 steps of the Anonymous Alcoholics. This is a understandable  combination of two methods that are historically closely related. However, it is useful & advisable to keep these separate, if only because they work well independently and can exist independently of each other. The Minnesota Model itself is a framework for treatment and is still in full development to this day. There is ongoing research into which scientifically responsible modern techniques and resources addiction can be better treated.

The foundation for this treatment is that addiction is an independent primary condition (disease) with physical, mental and spiritual dimensions. Treatment is most effective when these three facets are treated.

Because addiction is an involuntary illness, this means that attempts to bring you to abstinence (free of means) through shame, guilt, disapproval, belittling are meaningless. Instead, respect, empathy and trust in treatment are central.

In addition, you will learn the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and know their ideas and apply them in your recovery.

How long will the treatment take?

Assume that we need 8 to 12 sessions (about 3 months) to provide a good basis for your recovery.


I really only want to stop with alcohol, for example, but I still want to smoke a joint or use an xtc pill every now and then, does treatment have any sense or use?

No, actually not, unless you open your mind to be convinced of the contrary. In this treatment we go for total abstinence of all mind-altering drugs. So, for example, stopping medication as sleeping pills and painkillers on an opium basis, even though these drugs have been previously prescribed by your doctor or a medical specialist.

What is a counselor? How does this profession relate to professions such as therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists or other classical practitioners?

Real counselor training, such as in the United States where Masters courses are, we do not know in our country (yet). A counselor is, unlike the aforementioned professions, a guide and partner in your recovery process with expertise and a thorough knowledge of the problem. The emphasis in the first instance is on a relationship of trust to come to a good (therapeutic) relationship together. A counselor is less directive or directing than a psychologist or therapist and is more focused on motivating you to come and stay in a change process.

Can I assume that the conversations are confidential?

Yes, all information and data are and remain confidential. The general rule is that your information will not be provided to others without your permission.

How much does it cost?

I charge 95,-- for a session of one hour, no VAT is payable.

Is a counselling session reimbursed by the (Dutch) healthinsurers?

A counselling session can be reimbursed by the health insurers if you have additional (Dutch) health insurance. Check with your health insurer yourself if you are eligible for reimbursement.


Do I need a referral from my GP?

No, you can simply make an appointment without the intervention of your doctor.


What if I want to cancel the appointment?

Cancelling must take place at least two working days before the start of the session. For cancellations, changes and failure to appear on our appointment (which have not been received at least 48 hours in advance), a full consultation will be charged.


What if I am unexpectedly prevented?

If you are prevented due to traffic or other issues, please inform us as soon as possible by e-mail or telephone. We then look together to see whether the session is still possible, or whether a new appointment should be made

bottom of page