Travel planning

The Journey

Let's embark on a Journey...

This is your departure point.

Here, you'll meet a group of likeminded explorers,

ready to begin this adventure with you.

This is where you'll discover the vastness of your gifts.

Calling all Explorers

You've discovered you're gifted, and now your whole world is upside down. Things have suddenly begun to fall into place. And then the emotions surface... 

 

The relief that comes with finding out that there's nothing 'wrong' with you, but that what you experience has a name: 'giftedness'. 

The sadness that emerges when you think about all the time you've spent trying to 'fix' yourself, fit in, or hide away as much as possible.

The frustration that surges when you think about all the struggles and pain you've gone through without anyone recognizing what's really going on.

 

The grief that kicks in when you think about the time you've 'lost' living a life that's inauthentic to who you are and what you're capable of. 

And last but not least...

The curiosity that now drives you to investigate what giftedness is, how it impacts your life, and what it means to you personally.

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Let's navigate this together

The Journey is a group program for people who want to discover and explore giftedness with all its different facets, whilst being in a safe space to share thoughts, feelings, experiences and questions with others. 

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The Journey is, literally, a life-changing experience. You'll leave with countless new insights and ideas, and quite possibly the most valuable thing of all: the experience of finally feeling understood, as you step into a group of people who are navigating the same challenges as you are.

One participant described this experience in Dutch as "een feest van herkenning". It's hard to translate this to English: literally, it'd be "a party of recognition". In many ways, this group is indeed a celebration: it is a coming together of people who've spent most of their lives feeling like the odd one out, suddenly realizing: "wow, there's people out here that actually GET me!"

It happens every time. It's magical. It's overwhelming. It's intense. It's emotional. And people almost never see it coming. Because this feeling of others 'getting you' at a deep level is completely unfamiliar. But it's oh-so-powerful.

Feeling fearful? Join the club!

Whenever I launch this program, it doesn't take long before I start receiving emails from people who feel called to join The Journey, but struggle with doubts and fears:

Doubts & Fears . . . 

"Who am I to call myself gifted?"

"I'm not comfortable using that term."

"What if I find out I'm not gifted after all?"

"I've never found a group where I truly feel like I fit in, so why would it be different this time?"

"What will my friends and family think of me?"

If the mere thought of stepping into a room full of gifted people makes you nervous, then you're not alone. It's the most normal thing EVER to feel a bit intimidated, and to start asking yourself: "will people believe I'm gifted?", "What if I don't come across as smart?", and "How do I prove my intelligence?"

Part of The Journey is to become aware of these fears and doubts, and to overcome them one step at a time. That's why the mere act of signing up to The Journey already feels like a major step for many. 

So just to reassure you, this is what this group program is NOT:

X a test

X a place where you need to 'prove yourself'

X a competition

X a hyper-intellectual club 

X a place where we discuss nuclear physics, Russian grammar, or Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

So then, what IS this group program? Key words that participants use to describe The Journey:

SAFE SPACE

ENRICHING

OPEN

INFORMATIVE

ACCESSIBLE

INTIMATE

CELEBRATION

FUN

INSIGHTFUL

COMFORTING

How it works

When you join The Journey, you become part of a carefully curated group of other individuals who, just like you, want to explore their giftedness and learn to navigate both its joys and challenges. Core components are peer support, community, encounter and connection with people that are embarking on the same journey to each find their own unique path.

The program is 100% tailor-made to the specific interests, wants and needs of the group undertaking The Journey. Based on your input, we collectively decide on the themes we will explore. This ensures that every session is relevant to the group at large. I expertly guide and facilitate this process. While sessions have a clear structure, no two sessions will ever be the same.

What you'll get

Biweekly meetings on Zoom, of 90 minutes each. Each session has a different theme, exploring a diversity of facets of giftedness.

Reflective exercises that will help you to prepare for each session, which you can do in your own time and at your own pace.

Membership of a private, moderated WhatsApp group for resources and support in-between sessions, for the entire duration of the program.

WHAT PREVIOUS PARTICIPANTS SAY ABOUT THIS PROGRAM

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"I've learnt a lot about myself, and I'm grateful for that. Simone smoothly leads you through the sessions, with clever questions and relevant themes. Everything is discussed in a small, intimate group. Absolutely recommend it to everyone who's in search of themselves and who is unsure what to make of their giftedness."

Alexander Visotski
Artificial Intelligence

"When I hesitatingly applied for this program, doubting if I'd ever really 'belong here', I'd never expected to receive so much value out of this group. Over the past few months I've had many new insights, exchanged thoughts with others, recognized myself in the stories of others, and also simply had interesting conversations. The meetings were well facilitated by Simone, who herself also shared a lot of her own ideas and experiences. The small group soon felt like a safe space, which made it feel natural to open up towards each other.

 

In short: I've had an invaluable experience in this group program, and would wholeheartedly recommend it. Give it a try: perhaps you'll discover more here than you ever thought possible, just like I did." 

Adinda
International Relations

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"The sessions led by Simone were both fun and hugely informative. The open, safe, and sociable ambiance made me leave each session feeling energized. I've learnt a lot about how to deal with giftedness, which gave me a confidence boost and new insights. Simone is a phenomenal facilitator and I'd recommend this program to every gifted person! " 

Ivo Smeets
Business and Economics

"Such an Enriching Experience"

"The meetings were very fun, educational, and in a sense, even comforting! A celebration of giftedness recognition, at a level I rarely encounter anywhere else. Thank you SO MUCH!"

Carien
Religious Studies

Frequently asked questions

How is the group formed?

Groups are carefully curated by me. I make sure that participants are the right fit for the group and on the same page as the others when it comes to life phase, wants, needs, questions and challenges. 

How many participants will be there?

Groups typically consist of five to seven participants. I intentionally keep groups small and intimate, so there is plenty of space to get to know each other. 

How often does the group meet?

The Journey is a 6-month program. We meet every other week for 90-minute sessions. The meetings are scheduled outside of holidays and vacation periods.

Do I need to attend all meetings?

When you enroll in The D&E Journey, you commit to attending meetings during the full duration of the program. Of course, you may occasionally miss a meeting due to unforeseen circumstances. Dedication to completing the full program and consistent attendance are, however, required when you join. 

Why is there a women's only edition?

Feedback from previous participants indicates that many women desire a safe space in which to openly share about experiences that are specific to being a gifted woman. That's what the women's only edition is for.

Which language is used for the meetings?

Some groups are held in English, others in Dutch. Check the information about the group to see what language will be used.

Do I need formal proof that I'm gifted?

No, you don't need an official diagnosis or IQ test. I conduct intake conversations with every applicant to ensure they recognize themselves in the characteristics of giftedness.

How can I enroll?

Your first step is to fill out the application form. If, based on this form, you qualify for the program, I will get in touch with you to schedule an online intake conversation. These are typically around 30 minutes long. They're an opportunity for me to get to know you and make sure you're a good fit for the group. For you, it's an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the program. 

CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAM

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Fun fact

The "women's only" edition came about as a coincidence: when I ran this group in 2021, it just happened to be the case that all participants were female. That turned out to be one of the group's biggest assets: later in the feedback, these women told me - one after the other - that this set up had allowed them to open up, be vulnerable, and feel supported like never before. Remarkable, right?

It is no secret that gifted girls have a different lived experience than gifted boys: girls tend to learn at a young age to adapt themselves to the group, to be 'nice' at all times, to 'dumb down' more often, to stay quiet or hide away their intelligence.

 

For adult women, these double standards and taught behaviors don't just magically disappear. On the contrary: intelligent women are often labelled as 'intimidating', and perceived more quickly as 'too much' of something; too intense, too sensitive, too ambitious... Women are underestimated more often (including by themselves), tend to set extraordinarily high expectations, struggle more with perfectionism, and face different societal expectations around how to divide their time between career, family, self care, and other interests.

Add giftedness to the equation and these challenges become even further enlarged. This is why the Women's Only edition of The Journey is so valuable and necessary.

Please Note: The "Women's Only" Journey explores giftedness in ALL its different facets, not just the gendered ones. There is no specific emphasis on 'women's topics', nor is there a feminist agenda. It is a safe space where women support one other to each discover how giftedness forms part of their identity, self-image, and life.

Next starting date: April 2022

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The International Edition of The Journey is open to people from around the world who are gifted and who seek to explore what this means to them. At the heart of this program lies the opportunity to become part of an international community of gifted adults from different cultures and diverse walks of life.

 

This set-up provides you with a unique chance to exchange experiences connected to giftedness in an intercultural context. 

Applications for this program are taken on a rolling basis, with a flexible starting date. To express your interest, please get in touch below. Your investment will be adjusted based on your location and local currency, to ensure international accessibility. 

Applications on a rolling basis