I mediate and coach in English, Dutch, German and French.
Born in Berlin, I grew up in the Netherlands, then studied law in Germany and London with a focus on human rights and public international law. I worked as a solicitor for a few years before my husband and I had our children and we moved to Brussels in 1998. Here, I trained as a family mediator at Mediation Instituut Vlaanderen (Mediv) in 2010 and have been working as a mediator ever since. To me, mediation is all about finding connection in diversity, accepting both one and the other, by meeting each other in dialogue.
Later, I followed a postgraduate course on intercultural studies with CIMIC (Thomas More, Mechelen), a training Beschermjassen/ protective wraps with Kitlyn Tjin A Djie in Amsterdam, and I trained as a transitional and intercultural coach, again with the Beschermjassen Institute, in Rotterdam. As a coach, I like to accompany others during their life changes, be they small or great, involuntary or chosen.
Having lived in various countries has shaped me into who I am today. I know what it means to feel different from your surroundings and to look for and find connections in those differences. While differences can be enriching if given room, they can also set us apart. Finding connections can create a home wherever we are.
Starting afresh at various moments in life always means saying farewell to the life that remains behind, and to linger in transition for a while before I can welcome the unknown. I learned that it can help to take the time it needs for the transition to be made, and to be patient with myself. I can look around then at who or what can help me find my footing in the present, my protective wraps, that can help me regain my energy and confidence in the future.
All content © Cora Schieffer, except where mentioned otherwise.