Catherine Ann Lombard, M.A.

Welcome

Catherine Ann Lombard is a psychosynthesis psychologist, counselor, writer, and teacher specializing in activating the will and bringing meaning to the workplace. She is a published writer of first-person essays, poetry, and news articles. She also teaches academic writing at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

Her goal is to help people from all walks of life realize their full potential. As an empathetic presence, she sees her role as standing on the threshold, holding the door open, and helping her clients to journey from their present reality towards what they long to be.

Essentially, Catherine concentrates on helping her students and clients remove obstacles to improve their life and work performance. She believes that each individual innately knows the best way forward. Whether teaching English or guiding clients through their life journey, Catherine's goal is to help her clients identify and articulate what they need to more freely learn and integrate that knowledge.

Articles Published by On Being

Catherine recently had two blogs published by Krista Tippet's On Being, reaching more that 75,000 viewers.

A Communion with the Earth: Gardening and Gratitude

The Rhymes and Rituals of Cairo during Ramadan

Love and Will - A Blog on Psychosynthesis

Visit and follow Catherine's blog Love and Will, a psychosynthesis approach to living.

Article included in Top Most Read for 2014

Catherine is happy to announce that her article, "Coping with anxiety and rebuilding identity: A psychosynthesis approach to culture shock," published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly has been included in an online article collection featuring the most downloaded articles published in Routledge Behavioral Sciences journals in 2014.

The collection features the top three most downloaded articles that were published and downloaded in 2014in each Routledge Behavioral Sciences journal.

This article (along with others you might find interesting) will be freely available until the 30th June 2015.

Book Available

Book CoverNow available for purchase is Catherine's book From Culture Shock to Personal Transformation: Studying Abroad and the Search for Meaning.

Through her psychosynthesis counseling work with international students, Catherine illustrates how young people, when faced with the challenges of living abroad, can enter into a personal journey towards their authentic selves. Ultimately, by confronting themselves and growing in awareness, the students whose testimonies appear in this book release new creative energy and renew their personal and working relationships. To read the abstract of this study, click Abstract.

Recent News and Publications

Free Meditation

If you would like a free audio recording of the Body Feelings Mind Meditation for your daily practice, just email Catherine with your request. This meditation takes about 20 minutes and is practiced in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. The Body Feelings Mind Meditation was created by Roberto Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis, to help you to practice identifying and then disindentifying from your body, feelings, and mind.

Workshops

Catherine successfully led the workshop "The Upside of Stress" for the PhD students at the University of Twente on 11 June, 2015.

Recent Publications and Interviews

"Reconnecting the Personal Self with the Higher Self - Journeying with Dante", was co-authored with Catherine's husband Dr. Kees den Biesen and published in June 2015 in the Psychosynthesis Quarterly.

"Into the Hidden Things He Led My Way ... A Psychosynthesis View of Dante's Inferno", was co-authored with Catherine's husband Dr. Kees den Biesen and published in March 2015 in the Psychosynthesis Quarterly.

"Coping with Anxiety and Rebuilding Identity: a Psychosynthesis Approach to Culture Shock" was published by the peer-reviewed journal Counselling Psychology Quarterly on 17 January 2014. A shorter version appeared in the March 2014 newsletter of the Assoication for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis.

"Reading The Divine Comedy from a Psychosynthesis Perspective" was co-authored with Catherine's husband Dr. Kees den Biesen and published in September 2014 by the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis.

"In Search of Meaning" was published in December 2013 by the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis.

"Letter from the Netherlands" was published by the Guardian Weekly. See more photos and read Catherine's short reflection on her recent trip to see the blossoming tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens.

The Holland Times interviewed Catherine as a psychologist and expert on culture shock in the Netherlands.

"Living a Spiritual Life" was published in June 2013 by the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis.

To better understand Catherine's counseling work, you can read "Crossing Over," a story published in March 2013 by the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis. This reflection is about the conversion between a client's indecision to go home and visit her dying grandmother, Catherine's own personal story, Passover, and Easter Week.

Artwork Published on BBC Website

Catherine's painting Freedom was included in the collection of artwork for the BBC's Freedom2014 series. The painting is number 13 and represents how difficult it is to find the freedom to become our authentic selves.


Latest Poetry

Choices We Make

How often have you had trouble deciding what to do in your life? Perhaps you’ve pondered over whether to change your job or move into a new apartment. Perhaps you have debated if you should ask someone for a date or accept one. Many times we become stuck and can’t seem to decide, even when one choice is clearly for our benefit. Other times we feel as if we have no choice at all and are a victim of circumstance.

Every choice or decision we make is what Roberto Assagioli calls “an act of will.” Even making no decision is a decision. Our will power is energy, the energy that drives our life forward. We can think of the will like the engine of a car (our life) and we are the ones driving the car. In order to move closer to joy, it is vital that we understand this will power and learn how to effectively use it in our lives.

Consider your own will. Do you feel pushed around by others? Do you concede to what someone else wants to do, burying your own needs and desires? Are you paralyzed by inertia? Do you distract easily from the task at hand? Do your feelings overwhelm you and suddenly you find yourself acting in a way that you don’t want? Or do you genuinely do what you wish, from the depth of your being?

The best way to discover your will is to use it. Will is energy and it is meant to be activated and spent. For example, try doing something right now that you don’t want to do. (Like finish reading this! HaHa!) Or postpone something that you would prefer to begin right now. Or try doing something extremely slowly—like washing the dishes or getting dressed. All these small activities exercise your will and bring awareness to your relationship to the engine of your life.

Assagioli wrote an entire book on the will and I will be sharing some of his ideas. He says that there are four aspects of the will—strong, skillful, good, and transpersonal (cosmic or God’s will), which we all have. Usually one aspect is more developed than the others and the idea is to make them equally balanced. He also states that any act of will includes a number of stages or steps. For some choices we make (like which flavor ice cream to eat!) these steps can come naturally and quickly. For others, we can become stuck along the way.

The first step is investigation. We peer into the ice cream display and examine all the different flavors. The second is deliberation. I like chocolate but maybe the passion fruit and mango might be nice for a change. Then we decide. Chocolate! And affirm. Yes, I really want the chocolate ice cream today. Then we make a plan of action. I will catch the attendant’s eye and tell her that I would like a chocolate ice cream, then I will pay for it, eat it, and enjoy every minute! Finally, we actually execute the decision. Ymmm. Delicious!

The more we understand these stages and work with the aspects of our will (that is, the better we are at driving this car called Life), the easier and freer we are to move in the direction we long for. And when we choose to improve our lives, move on, surrender something negative, and think of new possibilities, we are moving towards joy.

“Will is: dynamic – quick – immediate –
determined – relentless.
It inspires.”

Roberto Assagioli



Moving Towards JoyMay 16, 2010

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