- All our counsellors are Choose Again trained. This means that they have spent at least 2 years working at our residential centre in Costa Rica, practising this work 365 days a year. Each counsellor has come to this work as part of their own healing journey, so they have experienced first-hand the incredible transformation it brings, and they are here to help you experience the same transformation in your own life.
- Choose Again are proud to have truly international clientele, and we want to make sure we are here for you, no matter where you are! Technology allows us to offer one-on-one sessions via Skype. Online sessions prove to be just as effective as in-person sessions, and allow many to benefit from our work regardless of where they are in the world. See who offers online sessions below.
Diederik Wolsak RPC, MPCP
Diederik is the founder and program director of Choose Again. Diederik’s journey started in 1942 on the island of Java, Indonesia. He spent the first three years of his life in Japanese concentration camps. Many of his core beliefs were developed during that early, potentially traumatic phase. At age 8 he was sent to a foster home in Holland and by the time he rejoined his parents and brothers two years later he was filled with self-hatred and fear of the world around him. This self-hatred, fear and guilt translated into prolonged alcohol and drug abuse till finally at age 50 he reached that point where he realized that there had to be a better way or there would be no point in continuing. While his self-hatred drove him to be a successful businessman and international athlete, it allowed him little joy.
Following the fork in the road where something had to change, Diederik entered upon a spiritual path of deep healing. This path eventually led to a fulfilling career as counsellor in private practice. He is a masterful therapist. Every client recognizes immediately that they are being trained to become independent of their counsellor, that they are worthy of respect and that they have their own answers. Diederik is there to assist in finding and removing all blocks to happiness and peace in a most gentle and loving way. Clients also sense that Diederik has been in many of the dark places they see in themselves; he has personal knowledge of deep depression and substance abuse. He has personal experience of what they are going through and has largely transformed his life. However, he will be the first to tell you: “I am a work in progress.”
Diederik is the founder and program director of the Choose Again Attitudinal Healing Centre. He is the lead facilitator of both the Vancouver and Costa Rica arms of the organization. He is an international workshop leader, public speaker and relationship counsellor with years of experience in group facilitation.
I first became involved with Choose Again in the beginning of 2012 in the aftermath of the suicide of my long term girlfriend and coinciding with a long pattern of self hatred, antisocial behavior, dysfunctional relationships and substance abuse. My day to day life had become unbearable and filled with feelings of despair and hopelessness. I knew very little of what was involved but was aware that a major change was both imperative and long overdue. In all honesty I was skeptical that any improvement would be possible but decided to investigate what was being offered.
The results were nearly immediate and surpassed any and all expectations. I was amazed by the effectiveness of the tools and teachings and began applying them to completely transform my self made identity. The result continues to be nothing short of remarkable and has completely transformed my life to one filled with joy and peace. When the opportunity to join the team in a leadership role was presented, I gladly accepted and embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm and gratitude. It has provided a daily environment in which to deepen my understanding and grow from each experience presented. It is my pleasure to share what I have learned and what it has meant in my life, the results speak for themselves and are available to anyone ready to make a real positive change.
During my childhood I developed the core belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. I was convinced that I have to be better than everybody to be lovable and worthy. Therefore, I tried hard to be liked by everybody and to always get the best results in school, at university, and my job. In truth I hated myself immensely and escaped through very self-destroying behaviors like alcohol, cigarettes, and bulimia to compensate. On top of my “successful” life of getting my university degree, having my own flat, a job, and a loving husband I fell into a deep depression and wanted to kill myself. Years of therapy and self-healing followed before I finally got involved with Choose Again in January 2014. Knowing that I have a choice, that it is up to me to be happy, was revolutionary for me. I also felt a high resistance against giving up my ego identity and my addiction to be a victim. Now after a year and half of intensive work on myself, I can only say: I love the Six Steps! I own my experiences 100 % and I am not a victim of the world anymore. What a freedom!
Together with Paul Panteleyev we facilitated the first Choose Again Workshop in Germany this year. I offer counselling in German, English, and Spanish and will continue to facilitate more workshops in Germany and Switzerland. I now realize that what I thought I was—was just a made up identity based on false beliefs. It is so great to know that I am the author of my experiences and that I can choose again in every moment between fear and love.
I am absolutely thrilled to help all who are willing to change. The shift I made is accessible to everybody and it is a gift to me to support others on their way.
I found Choose Again during an acute crisis in my 9-year marriage. After temporarily moving away from home to try out a new job the relationship descended into a crisis of drama, stress and conflict.
During the final months of the marriage I was a nervous wreck as I tried to juggle the stress of a demanding new job and a failing marriage. I powered on in an attempt to avoid having a break down.
The first circle I attended at El Cielo was a complete turning point for me - and an eye opener - as I came to understand that my emotional responses had nothing to do with my husband and everything to do with me. This realization was something I could work with. With the support of the 6 steps I was ultimately able to overcome the feeling of being powerless and a victim to outside circumstances.
Beginning with an acceptance that every upset is about me and is driven by the unconscious beliefs I hold about myself, I had a set of tools to steer me back to a state of inner peace. This understanding was the starting point for my healing process.
I felt like I had lost myself during the last 3 years of my marriage, but within 4 months of the program my life had completely turned around and I was able to return to a life of happiness, love, joy and peace.
In retrospect I can see how the dynamic of the relationship with my ex-husband was a reflection of the core beliefs I had been carrying around with me since I was a little girl - and that somewhere along the way I had forgotten who I truly was. By healing these core beliefs, and by continuing taking responsibility for my feelings created by my perception of the outside world, I now consciously choose a life of happiness and success on a daily basis.
Dave Vass RTC
My teens were spent in a period of deep depression and disconnection with my surroundings and myself. I tried to find myself in drugs and alcohol, and several hospital visits gave me the impetus I needed to make change happen. Having gone to a number of different therapists, with little improvement, it was not until I came across Choose Again, and visited the center in Costa Rica in 2011, that I would see real transformation in my life. Thanks to the teachings of this program, I now have nothing but gratitude for that time of self-doubt, and see the events as a wake-up call to stop living unconsciously and to take charge/ownership for my circumstances.
My life, priorities, and overall outlook on the world have been completely changed as a result of practicing the work. What originally was considered to be a one-year retreat of Self-discovery and hands-on experience of the work has evolved to a full-time staff position within Choose Again. I realize now that in order to truly be at peace, a one-year retreat is fine, but it is merely a nice head start to a life-time commitment to healing. My goal as a counselor is to go as deep as I can into my own process, and in doing so, to inspire others to do the same. One cannot know who they are until they are willing to bring up and release who they think they are. I look forward to us finding that out together.