EAMHID Congress Barcelona 2019

Amerpoort participants EAMHID Congress Barcelona 2019.

From May 23 to 25, 3 Amerpoort employees visit the 12thCongress of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability(EAMHID in Barcelona. They introduce themselves below. For more information about this Congress, please visit www.eamhidcongress.eu


Gerhard van Cappellen – behavioral scientist

My name is Gerhard van Cappellen. In my work as a behavioral scientist I mainly focus on people with borderline intellectual disabilities and the things they have to deal with in their daily life, like relationships, family matters, psychological problems, financial matters and work. These are matters we all have to deal with and only when it’s necessary, Amerpoort has to play a part in this. I think it’s important to listen carefully to make sure our support is what people really want and need. 

Talking about people with a borderline intellectual disability means very often just talking about their problems. Although I think that it is understandable, I believe focusing on the positive will help someone much better in living his own life. 

Contact: mail to g.vancappellen@amerpoort.nl

Henri Koelewijn – behavioral scientist

My name is Henri Koelewijn. I work as a behavioral scientist with juveniles en adults with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and challenging behavior. The juveniles and adults live intramural within Amerpoort, where we also provide school, daycare and jobs. With the teams of social workers and the parents we try to focus on personal development of the clients. 

It often occurs that the challenging behavior draws all attention. In that case I try to look for the reason behind the behavioral problems to focus again on development. In my opinion challenging behavior is a way of communicating things you can’t tell in an acceptable way. So if you listen carefully what the child or adult is telling you, you can prevent difficult behavior and stimulate his or her potential. 

That’s why both personal relationship between caregiver and client and focus on a healthy balanced daily program leads to development of people with intellectual disabilities.

Contact: mail to H.Koelewijn@amerpoort.nl

AnnePauline Cohen - psychiatrist

Since 1989 I have been registered as a psychiatrist and since 1990 as a system therapist, with the note child and adolescent psychiatrist.

I have been affiliated with Amerpoort and Sherpa since 2014, because of the interest in what it means to have an intellectual disability. Because I know that it is not always easy to know exactly what someone with an intellectual disability means or wants to live his own life, misunderstandings arise quickly. Then problem behavior, or behavior that is difficult to understand, may arise. But people with a mental disability also suffer from anxiety much more often than others, become traumatized or suffer from depression, addiction or psychosis. All disorders that fall within my field as a psychiatrist. 

How do you distinguish between ‘problem behavior’ or ‘difficult-to-understand behavior’ from mental disorders? That is my specific expertise. Recognize mental disorders in people with intellectual disabilities and possibly formulate treatment advice for them. I have also developed in recent years how psychopharmaceuticals (medicines for specific mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychosis) can be used sensibly and carefully with this group of clients.

Contact: mail to A.Cohen@amerpoort.nl