Can you really accept yourself?

Can you really accept yourself?


“Finding meaning and purpose" and "coping with life’s problems” are the main reasons expats come to see Martin Doyle who runs the AnamCara psychotherapy practice in Amsterdam. Moving to another country has its own difficulties that, if not dealt with, can lead to mental health challenges. Therapy helps expats find a balance and become grounded when feeling uprooted and displaced.

Learn to accept yourself at AnamCara

Apart from that, expats face the same challenges as everyone else and need therapy for the same issues. Doyle says these can include negative feelings and thoughts, feeling “different” from others, feeling alone or isolated, self-doubt, lack of direction, anxiety, relationship issues, feeling overwhelmed, work issues, finding it hard to cope, or an inability to take on new challenges.

About Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle is Irish, married and residing in Amsterdam. “AnamCara” is made up of “Anam” - the Celtic word for soul - and “Cara” - the word for friend or “soul friend.” Martin is committed to creating a safe space for his clients where a trusting relationship can develop.

His therapy integrates aspects of person-centred therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), enabling him to always put the client first. He has over 30 years of experience in caring professions. He took his primary degrees at Maynooth University and has a Masters (MSc) in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy from University College Cork and the Turning Point Institute.

Being a professional therapist isn’t just about treating others. To maintain the high registration standards, therapists have to be in therapy themselves and must have a clinical supervisor as well as continued study and education with approved organisations. In addition, Martin participates in the teaching of new therapists and is regularly asked to lead workshops and retreats.

Creating a safe and confidential space

In his private clinical practice AnamCara, Martin creates a safe and confidential space where clients can explore their issues. Clients report that he's "full of compassion and empathy, while being very skilled at reflecting back the insights gained from his keen ability to listen to what is both spoken and unspoken.” One client described her therapy experience with Martin in this way: “In a most gentle way, Martin will call one to become one’s true self."

Martin sees clients in person for one-hour sessions weekly at his consulting rooms in central Amsterdam. He can also meet clients via Zoom, and this has been the mainstay of the practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martin enjoys the diversity of his clinical practice. His clients come from all over the world and from within and outside the Netherlands. They include people who need help with issues as far apart as anxiety, grief, identity issues, relationships and career challenges.


When asked to describe what is at the heart of most clients’ problems, Martin is reluctant to answer. “There is never just one thing,” he says. "Humans are a complex mix of emotions, thoughts, experiences and motivations.” But when pressed, he says he thinks that many people feel a sense of inadequacy, self-doubt or a belief that they are not good enough, deep down. This is linked to self-acceptance.

Martin likes to quote the great American psychologist Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

Contact AnamCara

For more information about Martin and his private clinical psychotherapy practice, check the official website.



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