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EVER SINCE ANIQUE WAS A CHILD, growing up in the Netherlands, she has been fascinated with minds and how they are influenced. As a young child she would spend days in the snow trying to train her aunt's headstrong poodle until its paws were covered with little ice cubes. She also studied cats to figure out what it was that made them ambush her ankles from their hiding place underneath the couch.

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AS A TEENAGER she worked as a horse trainer breaking in and training young horses. Now this could be a very dangerous job, especially when she was dealing with young and unruly stallions fresh from the fields where they had grazed since they were born. She realized then that in order to make sure these beautiful muscular creatures wouldn’t throw her over the fence she needed to learn to judge their character and “read their minds” to stay one step ahead all the time. It worked (most of the time).

 

THEN ADULT LIFE KICKED IN and her interest in minding minds shifted from the animal kingdom to human nature. She obtained a degree in business administration and became increasingly fascinated with the human mind. For instance, when she was working as a marketing advisor she needed to come up with ways to make sure people wanted to do business with the organization, or as an IT consultant developing applications that fit well with the user's way of working.

 

IN HER THIRTIES she moved out and up, meaning she moved abroad and took on managerial jobs. First, she went to Africa for a couple of years and then to India on another long-term assignment. While living abroad, she discovered that “reading minds” was a whole different ball game, and she needed to step up her mentalization game. This was necessary not only to be successful in her job, but also to develop a new social life and (again) to stay safe, for she barely hit the ground in Kenya when violence broke out during the 2007 presidential election.

 

AFTER FINISHING HER ASSIGNMENT IN INDIA (2012) she took some time off to go back to university and pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology. After completing her studies, she specialized in the field of mentalization while developing the products and services featured on this website. 

Anique van der Putten, MPsych, BBA

Organizational and Performance Psychologist

LIKE ANIQUE, Dennis comes by his interest in psychology and brain science honestly. As a young child, he fell off the top of an extension ladder that his neighbors had left resting against the side of their house. He has very vivid memories of losing his balance and falling backward. He especially remembers the sensation of falling for a very, very long time, although it couldn't have been more than a second or two before he hit the ground.

Dennis friendly and intelligently lookin

HE WOKE UP IN A DARKENED EXAMINATION ROOM, squinting at wave forms on the green screen of an oscilloscope. As his eyes adjusted to the low light, he became aware that his mother was sitting in a chair next to his hospital bed, with a doctor standing directly in front of her. The doctor spoke to his mother in a flat, emotionless tone. He pointed to the wave forms on the screen and referred to a report that he was trying to hand to his mom. He explained to his mother how the test results indicated that Dennis had suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, and that in cases like his, he would never grow up to be normal. In fact, he said, the best anyone could hope for in Dennis his case was a dull normal intelligence and a low functioning role in society.

 

HIS MOM BURST INTO TEARS and collapsed forward in her chair. He is sure he didn't fully understand the meaning of the words that the doctor had just used, but he did understand the devastating impact that they were having on his mother. He instinctively reached out and grabbed the doctor by the wrist, squeezed as hard as he could and said "You made my momma cry! Don't ever make my momma cry again, or you'll be very sorry!"

 

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME anyone in the room became aware that he had regained consciousness, and was listening to the conversation. His mom immediately sat up in her chair, dried away her tears and rebutted the doctor's prognosis. "You're wrong,” she said, “my son is going to be just fine," as she gently removed her son's hand from the doctor's wrist.

 

WELL, THE DOCTOR WAS RIGHT ABOUT ONE THING - He wasn’t going to grow up to be "normal" (whatever the hell that is), but he doesn't think that's always such a bad thing. He credits his dire prognosis – and arrogant confidence - about his prospects for the future with the drive for success (a/k/a fear of failure) that was ignited in his belly. And, it made him inherently suspicious of doctors or other experts who confidently jump to conclusions about a patient before they have considered all of the relevant facts - like what the patient has to say about the situation, for instance.

 

DENNIS WENT ON TO PURSUE A DEGREE in computer science with a “major field of application” in psychological testing, measurement and analysis. From there, he went to law school.  Not the most “normal” path to an eventual career in privacy law, but it worked for him. When he was invited to collaborate with Anique on this endeavor as a subject matter expert on mentalization in the field of law, he wondered how much he really had to offer. She was the one with the deep domain expertise. Maybe he could offer some legal compliance advice? But as time goes on, he finds himself relating mentalization to both law and computer science, and in the process, he discovered that he has domain expertise of his own: legal, HR, dispute resolution, negotiation, psychological testing, etc. 

Dennis Weyrauch, BA, JD

Executive Management and Business Advisor

FOUNDERS

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