we are strong together


”I see, I hear, I will help and empower you in a way that is suitable for you”

Sometimes you can be concerned and worried about your child’s development, or as a parent, you don’t know how to handle or respond to certain behavior(s) and or situations. You have the feeling that your child is uncomfortable emotionally, or developing differently from what you expected. Diagnostic assessment and or Counselling, Therapy or Coaching can help you to understand your child and family situation from multiple perspectives in a holistic way.

Strong Together stimulates you and the child to have self-resolving capacity and motivates you to look for your own strengths, practice new skills and learn to create new opportunities by taking responsibility, so that you and the child, as a family can continue with new energy.

Happy with Me training


In October 2023 we start a new Happy with Me training for children from 9 – 12 years old. In Happy with Me we explore talents by looking at what makes each child happy, we focus on building resilience and learn more about different types of thoughts we have and that we can always choose our thoughts. Children also explore who is in their heart and who is there for them. By the end of the Happy with Me training, children feel empowered from inside out and more resilient to deal with challenges in daily life. 

The training consists of 5 sessions of 2 hours for children and 3 sessions of 1.5 hours for the parents. 

Family Therapy/ Coaching

Parenting can be a difficult task. Raising children and teenagers who have behavioral challenges certainly does not make it easier. Your child’s behavior may seem difficult to understand and unreasonable at times, while your child may also experience the same with you. As a parent, you may feel helpless at times.

Strong Together focuses on solving specific and current problems. In addition, Strong Together also focuses on the families’ ability to solve problems on their own. The ultimate goal is to increase the self-management of the family. Parents and children learn how to recognize pre’ existing strengths and qualities to positively influence their lives. The family starts to work together more as a team; there will be more understanding and appreciation for each other’s efforts.

Educational Coaching

 Do you think that your child needs some support in school? Do you feel there is something but you cannot put your finger on it, and you would like to further explore. 

Strong together offers diagnostic screening assessments with a professional psychologist to measure the ability in the various academic, social-emotional and behavioral domains.  Tests are used to compare children’s performance relative to their peers, to profile individual strengths and/ or weaknesses, and to determine children’s need for intervention. Other information, such as interviews with family members and teachers, behavioral observation of the child, and reviewing children’s medical, social, and educational history is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.


Examples of questions could be:

  • understand your child’s behavior (nightmares, bedwetting, anger, sadness, emotions) 
  • to approach and handle certain behavior 
  • improve communication between family members
  • improve family cohesions
  • reduce fights in the house 
  • deal with a difficult situation or passed experience
  • improve co-parenting with ex-partner
  • deal with cultural differences
  • family circumstances
  • understand sudden behavior change of your child
  • how to regulate emotions as a family


Examples of questions could be:

  • explore and understands what makes the child’s performance drop
  • understand sudden behavior change (acting out, withdrawal)
  • find out why your child seems demotivated
  • how to deal with a learning needs
  • how to build and maintain relationships, with peers/ teacher(s) 
  • build self confidence and overcome performance anxiety


Examples of questions could be:

  • coping with strengths and weaknesses
  • build relationships
  • how to consider others
  • express feelings and emotions
  • deal with conflict
  • deal with anxiety/ anger
  • talking and listening
  • self confidence
  • stand up for yourself
  • become more resilient
  • make choices and achieve goals
  • self awareness 
  • how to deal/ cope with a traumatic life event
  • deal with family situations (separation/devorce)


Examples of questions could be:

  • how to deal/ cope with a traumatic life event
  • looking for ways to deal with self confidence, self picture and identity
  • control over anxiety
  • better understand and overcome feelings of sadness and depression  
  • find new and better ways of dealing with stress that could results in better sleep patterns and prevent a burn-out
  • find ways to better deal with a mental health challenge
  • find ways to improve or build new relationships 


Holistic and Solution-Focused Approach

Every individual is part of a larger system, the nuclear family (brothers/ sisters/ father/ mother), extended family (uncles/ aunts/ grandparents) and the community (school/ neighbors/ friends).  Everybody within and between the systems, responds, reacts and influences each other because nobody is an island. To understand yourself and others better, Strong Together will look at the past, present and future from multiple perspectives. The aim is to explore the resources, coping mechanisms, problems, conflicts, and the dynamics of all involved systems. Often we tend to blame someone when things go wrong and feel this person should change. Strong Together will help all parties understand that there is no one ‘to blame’. Everybody will get to understand the situation a bit better and will be able to adjust in a way. Because it is much easier when everybody adjusts a little, then to expect one person to change completely.

Solution-Focused coaching approach will guide, empower, strengthen, not only the child towards finding solutions for his/her problems, but also all the affected systems that the child is related to. Strong Together works with opportunities and positive qualities/ competences of your child, you as parent(s). As a result, the qualities/ competences will be used in situations that were experienced as problematic. The aim is to increase the capacity of the child and you as parent(s) to find solutions. After the sessions, it is the intention that you can continue with this by yourselves. 

During the sessions we will apply different verbal and nonverbal tools such as solution-focused questioning techniques and interventions; expression and relaxation exercises.

Modalities: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Our attitude is openness, respectfulness, empathy, confidentiality and equality.

What else is important when we work with you:
Transparency; enthusiasm; building competences; networking with professionals/ school; tailor made.


During the intake phase, Strong Together will draft an action plan with you, your child, and family.

In case of educational concerns Diagnostic Assessment and screening will be conducted. This includes: interviews, observation, assessment batteries, reporting and advice. 

The aim of the action plan is to work towards achieving set goals, and at the same time adjusting the goals when needed.

We will listen and ask questions in order to meet your own, your child and family needs with an open mindset. 

The number of sessions will depend on the needs/ questions. There is no standard program because every question is different. 

Strong Together has confidence and trust in your abilities.

1. Introduction & Intake

After getting in touch, we will plan an introduction. This involves establishing:

  • what you would like to work on
  • what makes you feel comfortable during sessions
  • manner of conducting sessions (physical/ virtual)
2. Diagnostic Assessment and screening (when applicable)

In case there are educational concerns Diagnostic Assessment and screening will be conducted. This includes:

  • Interviewing parents, child, teacher(s)
  • Class observation
  • Assessment batteries (e.g. WISC-V, WIAT-III, Dyslexia screening test) depending on the outcome of the findings of the interviews and class observation
  • Reporting followed by a discussion and advise on the educational plan


3. Setting goals

The parent together with the child will formulate their goals with the support of the coach.

  • Together we will come up with an action plan.
  • We will decide on the approximate number of sessions. 
4. Work towards achieving goals

Strong Together will continuously coordinate with you on how the goals can be achieved, by breaking them down into small steps. Different evidence-based interventions and methods will contribute towards achieving the set goals with insights that bring about balance between tasks and skills/ competences.

Small steps lead to BIG changes!

5. Evaluation

This involves a discussion whereby we evaluate:

  • The process
  • Achievements
  • Way forward 
6. Conclusion

Positive and successful qualities, competences and interventions are now used in situations that were previously experienced as problematic.

  • Your capacity and that of your child to find solutions is increased.
  • You are able to build on the acquired insights and skills to resolve issues positively.
  • Your child experiences school as a good safe environment,  school results and progress match abilities and school and parents agree on direction.


Sarah Vijzelman

My name is Sarah Vijzelman, born in 1987 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands where I grew up, studied and worked. I moved to Kenya in 2013 where I live with my family.

I graduated from Windesheim University where I completed my bachelor’ degree in Social Pedagogical Care with a specialization in Mental Health Psychology in 2009. I followed this with training in the ‘Signs of safety methodology’ and completed my post bachelor’ degree, ‘Intensive Child Family Therapy’ at HAN University of applied sciences in 2019.

I have experienced working in various workplaces since 2009 both in The Netherlands and Kenya. I worked as a social worker with children aged 4-18 years with mental health issues and behavioral problems. As a family counsellor, I have worked with families, having complex issues and parenting challenges.

Besides that, I have several years of experience in training social workers, counsellors and teachers, on how to become aware of the underlying problems a child is experiencing and coming up with tailor made care plan.

With my work experience, theoretical background, drive and enthusiasm, I want to help children and families find solutions to their questions, problems, challenges and empower them in their found resources. I strive to work together with the child, family, school and other professionals in order to achieve the best results.

I am registered with the Kenya Counselling and Psychological Associasion. 



I’m Latifa 22 years old. I met Sarah 8 years ago when I went to live in a house for children from 6-18 years old for individual and family counseling for a period of one year. Sarah became my personal coach at that time. I had a few conversations with Sarah every week about my personal growth, how I could think more positive about myself instead of negative and how I could stand up for myself. The day I was having a conversation with Sarah, I would feel much more motivated and positive. Sarah was also visiting my family every week. We had conversations at home about how we, as a family could communicate better with each other and how we could take into account each other’s feelings. Up to this day, I am grateful and super happy that Sarah was able to help me and my family. ”Sarah, you are awesome!” ❤️

Sarah is a very committed and reliable professional, who always knows how to get the best out of people with a lot of sensitivity and creativity. She knows how to get to the root cause using the right approach. Her focus is on individual and family strengths, to help families move in their desired direction.

Formal colleague: Linda Potuijt – Family therapist


Call Sarah for general inquiries for coaching:
+254 727 541 226 (Monday- Saturday 9am- 5pm)

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