About us

About us: Therapists Niels Barends and Maja Gaspari

Online counselor Niels

Niels Barends, therapist at Barends Psychology Practice.

Located in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Barends Psychology Practice brings together an international team of licensed psychologists offering a range of treatments both face-to-face and online. Our peaceful, friendly practice is an ideal setting where you’ll feel safe and confident to explore your mental health and emotional issues.

Barends Psychology Practice was founded in January 2014 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by psychologist Niels Barends. The practice was later relocated to Ljubljana, Slovenia in October 2015. Having clients from all around the world, Barends Psychology Practice offers treatment in English (Maja and Niels), Dutch (Niels), and Slovene (Maja).

Maja Gaspari, therapist at Barends Psychology Practice. online counselor.

Maja Gaspari, therapist at Barends Psychology Practice.

An open, honest, non-judgemental, and encouraging approach combined with the skills and experience of a professional and devoted therapist is what makes (online) counseling at Barends Psychology Practice a positive and unique experience. We offer treatment for a variety of mental health issues, such as: depression, relationship issues, PTSD, trauma, anxiety, phobia, stress, addiction, self-esteem, communication skills, and more.
For information about therapy fees: click here.

If you want to schedule a first, free of charge, appointment at Barends Psychology Practice, click here.


In Press


Education and working experience

Online counselor Niels Barends

Niels is an online counselor and psychologist with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Developmental Psychology from the University of Amsterdam. He is specialized in cognitive behavioural therapy, schema therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and competitive memory training. He completed these post-masters courses at acknowledged training institutes (EMDR opleiding, Cure Care Development, Van Genderen opleidingen). Before he started working as an online counselor, Niels worked for two mental health clinics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. From the summer of 2005 until the summer of 2014, he worked at Mentrum, Arkin (formerly known as: AMC, de Meren) as a case manager and a therapist with a population presenting with long-term severe psychiatric and/or addiction issues. Additionally, he also has worked as a therapist at JellinekMinnesota, Arkin for almost a year, before emigrating to Slovenia. At JellinekMinnesota his main focus was addiction, often accompanied by PTSD, trauma, personality disorders, and various emotional problems, such as low self-esteem and perfectionism. He also gave group sessions as well as individual sessions. The group sessions were based on Acceptance and Commitment therapy and the 12 steps of Minnesota.

Online counselor Maja Gaspari

Maja is a psychologist with Master’s Degree in psychology from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is specialized in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). She completed this post-masters course at the Croatian Association for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, recognized by CBT Europe. Maja has experience in individual therapy, couples therapy, and group therapy. She also offers online EMDR therapy.

Before she started working as an online counselor at Barends Psychology Practice, Maja worked for three mental health clinics, and as a volunteer she worked with children and adolescents. In 2014 and 2015 she worked for the Pediatric Clinic at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana as an intern with children with epilepsy and mental disabilities. In 2015 and 2016 Maja worked as a therapist for the Health Care Centre Vrhnika in Vrhnika, Slovenia. Here her main focus was stress and anxiety treatment. In 2016 Maja also worked as a therapist at Logout, center for digital addiction help and treatment. Maja is, besides Barends Psychology Practice, currently working as a teaching assistant at Faculty of Education, where she gives workshops and seminars for students (1st year) on Developmental psychology. She also lived abroad (Antwerp, Belgium) for several months.

At Barends Psychology Practice, Maja works as an online counselor and traditional (face-to-face) counselor. She offers (online) treatment for anxiety, PTSD, phobia, depression, stress, addiction, self-esteem, communication skills, eating disorders, relationship counseling, and more. She offers her services in both Slovene and English.

Treatment techniques

As online counselors, Maja and Niels engage in Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) and online Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Niels also engages in Schema therapy (ST), EMDR therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT). These types of therapy are all evidence based therapies and we have chosen to master these treatment techniques, because:

  • (1) Some patients prefer one treatment over the other. Where one patient will benefit from a solution-oriented approach, another may be turned off by such an approach. For instance, someone diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may benefit more from ACT, than from EMDR, because of the differences in approach. Ultimately, patient satisfaction is the most important.
  • (2) Some treatment techniques are more effective in treating certain disorders that others. For personality disorders, for instance, schema therapy is more efficient than cognitive behavioural therapy.
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