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The Team

The Academy of Understanding is a network organisation. The trainers and coaches we have trained since 2009 all have senior status and are all self-employed with their own backgrounds and areas of expertise. As a result, we are almost always able to put together teams that really know and understand the world of our clients.

Ewald Theunisse Founder and CEO of the Academy of Understanding

Ewald Theunisse

co-founder & captain

After more than 25 years of experience in marketing communication, I decided it was time to enter a path that would give me more fulfillment. Together with Mayleen de Hoog, we founded the BegripsAcademie© in 2009, with a simple mission: to contribute to more mutual understanding, where-ever we could. And what a joy it has been was been ever since. 

We designed training programs and courses, did field research on a constant basis and we published books, blogs and articles. All about the art of living compassionately, colorfully and responsibly. And we never stopped and will stop adapting programs to maximize their effectiveness and results.

It's such a privilege seeing people rediscover themselves and others, broadening their scope and boost their curiosity. To see trenches turn into bridges. To hearing the clash of arms turn into bursts of laughter. And to see diversity becoming what it should be: the whole idea, the logic behind humanity.

Why is this important? Because understanding, being understood and being seen and welcomed for whom we are are arguably the most important sources of human happiness, health, and success. For each and every individual and for humanity in general. 

+31-(0)6 8100 1374

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Mayleen de Hoog

co-founder & coach

+31-(0)6 5025 5027

For a trainer and a coach, you may find I have an  unconventional background. I studied fashion in Amsterdam, lived and worked in Paris & London as Trendwatcher and Creative Concept Developer. Twenty years ago, I changed careers to become a communications coach and trainer. In 2011, I became the proud co-founder/creator of The Academy of Understanding and together with Ewald Theunisse I created the Code of Understanding, a guide to the art of living compassionately. Since then, I trained and coached leaders, high potentials, and teams within the Dutch National Police Force, hospitals, consultancies and various Universities of Applied Sciences, helping them take communication, collaboration, and leadership to a higher level. It's my passion to support people in excelling and maximizing their potential.


 Coaching Philosophy 

My goal is to help my clients grow stronger, more assured, and daring in taking new and positive steps toward achieving their goals, inspire curiosity, enhanced self-awareness, and fearlessness. I hope to encourage and sometimes challenge you to let go of old negative patterns and practice new, more productive ones. Of course, these will always be in line with your goals and core values. I am committed to creating a non-judgmental environment with unconditional acceptance, integrity, and trust, while offering a healthy, supportive, and positive approach. Last but not least, let's not forget to have fun during the process! I coach via Zoom or Teams.


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