Category: Ask Maria Anna

Suck it Up and Get Over it Princes!

By Maria Anna van Driel,

Let me shock you here for a brief moment! Modern psychology is in the need to restudy and understand the invisible injuries of both PTSD and CPTSD. Because that is exactly what it is…an emotional injury and not a mental illness what has to be suppressed with brain foggy creating medication in the moment one is capable of making a clear distinction between the past and the present. Not to mention this magical antidote, aka forgiveness.

Titled “Spent,” this image by Daniel Sundahl was made around 4 a.m. after a busy night as his partner sat in the ambulance after a call. The repeated exposure to traumatic situations and stress can impact the mental health of first responders. It is time to help the helpers. (Daniel Sundahl,

Say, a police officer has experienced a kidnapping. I mean, their own. He/she has been kept in prison for a certain period of time by a psychopathic criminal, being threatened, being insecure if he/she will survive the situation. Most cops will have these thoughts of ‘Shit, why didn’t I saw this coming? I have been trained for these kind of situations!’

Some therapists will say ‘Hurry, hurry, you have to forgive yourself so that you can move on’. Or what about those people who have experienced sexual abuse as a child or, during their adult years? There are therapist who say, ‘You have to start to forgive, it will give you peace’.

My personal opinion straightforward? F*ck them! If you do not want to forgive the one who has wracked your life, than that is perfectly fine. You should not be forced to do this at all.

What a therapist can do, together with their client, is working towards letting it go. I mean, for the client to start feel comfortable with the fact that it has happened and that it is okay to be angry about it…among others. It is okay not to forgive these sadistic predators…and some people never will.

There are a myriad brilliant therapists who are practicing for years already and their clients are tremendously happy with their listening ear and the treatments provided. They feel comfortable while voicing their minds, experiences and emotions to the therapist. But, unfortunately, when it comes down to 1st responders a huge amount of these therapists are missing the point…big time!

9 out of 10 known and accepted treatments many therapists are familiar with, are not even reaching the first level of PTSD and/or CPTSD 1st responders are dealing with. (regardless if they are retired or still working in the field)

Why? Straightforward, drawing a happy rainbow while bringing up mom not sticking a bandage on one’s knee after a fall on the kindergarten playground, is simply not relating to the mind-set of someone who has experienced, for instance, a shootout, called in a KIA, collected body-parts a psychopathic (serial) killer left behind or have watched a child die. (regardless recently or (…) years ago)

Read the full article on Medium.

Gay conversion therapy: proposed ban is a positive step but the battle remains to be won

There’s nothing broken that needs to be fixed. Fotosr52/

Stella Coyle, Keele University

Conversion therapy – sometimes known as “reparative therapy” or “gay cure therapy” – claims to alter a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. The practice is based on the mistaken idea that gay people suffer a traumatic experience early in life that has damages them and that homosexuality is a “reparative drive” to overcome this early trauma.

In the UK, practitioners are legally allowed to promote and provide conversion therapy. But, hopefully, not for much longer. The UK government has announced plans to ban conversion therapy as part of its LGBT action plan.

Attempts to “cure” homosexuality were not always couched in the language of therapy. In the early 20th century, medical professionals believed that homosexuality was a birth defect. One “treatment” involved replacing a testicle of a homosexual man with one from a heterosexual man. Later methods included lobotomies and chemical castration – a method used on Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker.

Homosexuality later came to be seen as a condition that could be “treated” psychologically – although this doesn’t mean that the methods used were any more humane.

In the 1950s and 60s, when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK, the NHS routinely used aversion therapy on men convicted of homosexuality in an attempt to turn them straight. If they volunteered for this treatment, they could avoid a prison sentence. Volunteers – if they can be called that – were shown pictures of naked men and given either electric shocks or drugs that induced vomiting. The aim was to make them respond negatively to their homosexuality and thus to be “cured”.

Not a psychiatric condition

Homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual in 1987 and from the World Health Organisation’s classification of mental disorders in 1992. Progress in this area has been slow.

In 2015, a memorandum of understanding stating that conversion therapy is unethical and potentially harmful was signed by representatives from the NHS, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the major counselling and psychotherapy organisations in the UK.

Being gay is not a disease and there is no sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed by “conversion therapy”. Also, “treating” homosexuality sustains the prejudice and discrimination that gay people already face in society.

Gay people who seek to change their sexuality do so because of internalised homophobia and because of the dangers and pressures arising from this external prejudice and discrimination. An example of the potential harm is seen in a 2002 study
of 202 men, which found that the practice had led 34 of them to attempt suicide either during or after “conversion therapy”.

Co-opting the language of sexual fluidity

These days “conversion therapy” is generally advocated by religious groups, such the Core Issues Trust, a UK organisation that “works with people who seek to change from a ‘gay’ lifestyle to a gender-affirming one”.

In common with National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality in the US (an organisation that advocates the use of conversion therapy in the US), the Core Issues Trust advocates for the right of people to have access to this service if they want it. They use the language of rights, autonomy and client choice, arguing that a ban would deny them a “human right to treatment intended to help them shape their lives as they wish”.

They have also co-opted the language of sexual fluidity as justification for their assertion that the practice works. This misunderstands what is meant by sexual fluidity.

People are born with both a sexual orientation and a degree of sexual flexibility that varies from person to person. Some people are fixedly gay or straight, but others are more fluid and can experience attractions that run outside of their general sexual orientation. Sexual fluidity is the capacity to experience sexual attraction that runs counter to your orientation.

There is now mounting evidence that gay people are born gay, as a clear link has been found between sexual orientation – at least in men – with two regions of the human genome.

Which way now?

After years of campaigning and legal pressure, the UK government is finally going to follow the example of some other European countries and states in Canada, Australia and the US, and ban the practice of “conversion therapy”. It will be interesting to see how the debate develops as the legislation proceeds through parliament.

The NHS and the major psychiatric, counselling and psychotherapy organisations are already opposed to the practice. But if the counselling profession remains unregulated – meaning anyone, including religious groups and individuals, can offer “counselling” – how will the ban be enforced? The battle is not yet won.

Stella Coyle, Teaching Fellow in Law, Keele University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


The Legend of ‘Lapis Philosophorum’ aka the Philosopher Stone

By Maria Anna van Driel,

The Philosopher’s Stone has intrigued scientists for centuries and even to this day remains a mystery.

The concept of being able to turn metals into gold attracted the attention of many who saw the legend of the stone as a chance to make a fortune. And so, many of the world’s brilliant minds searched for the Philosopher’s Stone over the centuries including Robert Boyle who is considered the father of modern day chemistry.

There are many descriptions of the stones appearance. The most well-known being a red stone but it was also referred to as an orange stone. When the stone is in its solid form it often appears as a transparent and glass-like object in the shape of an egg. But there are many sources that believe the Philosopher’s Stone may not have even been a stone at all.

When searching for the stone, alchemists examined countless substances what has build the base knowledge for fields we know today as chemistry and pharmacology.

When discussing the philosopher’s stone the one name you will not miss is Nicolas Flamel. Flamel was a French scribe and manuscript-seller who lived in Paris during the 14th and 15th century and, in 1382, claimed to have transformed lead into gold after decoding an ancient book of alchemy. We most likely will never know if this was true. However the historical record show that Flamel did come into considerable wealth around the time he made his claim but donated all of his riches to charity.

The medieval kitchen of alchemy aka ‘Physical chemistry’

The commencement of deciphering this ‘key’ is the dismembering of the word ALCHEMY; Al-Khemet means ‘From Egypt’, Khemet means ‘Black’, Khem means ‘chem’ or ‘chemical’

Later in history this ancient Egyptian word Al-Khemet has been translated into ‘the black art through Alchemy’ a term many might know today as the medieval and dangerous ‘black magic’. Even it is being thought by some that a Pagan mystery as such is spawned by the devil’s hand, less is true in this legend of the stone of the ancients.

Click here to read the full article via


Brave Young Women Who are Changing the World With Ones and Zeros

There is a problem in the world and that is… the bravery deficit and it leads to an unequal representation of women and men in STEM and STE(A)M fields.

Listen to the interview of Mrs. Schindler-Kota via You Tube (see below) or, click the ‘PLAY-button’ in ‘THE NEXT TRUTH…ONLINE RADIO’ on the right and listen to her Podcast via the TNT website.

I believe this battle of this ‘stereo-typing’ is a solvable problem but solving this thorny issue requires the efforts of many mentors (including parents) of empowering more young women to get involved in STEM subjects…not only because a balanced number of male and female scientists is providing scientific problems and questions to be viewed from several different angles also because that is one of the fastest areas in which young woman can gain economic independence.

I am of the opinion that it is time for us mentors to take that step forward into the world and voice our thoughts and experiences for young people to realize that this narrow vision of boys being better in any scientific field then girls, is no fact at all.  

I am your host Maria Anna van Driel and you are listening to “The Next Truth; Where Science and Myth Meet”.  This week I am speaking with the Marketing Content Manager of CoderZ, an innovative online learning environment where kids learn how to program real and virtual robots using a 3D robotics simulation, Ashlynn Schindler-Kota, who is a driven leader with experience in education administration, grants management and an Expert in STEM Education.


Young People Science Sept/Oct 2021

The Next Truth is experiencing a, via MagCloud, minor upload problem therefore, feel free to download your free copy of “Young People Science” via

There is a problem in the world and that is… the bravery deficit and it leads to an unequal representation of women and men in STEM and STE(A)M fields.

This battle of this ‘stereo-typing’ is a solvable problem but solving this thorny issue requires the efforts of many mentors (including parents) of empowering more young women to get involved in STEM subjects…not only because a balanced number of male and female scientists is providing scientific problems and questions to be viewed from several different angles also because that is one of the fastest areas in which young woman can gain economic independence.

I am of the opinion that it is time for us mentors to take that step forward into the world and voice our thoughts and experiences for young people to realize that this narrow vision of boys being better in any scientific field then girls, is no fact at all.  

Download your free copy of “The Next Truth” via


Panspermia; Can it Explain the Origin of Life on Earth? — are ‘we’ the aliens we are looking for?

By Maria Anna van Driel

How life originated on Earth is a question that we have pondered over for decades already.

Intriguing Theories and questions like could we be Martians, is a flippant way of asking, are planets isolated islands or can they transfer life? In other words, could life have been transferred from, for instance, Mars to Earth in meteorites? If so, how did these alien bacteria altered life on Earth?

Click here to read the full article via the website of Medium. Photo credit: The Next Truth

By asking questions as such, a variety in scientific theories has pilled-up over time as well as it has reached the realm of many science fiction movies. Nowadays we know that life can survive in space, travel through the Mesosphere (housing meteors and rock fragments) and eventually can enter the Troposphere where it is free to both merge with any biological life form and hitchhiking on any non-biological object that is present on Earth.

But, even though we are trying to solve this mind dazzling puzzle with, among others, modern devices, this question if life can be transferred from one planet to another in such a simple, natural manner, is just an extension of old questions whereby one plausible answer hovers on the border of being science-fiction; the ‘Panspermia Theory’.

Panspermia…does this theory speak of blood thirsty aliens from deep space looking like giant cockroaches trying to merge with the human species? Are they sending killer viruses from a neighbor galaxy in order to establish an invasion of slimy worms slithering the Earth’s surface searching for the most perfect host, which might be YOU?

Okay, relax, it does not, but you catch my drift … right? Life on Earth being supported by life-forms (e.g. bacteria) having an extraterrestrial origin, may not be such a farfetched idea after all. But, before you get all excited and dust off your time machine, break out your favorite third-sided dimensional reality and start collecting moon rocks to find out if it is containing life, let me explain this theory.

Click here to read the full article via the website of Medium


We Are Made of Coded Qu-whatum Stuff?!

By Maria Anna van Driel

Have you ever had this experience? You are having a chat with someone and they are telling you something about a topic they are very interested in or, they know a huge amount about, and it seems that you are following along with ease.  Then, out of the blue, you realize you kind of lost the thread of what they are saying. You are just standing there, lost in time, realizing that you have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

Click here to read the full article via

I’m a science journalist, editor, magazine owner and radio host who is working, since 2014, with scientists and citizen scientists who are covering a myriad scientific areas. And so, I have been on both sides of this kind of interaction. I have both been the one explaining very complicated material to people and, I have been on the receiving end of lots of very intense scientific discussions.

And, every now and then, this kind of breakdown in communication happens. During these moments, I have noticed something interesting, which is that, when a people stopped understanding, they feel slightly guilty about not following the stuff that is fired at them.  But, if you think about it, this is completely silly. It is the wrong way around because at that point in time, there is literally nothing you can do to understand it better.  

No, it is not that people, who are on the receiving end of the conversation, are not able to look over the edge of a sandbox because they lack the educational background knowledge, it is because they are constantly tripping over the complex and technical terms  that are so liberally strewn about during explaining scientific research.

Sure, I have experience many moments in where I had to interrupt a scientist because I could not follow him/her anymore. But I found that the only way to…um, well, ‘survive’ the complexity given was having the courage to politely stop the person who was explaining, say, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are saying,” and then go back and start off from where I had lost the thread.

And, yes, it does take a bit of courage to do this because you are, sort of, admitting that you don’t know the subject matter.

But this all perfectly fine, in fact, my fears were completely unwarranted. Generally, people respect you if you care about knowing the right information and willing to understanding the topic properly.  So, I am of the opinion that we should never feel bad about not knowing something and, we should never feel bad about asking questions. And, one of these questions is, “What is quantum physics?”

So, let’s briefly explore this amazing scientific field what is, among others, researching those wacky particles which are bouncy and wobbly at the same time.

Click here to read the full article via


The Next Truth Newsletter, August 2021

First of all, please, feel free to download the interactive TNT-Newsletter of August 2021 from or, from my LinkedIn profile and share the PDF with family, friends, colleagues and students.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my relativistic charged enthusiasm again concerning a second STE(A)M article of mine being accepted and published on the website of Coderz… “Should we take a second look at how we teach today?”(Part I of III)

I know, I know…after reading it you might experience an uncomfortable, perhaps eerie,  moment for some stepping out this stuffy and cramped tunnel and becoming more transparent but, showing young people how your creative – out-of-the-box – thinking has lead you in solving the problems you encountered during your research, is of most importance. Why? Because, and perhaps you might remember this from your own study time, most young people are immensely overwhelmed by the scope of their future they desperately want with no concept of where to begin. In this they need you, your expertise, experiences and enthusiasm as a role model!

For my other blog articles in where I discuss how, among others, science is not limiting itself to grids, formulas and PowerPoint presentations, please visit:

Science is Boring, Creativity is Stupid!…uh-whaaauh? (Part II of II)
“Science” isn’t a stable or single idea”


Extraterrestrials; Are They Just Figments of a Creepy Legend or is There Another Explanation?

An interview with long time MUFON board member, Tom Whitmore.

Listen to the interview of Mr. T. Whitmore via You Tube (see below) or, click the ‘PLAY-button’ in ‘THE NEXT TRUTH…ONLINE RADIO’ on the right and listen to his Podcast via the TNT website.

Extraterrestrials… are they just figments of a creepy legend that speaks of human-shaped life forms having ill intentions toward us? Or is there another explanation?

UFO’s and those who are operating them have been reported by witnesses throughout time as small but terrifying grey’s, having huge black eyes and standing alongside a person’s bed at night while communicating through an odd form of telepathy.

What is the truth behind the UFO mystery? How advanced is their technology compared to ours? Where do they come from and… why do aliens abduct us?

I am your host Maria Anna van Driel and you’re listening to “The Next Truth; Where Science and Myth Meet” This week I am exploring the wide and mysterious world of unexplained aerial phenomena together with Long time MUFON board member Tom Whitmore.

Tom has been fascinated by military and intelligence agencies’ interactions with the UFO public. He has undertaken a research study of the history of the MJ12 affair, and … intends to eventually publish his findings.


Should We Take a Second Look at How We Teach These Days? (part I of III)

Click here to read the full article published on the website of CoderZ

In my article “The Very First Letter of STEM is Science I wrote, ‘Nowadays, young people have free access to a high speed electronically world we have become to know as ‘The Internet’. Wikipedia in this is a frequently visited site for students to upgrade their already possessing knowledge.’

In that same article, I asked the question of how reliable the written knowledge we can find on the internet, truly is. In this, I was aiming my thoughts on how far we are allowed of applying a form of creativity and critical thinking to this avalanche of information. Are we allowed to take this information, discuss it, break the taboo and convert it all into a new evolution in science?

l learned a sad fact and it is bothering me immensely!

As the owner and founder of the scientific magazine “The Next Truth” and an investigative science journalist, I got the opportunity to work in the midst of the smartest and most dedicated people I have ever met in my life but, that was not the only thing I saw. Although these people have brilliant minds, I saw that some of these people are stuck in their own narrow-minded thinking and processes as well. This shows a result in a large number of our scientists and aspiring students writing down their best ideas and novel theories in their spare time and then hide it away in the most remote drawers they can find in their office because it is said to be too “farfetched”, labeled as “Pseudo-science” or “hypothetical nonsense”.

Why? Because the narrow thinking majority is so used to the framework of accepted science or, the looks of the diversity with robotic devices and the advanced and complicated task they can perform these days, they have forgotten that these incredible, sometimes ‘life-like devices have, like with everything in life, an origin.

Click here to read the full article published on the website of CoderZ