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Ira van der steenstraten

Dr Ira van der Steenstraten is the founding director of Vitae Wellbeing Leadership.

She is a former, highly accomplished psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and systems therapist who was born in The Netherlands, where she trained and worked as a consultant psychiatrist. Ira is deeply committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all professionals, especially high-achieving professionals in high-pressure working environments.

Having personally faced personal and systemic challenges in the medical workplace, she became motivated to specialise in Doctors' Health and Wellbeing and Women in Leadership. 

Ira now works as a Professional Coach, speaker, and trainer, empowering doctors and other busy professionals to find healthier ways to deal with stress and become their own best version. Her work is scientifically based and is informed by her extensive experience of having worked in various settings for over 30 years. 

Ira's broad experience, combined with her passion for improving the lives of others, makes her a highly sought-after coach, workshop facilitator, and public speaker in the field of health and wellbeing.

Commissioned by the AMA Queensland, she co-developed the award-winning ‘Resilience on the Run’ and 'Wellbeing at Work' programs, the first Queensland-wide wellbeing programs for (junior) doctors. These programs have equipped close to 5000 (junior) doctors with practical tools to take better care of themselves and each other. The experience of facilitating these programs within and outside of Queensland deepened her understanding of current challenges in the medical profession.

She is a guest lecturer at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands) and the University of Girona (Spain) on healthy workplaces and burnout prevention.

Ira has been invited to speak at conferences both nationally and internationally in over 20 conferences, on topics such as mental wellbeing, creating a Healthy Mindset, Healthy Workplaces, Burnout Prevention, Compassion/Empathy Fatigue, Doctors’ Health, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Women in Leadership, Coping with Chronic Disorders, such as Chronic Pain, Endometriosis. 

Ira's work with Mindfulness focuses on preventative rather than curative techniques and has proved effective and successful in enabling a wide range of people to benefit from Mindfulness. She has developed several innovative mindfulness programs for adults and children, such as Mindfulness for Busy People and Mindfulness for Schoolchildren.

Ira brings a wealth of experience in doctors' health and wellbeing and leadership positions. She is the President of the Queensland Medical Women's Society (QMWS) and serves on the management committee of Doctors Health in Queensland (DHQ) as their Vice -President.

Ira is committed to supporting her clients to empower themselves to find their best path in life. Her motto is:

Personal and Professional Wellbeing starts with the person within.

"We can dedicate our lives to helping others, and still find it hard to reach out when we struggle ourselves. I experienced this myself, and I offer a non-judgemental space, using scientifically based tools to empower you to overcome your challenges."

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