Vison on treatment

The hospital adopts a multidisciplinary approach in a tightly structured clinical community. Staff use evidence-based treatments, in accordance with the latest guidelines on the effective treatment of psychological disorders and delinquent behaviour. We believe in the importance of a safe living environment. Added to this, the treatment we provide also reflects what the individual patient feels is important and we base our approach on the What Works principles.

The What Works principles

We use the What Works principles in the hospital. This means that we focus on the risk factors that are possible to influence and that mean that there is a high risk that the patient in question will commit an offence. We also take the learning ability of the patient into consideration. During the treatment, we establish protective factors on the basis of the good lives model. This involves patients establishing matters like living accommodation, work, daytime activities and relationship development. These protective factors help people to get their lives in order and keep them in order too. Added to this, all of our staff have been trained in motivational discussion techniques. However, individual patients must recognise the need for their behaviour to change and actively cooperate in the change process. If this does not happen, patients will not be able to safely re-enter society.

Expert in systematic treatment

More than half of offences take place within an individual’s family and circle of friends and acquaintances and, as such, within the system applicable for the offender. This is why we place such importance on systematic treatment. We involve the people around the offender in his treatment, particularly where relatives or people from the network want to continue or resume their contact with the offender. The forensic network counsellors play an important role here. It also helps if the people around the offender are familiar with the risks and protective factors applicable and are able to anticipate them.

Pillars in the treatment

Treatment is based on several important pillars: therapy to achieve the behavioural change envisaged and activities that give people access to normal life, such as work, training, sport and creative subjects. Patients will also be given the time they need to maintain contacts with families and other relationships. All of these elements contribute to the reduction of risk, so that people are able to achieve a safer re-entry into society. Added to the above, the new behaviour that patients learn during therapy can be practised during the various lessons and in the group.

Living environment

In the group, everyone shares responsibility for the safety and hygiene of the living environment. Although group management encourages patients, the group members primarily encourage each other. Added to this, they are able to practise the new behaviour that they learn on the other members of the group. Anti-hospitalisation is key here. The idea is for people to participate in the day programme, become members of the hospital council, take part in introduction rounds and participate in evaluations of the residential group. Patients experience this as positive. A recent living environment study has shown that they experience the climate as stimulating, respectful and focused on growth.

The day programme

Each department at the Van der Hoeven Kliniek has its own rhythm and each patient in a department has his own day programme. Most departments at the hospital begin the day with breakfast, after which patients start work or another part of their day programme at 7.30 hours. Appointments with the psychiatrist and therapist may be scheduled during their working day too, which ends at 16.15 hours and patients will be able to opt to do engage in education, sport and art subjects. For example, patients will work on a pro-social future after their treatment, learn to extend their boundaries, deal with situations and to express themselves through creativity, for example. Domestic choirs, such as cooking and cleaning, are done once the working day has ended. The clinic has spiritual carers that organise church services and discussion groups. Individual meetings are scheduled with patients on request too.

Network and relationships

Wherever possible, we counsel and involve the family and networks that our patients have in the treatment provided. Our forensic network counsellors maintain contacts with them for this purpose. After all, these people have known the patient the longest and know him best too. During and after treatment, these individuals play an important role in the life of the patient. Each patient and his family will be allocated a fixed counsellor. The family is able to provide relevant information about the patient’s childhood and background. Added to this, the family will be able to watch the patient take his first steps back into society. Forensic network counsellors also supervise family meetings and guide and coach partner relationships. These counsellors are part of the treatment team.


The hospital was created with the ideas of the Utrechtse School in mind and elements of the therapeutic community were included in the treatment philosophy adopted by the Van der Hoeven Kliniek, key to which is learning in the living environment. Pillars are a shared responsibility for safety and anti-hospitalisation, participation in life and the development of the abilities that patients have. This treatment vision is continually updated in line with the latest insights and based on evidence-based treatments. However, the pillars of shared responsibility and commitment to the possibilities open to patients will remain in place. 

Van der Hoeven Kliniek is onderdeel van De Forensische Zorgspecialisten