strong Sense of Self


Executive Profile

Antoinetta Vogels is the Founder & CEO of HEALTHY SENSE OF SELF®, creator of the Sense of Self Method, a Self-help Program for people who want to get a good night’s sleep no matter what!

what is a healthy sense of self

She has also created other products as part of her life work.

In 2013, Antoinetta published her first book, Healthy Sense of Self – How to be True to Your Self and Make Your World a Better

Through HEALTHY SENSE OF SELF®, Antoinetta offers education on what can go wrong in the relationship to our “Self” and, as a result of that, to others, when we don’t feel acknowledged in early childhood as an independent, potentially autonomous person

Antoinetta was born in the Netherlands shortly after the end of WW II. She earned a Bachelor in Music (bassoon teaching and performing) at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and had a 20 year career playing bassoon in symphony orchestras, such as the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague and the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a various chamber music groups. A global citizen, she speaks six languages; English, Dutch, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. Ms. Vogels also trained at Bellevue College toward an ALDAC (Alcohol and Drugs Counseling Program) from 2002 to 2004. Being a professional musician turned out to be the background and foundation for what would become the Sense of Self Theory and Method.

A desire to break free from what kept her from authentically expressing herself as a musician sparked an awareness of a missing aspect in her family constellation that was painfully manifested in her life and in that of her family. A sudden onset of insomnia after the birth of her first child, that lasted for years, and her brother’s untimely death at age 54, as an diabetic addict, were the immediate reasons that she undertook the long journey of self-discovery that resulted in her work.

Prior to developing the Sense of Self Method, Antoinetta developed a program, called Music and Well-being, in an attempt to liberate herself from a stifled approach to playing music. She wanted to be able to freely, and immediately engage fully in the moment. She found that if “practice makes perfect” “You practice the way you are”. If practicing doesn’t bring you further along you have to look closely to who and what you are about.

If you are without a Sense of your Self it has a whole lot more impact on your life and on the people around you. Through continuous introspection, self-observation, and connecting the dots she identified (self-sabotaging) behavior patterns that ultimately led to developing the Sense of Self Method. Through HealthySenseOfSelf, LLC, Antoinetta offers education on what can go wrong when, in early childhood, we become addicted to approval and how to end that need to please at any age.

Quotes from Antoinetta Vogels:

“A healthy Sense of Self is the backbone of the human psyche.
Without it a person skips his/her own life all together.”

“My passion lies in sharing with as many people as possible that a healthy Sense of Self is a crucial asset for people who want to live life to the fullest and that happy and independent people contribute to expanding peace in the world at large.”

Mission Statement and Vision


We see a world that lives in harmony, a world that is at peace. We envision a world that has a university, created around the Sense of Self Method and that functions as a place where people transform and reclaim their lives by becoming the best version of themselves. A world in which there is a place to go to learn what a former generation wasn’t able to implement in your upbringing, the development of a Healthy Sense of Self. By restoring your Sense of Self, you can become a better parent, which creates a new generation of people with a solid foundation who are not dependent on the outcome of their activities or of the approval of others. It creates people who have shifted from co-dependence to independence that can co-create inter-dependently that world we all wish for, a world that is at peace.

Mission Statement

We exist to help people learn how to overcome addiction to approval, promote inner peace, and live full and authentic lives. Healthy Sense of Self empowers people with tools so they can help themselves to regain a Sense of Self and to recognize inner emotional addictions and move past them; to promote inner peace, and live full and authentic lives and get a good night sleep no matter what!

Target Market 

Primary Market

The content in both the book and the products is designed to help a broad audience. WE have developed over 10 categories of people who certainly will benefit from getting to know the principles. They include but are not limited to:

  • Parents for childrearing
  • People with relationships challenges
  • Senior Citizens (suggestion: to prevent Alzheimer and dementia – not academically tested)
  • Self-helpers, people for better mental, emotional and physical health
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • People who want to find a solution to Anxiety, Depression and Despair
  • People who want to permanently overcome addictive behaviors
  • To prevent violence (domestic violence)
  • To prevent criminal behavior
  • Performing artists (fear of failure)
  • Society, community and World
  • Self-realization
  • Overall health and well-being (the child in every person)

Primary users include:

  • Young adult women and men aged 20 to 35 years of age either born in the United States or immigrants of all races
  • Working mothers (blue collar) and stay-at-home mothers primarily between 40 and 55 years old (and men) of all races
  • Adults in the United States and around the world aged 50 to 75 with children no longer living in the home, and those whose children have returned home after not being able to find work
  • LGBT singles and couples of all ages, with and without children and of all races

Secondary Market

As the book has now grown into a second edition that will be released soon, the numerous new products emerging, and a growing online presence - new audiences have emerged and include:

  • Corporations looking to help their employees restore a sense of self – age range is between 25 and 55 through holding in-house seminars with the material offered through Healthy Sense of Self LLC
  • Corporations looking to manage HR departments in a new way by offering packages that include a healthy sense of self-monitoring system (s) for employees
  • Psychologists, therapists using the material to better understand their patients
  • Health and wellness practitioners
  • Colleges library systems (I think for High Schools it is not so suitable – too serious – a workshop or presentation would be great though!)
  • Educators at the high school and college level

Introduction of Products

In today’s busy world, to read and digest the life work of extraordinary people and be able to apply it – like what Antoinetta Vogels has created, it a daunting task most people will walk away from. Change is difficult and understanding what is truly wrong with our Self and how to fix it even more difficult. In this vein, Ms. Vogels has created products and a self-help company around Healthy Sense of Self book and the Sense of Self Method.

In today’s busy world with technology leading the way, she knew there had to be a way to reach people on the go, to provide a provocative and compelling way for people to continue to learn from her teachings in any way they choose.

This is why the workbook, journal, illustrated card deck, courses, and grounding and awareness packages were created. In this way, people could have choices to grow and change their Sense of Self in the way that works for their lives that could accompany the original work (the book) or stand-alone. The products all flow from the book, Healthy Sense of Self – How to be true to yourself and make the world a better place, although it is not required to read the book prior to using the products developed.

What makes the products unique?
They are all derived from the life work of (the book written) from Antoinetta, in the unique way the book was presented. All products flow from breaking the concepts out into bite-sized pieces in a way to get back to a Sense of Self or to create one where there was none.

Product Breakout and Descriptions

Original book: Healthy Sense of Self – How to be true to yourself and make the world a better place, Healthy Sense of Self Publications, Copyright © 2012 Antoinetta J. Vogels.

Journal: A Guided Journal to a Healthy Sense of Self – this journal provides people with the opportunity to take concepts offered in the book broken out in the journal to dig deeper into why they do what they do in an open environment of free-flowing writing guided by the thoughts of the author Antoinetta Vogels. (Full description found on the product page and includes pricing.)

Online Course: Sense of Self Method Online Course is a nine-week online training program designed to help people (the student) restore the Self; the sense-of-self not fully developed as a child or lost later in life because of possible trauma associated with a lack of full development as a child. It is a step-by-step program designed to get the participant in touch with the innermost part of ‘who they truly are.’

(A full description of the course and the nine units are explained here and the price can be found on the product page here.)

Grounding Exercise: Awareness Grounding Exercise is designed similarly to a meditation to bring the reader back to a place of awareness; not dependent on the approval of others.

Exercise for Parents: Awareness Exercise for Parents Plus the Three Questions, is designed similarly to a meditation for parents to stay grounded and the three questions designed to keep parents fully present for their children.

Book Overview

Healthy Sense of Self – How to be true to your Self and make the world a better place!

The Sense of Self (SoS) Theory and Method is a new and out-of-the-box approach to viewing and facing one’s very own Self, with the immediate objective of solving tall kinds of personal problems and pains.

Mastering the ability to feel at home from within; a Sense of Self is something we need to develop. Ideally, parents and/or guardians have facilitated that development since the moment we were born. Parents are people too and despite the best intentions, may not be able to make that happen. For the child this can result in a life full of challenges that manifest in a myriad of symptoms including poor health and functioning levels resulting (in certain circumstances) in alcohol and drug abuse, acting out in anger, and several other symptoms of being raised in an unhealthy way that leads to the Self not being intact. The SoS Method sheds a light on what may have gone wrong and offers the tools to repair the damage.

The insights into the human psyche, as described in the book, are of a down-to-earth, authentic nature, and the exercises presented in the book are designed to change lives. It is laid out to help the reader rid themselves of specific issues and improve their life. Glossary of pictures and terms found here.

Policies, Disclaimers, Terms of Use

The entire content of this website are presented for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this website is intended or presented to in any way cure, prevent, treat, or diagnose any physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological, psychiatric, or medical disease or condition of any kind. If you have a problem or challenge of any kind, you are hereby directed to consult a competent, relevant, licensed practitioner. The use of this material is no substitute for, nor is intended in any way to be used in connection with, health, psychological, psychiatric, medical, legal, or other professional services. The author of this site is not a trained or licensed psychologist, or psychiatrist, or professional health care practitioner of any kind, and does not represent herself or any of this content to be in the practice of those.

Everything presented in this website is speculation and anecdote, and has not been tested or verified (yet) by scientific research.

You are hereby notified that by reading any of the content of this site, you agree that you alone are completely liable for any and all direct or indirect effects or results of that reading. By reading any of the content of this site, you agree to hold harmless and indemnify everyone associated with this website, for any use or misuse or non-use you make of anything included here.

Book Testimonials

“There is hardly anything more basic about us than whether our sense of being a ‘self’ is dependent on other’s approval, or is healthy and solid within us. Through the courage of investigating her own Sense of Self so deeply, and developing ways to make it more healthy, Antoinetta Vogels’ highly original work has the potential to profoundly improve not just individual lives, but our whole human ways of relating.”

—Rev. Alia Zara Aurami, Ph.D., Minister

“Being exposed to Antoinetta Vogels’ Sense of Self Method helped me understand better a few of my clients as a business coach and also some friends who I suspect suffer from depression. I also gained another, much more understanding way to look at people who make bad choices. I suspect that when I have to deal with difficult personal issues in the future, which are unfortunately inevitable for anyone, the awareness of my Sense of Self will be very helpful.”

—P.H. COO, Pro/Vision Coaching, Inc.

“I am somewhat of a skeptical person but my wife pointed out to me that Antoinetta Vogels’ Sense of Self Approach really creates unexpected openings in solving quite a number of child-rearing questions. By becoming aware of our own Hidden Agenda we are able to make different decisions that greatly benefit our children and our family’s well-being. More recently, the Sense of Self Approach to aging has helped me personally cope with the unexpectedly rapid terminal diagnosis of an elderly relative who is very important to me. Rather than labor under the distraction of the false expectations of what a good son should do, I’ve been able to help where help was needed without ignoring my very real sadness.”

—D.I., Entrepreneur

“Antoinetta Vogels creates a safe place for exploration of the Self Based on her method on the Healthy Sense of Self. Her empathetic approach to helping a person solve their issues was soothing to me. It was revealing to me to learn that your Sense of Self is something that is either present or absent. When absent, its substitute is an imposter and trusting it leads to trouble. Her work resonated with my journey of healing from past hurts and habits nudging me to go deeper.

—Aliceann Christy, R.N., Seattle, WA

“With her "Healthy Sense of Self" Antoinetta Vogels has made an honest account of the existential problems she first encountered in her early childhood, which then dominated a great part of her life. Her book offers a detailed description of her personal experiences and leads the reader along her path through years of struggle towards insight about the roots of her problems.

This has resulted not only in a healthier life for herself, but also in the development of a well-structured, broad, and practical method for the benefit of other people with similar problems. This book describes a "Do it yourself" method that is within the scope of anybody who wants to improve his or her quality of life and awareness as a living being.”

Agnès Benoist

Healthy Sense of Self ® Fact Sheet

General Sleep Problems:

Sleep Problems Facing Women:

Senior Citizens Sleep Related Problems:


  • Lack of sleep can lead to poor performance at work or school, increased risk of injury, and health problems. (Healthy Sleep, Harvard University, 2015).
  • In adults: 30 to 35% have brief symptoms of insomnia, 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, which lasts less than three months, 10% have a chronic insomnia disorder, which occurs at least three times per week for at least three months. (Sleep Education, Insomnia Awareness Day Facts and Stats, 2014).
  • People with insomnia are four times as likely to develop major depression as those with normal sleep patterns (Harvard Health, Sleep and Mental Health, 2009).
  • 23% to 78% of bi-polar depressive patients sleep excessively (hypersomnia), while others may experience insomnia or restless sleep (Harvard Health, Sleep and Mental Health, 2009).
  • In a study including 49 middle-aged and older adults who had trouble sleeping. Half completed a mindfulness-awareness program using. The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits. Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions (Harvard Health, Mindfulness Meditation Helps Fight Insomnia, Improves Sleep, 2015)
  • There are various home remedies for insomnia, some are effective some are less so. Home remedies are not medicines, they are not proven in controlled environments but despite this, many people report a certain level of success. Keep this in mind and don’t get disappointed if you see no results. (Weighted Blanket Guides).

Youth and Sleep Disorders:

Adult Mental Health (Anxiety and Depression):

Youth Mental Health (Anxiety, Depression & Violent Behavior):

Family and Child Rearing:

Addictive Behaviors:

Creative Endeavors:

  • People working in creative fields, including dancers, photographers, and authors, were 8% more likely to live with bipolar disorder (CNN, Karolinska Institute, 2014).
  • Writers were 121% more likely to suffer from the condition, and nearly 50% more likely to commit suicide than the general population (CNN, Karolinska Institute, 2014).
  • 128 participants a creativity test followed by a blood test. He found that those who demonstrated the greatest creativity carried a gene associated with severe mental disorders (CNN, Karolinska Institute, 2014).

Self Help Statistics:

Story Ideas

  • Healthy Sense of Self games enacted on-air from book terminology, with winners receiving prizes for guessing correctly – either on the radio, or a quiz game in print. Healthy Sense of Self to supply prizes.
  • Why developing a healthy Sense of Self is so critical for corporate America in the C-suite to be good leaders, and to guide other leaders toward growth, like a “train the trainer” mentality.
  • How Healthy Sense of Self products can help those involved with the presidential campaign in 2016.
  • Why insomnia is so poisonous and how gaining a higher Sense of Self is critical to getting out of the pattern.
  • Exercises for young adult mothers and older mothers to ensure they have a healthy Sense of Self so they can aid in instilling that in their children.
  • How the Sense of Self Method was created and how people can put it to work in every day life and in every part of their life.
  • Why having a healthy Sense of Self is critical for entrepreneurs, and how they can work to repair or replace what is missing.
  • Why having a healthy Sense of Self is a must for building a long healthy marriage.
  • What baby boomers can learn from the Sense of Self Method in breaking old patterns of self-abuse. 

Company Overview

Adults and young people alike suffer from a lack of Sense of Self (SoS). The lack of a Sense of Self remains even more difficult with the tendency of people to judge their Self by other’s success.

Many people still do not understand the concept that a Sense of Self is developed from birth.

Today there are a plethora of self-help books, many courses on how to raise great children (by people with doctorates in mental health), and greater public awareness of the importance of good parenting. Nowhere today but here is there a work that takes people through an entire process to regain the sense of who they truly are. Learning that we are as people is enough is the endgame of the step-by-step method. This is one of the many reasons Antoinetta Vogels has made it her life work to write the book, Healthy Sense of Self and produce the ancillary products.

HealthySenseOfSelf is an educational organization with a global mission. The Sense of Self Theory is a self-help method that was born from founder Antoinetta Vogels’ attempt to get an answer to three questions:

  1. Why, as a musician, had she always felt restricted in her ability to come to a full range of expressing herself?
  2. What lay behind her younger brother’s untimely death?
  3. What was the reason for the severe insomnia that began suddenly after the birth of her first daughter and continued for over twenty-five years?

Her determination to know the root cause of these predicaments took her on a deep inner journey to understanding how critical it is to have a Sense of Self, or, if missing, to restore it. In her book, she examines how getting a good night’s sleep was associated with her need to get approval from her mother. She describes her life as something she was “performing” instead of living. Through deep investigation of her own inner world, she learned and put into practice to “sleep for herself.”

As a mother of two, the author of Healthy Sense of Self® and creator of the Sense of Self Method has the “pulse” of what it takes to raise children to have their own Sense of Self. Her program of Self-discovery can be used by the individual as well as by professional therapists and coaches for use with clients. The quest of reclaiming her life is based on her personal experiences and inspired by Alice Miller’s book, “The Drama of the Gifted Child,” Bhagwan Rajneesh (Osho), Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra.

Her journey is a deep and thoughtful process that is not for everyone. It takes great courage and dedication to seek out what it takes to be a complete whole human being. By doing so she now greatly benefits from her enhanced quality of life.

HealthySenseofSelf provides practical tools such as books, workshops, individual coaching, and an online course to help people to restore their Sense of Self. The SoS Method explains the correlation between how healthy our Sense of Self is and how we sleep. In order to create a robust platform for Antoinetta’s life work, Healthy Sense of Self® is a registered trademark and an LLC.

Interview Questions and Answers

Q1: Why did you write the book, Healthy Sense of Self – How to be true to yourself to make the world a better place!


Q2: Do you think the insomnia you experienced triggered by the birth of your first child was symptomatic of what you may have experienced after your own birth? Why?


Q3: How many people did you interview in the journey of writing your book? What central theme stood out for you?


Q4: I understand you do not hold a formal degree in psychology, or a doctorate - why did you feel qualified to write this book and produce the products you have now?


Q5: The Map for Healing Sense of Self in your book is quite elaborate, and for some a little confusing, how do you address that?


Q6: Did you find it challenging to raise your children with a sense of their own “Self” sense you did not have one at birth? Why?


Q7: We found your in-depth research inspiring and thought provoking – can you tell us what the difference is between a lack of sense of self and a substitute sense of self?


Q8: What was your biggest challenge in managing the day-to-day with small children and no sleep?


Q9: How did the insomnia you experienced affect your marriage? How did you correct those affects?


Q10: What do you think your mother experienced in her life that left her in a damaged state?


Q11: Did growing up in post WWII Europe affect any thoughts around your book? How?


Q12: I understand you have now made the name of your book into a company, why did you decide to do that?


Q13: Tell us more about your vision – the legacy you want to leave regarding a Healthy Sense of Self University.


Q14: What makes you think that if we all had a healthy sense of self that it would change the world to a planet of peace?


Q15: How did you create the Sense of Self Method?

Author Photos

All images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Antoinetta Vogels


Antoinetta Vogels