Sylvia van Meerten was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She earned her BA from Evergreen State College in Washington and a Masters degree in Psychology from Vermont College. Sylvia’s early career focused on youth programs, autism, and family counseling. As a young therapist, Sylvia was distressed to see how often people with a diagnosis were dismissed as ‘less than’ instead of ‘different than’. She built her career on the idea that all minds can contribute to high level and important ideas.
Sylvia launched a psychology practice at age 25 that has transformed into her coaching business. Her work helps families and teams understand the evolving best practices around emotional intelligence. Sylvia became interested in YPO forums because of the emphasis on deep listening and authenticity, two aspects of trust-building she encourages in her coaching practice. She is now a Certified Forum Facilitator for YPO, and she loves to help groups gain new levels of trust.
ForumWithin™ has been a natural fit for Sylvia as her primary goal has always been to promote respectful sharing in diverse environments, to help people discover new ideas, communicate more accurately, and find new levels of loyalty in their team.
Sylvia and John met at Dragonfly Forest, a camp founded by John and Directed by Sylvia, who was also the specialist who trained camp counselors and staff.