So who am I?
Hi! My name is Sofie, 30 something (although already pretty close to 40) with a passion for traveling, writing and psychology. I’m curious about lots of things. Like, how is it possible a guy like Trump got one of the most powerful men on earth? Or how does a picture or sound gets to the other side of the world (while it takes me hours and days)? Or why we still don’t realise burnout is an illness of our society and therefore we need to act on it. Urgently.
So, I’m curious. I also love games, hate cooking and never drink coffee. I really enjoy talking to friends, family and even total strangers about almost everything (except for economics and finances) and I can’t walk past a bookshop without entering, even when all books are written in an language I don’t even understand. And I have always a million ideas, but most of them never reach the implementation phase. I am what they call a ‘creative generalist’ or you could also simply say I possess a serious overdose of ideas and fantasy…
In the summer of 2015 one idea got stuck in my head and I actually implemented it. Yes! I took a sabbatical (burnout prevention) and I started traveling with a single ticket to Africa and no further plans. I’m not a big fans of planning… Luckily since things tend to turn out quite differently then expected. Right in between the elephants and giraffes I also bumped into the man of my dreams (cheesy, I know!). I almost gave up on my prince in shining armour. Today I can tell you there’s still lots of work to do, which is totally fine since I never really was a fan of perfection.
But finding my knight on the white horse (ahum…) changed my original ideas quite drastically. You see, my intention after Africa was South-East Asia. But all of a sudden I was in Mexico. And also Africa got under my skin. So I’m not finished traveling…
After a year I returned with a backpack full of ‘wisdom’ and even more possible ideas as before. I quit my job and started working on an alternative path. I mean we all need to make a living, right? And obviously that didn’t went very smooth…
Not everyone really believed in what I was doing. There were days I didn’t even believed in it myself. Old beliefs can be quite persistent. It’s also not that easy to hold on to your path, when everybody and everything around you points the other direction. Makes one doubt… I decided to take it on as part of the proces. As an inspiration to my own coaching towards others. And that changed a lot. Since ‘happiness’ doesn’t mean ‘easy’…
I promised myself to go for it. Also when things get though. I simply owe it to myself. I also want to make a statement towards this epidemic burnout break out. Why? Because I believe we absolutely can do things differently. And not only can… we MUST! And so you can too… What do you think? Time to shake things up and change things for the better? Let me know when you need a hand!
Where am I today?
I took a turn and walked my path. It wasn’t always easy. Change can be a real pain sometimes. But it was so rewarding! I started my own business, while I traveled around the world. Turned out this freedom truly made me happy and was what I needed. And that is something different for everyone. Was it all unicorns and rainbows? Hell no! Sometimes it’s truly hard. But exactly that is part of what makes it worthwhile and what makes someone happy. If things are simply easy, I garantee you, they won’t make you feel fulfilled.
In 2004 I graduated from the University in Leuven as a clinical psychologist. I didn’t feel I was a ‘real’ psychologist yet though and I was very intrigued by motivational psychology. When I look back today, that also turned out to be my path. Motivation. And it made me decide to study on and go for a european master in sport and exercise psychology. In 2006 I was allowed to call myself a sportpsychologist.
Group dynamics always triggered me and so the first five years of my carrier I worked for an organisation where I coached groups. I taught about teambuilding, open communication, relationships, etc. Afterwards I finally felt ready to be ‘a psychologist’ and so I worked the next five years in the addiction field in a center for mental healthcare. I still taught a bit as well. Simply because I liked it and I dare to say I was (I am) good at it. I helped people who worked or lived with people suffering from addiction to deal with it. Also here motivation turned out to be an important part of it.
In 2011 I started a 4 year therapy training. I chose contextual therapy, although before I always used to work with behavioral therapy. My guts told me to go for it. It brought me a lot. In my work and private and so four years later my name tag got an extra titel: ‘contextual therapist’.
Next to my job in the center for mental healthcare, I also worked in a private practice on a self employed base. Later I started my own private practice. Here I discovered I loved most of all to work with people who lost their way. People with a burnout or people who simply felt there should be more to life, but on the other hand had no clue how to get there. They didn’t even know where ‘threre’ was… I decided to make it my mission: help people find their own path again!
My way of working
It feels to me that mostly there is a heavy and negative something to psychology and therapy. Logical in a way I assume since it’s often about people who are struggling. But it’s also about very daily things. It’s also a very normal thing to be down or sad or in pain sometimes. Because believe it or not, pain and problems are a certainty in our lives. I don’t want to be pessimistic. The opposite actually. We need the downs and problems to experience the ups and solving the problems. And exactly that is what gives us a feeling of fulfillment and happiness.
So I found out a few concepts and subject keep coming back in conversations with people. I found out which ones are crucial and which ones we need to work with. It is truly important to not only have good conversation or an understanding of something, but you also must be able to implement that in your own life. Because knowing something is one thing. Doing it is a very different thing. I’m an expert in that since I know a lot being a psychologist, but I don’t always do the ‘right’ things automatically. I also need to work for it and it’s also frustrating every now and then.
So I created a program that is practical. You get a weekly workbook where you dive in by yourself. Obviously I’m always there to help you out when necessary. Every now and then (weekly or two weekly) we have a 1 on 1 conversation where we dive even deeper and where I help you see what needs to be seen or understood or practiced. It’s an intensive way of working together and on the other hand you are doing most of the work. You simply don’t have to walk the path by yourself. 12 weeks down the road, you’ll be able to walk on your own. You’ll have a compass that’ll lead you the way. Ready to go and create that compass together? Go for it!
Still questions? Let me know!