The ideal hosts are sometimes spendthrifts,
more often hedonists, and always philanthropists.
They are the sun-kissed islands in the cold and stormy ocean (...).
Max Frisch


The services of the Practice for Psychotherapy, Brussels involve activities to support clients’ individual needs and objectives.

The psychologist Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven works primarily in German, her mother tongue, and she also offers consultations in English or French, for example for couples and families of mixed nationality.

Activities at the practice entail collaboration with confidentiality and on equal terms.
The steps taken towards a predefined goal are discussed in detail, and may, of course, be called into question.
Clients assess the meaningfulness of the consultations for themselves; they set their own rhythm and duration for the cooperation.

Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven - Certified psychologist (MSc) • Rue de la Tourelle 23 • 1040 Bruxelles (0)493 14 21 81


In the course of their lives, everyone reaches a point where they lose sight of the way forward. There don’t seem to be any "correct" decisions or good solutions. Questions, doubts or vexation get the better of them, and they feel overwhelmed and alone.

It is then that they can benefit from professional psychological help. The important thing is to find a person who they feel understands them and their problems, someone who looks on from a “neutral ground”, who poses relevant questions and who supports them in finding solutions that are both effective and appropriate to the individual.

In systemic therapy, the individual takes centre stage, along with their story and their problems, and is observed within the relational structures of their environment and their life history. A person’s subconscious harbours a huge but dormant potential of competences and healing power. To let that potential develop requires special channels of access and a supportive pattern of relationships. The systemic approach invites participants to optimise the way they reflect on themselves, on their relationships and on “the world”.
The expert input consists of asking the questions and introducing methods that enable the client, consciously, to take a new perspective and attitude, and thereby find their own solutions to problems.
Systemic therapy can take place in different settings:
individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy and group therapy.

You arrange your first appointment by telephone or email.
In our first talk, we discuss the aims of the cooperation. You will get to know the therapist and her style of working, and together you can assess if there’s a “good chemistry”.

The duration of the psychotherapy differs from person to person. Often, a distinct positive change or stabilisation can be seen after just a few appointments. Sometimes, it makes sense to pursue regular sessions over a longer time period.

At the beginning, it is a good idea to book one appointment a week. You can take a break in the psychotherapy, or end it at any time. In this case, experience has shown that it is useful to arrange a closing and stock-taking session, in order to discuss other recommendations or more suitable options.

Back to overview!

Soul of man, how much like water you are!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Traumatisation does not only result from experiences of disaster or violence. Even “normal” occurrences in life, such as a separation or the death of a loved one, moving home, the birth of a child, verbal humiliation, physical pain or bad news, can also be traumatic experiences.
Sometimes, even harmless-seeming life events (a friend moving away, getting a new boss, a theft) can trigger old, intergenerational trauma patterns – suddenly and incomprehensibly, you feel unduly weakened, strongly emotional, chastised, confused.

You feel yourself generally overstretched, physically, mentally or both; you find it hard to relativise things that occur; and you don’t know how to find clarity in the situation.

Traumas are experiences that destroy existing realities, expectations and dreams, and which can pull the ground out from beneath your feet. After that, your own approaches and ways of dealing with things seem ineffective.
It might be that images and memories flood your mind and take up a lot of space, that you find it difficult to sleep and cope with everyday situations, and that you move through the world in a state of great irritability.
You might also feel more guarded and thin-skinned than ever before, avoiding interactions with people, and that you feel misunderstood, no longer comfortable with yourself or with others. Perhaps you become highly sensitive and touchy, when faced by external stimuli and demands.
If you lose your grip and feel overly challenged, this may lead you to distract yourself by different means, to close yourself off more and more, to become emotionally numb or paralysed. Maybe you exhaust yourself fighting to get your life back on the rails of “normality”, to get things back to how they were before and, as far as possible, to avoid painful things and start looking forwards as soon as possible.

In the long term, therapeutic treatment of the stress caused by traumas is all about achieving a more relaxed way of looking at an occurrence you experienced as extremely threatening (and a more relaxed way of looking at yourself), and to allocate that occurrence an appropriate place in your personal biography.

Firstly, in a safe environment, you work with the therapist to develop the best possible way for you to deal with excessive demands and feelings of powerlessness. The main objective is to achieve emotional, mental and physical stabilisation and reassurance. With sensitive, supportive and trauma-specific psychological support it becomes easier for the affected person to observe intangible things and organise them together with the therapist, at the right moment and from a “safe distance”.
Your own vulnerability when faced with certain issues might be more easy to understand when seen against the backdrop of your family history, and in a cultural and historical context.
Physical aspects are also explicitly included, since it can be assumed that the substance of the trauma is stored as memories in the neural system, and that, being internalised in this way, they can lead in the long term to somatic symptoms (e.g. tensions and pain) or other psychological complaints. In particular, the therapy seeks to ensure that personal boundaries are consciously observed, understood and then respected. A language can be found for the experiences, using individually appropriate forms of expression (e.g. talking, writing, painting, movement, breathing, stillness).

Traumas that have been dealt with and integrated, are experiences that you can talk about later (if necessary), because you have integrated them into the narrative of your life and into your whole organism in such a way that you can now imagine continuing to live with them (in a relatively relaxed manner).

Back to overview!

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.
Albert Einstein