It’s important to see the things behind the things.
Robert Häusser

Seminars and workshops for self-discovery

You can use the seminars of the Practice for Psychotherapy, Brussels as a break from the daily treadmill.

They are an excellent opportunity for you to take stock and to obtain a new outlook, in the company of a competent advisor.
They are suitable for people who are confronted by a problem or a symptom, or have a question they cannot answer, and who find the idea of self-discovery in a group exciting, or who are simply curious.

These weekends are designed in a way that makes it easy for the participants to benefit from the presence and solidarity of the others. In a safe, discreet context it quickly becomes clear that no one is alone with their problems and questions, and that together we can enjoy some special experiences.

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

Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven
Certified Psychologist (MSc)

English (alternating with German; French as required)



Body-oriented Trauma Integration

Sometimes, exceptional circumstances and 'conditions' call for exceptional measures – especially in a context of professional counselling or psychotherapy.

If, in addressing personal difficulties and questions, you find some early answers and shed a little daylight on things, then you have taken an important step! It’s easier then to comprehend some of the things you think, do and feel, more meaningfully in the context of your life so far. You gain a greater awareness of yourself – and can express more clearly what it is you need to change.

Unfortunately, however, it is not always enough just to have a better – primarily intellectual – understanding of what’s making you feel heavy or disjointed.

Why is it so hard to make a straightforward decision to do things differently in life?! communicate more effectively? ... to have more friendly thoughts?! ... to feel brighter?! ... to live with more levity and be more relaxed?! ... simply to make good decisions?! - Why don't all the difficult things just resolve themselves through an effort of thought or attribution, through 'psycho-actionism' or by taking a suitable medication?

Underlying the difficulties, there are often damaging dynamics from the past, early irritations, experiences of being overwhelmed, or much older (even trans-generational) entanglements. Growing up, we obviously could not avoid these things, and they have "calibrated" us in our sensibility and in our sense of place in the world. They still have an impact today!

This often leaves traces – very subtly and, unfortunately unnoticed – and despite the frequently great efforts made by our figures of attachment acting in good faith. Feelings of boundaries being crossed, emotional absences, or shock-inducing situations and atmospheres: we feel these things first and foremost as corporeal experiences, which we lock into our bodies (unprocessed). These and other similarly impactful experiences always leave a mark on (young) human beings and their neuronal systems. Some of these things we simply cannot assimilate or heal by ourselves.

This is where special support and a modern, body-oriented kind of trauma expertise are needed!

It is possible that a person (or their neural system) was overwhelmed at an early age in contact with other people, and has not benefited from any regulating experiences since. Everyone (thankfully!) develops their own 'survival patterns', which help them make progress in their early life. In other words, something works pretty well for quite a long time!

Nevertheless, there’s often something lurking deep down which renews the confusion when a crisis occurs, prompting inner turmoil and strong emotions, or even numbness and a kind of paralysis in response to certain issues.

For years they attempt bravely to cope with everyday adult life. In the long run, existing like this can rob a person of all their vital energy! Eventually, some symptoms and patterns of behaviour attract adverse outside attention. Physical or psychological symptoms might become evident, with high stress-induced tension manifesting itself in strong emotions, complete exhaustion or rigidity.

As a person loses their healthy attitude to life, they find it increasingly difficult to sustain contacts with others. Often, their own needs weigh too heavily on their private relationships. Alternatively, they try to evade genuine contacts in the hope that they don’t draw attention to themselves and will avoid potential hurt. In the end, such a person feels alone (or even abandoned).

We all carry with us (longstanding) ingrained blockages and patterns of behaviour, thought and somatic feeling, which seem to kick in automatically and weigh us down. As a result, for some reason and in some situations, we fail to “regulate” ourselves; we feel removed from ourselves, sometimes strange or alienated. Experiences of joy and fun and taking life more lightly seem almost “exhausting”, and like a foreign country.

Such subtle, implicit dynamics can lead in the long-term to emotional, corporeal, nervous, mental or other human 'misalignments' and can have painful effects at very different levels. Then it becomes increasingly complicated to work out for ourselves the source of that “strong wind inside us”, which threatens to knock us down and unleash great feelings, or to paralyse and exhaust us.

What can we do?
Clearly we need a safe place where these (bodily) memories and unconscious blockages can be seen, heard (if possible, with help for their translation) and understood; a place where we can observe them in a friendly and playful manner, be with them and ultimately also appreciate and assimilate them.

Dorothée has developed this special trauma-therapy approach because her experience has shown that intensive, clarifying processes can be pursued more successfully over the course of a weekend, in an appropriately safe space, and with the solidarity of a fixed group.

Under her experienced guidance, people join together in the group to tap into their own subtle potential and find new ways of expressing themselves. They act together decisively for their own well-being and to find a new perspective – one that is perhaps more joyful and hopeful.

The systemic method, based on constellations, which draws deeply on, for example, perceptions (of the body) and subtle emotions, is a particularly good way of focusing on areas of difficulty, initially from the outside and from the safe distance of a “spectator”. Those difficult things may find expression in unique and instinctively clever ways, and in the process achieve their corporeal integration.

This all takes place in the presence of people who share and participate in the proceedings, and whose act of witnessing plays an important part in the process of dealing with their own issues. This is practical trauma work!

In a wonderfully clear and tangible way, we come to feel in our bodies and comprehend in spatial and mental terms the things that have the biggest impact inside us in specific situations. Intrinsic, subconscious and even trans-generational dynamics and blockages can finally reveal themselves and, with appropriate support and psychological explanations, be better understood. Here we take the subtle expressions of the body seriously, such as spontaneous sounds or facial expressions and gestures, as well as bodily reactions. With sensitive methods and the constant guidance of the trauma therapist, it is possible to achieve calm and stability at a deep, somatic and emotional level. This sheds more light on “sensitive” matters, while also reinforcing some essential aspects.

This can pave the way for a change in attitude, which soon begins to show itself in daily life, for instance as a palpable vitality and sense of place. Interactions with others become a little easier and we perceive ourselves as being more effective.

Each person regains their beauty – for others too ;-)

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Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven
Certified Psychologist (MSc)

(German or French if needed)



The Treasures we carry within
Constellations and systemic solutions for loving and living

As women, we’ve long-since learned to assert ourselves – and to do so in our own particular style. We organise the world, we work hard, we do what we can to succeed in life.
We know that keeping contact with other people is not always easy – whether as a partner or a single woman, as a sister, friend or colleague, or as a mother or daughter(-in-law). Accommodating all the widely varying demands while remaining fair, both to ourselves and to others, requires strength and a lot of clear thinking. We recognise that our daily lives sometimes overwhelm us, and we run the risk of losing touch with ourselves.

High time for a get-together among women!
Over the course of a weekend we will find the space for personal stories and urgent questions, for intimate wishes and for strong opinions about life in general. We will shine a spotlight on the richness of being a woman, as well as on its limitations.
We’ll talk about love, about our stomachs and about our wise heads. We'll find out where the blockages are, where we keep getting tied up in knots, and where we risk betraying ourselves.
In a pleasant and protected space surrounded by nature, the host provides impulses to help you better examine the image of yourself as a woman.

Almost certainly, as we review the “legacies” passed down to us from our great/grand/mothers, you’ll ask yourself: What have they given me? What is good, and what do I think suits me? What ballast do I want to off-load? Where am I determined to do things differently?
Our time together should develop in an organic way. During the weekend, we place no value on perfection or high efficiency. Above all, we welcome your female intuition, humour, improvisation and individual forms of expression. There is scope, too, for a certain slowness. You can stop and consider things, breathe deeply, make contact with yourself and with the other women in the group.
Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven will guide you through the seminar, using suitable approaches and psychological reflection. She provides careful support for the process of self-discovery and for the interactions between the women.

Above all, the weekend will involve practical applications of a systemic, holistic way of thinking. This includes some physical exercises (taken, for example, from yoga, shiatsu and trance) as well as natural and creative solutions. In systemic constellations, with the collaborative support of the other women, you can confront specific issues and try out solutions, shaping them to fit the context of your own life.

As a group, we’ll consider some purposeful – perhaps constructive and conciliatory – next steps, and launch ourselves on that course in a brave and “womanly” way ;-)

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Workshop for couples, singles, and everyone in between

A workshop on the theme of love? When better than close to the end of the year?

You are welcome to attend alone or as a couple. You can join us if you are currently a contented couple, or if you are an unhappy couple with problems. But also, if you are single and perhaps hope to enjoy life as part of a “real” relationship in the future. Or indeed if, for the moment at least, you don’t know what to think about “love”.

Love may be a universal phenomenon, but in relationships the rules of the game are formulated and put into practice using different “languages”, in line with differing family and/or cultural backgrounds.

Early attachment and bonding experiences and longstanding loyalties are still important to us today, in moments when adversity seems to threaten us.

It’s no surprise that we sometimes need some assistance to interpret things, and some encouragement to help us find our way, assume responsibilities and come to understand ourselves better, either in togetherness, or in and of ourselves!
Various constellation formats, based on systemic approaches, are a great way of shedding light on the entanglements that can affect our romantic relationships.

In this seminar, using the constellation method, you can test new perspectives and different approaches.

First of all, follow the invitation to take a closer look:
• at the things that touch you deep down inside, at the beautiful and beneficent things love holds.
• at old “alarm buttons” that can be pressed as if by magic.
• at fears and needs that rise up at times of crisis.
• at attraction and intimacy, but also at coldness and distance.
• and at completely different human (im)possibilities, which everyone is capable of.

Over the course of this weekend you will get to know people – in a positive way – who have also experienced highs and lows in their relationships, and who are willing to devote themselves intensively to this vitally important topic for two days.

You will spend time with women and men:
• who perhaps want to experience a new form of relationship and are prepared to explore
new ground.
• who are curious to learn more about how to be in a relationship.
• who want to look more closely at their beloved, or at their own “way of loving”.
• who are keen either to feel closer, or to leave some distance for themselves.
• who want to clear something up that they have been unable to resolve, either through
discussion or through solitary reflexion.
• who want to reorganise their lives and dismantle barriers to their harmonious coexistence.
• who are missing a brave look or a warm invitation.

Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven accompanies the participants attentively as they address these difficult aspects of how they shape their relationships – difficulties that, it’s highly likely, can be resolved, step-by-step. She is also ready with a helping hand and mindful advice, should you come up against anything irresolvable, or if you meet your own boundaries.

You will go home enriched with self-discovery and with new ideas for a positive next step in your daily romantic life.

That’s something St Valentine himself would surely appreciate ;-)

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Dorothée Janssens de Bisthoven
Certified Psychologist (MSc)

(German or French if needed)



Please note
Participation is only possible if you remain for the entirety of the seminar.
None of the seminars can be a substitute for regular psychotherapeutic treatment, but they are an excellent addition to such treatment, or as an occasional, deeper form of self-exploration.
Please be aware that with your participation you declare your commitment to confidentiality with respect to the personal data and information of other participants.>

Participation fees are currently set at €210 in Belgium (as of March 2019).
You can register with a simple email, up to 10 days before the start of the seminar, including your own contact details.
You will receive a prompt response, confirming if there is a place free for you.
Your place will only be guaranteed after you have transferred the participation fee to the account of the Practice for Psychotherapy, Brussels (citing the seminar title, venue name, and your own name).

Unless otherwise arranged (see the flyer, as PDF or postal delivery), you may cancel your participation by email, up to 21 days before the start of the seminar. Your will receive a refund of the fee, minus an administration fee of € 40.
If you have to cancel later than this, the transferred fees will not be refunded.
In the event that a seminar is cancelled at short notice by the organiser for crucial reasons, you will not have a claim to compensation for additional costs incurred up to that point (e.g. hotel reservations). In this case you will receive a refund of the participation fee paid in full, as far as possible without delay. Alternatively, if you so wish, you can change to a different seminar date.

Further information
Shortly before the start of the event you will receive an email regarding your preparations for the seminar.
The different flyers are displayed at various locations, or they can be sent to you upon request.

A confirmation of participation can be issued for all the seminars after their completion (e.g. certifying practical experience for trainee systemic therapists).
Participating in the seminar can additionally be used as a means of expanding your own competences for leading and supporting groups.

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It’s important to see the things behind the things. (…) What’s essential should be made visible, and the significance of the accidental should be recognised as a signpost of the subconscious. We should find forms that support and enlighten the content.
To see is to recognise. Conscious seeing mobilises creativity; it is one of the foundations of inspiration. The experience of seeing is phenomenological.
Robert Häusser
Photographer from Mannheim,

Systemic ideas and approaches underpin the seminars. If necessary, additional methods can be used, such as hypnotherapy or body therapy.
Externalising problems with the help of representatives (systemic ‘constellations’) has proved to be a highly practical, basic method for groups. Various forms of this are deployed in all the workshops.

The posing of significant questions and explanation of psychological connections make it possible to encourage a different self-perception and positioning.
Individually adapted methods make it easier for participants to take a more distanced view of themselves, and to recognise the complexities of their own thought processes.
Using words and pictures, solutions are suggested which address the participants’ problems and desires.

You can expect some profound experiences and positive results.
Following a seminar, the participants return to their daily lives enriched and moved in a positive sense.

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