Welcome to Zarja!

In life things do not always go the way you expected. You may have the feeling that you are stuck with your problems, your questions, your feelings of pain and loss. It is then not always easy to find a way out and even the help of friends and family might not be enough. In that case, it can be useful to contact a psychologist. This website explains a bit more about how that works. Maybe it helps you to make the step.

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break."
(Macbeth, Shakespeare)

Dutch-speaking people can click below to proceed in Dutch.

For who?

Many people visit a psychologist at a difficult moment in their life. Some are referred by their GP or psychiatrist. Others get in touch on their own initiative. Individual therapy is the most common therapy form used, but this is certainly not the only one available. Couples often contact a psychologist for relation therapy when they have concerns about their relation. And sometimes it is better to involve the complete family, for instance when family dynamics are cumbersome or when a family needs to cope with a difficult situation or event.

What to expect?

I listen to your story and together we search for a way to continue with your life. Since this is a very personal journey it may take a few sessions to get the first feeling of progress. I am not able to offer you a one-size-fits-all solution because everyone is unique. Instead, I can think with you about a way to take steps and continue with renewed hope.

During the initial session we will try to capture what you would like to change from your own background. We will also discuss your expectations from therapy. After this session you can choose to start therapy. For relation- or family therapy, all persons involved should be present during the intake session. After this first session the decision to continue is made together. More information about couples therapy can be found here.

About Zarja and about myself

“Zarja” is Russian for dawn. This fits the process of psychotherapy to some extent. This often starts with a difficult “dark” situation and gradually evolves into hope. This hope may make it possible to continue with your life.

My name is Erika Van Baelen. I studied Clinical and Health Psychology later in life, after a long and intense career in industry. I offer psychotherapy for adults, couples and families, in cases of depression, burn-out, autism spectrum disorder, AD/HD or ADD, etc. I got a Postgraduate degree on Autism from the UCLL and a Postgraduate degree on Relation-, Family- and Systems-psychotherapy at the IPRR. Besides my work as a clinical psychologist, I am also a consultant for companies. I am a member of the Belgian Federation of Psychologists, the Flemish Society of Clinical Psychologists, the Belgian Federation of Relation-, Family- and Systems-psychotherapists, EFT Belgium. I am also a volunteer for the Circle of Psychologists Leuven.

I offer therapy mainly for couples when they have concerns about their relation or about their family.

My education as a psychologist:

  • - Master in Clinical and Health Psychology - KULeuven (2018)
  • - Postgraduate Autism and Normal Intelligence - UCLL (2019)
  • - Postgraduate Relation-, Family- and Systems-Psychotherapy - IPRR/Thomas More (2022)
  • - Emotion Focused Therapy for Individuals Level II (2023)
  • - Emotion Focused Family Therapy - 3 day workshop with Katherine Henderson & Shari Mayman (Canada) (2021)
  • - Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (Sue Johnson model) - Externship (2021) and Core Skills training (2022)
  • - Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (Greenberg & Goldman model) - ISEFT Certification Level A (2022)
  • - and several smaller trainings, workshops and masterclasses.

During therapy, I like to work with systemic interventions and emotion-focused therapy, for instance EFT and EFFT - depending of what suits you best.

The first step of contacting a psychologist might be hard and requires courage. In case of questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.