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.

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

For who?

Many people visit a psychologist at difficult times in their lives. 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, in dialogue, we look 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 that to take steps and continue with renewed hope.

During an initial session a psychologist will try to capture what you would like to change and (s)he will provide you clarification on what you can expect 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 the intake meeting the decision to continue is made together.

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 I am currently following the 4-year program on relation- and family therapy 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 and a board member of the Circle of Psychologists Leuven.

My specialisations as a clinical psychologist are the following:

  • - depression and feelings of emptiness,
  • - burn-out,
  • - autism spectrum disorder (ASD, previously also known as “Asperger Syndrome”),
  • - AD/HD or ADD,
  • - coping with stress,
  • - interpersonal and communication issues,
  • - issues with self-esteem and assertiveness,
  • - emotion-focused couple therapy,
  • - family issues.

I offer coaching and therapy for:

  • - individuals
  • - couples
  • - families

My eduaction as a psychologist:

  • - Master in Clinical and Health Psychology - KULeuven
  • - Postgraduate Autism and Normal Intelligence - UCLL
  • - Postgraduate Relation, Family and System Therapy - IPRR & Thomas More (trainee)
  • - European Conference on Narrative Therapy and Community Work, Antwerp, 3-5 July 2019
  • - Certificate Course in Emotionally Focused Therapy with Sue Johnson: attachment based interventions for couples in crisis
  • - Emotion Focused Couples Therapy - 2 day workshop with Rhonda Goldman
  • - E-learning SP-Reflex Suicide Prevention

During therapy, I like to work with system therapeutical 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.