Being on the road to
change together

Being on the road to change and healing together can be a powerful journey. Whether it involves personal growth, overcoming challenges, or finding healing, the support and connection with others play a crucial role. Sharing experiences, offering support and working together for growth can create a deep connection. I hope I can assist you on your path to change or healing.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
― Carl R. Rogers

Portretfoto vande psycholoog Yves in een stoel bezig met een patient
Who am I?

Clinical psychologist- Psychotherapist

My name is Yves Coene (born in 1970), a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, father of 3 sons, and owner of my therapy dog ‘Rango’. I am a creative problem solver, inspirer, scientist, daredevil, caregiver, motivator, and observer—with both feet firmly on the ground.

For two decades, I served as a military psychologist-psychotherapist at the Center for Mental Health (CGG) of the Military Hospital in Neder-Over-Heembeek. Today, I dedicate my full time to working as a psychologist in my private practice.

My psychotherapeutic approach is client-centered-experiential. However, within my practice, I am open to incorporating elements of alternative approaches that promote the recovery process in my clients. 

Mutual respect, connection, authenticity, trust, and belief in growth are my core values in my work as a psychologist.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.”
― Carl R. Rogers


Focus areas

Psychotherapy for mental health

therapeut bezig met een patient

One Belgian in four is likely to experience mental health problems at some point in their life. Despite the prevalence of these issues, our society maintains a significant taboo around discussing mental health. Nearly 60% of individuals facing mental health problems choose to suffer in silence, avoiding seeking help due to feelings of shame, the fear of burdening others, or various other reasons. However, these problems deserve care and attention.

The first step involves discussing your mental health problems with someone close to you. While undoubtedly challenging, it is a crucial and essential one. Your family, friends, trusted individuals at school, work, associations, or your family doctor can provide more support than you may realize!

Although your personal network is valuable, there are times when seeking professional help becomes necessary. It's not always easy to navigate quickly and access suitable care. Practical and financial considerations can act as barriers, hindering individuals from taking the crucial step towards mental health care or psychotherapy.

While psychotherapy is a well-known term, numerous misconceptions persist about it. Even people who have gone through psychotherapy usually describe their experience in different ways, influenced by the specific nature of the issues they sought help for. It is not uncommon for them to define therapy from the personalized challenges they addressed.

One person may say, 'Therapy relieved me of my fears,' while another states, 'In therapy, my wife and I discussed various misunderstandings, allowing us to move forward with much less friction.' Yet another individual might express, 'Therapy liberated me from past experiences where I felt stuck.' Each person provides their unique definition of psychotherapy based on their personal experiences. This diversity highlights that psychotherapy can take on many forms, perhaps as numerous as the individuals who engage in it.

Therapists themselves contribute to this complexity. They use various descriptions, influenced by the therapeutic approaches they were trained in and the emphasis they place on specific aspects.

Some examples:

  • therapy is the initiation of change
  • therapy is aimed at gaining insight
  • the aim of therapy is to teach new behavior
  • therapy is: 'Finding a healthy path for life energy'
  • in therapy people must find and become themselves
  • therapy comes down to unlearning negative habits

For those unfamiliar with psychotherapy, it can be challenging to grasp the meaning of psychotherapy from the diverse descriptions provided. Understanding what it truly means to undergo therapy becomes a complex task. More information about the various forms of psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, in my opinion, is first and foremost about "finding yourself" and initiating change.

Client-centered psychotherapy, from my perspective, starts from the unique experience of each client. We do not immediately focus blindly at the causes of the problems, but during each session, we look together at what is going on inside you. How do you experience the problems you are experiencing? Where do you want to go? What hinders you from being who you are and doing what you want to do?

More information about client-centered psychotherapy

Personality problems/personality disorder

Een man met lelijke gezichten op de achtergrond als indicatie voor 'persoonlijkheidsproblemen'

Every person possesses certain traits or personality characteristics—more or less fixed patterns in behavior, thinking, and feeling. Occasional problems are a normal part of life, but when one can reasonably navigate challenging situations and adapt in social settings, there's generally little cause for concern. A personality problem or disorder is diagnosed when a persistently present, inflexible pattern in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impairs functioning.

Individuals with personality problems often struggle with self-interaction and relationships over an extended period. They may be perceived by those close to them as difficult, rigid, and stubborn, leading to strained intimate relationships, friendships, or family ties. People with personality disorders may engage in frequent arguments, experience emotions intensely and for prolonged durations, and display impulsive or destructive behaviors toward themselves or others. Some may develop a tendency to distrust others or sacrifice their own well-being to avoid conflicts, resulting in stagnation in work, studies, relationships, or friendships.

With a personality disorder, specific traits are prominently manifested. For instance, extreme sensitivity to criticism, a severe fear of commitment or separation, impulsive actions, high dependence, perfectionism, or shyness.

The development of a personality disorder is influenced by heredity, predisposition, and environmental factors. Both your innate predisposition and learned behaviors from others play a role in how you manage feelings and emotions, influencing your responses to various situations.

Usually, a combination of biological, psychological, and sociological factors is at play. The interplay of hereditary vulnerability, existing personality traits, and negative experiences or influences from the environment can contribute to the development of a personality disorder.

Some people are vulnerable to developing a personality disorder. This is mainly due to hereditary predisposition, in combination with other circumstances such as:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • emotional abuse or neglect by parents
  • not becoming well attached to parents as a young child
  • overprotection by parents
  • growing up with parents who are not good educators
  • psychological problems in parents
  • loss of parents through death or divorce
  • being bullied

Impediments due to personality problems

Specifically, this may mean that your functioning is hindered by, for example:

  • strong fear of entering into relationships / fear of rejection
  • avoiding confrontations, not tackling and solving problems
  • extreme need for control and perfection
  • lack of confidence in own abilities / strong fear of doing things alone
  • minimal control over emotions / unpredictable behavior
  • strongly self-centered and self-interested / easily offended
  • extreme need to be in the spotlight / attention seeking
  • irresponsible and reckless behavior

Help with personality problems/personality disorder

I am happy to help you. Together, we'll address a personality problem or its characteristics. The psychotherapeutic process starts with a thorough personality assessment. In the actual psychotherapy, we'll work on improving your skills in handling challenging situations, thoughts, emotions, and social interactions.

Learning to live with a personality problem involves understanding your pitfalls, their origins, and transforming these patterns into more adaptive ones, which will be our focus.

Een vrouw angstig in een droom als afbeelding voor 'Psychotrauma'

Trauma Therapy

Processing (working through) past or present traumatic events is a challenging (sometimes overwhelming) but essential process. Trauma therapy can provide valuable support in dealing with emotional scars and restoring a sense of security. In therapy, you are guided to understand and process the emotions and thoughts associated with the trauma.

Facing and dealing with painful experiences requires a great deal of courage. It's important to know that feeling overwhelmed during this process is normal, and you don't have to go through it alone.

The road to recovery from trauma involves multiple stages and challenges. Be patient with yourself and allow time for healing. Seeking professional help is highly recommended, but finding a therapist with whom you can build a safe, trusting relationship is crucial for exploring these extremely vulnerable events. The journey to recovery takes time and dedication; however, it is possible to regain a sense of security and stability.

Relationship Therapy

Are you feeling that your relationship is out of balance? Be mindful of the pitfalls and dynamics that often contribute to relationship problems:

  • Blame and accusations: Feelings of blame and accusations can strain a relationship. In couples therapy, we create an environment where both partners can express themselves freely without fear of judgment.
  • Communication problems: A lack of effective communication is a common factor in relationship issues. Relationship therapy can assist in improving communication styles and transforming interactions.
  • Lack of trust: Restoring trust, especially after events like infidelity, requires patience and dedication.
  • Unbalanced dynamics: Imbalances may arise in various aspects of a relationship, such as intimacy, finances, norms, values, or child-rearing. Rebuilding healthy dynamics is essential for ongoing growth. The ultimate goal is aligning each other's needs and expectations.

Relationship therapy provides a safe space for both partners to express feelings and concerns. It allows you to work on repairing the relationship and understanding what is necessary to move forward together—or whether a different path is needed. It's important to acknowledge that successful therapy doesn't always lead to a new beginning for the relationship; it can also be a dignified and respectful farewell.

Man en vrouw die een hand vastnemen over een gebroken brug over een rivier om 'relatietherapie' aan te duiden
Illustratie van man zittend op de grond tussen 2 hoge muren als indicatie voor 'burnout'

Burn-out and stress coaching

Burnout and stress can significantly impact your work and relationships. Stress coaching is designed to assist you in exploring and acknowledging your coping mechanisms, enabling the development of new strategies to handle problems, set boundaries, and cultivate healthier (work) relationships.

Key aspects addressed during stress coaching often include:

  1. Setting Boundaries: Learn to define and maintain boundaries, both at work and in personal relationships, by communicating what you can and cannot do in a healthy manner.
  2. Communication Skills: Improve communication skills at work and in personal relationships. Open, respectful communication fosters healthy relationships and reduces stress.
  3. Stress Management Techniques: Develop stress management skills through techniques such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, regular exercise, and taking time for relaxation.
  4. Recovery at Work: Discuss potential adjustments with your employer to facilitate your return after burnout. This may involve flexible work hours, a reduced workload, or a gradual return to your duties.
  5. Relationship Recovery: Reflect on how burnout has affected your relationships. Communication and understanding are crucial. Couples therapy might be an option to address relationship recovery, especially if burnout has impacted your personal relationships.
  6. Self-Care: Prioritize self-care—physically and mentally. This includes adequate rest, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and engaging in activities that bring relaxation and joy.

If you're considering professional help, a stress coach or psychotherapist can guide you through these recovery steps by translating the identified work points into concrete actions. Read more about burnout.


My courses and training

Master in social and military sciences (KMS 1992)
Master in clinical psychology (VUB 1996)
Postgraduate degree in client-centred psychotherapy (KUL 2003)
Postgraduate training in adult psychodiagnostics (VUB 2001)
Postgraduate training in forensic psychology and psychiatry (UA 2003)

Focus on the client's unique experience

My perspective revolves around your personal experience. Together, we explore how you experience your challenges, what you want to achieve and what holds you back. Your inner experience is central to my approach, which is essential for understanding and adjusting your life experience.

Get a quick initial interview

I understand how important it can be to get to someone quickly with your story. I am ready to receive you quickly. Within 48 hours, we can start working together on your recovery. We can already schedule an initial consultation within that timeframe.

“What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.” ― Carl R. Rogers

Get in contact

Frequently asked questions answered

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me

What is the difference between a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and psychotherapist?

A clinical psychologist possesses a university education but is not a physician. The clinical psychologist endeavors to investigate, explain, and treat human functioning, including psychotherapy, using various methods, techniques, and approaches. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication, and reimbursement for psychological consultations is partial through mutual insurance.

A psychiatrist, on the other hand, has a medical background, having studied medicine and subsequently specializing in psychiatry. As a doctor, a psychiatrist is authorized to prescribe medication, and psychiatric consultations are reimbursed by the NIHDI.

In this context, a psychotherapist can be integrated as well. Both psychologists and psychiatrists can also serve as psychotherapists through specialization. A psychotherapist addresses psychological suffering through conversation, and the training for psychologists or psychiatrists seeking to become psychotherapists is provided by accredited training centers, typically spanning around three years.

Since 1 September 2016, psychotherapy has also been regulated by law, it is considered a specialisation (form of treatment),
reserved for doctors, clinical remedial educationalists and clinical psychologists.

How does an appointment with a psychologist-psychotherapist proceed?

The request for help may originate from yourself, your close associates, or other healthcare providers such as a general practitioner or physiotherapist. Alternatively, you can directly contact a psychologist to schedule an appointment. While some individuals choose to initially consult with their family doctor to discuss complaints and problems, this is a helpful option but not mandatory.

In an initial introductory or orientative interview (commonly referred to as an "intake interview"), the psychologist will explore the symptoms you are experiencing. Based on the information gathered during this conversation, the most suitable form of assistance will be collaboratively considered with you. Factors such as the duration of treatment, whether it will be short or long term, and whether the psychologist can initiate the treatment or if a referral to another form of assistance is necessary, will be discussed.

How do I choose a (good) psychotherapist that suits me?

Because each person is unique, the question isn't about what makes a good psychotherapist, but rather, what makes a good therapist for you? This hinges on various factors, including the therapy approach, your specific concerns or themes, accessibility, the therapist's gender and age, their personality, and the dynamics of your interaction.

Individuals may find benefit in a highly rational approach, while others may respond better to a more emotional one.
There's no right or wrong; it all depends on your personality and needs.

Most crucially, a connection between you and the psychotherapist is vital. Numerous studies emphasize that the primary factor influencing the success of counseling is the relationship between you and the therapist. This factor surpasses the importance of the therapist's training, the chosen therapy type, or the specific problem you are dealing with. To ensure a successful therapeutic process, it's essential that you feel comfortable and secure. An obligation-free introductory consultation allows you to explore whether this connection might exist. Feel free to ask me anything about it. If the positive feeling isn't there, no problem – you're not committed to anything.

As of September 1, 2016, the provision of 'psychotherapy' is regulated and only caregivers meeting the psychotherapy requirements are authorized to practice it.

Here you will find all the necessary information about licensed psychotherapists

What does a consultation with a psychologist-psychotherapist cost?

For individual consultations lasting 45 minutes, the fee is 80 euros.
For relationship/couple consultations and systemic therapy lasting 50 minutes, the fee is 95 euros.

Many health insurance companies (mutualiteiten) offer partial reimbursement for psychological treatments. It's advisable to check in advance with your health insurance to understand the possibilities. Refer to here for an overview. Refer to here for an overview.

As a certified psychologist, I meet the requirements specified by mutual insurance companies. Feel free to inquire for more information.
Cancellation or rescheduling of appointments is free of charge up to 24 hours before the scheduled consultation.
If a cancellation or rescheduling occurs within 24 hours before the consultation, or if you fail to attend, the full consultation fee will be charged.

Which complaints can I help you with?

Below is a brief overview of the problems with which people usually seek help from a psychologist:

• Emotional Problems: Depression, anxiety, compulsive thoughts, etc.
• Adjustment Problems: Work-related issues, burnout, midlife problems, etc.
• Coping Difficulties: Challenges after a relationship breakup, illness, death, or drastic events/psychotrauma (e.g., robbery, accident, assault), and during the illness process.
• Personality Problems: Issues such as inferiority, perfectionism, fear, insecurity, aggression, lack of assertiveness, guilt, etc.
• Family and Relationship Difficulties: Problems within relationships, challenges in raising children, etc.
• Psychosomatic Complaints: Physical manifestations like migraines, stress, and physical tension complaints.
• General Life Questions: Seeking support for job coaching, guidance in changing jobs, and addressing doubts about life choices.

Who can come to me, how are the conversations and what language is possible?

Adults & adolescents from 14 years old. 

Counseling can take place in Dutch, French or English.

Conversations are preferably face-to-face, however video consultation/chat/email are possible.

Urgent need for an anonymous conversation?

Tele-Onthaal is a telephone help service available 24/7 to assist you during challenging times. You can speak with one of the expert volunteers by calling 106. Additionally, you can chat with volunteers on Wednesdays and Sundays from 3 to 11 p.m., and on other days from 6 to 11 p.m.

Awel, formerly known as the Children and Youth Phone, Awel is a low-threshold helpline for young people. They are available every day except Sundays and holidays. You can reach them at 102 from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting as early as 2 p.m. Chat support is available from 5 to 10 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting as early as 4 p.m.

Werkgroep Verder: Relatives who have been or are confronted with suicide can find online support through Werkgroep Verder. The forum allows you to exchange experiences, ask questions, and discuss problems. (Suicide Line): If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or are concerned about someone close to you, you can visit The Suicide Line is free and anonymous, accessible 24/7 at 1813. The website offers chat support with knowledgeable volunteers every day from 5 p.m. to midnight, and email support is also available.

The Drugline: At The Drugline, you can seek assistance regarding alcohol, medication, drugs, or other addiction-related issues. Call 078 15 10 20 from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Chat support is available from Monday to Friday between 12 and 6 p.m.

Te Gek?: Te Gek? aims to destigmatize mental health problems by providing information and guiding individuals to the right resources for help. A wealth of information is available online to promote awareness and understanding of mental health issues.