Bachelor in Social Work (sociocultural work), Master in Clinical Psychology, Postgraduate Behavior Therapist
Current job title:
Director Knowledge Center for experts in Eating Disorders and weight problems
As a practitionner (psychotherapist eating disorder unit Tienen), and with lot of enthusiasm, I'm working since 20 years in the field of prevention of eating disorders. Studying this research for years, motivated me to switch from problemoriented prevention programs to positive programs strenghtening what works protective to mental health problems : Ameliorating selfimage, media literacy, appearance and bodysatisfaction, coping and peercontact.
In 1998, with this new approach, Mental Health Europe gave me a 'best practice' award.
Since that time, I got the opportunity to develop a train-the-trainer. Up to now, I teached approximately 5000 Belgian schoolteachers how to coach appearance dissatisfaction in secundary schoolcontext ( youngsters of 12-16 years)
Since 2000, simultaniously, I work as expert-advisor for the ministre of healthcare regarding prevention of eating disorders, and organisation of healthcare. Actions regarding impact of media, fashion industry, marketing, topsport are important and actual themes in Belgian policy
Reason for joining:
Working on this theme for years felt bit isolated in a context where we need an international taskforce to change ideas and practices, highten knowledge and built out new fresh ideas. I'd like to help this project and this topic, where I can. Although theoretical research is not my real expertise, I think I can contribute to workgroup 5 in which I would aim to translate the research into practice and as such influence policy and practice.
Current research interest in relation to the COST Action:
How to communicate in society healthy behaviour without doing harm for youngsters and children, and strengthening what works protective to mental health problems : Ameliorating self-image, media literacy, appearance and body satisfaction, coping and peer contact.
COST Actions Outcomes:
Link to institution: www.eetexpert.be