Psychologist & Coach Steve Savels
Why do I do what I do?
It was 2008. I was working as an expat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, living in a spacious apartment on the 7th floor, with a stunning view on the Congo river on one side, overlooking downtown Kinshasa on the other. In my job, I was respected by local civil servants as an international expert on Human Resources. I was earning more than ever before, had a driver and a fulltime cleaner at my disposal. On evenings and weekends, I dove into the bustling nightlife of Kinshasa with my expat friends.
Yet, I was desperate. I had thought that this expat adventure would give new meaning to my life, but I never felt so stuck and lonely. Really, it had been a flight. Away from a dysfunctional relationship, a career that no longer interested me.
Under the African sun, I started realising that I couldn’t run away from myself. Although I kept trying, by working hard and partying harder.
When the project that I was working for was cancelled, I found myself abruptly back in dark and rainy Brussels in January 2009. It was at this low point that I decided to get help. My coach confronted me with the things I’d rather not see of myself – in a friendly but decisive way – and gradually a whole new direction started to unfold.
I would leave my secure job and become self-employed, doing what I find truly meaningful: accompanying people on their journey of growth and self-development.
I have been coaching and supporting people for almost 20 years. First from an HR-role, and as of 2010 as a self-employed psychologist, coach and mindfulness trainer. I have worked as an expat in Africa myself, and have been working with expats for years in my HR career, and in my coaching practice.
I myself am very curious and passionate about how the human mind works. My own personal development, both on an intellectual and broader human level is very important to me. I’m constantly keeping myself up-to-date about the developments in my field (psychology, mindfulness, coaching, …). I also find inspiration in more philosophical literature, history, art and culture.
I love the good life: travelling, gastronomy, wine, classical music and jazz, … Thanks to a great coach, I transformed from a couch potato into a very physically active person; I go running and work out at the gym very regularly. And I am now happily married – with the same partner I ran away from in 2008.
Facts & Figures
- Belgian, born in 1975
- Masters Degree in Work & Organisational Psychology (University of Ghent, 1998)
- Registered with the Belgian Commission of Psychologists under number 751109764
- Certified professional coach by Coaching & Co (now: Het Ontwikkelingsinstituut)
- Certified mindfulness trainer (I AM – Institute for Attention and Mindfulness)
- Trained in ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at ACT Academie / Allegre
- Mindfulness studies and trainings with amongst others Christopher Germer (Harvard Medical School), John Peacock (Oxford Mindfulness Centre), Christine Brähler (University of Glasgow), Kristin Neff (University of Texas), Christina Feldman (Oxford Gaia House)
- Member of Moment vzw – Belgian professional association of people working with mindfulness
- Co-Founder and Trainer at Brussels Mindfulness
- Full CV on LinkedIn