Gerrit Loots, Ph.D.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel

Phone: + 32 2 6292459

Gerrit Loots is professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and visiting professor at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias del Compartamiento (IICC), Departamento de Psicología of the Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” at La Paz. He is the head of the VUB research group Interpersonal, Discursive and Narrative Studies (IDNS) The focus of this research group is on the study of psychological and educational phenomena from an interpersonal and socio-cultural perspective. The central research theme is the intersubjective construction and reconstruction of the self/subject within his/her interpersonal interaction processes. Those interpersonal or discursive processes are studied and investigated as sites for generating joint meaning that shapes the participants’ subjectivity, as well as expressions of the historical and socio-cultural discourses, within which participants are positioning themselves. The main fields of research, within which this central theme of the social construction of the self/subject is applied, are: (1) early parent-infant interaction and parenting; (2) psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents involved in situations of war, migration, poverty and social exclusion; (3) Counseling and psychotherapeutic process research, mostly in postmodern family therapy.

Since 2009, he also is co-director of the interuniversity Centre for Children in Vulnerable situations (CCVS). This is a research cooperation among the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (research group Interpersonal, Discursive and Narrative Studies – IDNS-PE), Ghent University (Department of Orthopedagogics) and the University of Leuven (research group Education, Culture, and Society). The main goal of CCVS is to conduct practice-based, participatory action and collaborative research to enhance the psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents, who live in vulnerable situations due to war (child soldiers, war-affected children, refugee children) and/or social-economical risk factors (poverty, migration and social exclusion). Currently, CCVS conducts research in different countries, such as Bolivia, Colombia, Congo, Palestine, Uganda and Uruguay.

Finally, Gerrit Loots has been practicing systemic therapy since the 80’s in different counseling and therapeutic settings. At the moment, he is working from a narrative/collaborative perspective in the psychotherapeutic centre in Belgium, and he also is a guest trainer at different training institutes in family therapy.