Who is Peter Adriaenssens?
Peter Adriaenssens studied child and youth psychiatry. He founded the Vertrouwenscentrum Kindermishandeling (centre for child protection) which specialises in trauma, domestic violence and trauma therapy, in Leuven, where he served as director. Besides being a systemic and family therapist, he became a qualified trainer at Context, was appointed head of the child psychiatry ward at UZ Leuven and later became head of residential care for young teenagers.
Because of his specific expertise, Peter Adriaenssens was asked to help in some notorious cases of child kidnapping and abuse. In 2010, the Adriaenssens Commission investigated sexual abuse among the clergy.
Among other things, he was awarded the Flemish Community Prize for his social commitment. In 2016, this was followed by the Order of Merit from the Flemish Community for services to Flanders. Since 2004, he has also been involved in the work of sister Jeanne Devos and her National Domestic Workers Movement in India, which fights exploitation and child labour. Peter also played an important role in the foundation of the Rode Neuzen (Red Nose) fund. He continues to battle against inequality as chairman of the Child Poverty fund in the King Baudouin Foundation.
Em. Prof. dr. Peter Adriaenssens, child and youth psychiatrist, adopted a unique and accessible approach to make existing knowledge more tangible. With a lot of compassion and courage, he addressed sensitive issues in his lecture on trauma. This made it possible to see and understand the impact of trauma and violence, and the consequences at mental, physical and emotional level. He did not shy away from subjects such as despair, pain, emptiness, loneliness and parenthood. Peter was also very honest when he answered the many questions from the audience. He offered an insight into roles and patterns that can traumatise victims of violence for many years.
His insight into today's complex task of parenting was very useful.