top of page



Psychologists are active in various sectors of our society. The field in which they are active is almost as broad as where people are active. After all, wherever people are, psychology can be meaningful.

In order to somewhat structure this complex fact, BFP divides its members into different sectors. These sectors are arranged on the basis of the settings/domains in which psychology is active.


Industrial and organizational psychology (I&O) is the field that deals with the organizational and human side of business and professional life in general, and with consumer behavior: the world of marketing and sales.

réunion d'affaires

What they do

As professionals, these psychologists continually build on the success of organizations by working from a long-term perspective to optimize the behavior and attitudes (including involvement & motivation) of employees. This can be done through:


  • Recruitment & selection                                       

  • Training & education                           

  • Coaching & consultancy

  • Change management & team building     

  • Evaluation & Feedback                         

  • Compensation & benefits

  • Social relations & legislation    

  • Functional analyses                                 

  • Test development and research


But also through various interventions around:

  • Well-being (ergonomics, satisfaction, stress, safety, violence, work-life balance, etc.).

  • Counterproductive behaviour (bullying at work, absenteeism & absenteeism, lack of discipline, etc.).

  • Diversity and the organizational structure, culture, processes and strategy.

Where they work

You often find I&O-Psychologists in personnel services ("HRM"), consultancies, training agencies (especially for "people skills"), selection agencies, temporary employment agencies, VDAB offices, outplacement centers, market research agencies, and so on. Occasionally, you will also find them in advertising and communication agencies. 

I&O-Psychologists do not only work under the status of clerk or civil servant in all kinds of organizations; many I&O-Psychologists work on a self-employed basis (consultants, etc.).

The I&O-Psychology sector is shaped by VOCAP, the Association for Organizational, Consumer and Occupational Psychology.

VOCAP logo.png

What they do

Clinical psychologists practice psychology in the broader health and welfare services by examining the client's question (diagnosis), guiding the patient in the search for an answer to that question (counselling and psychotherapy) or ensuring that no question even arises (prevention).


The clinical psychologist deals with individual consultations or group counselling, but can also set up interventions or programmes for specific groups or neighbourhoods. Many clinical psychologists specialise further in a specific field of clinical psychology.


Clinical psychologists answer questions like:


  • How can I communicate better with others?

  • How can I reduce my anxiety or stress and deal with it better?

  • How can I learn to cope with my illness or disability?

  • How can this neighbourhood strengthen each other to achieve a better well-being?

  • How can I work on my relationship problems?

  • What psychological problems are present in that person?

  • How can children become more mentally resilient?

Where they work

Clinical psychologists work in both general health care and welfare, both in primary care and in outpatient services and semi-residential or residential institutions. Many clinical psychologists are directly accessible to the public, whether part-time or not, as independent practitioners in a private or group practice.


The Dutch-speaking sector of clinical psychology is shaped by the Flemish Association of Clinical Psychologists (VVKP). Its French-speaking sister organisation is the Union Professionnelle des Psychologues Cliniciens Francophones (UPPCF).


Clinical psychologists

Clinical psychology can be described as the application of the knowledge and practice from the science of psychology in order to strengthen the health and (mental) well-being of the person.


Clinical psychologists are a legally recognized and autonomous healthcare profession. In some cases, the benefits of clinical psychologists are reimbursed by health insurance.

Session thérapeutique
Klinische psychologie

School psychologists

School Psychology is concerned with the development and dissemination of psychological knowledge, which can be relevant to promote the learning and well-being of children and young people in education.

The sector supports psychologists active in the broader field of education.

Child at Psychologist

Where they work

Where they work

The Dutch-speaking sector of school psychology is shaped by the Flemish Association for School Psychology (VVSP). It does not yet have a French-speaking sister organization.


The school psychologist optimizes the development of children or adolescents in their interaction with the school. This optimisation can be done through direct guidance of the pupils and their interactions with their environment, or indirectly by optimising their school or home environment.

School psychologists can be employed within different contexts:

  • School psychologists working within a school supervise children/young people in the school, provide parenting support to parents, consult with teachers about children with learning and behavioral problems, supervise young people who get stuck in their studies, help with emotional conflicts or fear of failure, etc.

  • In centers for pupil counseling (CLB's, the former PMS centers), school psychologists are mainly involved in guiding children/young people and conducting psychodiagnostic research.

  • One can establish oneself as an independent school psychologist and carry out all kinds of individual diagnostic and counselling activities.

What they do

Psychological science and knowledge has developed mainly within the universities. There they use a wide range of methods in research: from observations in real life, using questionnaires to even experiments and brain imaging for neuropsychological research. 

Above all, we can distinguish two different research approaches:


  • Fundamental research. For example: psychological functions such as our memory, the (sometimes) peculiar functioning of our senses, our emotions, the structure of our personality, group dynamics, etc., etc. 

  • Applied research. For example: how effective are psychological interventions; what works with whom? When, how and why do psychological interventions work?  

Within the universities, the knowledge of these research methods is transferred to the students of psychology. Every psychologist is thus first and foremost trained to become a full-fledged scientist.

Where they work

The Theory and Research sector is formed by the Belgian Association for Psychological Science (BAPS).

BAPS Logo.webp

Theory and Research

Psychology as a science is still relatively young. Although not older than 150 years, nowadays more research is published in the field of psychology than for example in medicine.

The researchers in psychology active in Belgium are organized in this sector of the BFP. The common language is English.

Réunion d'équipe de remue-méninges
Theorie en onderzoek
bottom of page