I have been practicing psychotherapy for more then 30 years. I have studied in Athens and in New York to become a clinical Psychologist. I have been trained in psychotherapy in the United States, and in Germany where I became certified in systemic and psycho dynamic psychotherapy. I work mainly with individuals and couples. However, I also collaborate with groups on parents/communication issues (Nonviolent Communication). I have worked in the US, in Germany, and since 2000 I have held my private practice in Volos, Greece, where I currently reside.
I have been a member of the German Psychological Association BDP since 1993, and currently hold a position in the Association of Greek Psychologist ΣΕΨ (№ 1032). Since 2000 I have been licensed to practice psychotherapy in Greece (№ 2035).
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I welcome you on my homepage! Here is in short my path towards self-awareness. I consider myself a lucky person, mainly because my key interest in life, to understand and discover myself, helped me to determine my professional choice to become a clinical psychologist. Each and every training that I have taken was motivated by a personal need.
The unexpected, dangerous, and shocking events in our lives are those in particular that mark, and pave our life path. For me, one of those experiences was a car accident that I had when I was 19 years old that changed my life. The traumatic experiences that I went through (both somatic and emotional), led me to becoming a Psychologist. I wanted to help people in need. That is what I needed myself back then, and I didn’t get it. It was in the early 1970s in Athens.
At that time there was not the option to study Psychology at Greek Universities, so I received my B.A. from Deree Pierce College, in Agia Paraskevi (1978). During that time I had a 2 year Practicum in the Family Therapy Department at Agia Sophia Children’s Hospital in Athens directed by Dr. Giannis Tsiantis. Next to the late Maria Nasiakou, Psychologist I was taught psychometric testing.
I attended a 3 year M.A. (1981) graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research, New York, NY where I chose to continue my training in psychometric testing at the time.
The picture was already clear in my mind that, more than our character with whom we are born with, our early childhood experiences are those that are engraved in our heart and mind and affect us thereafter. What we then felt, sensed, saw and heard, be it in our families or in the society, in the land, or in the era we live, all shape and form our personality. As a result, I found it extremely intriguing to study the structure of the family system. My good luck angel led me to the famous Structural Family Therapy Department of Child Guidance Clinic in the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, USA, under the direction of Salvador Minuchin M.D. This was an impressive experience in an extremely well organized training surroundings that lasted for one year (1982). My angel continued to take care of me, and at the same time I was hired as a counselor in a Counseling Service for Greek-Americans in Astoria, Queens. This allowed me to fulfill the training condition, namely, to apply the learned material.
After my wedding, we moved with my German husband to Hamburg, Germany (1984).
My second training came out of my desire to focus on couples, since that was what a future family would be based around. If the young people were helped to communicate from the heart, chances were that a solid healthy family could be created. I attended a 2 year program in advanced integrative systems psychotherapy for couples and families at the Institute of Incorporate Family Therapy, Berlin e.V., Germany (1992). At that time I was working at a Counseling Center in Hamburg (IAF) supporting couples in mixed marriages (Germans married to foreigners) to face their problems, while at the same time honoring what they had in common.
Now I had reached a point where I knew I had to concentrate on the conflicts that we carry within which, if they remain unresolved, make the contact to our self and to others difficult.
I had reached a time in my personal development where I knew that early life issues that had to do with the relationship with my mother, had to be confronted. Since I sensed that I would have to go as back as my 3rd year of life and probably further back still, I chose a therapy that would use imagination and visualization. I considered it more appropriate for a child.
I would like to mention at this point how amazed and excited I am when a universal law appears to me: Once one is clear of what one wants, the solution appears instantaneously! Over a cup of tea with a friend, I heard of the Institute of Imaginative Katahymic Picture Experience in Göttingen for the first time. It was exactly what I was looking for! An ingenious way to approach the unconscious and the defenses. I did the 4 year training in Individual Psychodynamic Therapy (1996). Simultaneously, I had my 5th and most gratifying therapy with a female therapist from this Institute.
At the time I was working parallel to my private office in Pinneberg, Schleswig-Holstein, partly in Hamburg at the only state Couple Counseling Center, and partly in Pinneberg at the Counseling Center of the Protestant Church. It has always been important to me to offer my services to people who could not afford to come to our private offices and that is also why twice a week I was working in Counseling Centers.
My last 2-year-training in Germany was focused on the Intensive Psychodynamic Short Therapy of Habib Davanloo MD, from Quebec, Canada (1999), a method where the client learns, in a provocative way, to locate his feelings in his body, which by the way… never lies!
Then the time came where, in Germany, a law was passed to protect the title "Psychotherapist". After submitting all the required papers concerning my studies, my trainings, my personal Psychotherapies, my supervisions, I was accepted to the Doctor’s Insurance Association (June 1998).
At that point, I had already lived 20 full years abroad! I slowly started feeling that the knowledge and the experiences that I had acquired were enough. I was content I wanted to return home to Greece. I chose to settle in Volos as I loved the direct contact to the ocean and the view of Pilion. So I took the risk! At the end of 1999 I moved over and slowly started my private office. At that time, I collaborated with the Social Services of the City of Volos to organize and offer the first seminars for parents in Magnisia. It was an innovative idea at the time and was very successful.
In my private office I offer individual and couple therapy, as well as group therapy on parents training, self-awareness, and non violent communication.
On my everlasting quest for self improvement I came across the work of Marshal Rosenberg a few years ago. His work on Nonviolent Communication includes everything that I had learned up to that point, in addition to a unique way to bring one closer to his feelings, needs and requests, using empathy as the main tool. I am very excited with my last discovery, mostly because it brings me/us back to our human nature and it warms our heart. I feel blessed for that. Also for learning the most effective Dr. Richard Schwartz's IFS method which I have incorporated in my work as well.
A word to my private life; With my 2nd partner we have a summer house in South Pilion, which we love. I have contributed in raising his 2 sons, since their mother passed away shortly after the birth of the second child.
I will not describe what psychotherapy is, how to select a psychotherapist, or speculate about when you might need one, as I believe there is already sufficient such information on the Internet.
Some of us, unluckily, are born into families or under conditions that do not support the development of our natural skills and our potential. Others are born with an innate sensitivity. The more sensitive one is, the more intensely they are affected by their early childhood experiences, especially the very first, tender years of our life.
Sometimes those years end up being a heavy burden on us, or for others, a non-ending nightmare, or even a frightening emptiness. Such life experiences can evoke fear, shame, quilt, anger, sadness, despair. Whichever of those feelings predominate within us, be it conscious or unconscious, will end up playing a ROLE in our life, because we crave acceptance, and love. In other words, unintentionally, unwillingly, without even realizing it, WE BETRAY OUR TRUE NATURE! That is, most of the times, the reason why we do not feel good and why we are not satisfied.
Do you know how it works? Imagine our mind as a computer with different programs. They "prescribe" our steps in life. They become our beliefs, they influence our choices, but they are not US! Does it make sense? I will give you some such example statements that run our lives:
There are many such "commands". Some are obvious, some are subtle, but they lead our lives anyway! And what do we do?
Depending on our character, we either obey like "good kids", or we rebel viciously, choosing exactly the opposite of what is expected of us. The sad part of the story is that neither way represents us. In the early adult years, we don’t even suspect it. But as years go by, dissatisfaction grows, anger builds within, sadness fills us. There are no colors in our life…
If we choose to stick to anger, then it’s our parents, our spouse’s, our children’s, our colleague’s, our neighbor’s fault, our bad luck, or God’s fault.
The tension gets worse, the dissatisfaction as well. Some people feel it in their body (pain/illness), others emotionally (panics, fears, anxieties, depression, eating disorders, etc). The essence is that our energy is blocked. The symptoms are the warnings, they serve as a reminder, they ring the bell that we must do something, that SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE WITHIN US.
At this stage, if we find someone with whom we feel heard and understood, then we begin to feel at ease. We might feel a weak desire for change, a glimpse of hope, a trace of joy, of warmth.
These signs don’t last long. They are like waves, they come and go.
The stronger the trust grows in the therapist we have chosen, the less fear and disappointment we experience when the waves subside. As a matter of fact, anticipation, joy, a pleasant breeze of change is felt within. The desire for a change is within us, but what kind of change is this?
I learn to differentiate between what is ME, and what is not my natural self. I start to choose, to sort things out with the intention of discovering those values, needs, feelings, desires that represent ME. I recognize that it’s "ME", when I have peace and joy within, when my decisions bring strength and self-sufficiency. Slowly, I become a good friend to myself and. I enjoy my own company! This radiates in my surroundings, things start changing and it’s obvious to everybody.
On this path the discomfort and problems in life are not weighing me down, they become the reason for a new discovery. I know that most people laugh at such a possibility, they believe it is an illusion. It is those that have not experienced it. Only those who get on the road to Ithaki (as the Greek poet Kavafis described it) get to taste the fruits, namely the feeling of daring, of having confidence, joy, optimism, of setting goals and obtaining them!
My desire is to accompany you in this revitalizing transformative path, that is why I am here!
I offer the following psychotherapeutic Services:
The on-line sessions are handled as follows.
❶ The first contact will be a telephone conversation to discuss the issue that is motivating you to stat psychotherapy. Day(s) and time(s) for up coming session will also be determined.
❷ Confirmation of prepayment for each session will be required at this stage. Payment is to be sent directly to my bank account (Piraeus or National), with a confirmation of payment to be sent via SMS or e-mail letting me know.
❸ Sessions will take place during the agreed upon time.
❹ Session and payment receipt will be sent to the customer by post.
A session lasts up to an hour. The cost per session is 50€. These costs can be adjusted by agreement according to the economic situation. Thus in difficult situations (such as unemployment, large families, single parents, students or disabled persons) reduced rates may be agreed.
The required number of therapy sessions, depend on your personal needs, psychological strain, your visions and expectations, as well as your personality and your approach and skills of coping with the issues and content of our sessions. We will discuss and arrange an individual procedure for your special requirements at our first meeting if you decide to work with me.
Sessions typically take place once a week. However, the frequency of the sessions can vary, depending on the pressure you might be feeling, the kind of changes that you are aiming to achieve, and how much time you need to process and internalize each session.
Aftokratoros Irakliou 37
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