Edinburgh Counsellor and Psychotherapist
AN ASSOCIATE of THE LIFE ACADEMY
I was born in a mixed family that journeyed from the Far East to the Mediterranean. My mother is Japanese and has nourished in me the ability to listen with intensity, while my father being Greek has nourished in me the skill to debate and the love of exploring ideas and concepts with curiosity and eagerness to learn and grow. I moved to Edinburgh in 1994, initially to study fine art and later on I chose to remain as I discovered that Edinburgh is the place where I would like to live my life. This has been a choice of learning another way of thinking and feeling that has helped me significantly in evolving awareness that would have been much harder if I had never taken the step out of my comfort zone.
The contrast of cultural backgrounds between Japan, Greece and Britain has given me a rich inheritance of perspectives and a three dimensional view of the struggles and the offerings of each one of them. Having a background in fine art I feel positively fortunate to have developed skills to combine rather than separate as I feel healing is in connecting and integrating aspects and pieces in to a whole-one.
Having gone through my own traumas and healing processes, I have learned that nothing regarding facing ourselves is easy. Nothing stops it though from being playful, enjoyable, and rewarding. Even though it is a challenging journey, it is also a very beautiful one that delivers far more than healing of pain, and trauma. It delivers also wisdom, the wisdom that is unique to every person the same way our DNA is, and I am always delighted to be part of this journey.
My training in Creative Psychotherapy (CP) is psychodynamic in its foundation, and it stems from psychoanalysis, a method developed by Sigmund Freud, and is a classic approach for a relatively young form of treatment. As all forms of treatment, it is always growing, maturing and developing according to the needs of the person in therapy.
My approach involves creativity as an added element in reaching the subconscious and engaging in a safe environment of connecting and understanding our Psyche. CP was started by artists in the UK and USA working with soldiers at the end of the World War II that suffered from severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Since then it has evolved immensely in its methods and its range of clinical practice. Following the current waves of understanding, CP has become much more open in its approach to viewing the individual and more inclusive of other approaches as every individual has needs that are not necessarily encapsulated by one approach only. Neuroscience re-enforces what is observed in CP in a direct view of the brain mapping and functions.
I am interested in understanding the human psyche as much as being a facilitator of the person that searches for a journey within. An interest that has grown from my need to understand myself. What is it that makes us love, hate, give, and take, feel pain and pleasure often at the same time. What motivates us to climb up mountains, to dive into the depths of the sea, to create and to destroy. What is ailing us and what is healing us. what happens when we are lost alone and in pain? What is going on in our endless universe that is called Psyche?
My training started in Fine Art Sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art where I graduated in 1998. My artwork is based on the idea of Communication and how it works on a conscious and subconscious level. How it affects our body, our perception, our connection with ourselves, the environment and ultimately with our Psyche and finding our place in the world.
My training continued in Art Psychotherapy (AP) and I gained my MSc in AP in 2006. Art and Psychology are the subjects that have always been close to my heart and mind. In my art, the inward looking of my Psyche offers an infinitely fertile ground for learning as the shapes and forms that materialise have endless stories to tell. In a similar manner, creative work in psychotherapy is a crucial tool in helping the Psyche express herself and allowing us a window into the landscape hidden within us.
During my training in CP, I participated in the ECARTE International Conference in Crete, Greece. Presenting a paper on “Issues in training in Psychotherapy, The Difference Between Theory and Practice”. Naturally the subject matter of this paper has evolved over time and as result of my teaching in my role as a lecturer. My classes are mostly designed as workshops than involve students’ participation rather than seminars.
Presently I am following training in Sex and Relations Therapy (SRT) at Relationships Scotland, where I am developing my skills with couples work, intimacy and people’s relationship with their bodies and their sexuality.
I started my private practice as a Creative Psychotherapist (CP) in 2015, after many years of experience as a psychotherapist as a sessional or a volunteer psychotherapist in a multitude of services and settings. Since 2010, I have been delivering a course in Introduction to Creative Psychotherapy at the International Tallinn University Summer School in Tallinn Estonia. I have designed and lead this course for students that are interested in learning about CP without having necessarily any prior experience or knowledge on the subject. During this time, I have expanded and refined my skills in organising, working with groups and teaching a subject that has the challenge of being still very young and often elusive as part of it relies on the ability to feel rather than think. I also work as a lecturer at Edinburgh College with people with mental health problems, addictions, down syndrome, autism, physical disabilities, and learning difficulties teaching art and crafts as my main subject. I have worked with women with post-natal depression at Post-natal Depression Project, as an assistant to people with severe mental health problems, with adults going through crises, and chronic depression, at No21 counselling service.
My training started in 2002 and I gained my qualification in Creative/Art Psychotherapy in 2005. Since then, I have worked in a wide range of settings and client groups. During my training I had my practice in split placements that gave me a wider experience of the various services on offer at that time. I worked at a Resource Centre at Tynepark Resource Centre in Haddington for two years and alongside a senior art therapist working with people with Down Syndrome, Autism and Epilepsy in Livingston. In my first year I had a split placement at the Stroke Rehabilitation Ward at the Royal Victoria Hospital and at the Student Counselling Services of Napier University. During my student years, I worked as a personal assistant to a visually impaired person at his work duties.
Born in a historical and exquisitely beautiful part of south-west Greece, I was fortunate to grow up on an unspoilt organic farm. I spent my weekends on the farm as a shepherd, wandering for countless hours under the vast and beautiful blue sky, and crossing rivers and luscious fir tree forests with my goats, dogs and horses. This was a formative experience that cultivated, since an early age, a strong connection and a deep sense of wonder and appreciation for nature and the more-than-human world. Curiosity, inquisitiveness and a thirst for knowledge have always been qualities that characterised me. Having access to an extensive family library, that was filled with perennial and seminal works of philosophy, psychology and spirituality, gave me the opportunity to educate myself to the worlds of knowledge and wisdom. This education helped me to endure the despair I experienced growing up in a dysfunctional family but most importantly, it allowed me to make sense of suffering both on a personal and a collective level.
I have worked with people with schizoid personality disorders, personality disorders, autism, learning difficulties, Down syndrome, ADHD, Post Traumatic Disorder, Post Natal Depression, chronic depression, schizophrenia, bereavement, and addiction. Furthermore, I am working as an art lecturer at Edinburgh College with people with learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, autism, and Down syndrome amongst other physical and mental health disabilities and difficulties.
I am interested in working with adults, one-to-one, couples, and groups within the framework described above. I prefer to incorporate creative work in the therapeutic process. It is not a necessary part though if a person is not comfortable with the idea. The premise of the creative work though is to offer an extra and important tool in assisting the connection between emotions and cognition. It is a graceful and respectful tool in assisting the person I am working with, and myself to understand, connect, and shape a safe place for exploring and learning how to heal and grow. I also speak Greek and I am therefore I am happy to offer psychotherapy and counselling in Greek language.
I am a trainee member of COSRT and pending membership in HCPC.
£60 per hour for individual sessions and £30 per person in groups of 3 to 5 people.
First session £40
Concessions possible according to income.
Payments can be made by cash or card.
I work from the Life Academy Wellbeing Centre at 3B Greenhill Park, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh EH10 4DW. The Centre is situated in a transport hub and is easily accessible by bus or car. Free, private parking is available on request.
To make an appointment or discuss whether I am the right therapist for you, please complete the form below. I will try to respond to you within three days.
I look forward to hearing from you.