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EAC 25th Anniversary Conference

EAC Athens 25th Anniversary Conference


Athens 29th April 2017 – 30th April 2017

The European Association for Counselling invites you to help celebrate the Associations 25th Anniversary at their conference in Athens




Conference of the 25th anniversary of the

European Association for Counselling

29th and 30th of April 2017

Hellenic American College, 22 Massalias Street, Athens, Greece

Meet – Share – Get Involved

All participants will have the chance to make a difference in contributing to building a statement that defines The Identity of the Counsellor

International speakers, roundtables, workshops, plenary sessions and dynamic coffee breaks will make this conference memorable.

Saturday 29th April    
08:45 – 09:45 Registration of delegates  
09:45 – 10:30 Grand Opening of the Conference  
10:30 – 11:15 Keynote speaker Rick Denkers  
11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break  
11:45 – 13:45 Workshop sessions 1  
13:45 – 14:45 Lunch  
14:45 – 16:15 Free sessions and/or mixed groups for sharing content of workshops 1  
16:15 : 17:00 Closing Session  
17:00 – 18:30 EAC General Assembly  
Sunday 30th April    
09:00 – 09:30 Opening of the second day  
09:30 – 10:30 Keynote speaker Antony Sigalas  
10:30 – 12:30 Workshop session 2  
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch  
14:00 – 15:00 Grand final plenary session  

Conference Speakers:

Antony Sigalas – UK


The paper will attempt to approach the evolved role of the helping professional from the early years of psychoanalysis to the changing socio-economic milieu of our recent societies.
Clinical themes will be explored in the context of that evolution and in contrast to the challenges and the modern version stigmata faced by the mental health world of a European society.
Particular emphasis will be put on the themes of dissociation, destructiveness, betrayal, shame, containment, and resilience, whilst material will be drawn from the clinical experience as an Intercultural psychoanalytic psychotherapist and family therapist based in London over a period of twenty years and whilst working with trauma, self-harm, compulsive and addictive behaviour with people from different cultural backgrounds, including refugees, asylum seekers and victims of torture.


Antony Sigalas MA Psych UKCP Reg. Antony is a senior psychoanalytic psychotherapist and clinical supervisor who has worked in the area of trauma with culturally diverse clients including refugees and victims of torture and has been offering psychological support to individuals, couples and families within statutory and non-statutory settings in London since 1997.
He has been working as a clinician for fifteen years at Nafsiyat the Intercultural therapy centre based in north London and as a consequent clinical lead of its refuge family service, before he undertook the clinical responsibility to run the North London drug and alcohol counselling services in Enfield.
He trains and lectures on the themes of clinical assessment and therapeutic effectiveness of intercultural psychotherapy.

Rick Denkers – Netherlands


Counselling is on the rise in Europe. It becomes rapidly one of the most accepted forms of mental health care. But counselling is not treated the same across Europe, which is remarkable since we are a part of the European Union.

What are the differences? And how did they arise? What is the difference for instance between a counsellor in Ireland and Italy or The Netherlands?

The different approaches towards counsellors on a national level have a great impact on their legal status. Rick Denkers will address the latest changes in Europe based on the European legislation and various Judgements of the European Court of Justice concerning VAT.

One Europe also means the possibility to work abroad. We all know that it is possible to work on the continent, but what about language and (legal) pitfalls?


Rick Denkers started his career in healthcare as a Registered Nurse Practitioner. He worked predominantly with mentally ill patients. After six years he made a career switch and started working for one of the biggest insurance companies in the Netherlands as a claim/risk manager. During his stay, he studied at the administrative university of the Dutch government. He graduated as a specialist in government and law.

In his spare time, he was politically active for the socialist party. In 2004 he became a member of the national board. In 2011 he became council chairman in his municipality.

Rick started working for the NFG in 2006 as a legal consultant. In 2009 he was asked to become the new chairman. His current position combines the three earlier positions: Healthcare, politics and Insurances/laws.


Conference Workshops


Cristina Pelizzatti Italy



This workshop will address the unmet need to identify the role of subpersonalities in the processes of establishing goals in Coaching and addressing the disconnects in personal, relational, and professional contexts which are the classical applications of counselling.

The focus will be on application of the psychosynthesis tools used in the highly respected syllabus of The Synthesis Center (Amherst, MA), which start from a definition and consequent understanding of the individual or group identity of Self and lead to the formulation of an effective program for development- whether defining and obtaining specific goals, or reaching expanded awareness of individual or group needs and solutions.


Cristina Pelizzatti is an Advanced Professional Counsellor, with a private practice which extends from individual one-on-one personal and on-line sessions to group orientation and training within the national volunteer paediatric support organisation of Italy. A staff member of the foremost centre for Psychosynthesis/Life Coach training and certified Life Coach in Psychosynthesis in America, Cris has conducted numerous on-line sessions as well as workshops in her Alpine Counselling Center, where techniques ranging from ecopsychology through pet therapy and shamanic healing have been found to be highly beneficial to the participants. For further background, see

Courtenay Young UK


The `identity` of any professional in Europe is defined – not by where and how they trained – but by what that professional should be able to do: these are the core competencies of that profession. If you can demonstrate these core competencies, then you are able to be considered as that professional – de facto. This is how the European Union operates to create one of its four pillars – the free movement of labour. The European Standard Classification of Occupations (ESCO: puts all these core competencies together and reviews them about every 10 years. There is then created a hierarchy of Occupational Groups, divided into various fields of activity; and then follows other groups, professions and classifications; leading down eventually to the set of competencies for each particular profession or occupation.

This presentation will demonstrate how and where counsellors fit into this hierarchy and give indications of what the core competencies of a counsellor – any type of counsellor – could be. Thus defined, this skill set’ can differentiate between the different types of counsellors; and the difference between (say) a counsellor, and a coach, or a mental health advisor, or a community worker, or a psychotherapist. The current core competencies” of a European counsellor are woefully inadequate: 18 very short statements ( that bear little relationship to the core competencies of other parallel professions and also to the training and accreditation standards of a counsellor or to the content of the various counselling training courses.

If the EAC is to accredit counsellors from different disciplines and from different countries, then the concept of core competencies is essential. There are then knock-on implications for how these fit with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), etc.; and how they can be implemented and assessed.

It is hoped that a working group will emerge out of this presentation, to take this important topic further.


Courtenay Young is a UKCP psychotherapist and works as a Counsellor in the NHS in Scotland. He has been involved in professional associations for counselling and psychotherapy for the last 30 years, and has been a member of many committees and involved in the development of many policies. He has also written many published articles and contributed to many books of counselling and psychotherapy. He was the lead writer for the EAP Project to Establish the Core Competencies of a European Psychotherapist (2013), and he is currently the Editor of the International Journal of Psychotherapy. His website is:

Pavlos Zarogiannis – Greece


The identity of the counsellor, as any other identity, cannot be conceptualised and described any more as a static, closed entity, but as an open, never-ending experience. Especially for the counsellor, the issue of identity must remain a question, rather a possibility than a given answer or an actualized fact; an incomplete dynamic process with a lot of interruptions, even stagnation, coherence, incoherence, comebacks, restarts and revisions.

In my workshop, we’ll experientially explore this assumption using philosophy (Levinas, Deleuze, Gendlin) as a starting point, drawing upon literature (Ulysses) and the biblical tradition (Abraham) and following the unique way of Person-centred and Focusing-oriented Approach (Rogers, Gendlin).

One point that could stand out and might be confirmed in this exploration is the subtle suggestion that ‘burn-out’ is not at all a mere counsellor’s symptom or a failure, but a necessary constitutive condition in his/her process of becoming a counsellor and creating a professional identity.


Pavlos Zarogiannis has studied Psychology, German literature and linguistics in Germany. He is Co-founder and Co-director of the Hellenic Focusing Center in Athens. He offers Client-Centered and Focusing-Oriented psychotherapy training, psychotherapy, and supervision, and is a certified coordinator for the Focusing Institute, New York. He has interests in literature, art and philosophy.

Ruby Vasilopoulou Greece



Ruby Vasilopoulou, MSc, ECP, Person Centered Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Trainer

Based on the above phrase (Vias Prieneas, 625-540 B.C, and Sofocles in Antigone), we will approach a very provocative topic, the issue of power.  Since the day we are born, we both exercise and are subjected to every kind of power, on multiple aspects of our lives: inside the family, at school, our personal relationships, through politics.

But what happens to power allocation in the therapeutic relationship? This is a relationship of equality but with certain imbalances, where the power of the therapist is not always obvious. Are we aware of our power? How do we deal with it during the therapeutic session? What is our stance, based on the philosophy of our therapeutic and personal approach?

During this workshop, we are exploring the issue of power both theoretically and experientially, aiming to enhance our awareness of the power of the therapist and our personal choices as well.



B.A in Biology and Diploma in Management.  I was trained in Person-Centred Psychotherapy, Supervision and Training (Post Grad. Diploma and MSc, Strathclyde University. Also trained in P.C and EFT Couples Therapy, Therapeutic Hypnosis and Focusing. I am privately practising supervision and psychotherapy to individuals, groups and couples. Founding member of HAPCEA (the Greek Association for Person -Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies). Member of HAC, EAC, EAP, WAPCEPC.

Dirk Rohr – Germany


In Germany, there is a discussion if Counselling is a science, an applied art (like jazz improvisation), a trade or craft or all of them? What does that imply for Teaching Counselling? John McLeod wrote (in Rohr et al. 2016): Being a counsellor (…) is an activity that makes use of personal qualities and capabilities: emotional sensitivity, interpersonal skills, a sufficient sense of inner personal security, and an ability to offer care. And further on: Research evidence needs to be balanced against many other factors, such as personal experience, intuition, client preferences, and cultural values. If this is true, what does it mean for the programmes in Counselling? In this workshop, we will discuss how Counselling is taught (with a focus on the differences in countries) and how we can benefit from the experiences of each other .


Dirk Rohr, PhD, is Academic Director of the Research Center for Counselling and of the Center for Higher Education at University of Cologne, Germany. In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Communication at the University of Oldenburg. In 2006 he was invited Scientist at Harvard University and at Stanford University. In 2016 he was appointed to the scientific advisory board of the DGfB, which is the National Counselling Association in Germany. Now he is the executive board member of the DGfB.

Ioannis Psarras – Greece





The Workshop is based on the triangle:

SUPERVISOR-THERAPIST-CLIENT and mainly on the intermediate space (on the space in-between), that of the therapist who, being in between, sees/observes doubly towards both the S(s)elf and the O(o)ther.

Choosing to be supervised, the therapist essentially rejoins/responds towards his/her own healing and evolution, giving himself/herself a second chance, after his first long-lasting individual and group analysis, to restore, in depth this time, his own structural error trauma.

Through his supervisor and clients being always between them the therapist frees himself/herself with the highest possible speed from the consequences of the(ir) old story.

The Supervision becomes, and is, the main/most important tool for the therapists who wish and want/desire the(ir) liberation and new expression.


Ioannis Psarras was born in 1955 in Nea Koutali, Lemnos island from parents coming from Asia Minor. He is a Seminar Lecturer and Mental Health Counselor.

He is also a founding member of the Hellenic Association of Counseling. In 1995 he establishes SYNTHESIS `A Space for Civilisation and Research and in 1997 the counselling method of SYNTHETIC PSYCHOENERGETIC Approach`.

He has written several articles on the contemporary therapeutic arts and has published 4 collections of poems and an essay.

He lives in Athens.

Erie Kehayias – Greece


The Axes of Operation: the Counsellor-Man, the Counsellor-Professional, a Seamless Interaction!

Reference to the setting and framework of Counselling as this is formed by the features of Counsellor as a man and the Counsellor as a professional.

The profile of a successful counsellor that make him/her being effective and make a difference in his/her counselee’ life.
The decisive role of personal therapy, supervision, the role of the study of a certain approach and the implementation of the Code of Conduct/Ethics.

In his/her preparation for becoming a counsellor, he/she definitely acquires scientific knowledge. Such knowledge is absolutely needed and necessary but is not sufficient in them to cultivate this help-relationship, the relationship of counsellor- counsellee. The human dimension in the counselling relationship is the most crucial factor of this relationship. The main counsellor’s helping tool is his own self, what it is in himself!


Erie Kehayias – Family Counsellor – Psychotherapist, Facilitator / Group Educator of Parenting Groups, Μ.Α.
Counselling Psychology KEELE UNIV. – ENGLAND,
ECP Integrative Psychotherapist with Psychoanalytic emphasis*Β.Α. in Psychology,
Μ.Α. Counselling Psychology,
Μ.Α. Integrative Psychotherapy.

Additional studies at: EPIPSY, OKANA. KETHEA and IDEKE, on Substance prevention usage and on Training of trainers on Parenting groups.
*Works in private practice since 1996 in Athens and in Levadia – Viotia, with individuals, couples, families on difficulties of children, teenagers and adults/parents.
Ex Scientific director /Facilitator of Parenting Groups of Municipality of Levadia – Viotia. Twice elected as member at the HAC Board of Directors, being General Secretary. Website:






Ethical rules are very important for clinical and counselling practice for every professional body in the mental health field.
A group of trainee counsellors and clinical psychologists conducted a qualitative phenomenological study to investigate the meaning practitioners attribute to the ethics in practice perspective.
They interviewed six mental health practitioners from the fields of cognitive behavioural, existential and psychodynamic therapy.

Practitioners worked in private practice, mental health centres as well as in the drug rehabilitation field.
The results showed that practitioners tend to develop their own personalised and individualised representation of ethics in their practice.

There appears to be a ‘grey area’ in the application of the ethical rules.
Practitioners appear to apply the boundaries in the therapeutic relationship according to the case, the context and their perception of what is helpful for the client.

Even though they may experience conflict in the implementation of the rules, still they find remedies such as supervision and personal therapy.

The themes of the phenomenological analysis of the data will be presented along with relevant quotes from the data.
The results showed that practitioners vary considerably in the meaning they assign to the ethics part of their everyday work.
Limitations and implications for practice will be discussed.


Argyro Exarchou, Evgenia Karamani, Evangelia Karamouzi – Papadimitriou, Alexandra Pappa – Katsiafa and Dimitra Karousou are graduate students of the Master of Science in Psychology at Hellenic American University.
They are Clinical Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling trainees. Adhering to the scientist – practitioner model, they formed a research group to collect and analyse data which derive from and inform clinical and counselling practice.

Dr. Eva Fragkiadaki and Dr. Maria Koliris are accredited Counselling Psychologists.
They both received their professional doctorate and therapy training in the UK.
They are instructors, clinical and research supervisors at the Master of Science in Psychology at Hellenic American University.

Conference Fees


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