My career as a psychologist, in all its aspects and manifestations – as a therapist, researcher and teacher, is undoubtedly bound to my family roots and identifications. My father was a doctor and my grandmother a teacher at the age of seventeen. My personal path is interwoven with the trajectory of the women of that time and of our country. Consolidating career and family has been a difficult endeavour, as my professional activities unfolded alongside the priorities that stem from being a mother, and the wife of a scientist with parallel aspirations. I got married at 21; I have two children and five grandchildren.
I began my university studies in Germany, continued them in the United States and completed my doctoral thesis at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During that time I also trained as a psychotherapist at the Athenian Institute of Anthropos. My teachers, George and Vasso Vasiliou, had a profound and lasting effect on my professional and personal paths.
I was introduced to systemic theory as early as the mid 1960’s and its holistic look on life and knowledge armed me with an invaluable tool: as if a wide-angle lens had been implanted in our brains, enabling us to see the full picture when we seek answers to questions such as who we are, what put us on this path, why we made these choices in life.
In the early 1980s, together with a group of colleagues who had trained with me, we founded the Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations. The Laboratory was to grow into a diverse and multifaceted organization that constantly evolves and expands its scope and horizons. For twenty years, with my colleagues, trainees, and clients we have been collectively striving to harness people’s potential to break down inner and interpersonal walls, broaden personal and professional horizons, to promote health and creative coexistence.
As for my writing and publishing work, these too seem to be rooted in my childhood experiences. The stories my mother told often had a psychological subtext. Toward the end of her life, she wrote our family’s story. She had it typewritten and handed copies to her children and grandchildren. She must have thought that by keeping us in touch with our past we would more easily find our way in life.
The books I have written and all those included in the series Human Systems, published by the Laboratory in partnership with major publishing houses, are written for mental health professionals and the general public; for all of us trying to adjust to our times and find our footsteps on the wobbly ground of contemporary lived experience.