The Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations was founded in 1983 by Charis Katakis and a close team of associates. It is based in Athens but its activities extend to many areas throughout Greece.
Its scope lies mainly in the field of mental health but also includes health and social sciences and research. The Laboratory’s ever-expanding network of associates and collaborators contributes to the promotion and realization of its objectives.
The services and training programs we provide are based on the Integrative Model of Systemic Therapy, from which have sprung theoretical concepts, methods and a variety of instruments and techniques for understanding and dealing with the complex and constantly shifting challenges that people are faced with in contemporary societies, within the multiple systems in which they belong (family, work, community, etc.).
The Laboratory operates and provides services in the following areas:
- Individual, Family, Group Psychotherapy and Counseling
- Training in Systemic/Family Psychotherapy and Counseling via comprehensive accredited training programs and short courses.
- Workshops & Seminars for the general public and for mental health professionals.
- Intervention programs for children: psychological and educational support, career guidance and counseling, interpersonal and communication skills etc.
- Workshops and interventions for the workplace, for businesses and organizations.
- Psychotherapy and Counseling Events including Marathons
- Academic and Market Research
- Open Events
- Conferences, workshops, public lectures and presentations with Greek and international speakers
The Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations is a certified educational organization accredited by the Training Institutes Chamber of the European Family Therapy Association (Training Institutes Chamber – European Family Therapy Association-E.F.T.A.).
It is also the first certified systemic training centre of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) and its instructors are accredited by the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) http://www.europsyche.org/, the Laboratory is also certified as a psychotherapy centre by the Greek National Organisation for Psychotherapy (NOPG) http://nopg.gr/gr/.
The Laboratory’s training programs are fully in line and up to date with the certification guidelines and specifications of professional associations, to ensure its trainees’ eligibility for obtaining professional status and licensure.
- The training program in Family/Systemic Psychotherapy follows the guidelines and regulations of the European Family Therapy Association (EFTA) and the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), thus securing trainee’s eligibility for registration and certification by these professional societies and their counterparts in Greece (HELASYTH, NOPG).
- The training program in Systemic Counseling follows the guidelines and specifications set by the Hellenic Association for Counseling (HAC) com.gr and the European Association for Counseling http://eac.eu.com/.
We hear more and more voices from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines urging for a holistic and integrative approach to social, psychological, physical and all other phenomena. There is little doubt that no single isolated theory, however ambitious, can adequately describe and interpret our complex and rapidly changing social reality.
The integrative approach, built upon solid theoretical foundations, provides practitioners with multiple concepts, methods and techniques to increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy and counselling interventions.
It is also a unique and valuable tool for dealing with issues that involve dependent family members such as children and adolescents or young and elderly adults.
Systemic Psychotherapy is a scientifically grounded and validated approach to therapy that can be applied to a wide range of issues and settings. It has a long tradition in the West as in Greece. The systemic perspective offers a comprehensive, broad, flexible and holistic framework for mental health practitioners. As such, it facilitates the organization of the complexity professionals are faced with, as well as communication and collaboration between them.
All services and training programs of the Laboratory are based on the integrative systemic perspective (the Integrative Model of Systemic Therapy).
Founded upon an integrative and holistic theoretical approach, the Laboratory has been offering training, therapy, counselling and research in the field of mental health for over 30 years.
The vast experience that has accumulated over these three decades through daily interaction with professionals, trainees, parents, and other social groups, has highlighted the importance of keeping up to date with advances in the field of mental health.
In its long history, the Laboratory never stopped growing, evolving, and adapting to the ever-increasing demands of our field and of our world, thus ensuring that it always remains at the forefront of new developments.
The Laboratory is specialized in the provision of postgraduate professional education. We offer a wide range of training options which include the following:
2. Systemic Counseling Skills and Interventions: A two-year training program aimed at a wide range of practitioners (mental health professionals, doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators, human resources executives), for implementing systemic counselling in the workplace.
3. Systemic and Family Counseling: A three-year (minimum) training course, which like the above, complies with the certification requirements of the Hellenic Association for Counseling (www.hac.com.gr) and the European Association for Counselling (www.eac.eu.com)
4. Systemic Psychological Assessment: A three-year program designed for psychologists wishing to specialize in the administration and scoring of psychological tests (MMPI Test, TAT, Rorschach, etc.) for the assessment of personality and mental functioning in adults.
5. Introduction to Systemic Thought and Practice: This one-year course (40 hours in total) is suitable for anyone interested in learning and becoming familiar with the theoretical concepts and principles of systemic theory and their applications to individual, family and group psychotherapy or counselling.
6. Supervision: We offer supervision based on the Systemic / Family approach to therapy, to individuals and organisations from the private or public sectors that deal with mental health issues or with human systems in general, either within a group setting or individually. Dates and times of sessions are decided after inquiry.
7. Workshops and Seminars in the Workplace: Tailored short courses for organisations, institutions and companies by our experienced and qualified team of trainers. The location, onset, duration and content of the training program are adapted to the needs of the company or organization.
For more information contact the Laboratory’s Office Team is always available to inform you on 210-8063665, 210-6129290, Fax: 210-8062113, or at E-mail: [email protected]
The Program is addressed to psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and other mental health professionals who are currently or wish to engage in the field of individual, family and/or group psychotherapy.
Applicants with undergraduate studies in the fields of humanities and the social sciences may be accepted onto the program under certain conditions, such as relevant work experience, postgraduate studies and other factors which will be considered on an individual basis.
The program involves:
- Integrative Systemic / Family psychotherapy
(a) Theoretical lectures & Practical, experiential workshops.
(b) Observation of individual, family and group therapy sessions through a one-way mirror, via simulation and video-recordings or live participation as a trainee therapist.
(c) Theoretical and practical training in the application of therapy skills and techniques.
- Group Psychotherapy
(a) Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy: The module involves theoretical lectures and experiential workshops.
(b) Observation of live group therapy sessions through a one-way mirror, via simulation and video-recordings or live participation as a trainee therapist.
(c) Theoretical and Practical training in applying therapy skills and techniques.
- Personal (group) Psychotherapy
Trainees are required to complete at least 300 hours of personal therapy, from a certified Systemic & Family therapist, most of it in a group therapy setting.
The Systemic and Family Therapy Training Course is a four-year program aimed at preparing professionals for engaging in individual, family and group therapy work in various clinical and non-clinical settings. Trainees will develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to work effectively with clients. During the course, trainees are supported in their professional development through practical training and regular supervision.
In the first year, trainees are introduced to core theoretical concepts of systemic theory and their applications in individual, family and group therapy. The aim is to understand how systemic thought has evolved up to the present day, in Greece and elsewhere in the Western world. Trainees will also be introduced to key schools of psychotherapy and their basic principles and techniques. In addition, they will be familiarized with the role of the systemic therapist and will develop essential skills in systemic therapy work, through lecture presentations, experiential workshops, simulations, observation and analysis of live and recorded sessions, and other methods.
In the second year the goal is to gradually enter into an active professional role through supervised practical training and the experiential application of theoretical concepts and principles. Trainees develop essential psychotherapy and counselling competences that enable them to work with clients in their practical training. They will also learn how to respond to specific difficulties in life, relationships and well-being through the lens of the Integrative Model of Systemic Therapy.
The third year focuses on the development of specialized knowledge and competencies in the application of Systemic and Family Therapy in the domain of psychopathology. Trainees will be familiarized with methods of diagnosis and assessment and different theoretical approaches to clinical evaluation. In addition, they will learn about the methods and objectives of research in the field of Systemic and Family Therapy.
The main task of the fourth year is supervision: trainees present samples of their work, and theory is linked to practice. Supervision is conducted on cases from trainees’ workplace or practical training, and on live or recorded simulations. Completion of the program requires the writing of a thesis for which theoretical training, guidance and supervision are provided.
According to the Laboratory’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, trainees can use the title of Systemic Psychotherapist or Family Therapist after completing the four-year training program in systemic psychotherapy and obtaining the official Certificate from the Laboratory.
The course hours and content of the Systemic and Family Therapy Training Program are sufficient to grant graduates’ enrolment to Systemic & Family Therapy Professional Associations, such as HELASYTH, NOPG, EFTA, EAP, and others, while we wait for the establishment of a national or European framework that will regulate the professional licensure of psychotherapists. The Laboratory adapts its program and curriculum to the requirements of the above professional associations and adjustments are made retrospectively only if necessary.
The Laboratory is neither responsible for, nor in control of national licensing standards and regulations. These are set by the state and differ for distinct professions (e.g. counsellor, psychotherapist, psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist etc.) as well as for distinct areas of academic study. Laboratory staff can provide you with further details and refer you to the relevant associations and organizations for more information.
The Systemic Counselling Training Course is suitable for two categories of professionals:
I. Mental Health practitioners (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers)
II. Professionals from various backgrounds seeking to improve their work and practice through applying counselling skills. These include teachers, educators, doctors, nurses, youth probation officers, law professionals involved with family matters, and human resources executives.
The course is composed of the following modules:
- Integrative Systemic and Family Counselling
(a) Counselling Theory and Practice: Theoretical Lectures & Experiential workshops
(b) Observation of individual, family and group counselling sessions through video, simulation and live attendance as a trainee counsellor.
(c) Theoretical and Practical Training in the development and application of counselling skills and techniques.
(d) Regular supervision to support the implementation of counselling skills, techniques and interventions in the workplace and/or in private practice.
- Personal (group) Psychotherapy
Trainees are required to complete 200 hours of personal therapy from a certified Systemic & Family therapist, most of it in a group therapy setting.
In the first year trainees are introduced to the basic concepts of systemic theory and their applications in individual, family and group therapy. The aim is to understand the origins and evolution of systemic thought to the present day, in Greece and the rest of the Western world.
In addition, trainees will learn key principles of a variety of theoretical perspectives. They will develop specialized knowledge and competencies essential to the role of a systemic counsellor, through theoretical lectures, experiential workshops, observation, live simulations discussion groups and other methods.
Trainees who are not engaged professionally in counselling practice are encouraged to find additional practical experience that offers them material suitable for supervision. Trainees bring to supervision material from both their training practice and their workplace.
In the second year the goal is for trainees to gradually enter into an active professional role through supervised practical training and the experiential application of theoretical concepts and principles. They will develop essential counselling competences that enable them to work with clients in their practical training and professional practice. They will also learn how to respond to specific difficulties in life, relationships and well-being through the lens of the Integrative Model of Systemic Therapy.
Those who successfully complete the first two years of the course can apply for admission to the third year after review of their application by the Training Faculty and move on to the final year of the three-year counselling program.
Under current legislation, the guidelines and regulations of professional associations, and depending on the subject area of applicants’ undergraduate studies, after completing the two-year program in Systemic Counselling Skills and Interventions, trainees are eligible for registered status and certification by the Hellenic Association for Counselling , www.hac.com.gr, the European Association for Counselling (eac.eu.com) and others, and can use the professional title “Mental Health Counsellor”.
Only those who have successfully completed three years of training in the Laboratory can use the title of “Systemic / Family Counsellor”.
The professional accreditation and prospects of trainees in the field of Counselling are determined by the relevant legal provisions and the regulations set by professional bodies and counselling associations, which to date, compose a rather vague landscape.
Under the current legal framework and regulations of professional associations, and depending on the subject area of their undergraduate studies, after completing the two-year program in Systemic Counselling Skills and Interventions trainees are eligible to receive a valid certificate, upon which they can register with the Hellenic Association for Counselling (HAC, hac.com.gr), the European Association for Counselling (EAC, eac.eu.com) and other professional bodies. Obtaining registered status with the above associations allows for legal use of the professional title “Mental Health Counsellor”.
Trainees with an academic background in a field outside of mental health or the humanities will need to complete additional training hours, the amount of which is calculated on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, they may need to complete the three-year program in Systemic and Family Counselling, according to the current accreditation requirements of the Hellenic Association for Counselling (hac.com.gr), and the European Association of Counselling (eac.eu.com).
For candidates with a background in disciplines outside the field of Humanities, it is possible that, in the near future, accreditation bodies will require them to complete additional training or academic courses.
Trainees living outside Athens can enrol on any the following programs:
- Systemic and Family Therapy Training Course
- Systemic and Family Counselling Training Course
- Systemic Counselling Skills and Interventions
Training sessions for the above courses take place one weekend a month, for 20 hours in total, 11 months per year (September to July), at the Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations. Trainees’ personal (group) therapy, which is one of the courses’ requirements, can be conducted outside Athens, under the supervision of the Laboratory, and by professionals who meet the criteria set by the Laboratory.
The Laboratory, in addition to the materials and resources necessary for its training programs, and in accordance with its Code of Conduct and corresponding Study Guides, provides the following:
- Suitable seminar areas, one-way mirror rooms, audiovisual media & materials for recording and observing sessions
- Supplemental workshops, seminars, lectures and marathons (paid or free of charge).
- A lending library
- Access to the Laboratory’s “Working Papers” series on systemic epistemology and systemic therapy
- Free computer and internet access (Wi-Fi).
- Free online access to peer-reviewed, scientific journals in the field of systemic and family therapy.
- Opportunities to participate in some of the Laboratory’s research projects.
- Supervised practical training through our Low-Cost Counselling Service.
- Observation of therapy and counselling sessions (group, individual and family), through video recordings, simulation, or behind a one-way mirror and live attendance of sessions.
Anyone interested in training at the Laboratory can fill in the Application form available on our website and email it to our Office Team at [email protected].
Before the start of each academic year, members of our Training Faculty meet and interview all candidates for selection onto an appropriate training program.
By subscribing to the Laboratory’s mailing list you will receive our newsletter and keep in touch with news of the Laboratory. Don’t forget to send us a friend request on our Facebook Page (Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations), follow us on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn! The Laboratory’s Office Team is always available to inform you of the latest announcements, projects, workshops and activities on 210-8063665, 210-6129290 or [email protected].