Consonance- Dialogical Center of Experiential-Appreciative Counseling and Education

SYNIXISEIS: Aesthetics, practice and philosphy

We respect distinctness; we discover together the resources, the stories and the differences that empower an appreciation identity.

CONSONANCE is a polyvalent counseling and education center, which provides individual, group, family, couple and pair therapy services, as well as focused training on mental health professionals, educators and large institutions and organizations. 

In addition, we offer services of physical expression, such as physical theatre and yoga (for further information visit https://synixiseis.gr/?cat=12)

The following excerpt is indicative of our work philosophy:

In a daily reality characterized by fluidity, uncertainty, social alienation, lack of communication and complexity, connection to oneself, self-respect, emotional self-awareness, meeting, communicating and connecting to other people in a context of self-respect and dignity, are of great importance to all of us.

The therapeutic model that we suggest is based on the idea that each and every one of us is special and thus our needs are personalized. Hence, we suggest to people meeting us in psychotherapy or counseling, a relationship based either solely on dialogue or on the use of experiential practices, such as drama therapy, experiential psychotherapy, art therapy, dance therapy, therapy through physical expression, etc., depending on their needs and desires.

Educational programs focus on special thematic units and are addressed to mental health professionals, caretakers and educators. The theoretical and methodological model for designing these programs is based on the idea that an educational activity is an experiential and collaborative transformational learning experience, and participation in such an activity provides participants with knowledge and at the same time invites them in emotional shifts in terms of the perspective and the language they use as professionals.(for further information visit https://synixiseis.gr/?p=346 )

If you wish to communicate with us, you can use the following contact details:

Email address: info@synixiseis.gr

Telephone number: 6908372437

Who we are

Identity – Philosophy and Aesthetics

In a daily reality characterized by fluidity, uncertainty, social alienation, lack of communication and complexity, connection to oneself, self-respect, emotional self-awareness, meeting, communicating and connecting to other people in a context of self-respect and dignity, are of great importance to all of us.

Consonance is a polyvalent counseling center, in which therapists from different approaches meet, through constructive dialogue, and co-construct a common meeting place for counseling and education.

Through this process we invite people to a compound model of psychotherapy, in which dialogue, body and expression are equally important for those seeking support in order to handle difficulties or harmoniously connect with their inner voices so as to deeply understand their needs and make good use of their strengths and resources.

Our therapeutic model is based on the idea that each and every one of us is special. Hence, our needs are personalized, as well.

So, we suggest to people meeting us in psychotherapy or counseling, a relationship based either solely on dialogue or on the use of experiential practices, such as drama therapy, experiential psychotherapy, art therapy, dance therapy, therapy through physical expression, etc., depending on their needs and desires.

The basic principles of our philosophy and therapeutic approach are the following:

The psychotherapy and counseling process is a dialogue, in which the therapist equally seek and jointly create a space of security and respect, where people can decently narrate their problems and difficulties. We suggest and define this dialogue as a supportive conversation, in which the therapist isn’t an expert that has the power to define what is right and what is wrong for the life of people who trust him/her; he/she is rather an interactive guide inviting people to jointly bring to light their experiences and knowledge, as we are all experts at giving the appropriate solutions and answers in our lives.

Acknowledging an identity of value and appreciation for people seeking help and support is of crucial importance to us not only for the therapeutic relationship but also for the supportive conversations. Hence, we believe that our lives are full of a wealth of experiences connected to our resources, abilities and values. We also believe in the significance to seek and show these aspects through our gaze and language.

The therapeutic process resembles a dance, in which what is important is how we will co-construct a productive coordination that will create a place for the emergence and the blossom of words, emotions and practices; a dance where the other person will feel that they are being recognized as valid and equal participants in the social world, the relationship and the communication; a dance where the meaning is in constant motion, increases narrative multiplicity, the emergence of new internal and external voices.

Our identity and our self can change as we evolve and modify the models through which we are connected and related to other people. In this way, we accept that individuals are formed by their relationships and the ways in which they function in systems and teams. Within this framework, it is important to acknowledge the responsibility we have of co-creating and co-constructing our relationships with other people. We call this responsibility Relational Responsibility. This term is particularly important in our approach and is connected to the following:

the fact that we are responsible for our contribution to a dialogic reality

– the importance of being aware of the fact that the way we talk influences the lives and the identities of the people with whom we converse

– the eminence that the actions, constructions/ representations and words we use, have in order to communicate with other people

Apart from understanding the power that problems or traumas exert on our lives, it is also important to identify and be connected with the sources and the experiences of power in which we have managed to face problems and difficulties.

We believe that people have numerous and different aspects, that they look like a colorful fan, like a rainbow, in which no color is redundant. This rainbow is defined as our Polyphonic self.

We also suggest that it is important to identify the aspects and the interior voices that constitute our polyphonic self, love them and take care of them, as they all have a meaning and invite us to changes and shifts. In this context, we perceive identity, not as an established condition, but rather as a dynamic sense evolving and changing in time.

Problems arise due to our confounded dreams, desires and expectations that were never accomplished. However, these seem almighty when we feel weak to handle them. This feeling of weakness is more intense when our inner dialogue becomes a judgmental and negative monologue. The negative monologue prevails in the stories we narrate about ourselves. For example, we might be thinking about ourselves: “I’m useless, I’m a failure, I’m not worthy.” This story looks like a dialogue that prevails and silences other voices. One of the main objectives of the therapeutic process is to turn this monologue into a polyphonic dialogue, perhaps a dialogue more friendly to other descriptions and possibilities, to enrich it with other voices carrying other messages of appreciation, worth, power, which modify the prevailing story produced under the influence of problems.

We consider that these changes and transformations need time and security and that the feelings of weakness, remorse and embarrassment we experience when we live in the problems needn’t immobilize us. We should rather confront them as a chance to reconcile with and love ourselves and seek care and support. 

We also feel that it is important to understand our difficulties or weaknesses within a framework of relationships with the environment and our significant others. 

We focus on the importance of the narration and we believe that we all have the creativity, the imagination and the ability to narrate lavish and exciting narrations of our story, when we feel that there is no fear of judgment or rejection. Narrations are a way to connect with others, get to know each other and they are also a chance for us to become the “writers” of our story and life. According to this idea, our narrations don’t only concern the past, but also the way we dream of ourselves, our relationships and our lives in the future.

According to our perspective and philosophy, what is important isn’t our theories, but which approach or therapeutic method best fits people’s personality, story, needs and dreams.

The quest…

We seek and discover our polyphonic self through the relationship with our inner sides

The little prince crossed the desert and met with only one flower. It was a flower with three petals, a flower of no account at all….

“Good morning,” said the little prince.

“Good morning,” said the flower.

“Where are the men?” the little prince asked, politely.

The flower had once seen a caravan passing.

“Men?” she echoed. “I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.”

“Goodbye,” said the little prince.

“Goodbye,” said the flower.

The journey to our polyphonic self

How many selves hidden inside you
I want to see them and kiss them.
Caress all your profiles,
You after, and you before.
_ _ _ _ _
I want a trip to the secret
the evident and the lost selves

The Echo …

We become complete through meeting, relating to and bonding with other people

After that, the little prince climbed a high mountain. The only mountains he had ever known were the three volcanoes, which came up to his knees. And he used the extinct volcano as a footstool. “From a mountain as high as this one,” he said to himself, “I shall be able to see the whole planet at one glance, and all the people…” But he saw nothing, save peaks of rock that were sharpened like needles.

“Good morning,” he said courteously.

“Good morning−−Good morning−−Good morning,” answered the echo.

“Who are you?” said the little prince.

“Who are you−−Who are you−−Who are you?” answered the echo.

“Be my friends. I am all alone,” he said.

“I am all alone−−all alone−−all alone,” answered the echo.

“What a queer planet!” he thought. “It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them… On my planet I had a flower; she always was the first to speak…”

The cracks

As we work among problems, we perceive space-time, action scenes, the in and out, the past, the present and the future not as compact concepts and realities but as a huge puzzle consisting of millions of moments.  Some of them compose images that immobilize us, since they create certainties connected to self depreciation, control inadequacy and inactivation.

However, we rest assured that in this vast universe of moments we can spot those moments that have been associated with the notion of a crack, through which the reserves, the oxygen or the lights can enter; in other words, a crack in seemingly solid and dominant emotional procedures, cultures, experiences, stories and narrations, which allows  possibilities to emerge for the reconstruction of the way in which we perceive our story.

These moments provide our ideas about dead-ends and deadlocks with hope and have the power to modify our look, our language, our constructions and practices in relation to processes of connecting and acting.

Ring as many of the bells as are still active
forget about your perfect offering
there is everywhere a crack, a crack
This is how the light comes in.
This is how the light comes in
This is how the light comes in

L. Choen

Main Associates

Elias Gotsis

I am a Sociologist and a Family-Appreciative Systemic Psychotherapist.

I was trained in Psychotherapy and Family Therapy, from 1996 to 2010, in the Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations. After that, from 2002 to 2010, I was trained in Appreciative Systemic Inquiry and in contemporary meta-systemic theories, like the narrative approach, social constructivism and collaborative approach, in the Center of Systemic Therapy.

In addition, in 2015-2016 I received training in Systemic Representation.

I have been mostly occupied with Experiential Psychotherapy, Reflexivity, Interactive and Pluralistic Theory and I have presented applications from the field of psychotherapy and training of mental health professionals in scientific conferences and seminars.

I have also written and published a series of articles in scientific journals and on the internet, concerning addiction, Dialogism and the Pluralistic Approach, Reflexivity, Appreciative Systemic Inquiry, as well as special themes connected with preventative interventions in the school community.

I began working in the field of addiction in 1991, as a volunteer in the Rehab Group 18 PLUS and then since 1995 I have been working in ΟΚΑΝΑ as a senior member in prevention, a therapist in a therapy unit, a scientific director of the Teenager Group ATRAPOS-OKANA and as a trainer and supervisor. 

In particular, since 2015 I have been a scientific director of planning and implementing educational programs for Mental Health professionals and Social Scientists working in the Field of Prevention for Psycho-social Health and addiction treatment.

During the period that I was a scientific director in ATRAPOS, from 2002 to 2015, I was responsible for planning and supervising the scientific project; at the same time, I worked as a family and group therapist and for a long period of time I carried out experiential and expressive practices with groups of teenagers. Furthermore, in 2003-2004 I was the scientific director for the implementation of a pilot project in Korydallos Prison Complex.  

As a Scientific Director of the OKANA Training Program, I have worked as a main trainer and supervisor of mental health professionals in themes relevant to the field of family therapy, supervision,   employment of experiential practices and expressive means in psychotherapy and psycho-social health prevention, in addition to Appreciative Systemic Inquiry.

More specifically, as for the Appreciative Systemic Inquiry, which I have been using since 2003, I have trained more than 400 mental health professionals, social scientists and caretakers employed in Prevention Centers for the Promotion of Psycho-social Health, Non-Governmental Organizations for refugees, child protection organizations, like SOS-Villages, Ark of the World, The Smile of the Child, Probation Officer Services as well as Mental Health Institutions for children and teenagers.

In the framework of programs implemented by OKANA, I am the scientific supervisor of two pioneering pilot projects that have been put into effect by members of Prevention Centers in various Greek districts.

The first project is called “The school I dream of” and is about transferring the appreciative approach into Primary Education.

The second project is called “The school that fits us all” and its primary goal is empowering educators to develop projects concerning the combat of exclusion in the school community, gender identities and sexual orientation.

In spring 2018, I published my first book, entitled “A Small Unknown Sorrow” (original title: «Μια Μικρή Άγνωστη Λύπη»), an experiential psychological novel by ARMOS Printing and Publishing Company. In 2019 I published my second book in ARMOS, a scientific work entitled The Grammar of Resources (original title: Η Γραμματική των Αποθεμάτων), in which I present in detail the Systemic Synthetic Model of Appreciative Inquiry, which is based on  the compound of traditional and meta-systemic psychotherapeutic approaches.

            During the past years I have been particularly concerned with:

Founding CONSONACE is an old dream whose objective is to create a place where a synthetic therapeutic model will be developed and whose main concern is individualized care for people seeking support.  

As for my personal life, I am married and I have a daughter. I am particularly fond of music, animals, reading and writing literary and scientific books.

 

Anna Kiapoka

I am a psychologist- Social Worker and Family-Appreciative Systemic Psychotherapist.

I am a member of the Hellenic Association of Systemic Therapy (HELASYTH).

I was born in Chicago, USA and raised in Kos, Greece.

I studied Psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of Crete, and Social Work in the Technological Educational Institute of Patras. I have a Bachelor in “Education technology and Development of Human Resources”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. I have been trained in Systemic Dialogic approach in the Athenian Institute of Anthropos (AIA) regarding Family Therapy and Group Development. I have attended seminars of Genogram, counseling in the professional role, coordination, as well as seminars in Emotional Focused Therapy and in Process Work in AIA. During my education, I participated in the educational team for planning and implementing an experiential seminar in first-year students in Athens University of Economics and Business, in addition to planning and implementing an experiential seminar for parents in the 7th Kindergarten of Amaroussion. I was also the coordinator of small groups in experiential seminars.  

I have participated in a seminar entitled “Theatre in Education” held by Art Union “ARODO”, in addition to a two-month training in Drama Therapy in the educational center “Aion”.

I have participated in a two-year educational program of “Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes in Professional Practice”, which is held by KETHEA in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego. 

I have worked as a Social Worker in the Municipality of Zografou, in the Program “Social Care”. From 2001 to 2003, I worked in the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR); initially, in the Day center and in the Guest Room Psycho-social Rehabilitation for Refugees, within the framework of the Pilot Project “IOLAOS”. There, I worked as an individual and group therapist, while at the same time I organized coordinated and implemented psycho-educational programs for the development of psycho-social skills for the patients. I was also responsible for organizing a volunteer network and training mental health volunteers. At the same time, I participated in the coordination, organization and implementation of actions in the Community. Following that, I worked in the Program of Accompanying Supportive Services “New Beginning” of the Greek Council for Refugees, where I was mostly preoccupied with professional, individual and group therapy and support and Liaison.  

Since 2004, I have been working in OKANA. From 2004 to 2017, I worked as a Therapist and Social Worker. My work mostly concerned individual, family and group counseling, coordination of parent groups, as well as couple counseling. In addition, I coordinated a workshop of creative activities. At the same time, I supervised students of Social Work and mental health volunteers.

During the same period, I participated as a Trainer in the Project “Training Officers in Addiction Issues”.

Since July 2017, I have been a Senior Member of the Department of Education & Human Resources Development at OKANA, where I am in charge of planning, organizing, coordinating and implementing educational actions. I participate in the Educational Team of the Systemic Synthetic Model of Appreciative Inquiry, which has planned and implemented various workshops and educational actions. Within this framework, I have worked as a mental health professional trainer in Appreciative Systemic Inquiry, having trained an excess of 400 mental health professionals, social scientists and caretakers employed in Prevention Centers for the Promotion of Psycho-social Health, Non-Governmental Organizations for refugees, child protection organizations, like SOS-Villages, Ark of the World, The Smile of the Child, Probation Officer Services as well as Mental Health Institutions for children and teenagers.

I am a member of the writing team for the Manual of the Systemic Synthetic Model of Appreciative Inquiry, published by OKANA.

I am a member of the writing team for the Manual “The school I dream of”, published by OKANA and approved by IEP (Institute of Education Policy), which is about transferring the appreciative approach into Primary Education.

I am a member of the writing group for the Manual “The school that fits us all”, published by OKANA and approved by IEP, whose primary goal is empowering educators to develop projects concerning the combat of exclusion in the school community, gender identities and sexual orientation.

I am a coordinator of group project and member of the writing team for the forthcoming OKANA Manual “Interventions of Networking and Sensitization of Prevention Centers with Local Services of Hellenic Police”.

I was a coordinator of group project for the sensitization regarding smoking cessation and I participated in training actions in collaboration with Hellenic Thoraic Society (HTS).

From 2017 to 2019, I served as a Deputy Director of the OKANA Support and Reporting Office for the Social and Solidary Economy.

I have participated in various scientific conferences as a speaker and experiential workshops.

I have participated in writing articles regarding the Systemic Synthetic Model of Appreciative Inquiry.

My scientific interests focus on the employment of Systemic methodology and epistemology, on the individual, on the group and on the family, but also on broader systems. Delving into meta-modern systemic approaches, constructivism, collaborative, dialogic, pluralistic and narrative approaches and, of course, Appreciative Systemic Inquiry, brought a new perspective into my job, my philosophy and my worldview. I am very much interested in how we can help people, through our psychotherapeutic and psycho-educational actions, develop rich, free and functional identities, which can contain their whole experiences, while at the same time enabling connection to others and co-dependence. I am also particularly interested in working with the community, prevention of addictions, and promotion of psycho-social health. I am also interested in employing systemic appreciative practices in the school community for the empowerment of child identity. I am also interested in how we can be functional and draw happiness from our roles as partners and parents in a fluid world.

I am a member of the Hellenic Association of Social Workers.

I am a member of the Society of Preventative Psychiatry.

I have been a member of the Scientific Committee of OKANA Employees’ Association.

During the last years, I have been actively involved in the Parent-Teacher Association of the 10th Primary School of Amaroussion.

I love theatre, literature, philosophy, music, nice meetings-conversations with people and travelling.

I am a mother of two children and I enjoy their upbringing.

Mirella Korobilia

My name is Korobilia Mirella (Maria) and I am a psychologist and psychotherapist. I began my studies in 1997 at Southeastern the American University of Athens, where I obtained a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. My relation to the field of psychology has thereafter been strengthened due to my continuous training and update in the field of psychotherapy. I have been trained in systemic psychotherapy (SKEPSYS) and in cognitive and behavioral intervention in families suffering from a chronic mental disease (Mental Health Research University Institute ΕΠΙΨΥ). I have also trained in addiction therapy (transactional analysis, music therapy, dance therapy) and in food disorder therapy. I mostly seek different forms of psychotherapy in individual and family counseling by following reeducation programs like: Applying Neuroscience in Dance Therapy and in Somatic Therapy- social neuroscience and mental disorders (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), emotional and mental trauma management, supporting children and adults in crisis, child abuse, loss trauma, divorce (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), music-kinetic and psycho-kinetic education (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), music therapy and art forms in addiction (University of Macedonia). I have participated in various conferences and for two consecutive years I co-organized a scientific event on the occasion of the International Mental Health Day being in charge of the non-profitable association “GEFYRA” in collaboration with psychologynow.gr.

I am a PhD holder, Logos University USA and I have volunteered in various charitable organizations. My involvement in volunteerism goes back in time when I collaborated with Albert Schweitzer Gesellschaft (International Humanitarian Organization) in the context of psycho-social intervention for vulnerable social people mostly from African countries. Following that I collaborated with numerous municipalities in order to organize and participate in events or participate in counseling programs for minors and adults, family therapy, identifying cases in need of research and social intervention. Over the years I have extended my volunteer action in the non-profitable organization “GEFYRA” being in charge of action groups and as a social street worker. I offered psychological support to vulnerable groups, counseling to adults and children, approaching homeless and minorities, accompanying adults and minors in facilities and organizations. In Pilot Residence for Minors I continued counseling teenagers and created a social awareness team through films, board games and painting. Finally, following my training in the addiction field and my practicum in 18 Plus in Athens Psychiatric Hospital, I remain to this day a volunteer at the psychotherapeutic addiction program.

I am a research associate in psychologynow.gr, where I post articles and my main influences, apart from my personal narrations and those of my patients, are works of art, movies, theatrical plays. Art and its forms inspire me and provide alternative meanings to my life.

Eva Filanthropoulou

My name is Eva Filanthropoulou and I am a psychology graduate of the University of Thessaloniki, 2001.  Since then I have got two Bachelor degrees: one in Group and Intercultural Therapy, University of London, and one in School psychology, University of Rome, as well as my EOPPEP (National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational guidance) certification as an adult trainer. I have been employed as a substitute school psychologist for 10 years in schools, special education, Centers of Educational and Counseling Support (KESY) and as an adult trainer in various institutions, like Public Vocational Institutes, second-chance schools, college, Parent Schools, Centers of Lifelong Learning, and in European Voluntary Service Program (EVS). The past 4 yours I have a private practice focusing on family counseling. At the same time, I have been deeply concerned about the gender/ LGΒΤQI issue and Rainbow School since 2010. I am mainly interested in the field of education both as a trainer and a trainee, continually shifting from one role to the other and constantly realizing the depth and the effects of group processes. My contact with training groups empowers me, mobilizes me and moves me every time in a unique way, primarily through experiential learning and art.

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