Child psychology and parenting

On being a parent: Guidelines by two world-reknown child psychoanalysts

Part 1: Francoise Dolto
Part 2: Donald Winnicott

All levels

Sophocles, the Minotaur and Mrs. Klein: The archaic kernel of Oedipus complex

In this workshop we will investigate the archaic Oedipus complex according to Klein’s theory focusing on  the composite parental figure and Meltzer’s claustrum concept.

Then we will discuss the myth of the Minotaur as described by Grotstein and will search  our own infantile deamons through experiential activities .



Psyche and soma: Mission Impossible?

Many individuals, because of difficult neonatal and infantile experiences,  have not been able to ‘enter’ their body. Their physical ego, the kernel of the self, has been formed in a problematic way lasting till adult life and appearing as body dysphoria, physical distress, organic disease or psychosomatic disorders.

In this workshop we will examine the formation of the invisible membrane embracing the psychosoma during the first months of life and we will reflect on the negative outcome of an inadequate body-mind integration during childhood and adult life.

All Levels

Clinical Relaxation Training

Relaxation techniques are often used in cases of severe anxiety as well as in stress management and physical problems, i.e. headaches, hypertension, pain etc.
In this workshop participants experience 4 different methods of relaxation and receive instructions about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

All Levels

The puzzle of psychosomatics

Why do we fall ill? Why do we get the specific disease? This seminar will provide answers to these questions based on different theoretical perspectives: psychoanalysis (Franz Alexander, Francoise Dolto, Joyce McDougall) alternative medicine ( acupuncture and homeopathy) and contemporary research findings with patients.
The following diseases will be explored from a psychological perspective: coronary heart disease and hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, ulcerative colitis, ulcer migraine headaches and cancer.
The participants will also have the opportunity to explore experientially their personal symptoms.

All Levels

The use of imagery in medical problems

Imagery is a powerful clinical tool with a wide range of applications in medical and psychosomatic problems. Many patients experience considerable difficulty in affective expression and description of their inner states. Imagery can provide an alternative route of self expression which facilitates self-reflection and enhances communication of inner states.


Unconscious body image

Francoise Dolto, the well-known French psychoanalyst, has mapped the layers constituting our unconscious body during each developmental stage. Her work is a significant contribution to the puzzle of psychosomatic ailments in childhood or in adult life.

All Levels

Clinical Health Psychology

This workshop is an introduction to the area of clinical health psychology and addresses issues encountered by psychologists working with an inpatient or outpatient medical population. It explicates the common problems encountered when we work with physically ill patients; it provides a framework to formulate diagnosis and intervention with the physically ill; it offers practical skills useful in the area of clinical health psychology.

All Levels

Psychotherapy advanced workshops


Most psychotherapy models assume that the client has an inner world, a self and the ability to relate- regardless of how inadequate or blocked those may be.

However, clinical experience has shown that we should not assume these attributes. Particularly borderline, psychotically  and psychosomatically organized clients manifest many problems in the area of mentalization and symbolization.

In this workshop we will focus on the work of Peter Fonagy and other attachment theorists to study the mentalization process which takes place during infantile life and leads to the formation of their inner world. We will also discuss clinical interventions to use with adult clients with inadequate mentalization skills, which may help them develop further those skills and deepen their inner world.

Intermediate and Advanced

Chiron’s constellation: Loss and grief in our life

Loss is an integral part of human life, however, several people cannot get over an intimate loss. In this workshop we will analyze the experience of loss

  • As a relational trauma
  • As a narcissistic wound
  • As an existential issue

Such an analysis reveals that not everyone is able to process their loss and be in touch with their feelings, therefore realistic goals and individually tailored interventions are a necessity.

We will also reflect on whether we can “cure” or “ get over” our past wounds; this is the existential dimension of loss, poignantly depicted in the myth of Chiron.

Intermediate and Advanced

Family unconscious: Archetypes, family secrets and a child’s ‘destiny’

In this workshop we will investigate the legacy of the family to its offspring. Not only talents but also traumas, secrets and unresolved conflicts passed down from one generation to the next.

These unresolved issues play a significant role in the formation of current family relations and the « destiny» of each individual family member.

Specifically we will examine:

  •   The archetypes emerging from the father and mother imagos
  •   The archetype of the black sheep and the scapegoat
  •   Incestuous themes in the family
  •   Motifs regarding jealousy, envy and death wishes aimed at the child
  •   Ways to deal with unresolved issues in our own family

Several clinical vignettes will  be presented and you can bring your own cases for discussion.

All Levels

Dealing with borderline pathology

The aim of this seminar is to introduce students to the particular challenges posed by clients with borderline personality structure and to provide information about expressive psychotherapy, a therapeutic approach developed for borderline clients by Otto Kernberg and the mentalization approach developed by Fonagy. Case material , both written and in role-playing, will presented to illustrate the points made at the seminar. Participants are welcome to present their own cases as well.

Intermediate and Advanced

When therapy fails

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we occasionally fail our clients. We either get into a rut or the client, under the pretext of lack of money or time, leaves therapy prematurely.
In this workshop, we will examine the conditions indicating early in therapy that things may falter later on. Then we will see in actual clinical cases the impact of certain issues that are common in almost every treatment:

Self disclosure of the therapist
Client’s idealization of the therapist
The masochism of the therapist

Participants are welcome to bring their own cases for discussion.



Intermediate and Advanced

Short term psychodynamic therapy

In this seminar we will explore Malan’s model of short term psychodynamic therapy. We will discuss the selection criteria and the clinical problems which are more suitable for this type of intervention. Valuable qualities of this perspective include the careful diagnosis; focus on a single aim; and the intensive working through of client’s issues in the transference relationship.


Psychotherapy core workshops

Narcissistic dynamics

Narcissism is prevalent in our culture and consequently often met in our work. In this seminar we will discuss:

the clinical signs of narcissism,
specific forms of narcissism ( malignant narcissism, masochistic-narcissistic dynamics)
narcissistic issues in relationships
and the difficulties inherent in psychotherapy with this type of clients.

Intermediate and Advanced

What is psychotherapy? Ten crucial questions

This workshop aims to help participants find the answers to common questions they often raise as they begin to train as therapists. We use case studies and role-playing to elucidate the nature of the issues raised in this workshop.

What makes therapy different from other relationships?
How long should therapy last?
What qualities constitute a “ healing” relationship?
What is the role of the therapist?
Is it possible to change through therapy?
Is it always beneficial to express our feelings?
Do I run the risk to feel worse if I start therapy?
What theoretical approach works best?
How do I know that I am suitable for therapy?
What do I need to do to become an efficient therapist?

Introductory - Intermediate

Ethical dilemmas in psychotherapy

Many therapists believe that ethical issues seldom rise in the course of a treatment. Furthermore, they believe that since they behave ethically in all aspects of their lives, naturally their behavior will not provoke ethical conflicts in their professional work.
However, many issues of ethics are so common and so subtle that they slip by unnoticed, having managed to corrode the therapy process. In this workshop we will discuss some of the more salient issues such as the therapist’s self-disclosure, boundary problems, confidentiality when working with more than one client; we will also discuss more subtle forms of ethics such as the conflict between the values of the therapist with those of the client.
Actual cases will be presented to highlight these points and you can bring your own for discussion.

All Levels

Crisis intervention

We often need to deal with crises in our private office. Situations such as severe physical abuse,
self -destructive behaviors, suicidal ideation, or psychotic breakdown call for a different intervention than the usual « psychotherapeutic» approach.
In this workshop we will examine common examples of crisis intervention through case studies and role playing. You are welcome to bring your own cases for discussion.

All Levels

Clinical Management

We often believe that all people who ask help are suitable for psychotherapy. However, in many cases, the problems confronting the person cannot be resolved through therapy alone. How do we investigate the suitability of a prospective client for psychotherapy?
What other resources should we look for to help this client? Are we the right person to help the specific client? What are the common mistakes made by therapists as they endeavour to help people?

All Levels

When does therapy end?

At what point is a client ready to leave therapy? This important question puzzles not only beginners but also experienced clinicians and its appropriate resolution determines to a large extent the ultimate success of therapy.
In this seminar we will discuss:
Early indications for a client’s premature flight from therapy
Appropriate management of issues surfacing at the end phase of therapy ( what if the client gets worse? What if the client claims that she is ultimately disappointed with therapy? Are we going to slowly wean the client or continue having regular sessions till the last minute? Are we going to schedule regular follow-ups?)
Presentation of clinical cases where therapy gets into a rut or ends prematurely.
Advantages and disadvantages of short term vs long-term therapy.

Intermediate and Advanced

The shadow of loss in our life

Loss is an inevitable experience in human life and sometimes the after-effects of significant losses can touch much deeper layers of our psyche than those described by our favorite psychological theories.
We, as therapists, do our best to help clients work through their losses, but how many of those clients can actually process the loss?
In this seminar we will cover:

Different types of loss ( anticipated, traumatic, diffuse) and their respective effects.

Which clients have the capacity to work through their loss

The conditions that either facilitate either hinder the process of mourning.

Intermediate and Advanced

Emotional expression in psychotherapy: Is it always beneficial?

Lay persons, as well as many therapists, believe that emotional expression is always beneficial. However, clinical experience indicates that this is not always so. Though appropriate expression of feelings is often crucial in therapy, some clients  should not be encouraged to freely express their powerful emotions, since this has often adverse effects. In this workshop you will learn which clients under which circumstances can benefit from emotional expression and which cannot.

All Levels


Some psychotherapy schools emphasize and explore the therapeutic relationship while others take it for granted. In this workshop we will find out how a transference relationship develops early in the therapeutic process independent of the theoretical perspective espoused by the therapist and the conscious feelings of the client for the therapist. Transference reactions which are not recognized as such block the therapeutic process, so it is useful for a therapist to be able to understand and work with these reactions as well as his/her own countertransferance feelings to the client.

Intermediate and Advanced


Symbolism and dreams

Why do we have nightmares? Why do we keep having the same dream motifs, several years in a row? What is the reason we have anxiety dreams, though we feel quite comfortable in our daily life? Could we use our dreams as a guide to better understand ourselves?

In this workshop we will examine Freud’s theory on the formation of dreams and Jung’s theories regarding the archetypes, synchronicity and the ability of the unconscious to manifest future trends.

You can bring your own dreams for discussion.

All Levels

Our personal myth II: The ‘good’, the ’bad’ and the ‘ugly’ in our personal myth

In our life we often encounter difficulties and disappointments. Our goals and desires get blocked by the circumstances of our life or by our own passivity and procrastination. Despite our weariness, we keep watching endless repetitions of  “ the same old movie”.

Who is the dragon we need  to confront? Who is the evil witch who keeps us enslaved? What stops us from realizing our desires? In this workshop we will use the wisdom of folktales and psychoanalytic theories to trace the basic motifs in our life.

All Levels

The inner child

Many therapists have discovered that inside an adult client there is a small child with his/her own needs trying  to heal his/her wounds. In this seminar we will discuss how we can best approach this partly dissociated aspect of the client’s subjectivity  and the problems  usually encountered in this process.

All Levels

Clinical intuition

Intuition is an invaluable asset for a clinician. Coupled with empathy, intuition helps the therapist to sense accurately the nonverbal messages of the client and to respond sensitively and appropriately to these cues.
The aim of this workshop is to help participants understand and nurture their clinical intuition through the study of symbols, keeping a personal journal, using painting and guided imagery techniques.

All Levels

Ιn quest of our personal myth

For certain people life entails more than making a living, solving problems and managing daily affairs;  for such people life should be passionate, heroic and meaningful. However, even the most down to earth persons start to realize as they grow older that certain event sequences and relationship patterns keep coming up in their lives, creating a personal and deeply engraved life scenario. In this workshop we will look into the myth of Hero as developed by Campbell and Jung and we will get a glimpse into our own life dynamics pertaining to the hero archetype.

All Levels