Hometown: Greece

 

About you

My need and curiosity for understanding the human nature since an early age led me to pursue my undergraduate studies in psychology, education, and philosophy, major in psychology, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece. During this period I worked as a volunteer at Perivolaki III, a day centre in Greece for children and adolescents with autism and pervasive developmental disorders, for two years. Although I was working there as a psychologist, I worked closely with play, art and music therapists and I was able to acknowledge the importance of creative therapies in a clinical context. This experience was life-changing and when I finished my first degree I decided to apply for the Art Psychotherapy course in Edinburgh, which was suggested by the centre's art psychotherapist. Having been in Edinburgh myself as a tourist when I was an adolescent, empowered this decision as I found the city very beautiful and artistic. I was a part-time student, which gave me the opportunity to get to know the city and meet people from all around the world.

 

"The art psychotherapy course has changed me a lot as a therapist but also as a human being. My mentality and the way I perceive and understand my external and internal reality has changed but also my self-esteem and confidence were raised. I would and already do suggest this course to people who are interested in art therapy as it has also opened a new path for my career."
Eva Grigoriadou

The Course

When I applied for the course I thought that it was going to be more expressive and artistic, but was happy to realise that it was quite clinical and was focused in psychodynamic psychotherapy and phenomenology. Since my background was in psychology and philosophy I was familiar with some of the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories but being a part-time student gave me more time to enrich my theoretical background and integrate this knowledge. Practice placements were a valuable experience. During the course, I had the opportunity to work with a wide range of client group, such as children, adolescents, and adults who had suffered from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic abuse, and parental substance misuse. I also had the opportunity to extend my skills in terms of assessment, clinical judgement, report writing, evaluation of the effectiveness of the therapeutic work and positive communication with my co-workers and clients. In general, I felt that the university and my experience at my practice placements prepared me and gave me the confidence needed for my current working environments.

In terms of work-load, I believe that there was a good balance in essay-writing, university lessons, placement and my free-time. I also managed to work once a week, but there was still some free time for me to enjoy and explore the city. University was very supportive with foreign students offering help at the Effective Learning Centre within the establishment of the library. Coming from a different cultural background and not feeling very confident with the English language at the beginning were my biggest fears, but eventually I realised that these also made me feel unique and that I had a lot of new ideas to bring to my university environment and current professional settings.

The art psychotherapy course has changed me a lot as a therapist but also as a human being. My mentality and the way I perceive and understand my external and internal reality has changed but also my self-esteem and confidence were raised. I would and already do suggest this course to people who are interested in art therapy as it has also opened a new path for my career.

Life after graduation

When I finished my studies I immediately started looking for jobs around UK. I worked as an arts and crafts workshop leader for Enable Scotland, organising and providing art and craft sessions for adolescents with learning disabilities. To further build upon my skills and knowledge after my graduation, I decided to volunteer as an art psychotherapist at Ayr clinic, a low secure psychiatric unit with female patients. Having completed nine months of therapeutic work with my patients, we are currently discussing the possibility with the hospital's manager and my supervisor of signing a contract to officially work as a part time art psychotherapist there. I am working as a Community Project worker for Upward Mobility Project with people with learning difficulties offering support and facilitating art, music or drama sessions(not therapeutic work) in Edinburgh. Lastly, I am working for Impact Arts as an art therapist with children who are living with family members who have alcohol or/and drug addictions. I am more than excited with my working experiences and I feel that I still continue growing as a professional and a human being! It is a difficult but really exciting journey!

MSc Art Psychotherapy International

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