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Dafni Millioni

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rsz_dafniI am a Greek national, but have been to this point living outside my country of birth for 20 years. I initially lived in England for 17 years, where I completed my postgraduate studies and worked in the National Health System. In that capacity, I worked as a Counselling Psychologist and to a smaller degree, as a Dramatherapist for over 10 years with people with a range of mental health issues, ranging from the acute and the moderate to the severe and chronic on Primary and Secodary Care levels. Typical presenting issues during my NHS work were depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, loss and bereavement, self esteem, workplace bullying, living with illness, dual diagnosis, personality disorders, anger management and trauma.

Apart from being an expat myself, my work and personal relationships have been cross-cultural and I am raising multi-lingual children.

I work within an Integrative model, which encompasses Phenomenology, Social Constructionism and Transpersonal Psychology. My work is often informed by creative, Mindfulness and Narrative approaches. I work in English and Greek with individuals and coupes and also offer Skype sessions online.

I have also attended numerous workshops in drama-oriented therapies used to facilitate radical change in individuals, groups and communities, such as Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Moreno’s Psychodrama. I have been a member of a Playback Theatre group in London, an improvisational theatre form also used for insight and transformation and have also done several workshops in physical theatre. I am a fan of the DV8 group in the UK.

In addition, I have a background in several holistic and spiritual philosophies and practices, including several yoga paths (Kundalini, Hatha and Astanga), Tai Chi and Qi Gong and mindfulness and meditation, among others.
I have so far lived and worked in three different countries ( Greece, the UK and Germany) and speak four languages.

I have been livng in Berlin since 2011.

Qualifications

I am a Counselling Psychologist (Ph.D), trained Dramatherapist and Kundalini Yoga teacher.

Ph.D Psychology (2004), City University, London

MSc. Psychological Counselling (1997), City University, London

PGDip. Dramatherapy (1995), University of Hertfordshire, UK

BA Psychology (1994), Deree College, The American College of Greece, Athens, Greece

 

Membership

I am registered in the UK with the Health Professions Council (HCPC) as a Counselling Psychologist. In Germany I am licenced as a Heilpraktikerin eingeschränkt auf das Gebiet Psychotherapie (HPG) and a member of the ACT register for English speaking therapists in Berlin.

 

Publications

2008, May, Embodiment and Dramatherapy: A Discursive Approach to the Extra-discursive Dramatherapy, British Association of Dramatherapists

2007, Spring, ‘Oh Jo! You can’t see that real life is not like riding a horse!’: Clients’ constructions of Power and Metaphor in Therapy, Radical Psychology, Online Journal of the Radical Psychology Network, www.radpsynet.org/journal/index.html

2001, November, Dramatherapy and Social Constructionism- creating alternative discourses, Dramatherapy, British Association of Dramatherapists

1996, Spring, In a different costume: the cross-cultural application of Dramatherapy-some considerations, Dramatherapy, British Association of Dramatherapists

I have also translated and published Phil Jones’s Drama as Therapy, Theatre as Living (1995, Routledge) into Greek (Ellinika Grammata Pub.).

 

Languages

Greek (native), English (professional level), German (conversational) and Spanish (conversational)

 

Blanka Leeker

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rsz_1rsz_1rsz_blanka_2I am a Psychotherapist (HPG) and provide psychotherapy in English and German. I have been active in the Fields of Therapy and Social Sciences since 1996. Many bilingual English/German speaking families choose to use both languages in the sessions. Especially children find it helpful to express themselves emotionally in their more dominant language.

I am a native German and received my training and licenses in Germany and the US. From 1998- 2013 I lived with my husband and two children (now 25y/18y) in Palo Alto, California. During the time in the states I immersed myself culturally through both direct therapy work and engaging in many types of socially oriented volunteer work. Having raised my children as an expatriate I understand the special challenges that present itself from living in a new culture, far away from family and friends.

I have acquired a broad range of practice as a therapist, counselor, and nurse. I also completed a substantial number of professional trainings and volunteer work.

In my capacity as therapist I worked with families, couples, individuals, teens and children in a wide range of settings and cultural contexts. With my clients I addressed a wide-range of diagnostic presentations including relationship issues, attachment issues, substance abuse, eating disorders and personality disorders. I worked in a multicultural elementary and middle school setting, where I provided individuals and group counseling and supported parents.

In addition, I helped my clients in a variety of issue relevant settings:

  • Addressing trauma related issues, working with women and children as victims and survivors at a center for Domestic Violence.
  • Volunteered at the ‘Suicide and Crises’ Services, providing phone counseling and individual grief counseling to client of the Survivor of Suicide Program.
  • Spending the summer of 2010 in a therapeutic wilderness for teenagers and young adults in Utah, where I assisted the primary field therapist.
  • During my years as social worker I worked at a residential home for teenagers, child and Youth welfare Office, and a women shelter.
  • I had the opportunity to work at a United Nation endorsed school project ‘School for Life’ in Thailand, where I worked as a nurse and taught English.
Qualifications
  • 2014 – Heilpraktiker for Psychotherapy, Berlin Germany
  • 2013 – Postgraduate Externship at Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
  • 2011 — MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, CA
  • 2000 – MA in Social Work from University of applied Sciences Darmstadt
  • 1985 – State registered Nurse, Germany
Memberships
  • CAMFT – California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, Princeton, NJ
  • Association for Counselors and Therapists in Berlin (ACT Berlin)
Recent publications
  • “Wilderness- an Intervention for Teenagers” 2006 [ISBN 0-9785520-0-8]
  • “Das Pflegekinderwesen in den USA” (The foster care system in the USA)
    Kindeswohl 03,2000 ISBB: 0936-4463

 

Helping you to reconnect to yourself, your relationship and the place where you are

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IMG_5865_resizeAt times when you are finding yourself low on energy, not as happy, living in Berlin can become isolating and feel like you have no ground underneath your feet. Because of moving from one country to another, family or your relationship become your “home”, and it can be all the more difficult if you are no longer sure about your relationship, are considering separation or dealing with loss. At such times, counselling may help to support you to find your own strengths again, reconnect with the things that are important to you and find a new, more positive as well as more grounded way forward.

Challenges of international and intercultural relationships

 

Are you finding yourself no longer really talking with your partner, but at each other? Or have you stopped really speaking with each other at all? And even when you are trying to do or say something different, all the other person seems to hear are words of hurt. When it seems impossible to come out of some of these cycles that seem to have determined your relationship by yourself, it can help to speak to someone who does not take any sides, but helps the both of you, (or, in case of a family, all family members) to express some of the things you want to say in a safe environment, with the hope of getting out of these cycles and finding new, more positive ways forward, that are actually more in line with how you would like your relationship to be.

As an international or expat couple or family this stress of communication may at times be even harder. There is the stress of living in a country different from your country of origin where you may not speak the language fluently (with all the feelings of dependency that come from that), or have difficulty finding good friends outside of your relationship. If you have moved around a lot and your relationship and family have become your “home”, it hurts all the more to be arguing so much, to contemplate separation or to lose a family member. And if you both have a different cultural background you may also have quite different ways of communicating, which can make these situations even more difficult to navigate.

My approach

 

By reconnecting with what is important to you, your relationship, and as a family, I use my professional experience as a family & couples therapist as well as my personal experiences of what it is like to move countries a lot and live in an intercultural relationship to support you to work through the issues you are experiencing and help you improve your confidence, communication and your connection to each other.

 

Languages

 

I mainly work in English, but can include German, Dutch and Spanish in the session as well, depending on whatever languages you speak. Especially in the case of past traumatic or particularly stressful experiences, it can help to work through these issues in your mother tongue alongside the language you speak together as a couple and/or family. Please note my level of Spanish does unfortunately not allow me to conduct a full session in Spanish, but I could assist in translating some things to your partner or help you work through a traumatic experience in Spanish.

 

I enjoy working with people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, genders, ages, abilities, cultures, spirituality, and ethnicities.