About me and my approach

 

Loula Koteas

Loula KoteasClinical Psychologist Psychotherapist

Member of the British Association for Councelling and Psychotherapy

Relationship Counseling (Family and Couples), Psychotherapy with diverse cultures

E-therapist

Mental Health Columnist Athens News

BA Psychology – Hunter College of the City University of New York

MA Clinical Psychology – University of Indianapolis, USA

My approach is integrative which adheres to the belief that my therapy approach should be congruent with who my client is as a person. I don’t believe that a therapist should attempt to fit or mould a client into a particular cognitive structure rather than engaging in the client’s world as he or she experiences it. I’m constantly aware of the fact that if I were in that other person’s shoes I would be walking the same way sort to speak. Thus, I remain non-judgmental and highly empathic. Relationship driven rather than theory-driven is my personal philosophy. Research and my professional experience has shown that the most therapeutic factor is the quality of the relationship between client and therapist. In other words- it’s the relationship that heals.

Therefore, approaches that I integrate are:

  • The Rogerian concepts (Carl Rogers) of honesty, authenticity, a non-judgmental and wholly accepting attitude of the client and empathy.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy, the primary focus of which is to reveal the unconscious contents of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. This approach also relies on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist. In terms of approach, this form of therapy also tends to be more eclectic than others, taking techniques from a variety of sources, rather than relying on a single system of intervention.
  • Another approach is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This psychotherapeutic approach addresses dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and cognitions through a goal-oriented systematic process.The premise of this approach relies on the cognition that one’s thoughts can be derived from unconscious negative core beliefs developed in childhood which affect one’s emotions which in turn dictate one’s behavior. Thus, CBT allows the client to not only gain insight into his/her dysfunctional thinking but to be able to challenge these thoughts and replace them with more positive and functional ones. CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including depression, mood, anxiety, personality, eating, panic, substance abuse, tic, and psychotic disorders. This form of treatment focuses on the “here and now” and on alleviating the symptoms.

As part of my training as a clinical psychologist, I also work with disorders that may have a biological predisposition, such as bi-polar disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. In Relationship counselling, the relationship involved may be between members of a family or a couple. The focus in this form of therapy is to recognize and to better manage or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress.

Although, I would not describe myself as an existential therapist per se, I am greatly influenced by the work of the existential psychotherapists Viktor Frankl and Irvin D Yalom, underpinning my philosophy with an existential frame of reference. Many of the issues brought into the therapy room can have, when picked apart, a fundamental struggle with existence at its core. Albeit, I am mindful of the fact that many clients do not need or want to “ go there”, that is, work on existential concerns. However, I recognize the ones that do and I can accompany them on their journey to find their truth and their meaning.

Finally, on a more personal note, and I do recognize that many therapists do not disclose such matters, however, I will because I believe that a therapist’s life experience contributes to a better therapeutic outcome.

 

I am Greek- American, bi-lingual and bi-cultural – originally from New York City and living and practicing my profession for a number of years in Greece . This I believe contributes to me having first hand experience of individualistic and collective cultures. Moreover, I have experience working with people from diverse ethnic backgrounds as you will see on some of the testimonials on the testimonial section. I conduct therapy in English and Greek.

I am divorced and for many years happily remarried with a 20 year-old son, and two step children, a boy and a girl, respectively 21 and 18 years-old.

I am grateful and privileged to be able to do this kind of work for many reasons.

  • One is that if I could I would do it even if I weren’t getting paid. I see it as a calling.
  • Second, I learn so much from my clients that I can incorporate into my own life.
  • Third and foremost, I am honored and deeply indebted for the trust that so many have placed in me concerning their lives.