Meeting with the Greek ESTD contact person, Niki Nearchou

In this latest ‘Spotlight On…’ ESTD travels to Greece, where we meet up with the Greek ESTD contact person, Niki Nearchou. In Europe we hear a great deal about the financial difficulties that Greece is experiencing, but we know that the country has a great and respected history and wish it all the best in recovering from its own traumatic present. 

The Greek healthcare system is largely provided through a system of national health insurance, with additional private systems in operation. In recent memory it has ranked above Germany and the UK , but with the state of finances, the provision of services has been forced to undergo limitations, meaning that more and more people are having to pay for their own long-term treatments.

The word ‘Trauma’ originates from Greece, meaning “a wound” (τραῦμα), and there has always been a tradition of helping the injured dating back to the ancient temples, where Greeks and visitors would be treated with kindness and healing; much of this came from temples, and laid the foundations for the hospitals we are familiar with today. 

Mental health care has some way to meet up with the exacting standards of physical care, and ESTD is one of a number of organisations helping this process of understanding and encouraging conversations and awareness about the importance of delivering appropriate and well researched interventions.

The country of Greece is spectacular, and a holiday destination from visitors across the globe. The islands and mainland contain countless examples of ancient history alongside modern facilities and a generous, warm welcome. Many films are shot in Greece, with the stunning locations providing an ideal back drop for classic stories like The 300 Spartans, to the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

So, with a bit of knowledge about her country, we now ask Niki for some information about herself as an ESTD contact person:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, the work that you do and how long you have been in this specialty?

I have been trained in adult and children psychotherapy. My work during the last years is mainly focused on children’s and adolescent’s psychotherapy and parent counselling. In therapy, I widely use, especially with young children, the technique of play therapy. During the last 7 years my work includes engagement in therapy with children that encounter psycho emotional and behavioural difficulties. Cases with psychopathology including trauma are also part of my work. 

How are you supported in your work? (e.g. training, supervision etc)

An asset that provides me a great deal of support in my work is the process of supervision on a regular basis. Moreover, attending additional training seminars and scientific conferences on aspects either closely related to my area of expertise or to a broader spectrum enhance my personal development as a therapist.

How did you get into this type of work?

Upon the completion of my undergraduate studies it was clear to me that this was the career path I opt for. However, my mentor during my clinical postgraduate training further determined and confirmed my choice to engage in this profession. 

Are you involved in doing research, and if so, what are you working on now?

I am currently a PhD researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, at the Department of Psychology, heading towards the completion of my project. My project deals with the study of resilience to student’s emotional abuse by educator within the school context. Moreover, aspects of psychopathology such as depression and stress, and adaptation and testing of psychometric tools are also some other areas of my research work. 

How is the concept of dissociation viewed in your country?

Dissociation is a relatively rare field in my country, and I think there is a lot of work that it needs to be done to further inform and raise the awareness of the public and of the professionals.

What is it like being an ESTD contact member?

I believe that it is a role that offers the opportunity to meet new colleagues, mainly working in the field of trauma.

How do you keep in touch with other ESTD members?

I am currently engaged in the process of meeting the other members of our society.

What are your thoughts about using social networking, such as Facebook or Twitter, to connect with other ESTD members? 

 I believe this could be one of the great advantages the social networking pages have to offer.

When you are not working, how do you spend your time?

It’s a kind of cliché but I really enjoy reading books unrelated to my work, and also enjoy attending live concerts. Travelling and meeting new places, people and cultures is a great part of my life.

If were to visit your country for a conference, what would you recommend that I should do to experience your culture?

In Greece in my opinion a visitor should experience the great milieu of the ancient Greek civilization. There are several museums and attractions throughout the country illustrating its history from ancient times until now. Also, the landscapes and the nature can offer an unforgettable experience either during summer or winter. Greek cuisine is definitely something a visitor should try. 


 Thank you so much for being so kind and helping, it will be really useful for other ESTD members to see who you are!

All the best,
Mike Lloyd
Chair, ESTD Website Committee