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Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is based on the modern psychoanalytic perspective, including numerous theoretical schools (Interpersonal theory, Object Relations theory,  Self psychology, Intersubjectivity, studies on the parent-child attachment).

Interpersonal relationships are the main focus of relational psychoanalytic psychotherapy.


Present and past relationships with significant others (parents and extended family, friends etc.) are a determining factor for our self-image, the communication patterns in our adult relationships, and our mental well-being in general.

In our interactions with others (family, friends, partner, workplace relations), we frequently reproduce behaviors familiar to us from our interaction with our parents or caregivers and significant others during childhood. Through these early relationships, the relational patterns we internalize and reproduce in adult life are formed. Our personal communicative repertoire, as developed over time, may have well served our relations in the past but might no longer fit our communicative needs and wishes for our present relationships.

The therapeutic process helps with:

  • resolution of intrapsychic conflicts ,

  • emotional trauma relief and

  • emotional development of the patient,

so that she can recognize and express her feelings, needs and desires,

realize her separateness from others, and

enjoy the responsibility of shaping one's own life through conscious, voluntary choices.

The importance of the therapeutic relationship (analyst-analysand)

The basis of the therapeutic process is the relationship between therapist and patient.

The therapeutic relationship is equal although asymmetrical. Both therapist and patient bear mutual responsibility for the care and continuation of an authentic therapeutic relationship. The therapeutic dyad focuses respectfully and consistently on patient's worries, therapeutic aims and personal development and not on the personal satisfaction of the therapist.


 The therapist is not considered a neutral observer, but simultaneously an active participant and observer in the therapeutic process.

During sessions the Therapeutic Duad (therapist-patient) makes psychotherapeutic use of personal experiencesconscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, and fantasies of both therapist and patient stemming from their relationship as well as patient's past and present relationships with significant others.  

In order to solve any intrapsychic conflicts and traumas, the therapist gets involved in the ‘here and now’ (present) of the therapeutic work, while taking into account the past relationships of the patient and their own relationship. Special attention is given to the patient's need for an authentic relationship with the therapist and not simply a repetition/reproduction of patient's past relations with significant others through the new therapeutic relationship.

The experience of our interaction (therapist-patient) in therapy can:

  • highlight the ways the patient relates to herself and to the significant others in her life                                                         

  • be a new, restorative experience of interpersonal connection for the patient, different from her past relationships.


Through the Therapeutic Dyad's  interaction patient's emotional expressiveness and mental resilience are expanded. New paths of emotional interaction with others in the present and the future are opened,  meeting the patient's present emotional needs.

Therapeutic Frame in Individual Therapy

Α stable, clear and mutually agreed therapeutic framework is a prerequisite for cultivating a sense of safety and trust for both patient and therapist.

The therapeutic framework concerns, among other things, the place, time, frequency and duration of the sessions,  confidentiality and declassification, the cost variation and method of payment, sessions' cancellation policy, communicative boundaries during sessions etc. The aim of the therapeutic framework is to ensure the seemless continuation of therapeutic work.

The therapist is responsible for creating a safe space, respecting ethical principles and the code of conduct, and taking into account the patient's needs.

The preliminary sessions constitute meetings of acquaintance, exploration on the patient's initial therapeutic request, gathering information on patient's case history and assessement of our ability to work together towards a common therapeutic goal.

During these sessions, I clarify the framework of our cooperation, while discussing and jointly forming it with respect to each other's boundaries and limitations. At the same time, we explore any thoughts and expectations of the patient about the therapeutic process and specific factors that may affect our meetings (medical issues and mobility limitations, work rota, etc.).

Sessions are held on a fixed day and time (except for patients with work rota), on an agreed frequency and cost.

In individual sessions we are seated on armchairs facing eachother, while in some cases I may be seated behind my desk. In couple's therapy, I am seated behind my desk while the couple is seated on the armchairs in front of it. In group therapy the therapist and the group members are all seated in a circle.

Our discussions during the sessions are confidential. Confidentiality is not applicable in cases of danger (concerns on patient's suicidality or lifethreatening purposes towards others).


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