Sylvia Karathanos

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MBACP Psychotherapist, certified IFS Therapist, Supervisor
Limited availability
Limited availability

This professional is accepting new clients but may have a waitlist. Please enquire with them directly to discuss availability.

Totnes, TQ9
Limited availability
Limited availability

This professional is accepting new clients but may have a waitlist. Please enquire with them directly to discuss availability.

About me

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Welcome! I am an experienced mindfulness based counsellor and psychotherapist, offering a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space to enable you to address any issues that bring you to counselling; this could be feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, or struggling with any other difficulties that life can bring, for example trauma, relationship issues, divorce/separation, (chronic) ill health, burnout, loss, and many others. Perhaps you feel that past events are affecting your life today in negative ways. Or you are struggling with an overly critical internal voice. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by emotions such as fear, sadness or anger. Perhaps you are experiencing hopelessness and feeling disempowered or numb when confronted with news of climate change, social and political issues or other global crises. Or you just don't like yourself very much, or are dissatisfied with your life or your relationships. Those are some of the difficulties where counselling can help. I believe we all have the potential to get more from life, engage with our lives on a deeper level, and that with the right conditions, things can change.

I consider respect, understanding and compassion as fundamental in our work together. My underlying orientation in our sessions is mindfulness: together we cultivate caring present moment awareness; thereby we re-educate and sooth the nervous system to enhance your well-being. I believe that counselling can be a nurturing experience, leading to deep and lasting healing.

How counselling can help: While we can’t change the fact that life can be challenging, painful and overwhelming at times, we can change how we relate to these difficult experiences and to ourselves. This is where counselling and psychotherapy can be helpful. Through counselling we can develop new approaches to these difficulties, such as: new resources, understanding, awareness, skills, compassion as well as direction, and begin to feel safer, more alive and whole.

How I work: I work with an integrative approach, which means I draw from a range of therapies and tools. This enables us to address all aspects of our humanity in the work together: the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. We will use approaches and tools most appropriate and useful for you and your situation on your unique path towards wholeness and self-compassion. Importantly, we go at your pace, and you are 'in the driving seat'.

How we might explore your experience together during sessions:

My work is grounded in mindfulness, which can be very effective to connect to the part in ourselves that is already whole, unharmed and well; beyond – or prior to - any sense of difficulties and limitations we might have.

IFS - Internal Family Systems Therapy is a fast growing, evidence based mindfulness therapy that enables us to grow our connection with this unharmed core, while we work directly and compassionately with those aspects within ourselves that cause anxiety, depression, difficult behaviour and feelings. This helps these parts to soften and feel taken care of, which makes our inner systems settle down and work in better harmony. The healing results of this work are often felt immediately.

In addition, in our sessions we are able to use simple, gentle body awareness exercises to explore how we experience situations in our bodies, while accessing information that the body holds. This can deepen our understanding of ourselves, often beyond what we are conscious of. Over time we can heal old, held patterns, and integrate them. Releasing old pattern from the body and practicing to be present with our physical experience leads to a greater sense of safety and freedom.

We will also be working with the feelings and emotions, not only to understand the historic origins of emotional patters but also to develop a greater ability to process, experience and release even strong emotions. It can be very empowering to discover new ways of handling difficult emotions. It is a great discovery to find that these emotions can be met safely, skillfully, with understanding, and be 'set free'. I offer you practices and tools for you to take home with you, to support your wellbeing outside of our sessions.

We also address limiting thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that we may have learned – often unconsciously – along the way and that are now causing us unnecessary stress. By exploring, and inquiring into these thoughts we gradually develop more helpful ways of thinking, and use the creative powers of the mind to our advantage.

We can use creative tools to support the process. This may include drawing, the use of sand-tray, using natural objects and figurines, as well as exploring physical movement. Working creatively can often allow surprising aspects, insights or solutions to surface, and offers us resources that haven't been available before. (This does not require any 'talent' or training on your part!) Working in this way is also possible when meeting online, perhaps in a more limited way but it has been surprising how well we can incorporate those explorations when we can't meet in person.

Areas of my work include:

The after-effects of trauma (such as accidents, abuse, illness, neglect and loss). Relationship difficulties, bereavement, anxiety, depression, stress, panic, parenting difficulties, unhappiness, hopelessness, dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, loss of meaning, searching for spiritual connection, emotional responses to the climate emergency (eco-disstress, 'climate-anxiety') and more.

I offer short term as well as longer term work.

IFS Supervision/Consultation
I am trained in IFS informed supervision, and specialise in supervising IFS therapists and IFS-informed counsellors and therapists. I offer individual as well as small group supervision and consultation. As an approved clinical consultant with the IFS Institute these Supervision/Consultation sessions count towards certification. I am available to support Supervisees through the Certification process, if that is what you are interested in. 

I am a certified Coach for 'The Work of Byron Katie', an inquiry based stress-reduction approach (

I am a registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and aspire to follow their ethical framework.

I am also a Yoga teacher with more than 20 years experience of teaching individuals and groups. 

I am currently training in 'The work that reconnects: Active Hope' developed by Joanna Macy, to expand on my skills to support and empower clients to find meaningful ways to engage with the climate and ecologic emergency ( (

I am also engaged with the 'Deep Adaptation' movement ( 

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Certified Internal Family System Psychotherapy IFS (Level 3)
  • Advanced Diploma Psycho-Therapeutic Counselling
  • Diploma in IFS informed Supervision and Consultation 
  • Sensorimotor Trauma Psychotherapy (Level 1)
  • Certificate in Trauma Therapy with Janina Fischer (Level 3)
  • Certificate in Internal Family System Psychotherapy - Trauma and Neuroscience
  • Certificate in  Internal Family System Psychotherapy  - "Compassion for Addictive Processes"
  • Certificate Expressive Art Therapy (Tamalpa Institute, California) Level 1
  • Certificate in Grief Counselling
  • Certificate  in Counselling bereaved children and young people
  • Certificate Acceptance and Commitment therapy (Intermediate Level)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) (Level 2)
  • Certified Coach and Facilitator for Inquiry Based Stress Reduction: 'The Work of Byron Katie', certified by VTW (Peaceful mind e.V; Verband for 'The Work of Byron Katie', Germany)
  • Certified Yoga teacher
  • a long term Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga practice and teacher

I continue to attend additional relevant trainings, workshops and retreats. 

Currently I am taking part in long term training with Bonnie Badenoch: 'The Heart of Presence' ( which supports and enriches the IFS practice from an attachment perspective by integrating Interpersonal Neurobiology and Relational Neuroscience. 

I have assisted in IFS training programmes both in-person and online for Level 1 and 2, and continue to deepen my own learning and practice of the IFS model by assisting in trainings, as well as my personal weekly IFS therapy sessions.

I have many years experience of working with clients worldwide via the internet (using the secure platforms 'zoom' or 'Vsee') and have specialist training in working this way safely and effectively

Member organisations

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

existential questions


mindfulness based inquiry


personal development


climate change/chaos



Photos & videos


Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • Unemployed

Additional information

please contact me for information on fees

Further information

Trauma sensitive Yoga – Reclaiming your body

I have been a Yoga teacher for over 20 years and have experienced myself how profoundly the practice of Yoga can help overcome the aftereffects of trauma. This makes sense, as ‘one of the common denominators of all trauma is an alienation and disconnection from the body, and a reduced capacity to be present in the here and now’ (Peter Lavine, 2011). Through Yoga we look inwardly, and gradually befriend our physical sensations, relearn to inhabit our body and overcome the imprints of trauma. (Bessel van der Kolk 2011).

However, a general Yoga class can easily be overwhelming and triggering for students who are affected by the aftermaths of trauma.

Mindful, trauma-sensitive Yoga can provide a safe and healing context for the body to experience a calming of the nervous system, and for the practitioner to find safe ways to sooth themselves. This in turn helps to have increased present moment experience, and to regain a sense of safety and relaxation.  As we increase our capacity to stay present with our inner sensations, we can develop our self-compassion.

Practicing this Trauma informed Yoga can be supportive of any Trauma- or Psychotherapy you might be undergoing. I currently offer individual Yoga sessions in Totnes, tailored to your individual needs. (at the moment these sessions are available via zoom).

Recommended reading:

David Emerson, Elizabeth Hopper: Overcoming Trauma through Yoga. Reclaiming your Body. (2011)

David Emerson: Trauma-sensitive Yoga in Therapy. Bringing the Body into treatment.(2015)

Deirdre Fay: Attachment-Based Yoga and Meditation for Trauma Recovery. (2017)

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

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easy free parking, short walk on tarmac path with slight decline. 2 small steps to get into the house, so unfortunately not accessible for wheelchair users, but manageable for those with some mobility limitations.

Additional languages


Online platforms



In person

I offer IFS informed Supervision and Consultation to Counsellors and Therapists who have completed Level 1 IFS training or more.

View supervision profile