Sylvia Karathanos, Registered Member BACP
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, ill health, 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. 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, 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 working with 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!)
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, and more.
I offer short term as well as longer term work.
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 20 years experience of teaching individuals and groups. I am teaching general classes as well as a Trauma Sensitive Yoga Class in the Totnes Area. (see below for further detail).
Training, qualifications & experience
- Internal Family System Psychotherapy IFS (Level 3)
- Advanced Diploma in Psycho-Therapeutic Counselling
- Sensorimotor Trauma Psychotherapy (Level 1)
- Certificate in Trauma Therapy with Janina Fischer (Level 3)
- Certificate in Expressive Art Therapy (Tamalpa Institute)
- Training in Grief Counselling
- Training in Counselling bereaved children and young people
- Acceptance and Commitment therapy (Intermediate Level Certificate)
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) (Level 2)
- Facilitator for Inquiry Based Stress Reduction: 'The Work of Byron Katie', certified by VTW (Verband fuer the Work of Byron Katie, Germany)
- Certified Yoga teacher
- a long term Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga practice and teacher
I continue to attend additional trainings, workshops and retreats.
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
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
mindfulness based inquiry
My fees for new clients are
£50 per one hour session
45 min introductory session £37
Some concessionary spaces available for those who are unable to meet the full cost
I have currently no availability to offer spaces for new clients
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).
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)