Vasiliki (Vicky) Drakopanagiotaki (P.G.Dip.Psychotherapy, M.Ed. Autism)
Taking the first step towards healing can be daunting, but certainly worthwhile. In a world where asking for help or support may be considered a weakness, we can only remind ourselves that we are human.
How can psychotherapy help?
Sometimes we feel that we have reached a point in our life where something needs to change. Something that causes distress in our relationships, work and overall life in various forms, like anxiety, depression, panic attacks or angry outbursts. Psychotherapy can help you explore this something that brought you to this moment and identify patterns and early decisions that may need reviewing. Through this exploration, self-awareness and within a non-judgemental, safe environment, change can happen.
I am an Integrative psychotherapeutic counsellor using a synthesis of developmental-relational approaches and theories, such as Object Relations, Self-Psychology and Transactional Analysis. I believe that the most important therapeutic tool towards healing is the relationship that we will create together. With a 15 year-old experience in Secondary Education, my area of expertise expands to the field of Autism Spectrum Conditions both in adults and young people.
How can I help you?
- One-to-One Psychotherapy and Counselling
I offer a warm, caring and welcoming environment. We will work together to explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviours while identifying patterns or decisions formed early in childhood. We will also explore their impact upon the present. Together in this journey of healing we will find the meaning of your experience and work through the difficulties at your own pace.
We all carry psychological baggage of a lifetime on our shoulders and sometimes this extra weight causes problems in our present. This happens because there are unresolved or unprocessed issues that need to be acknowledged, faced and ultimately embraced. For me the process of therapy is like reorganising a wardrobe; we open the doors, look inside, make a list of what we have and want to keep and what we are ready to throw away, then take everything out, sort out and put back in. But this time in a different less messy and more conscious order.
The process may take a while and it is easier to work through with the support of a caring nurturing therapist, who will challenge that part of you that is controlling and judgemental of every choice you make. A therapist who will give space, time and a voice to that part of you that is hurt or angry or confused.
I am a bilingual/bicultural individual, born and raised in Greece, living in Birmingham for the past 9 years. I am interested in the difficulties you may encounter after having left your country behind and are now pursuing a new life here. It takes most of us a while to find our feet and our place in this society. The process becomes a little harder when we keep seeing in the here and now the same relationships or people we decided to leave behind. Together we can explore and work through the 'ghosts' that followed you all the way here. Sometimes it is also difficult to feel that we belong, sometimes even in our own family and later again in the country we chose to call home. I have found mindfulness to be a very useful tool in my daily life. I also embed a few breathing meditation practices in my work when the need arises and if you are willing to try it. Learning to meditate can help with sleeping difficulties, anxiety and staying in the moment.
In a caring environment, we will travel back to your experience, explore and identify exactly what it meant to you. Our therapeutic relationship will offer you a different experience, that will question and educate that judgemental part of you. It will allow space, time and a voice to the vulnerable child in you that needs to be seen, heard and validated.
Training, qualifications & experience
- P.G. Cert, P.G.Dip in Integrative Psychotherapy, Sherwood Psychotherapy Institute of Psychotherapy, Nottingham, UK
- P.G. Cert. in Integrative Psychotherapy, Newman University, Birmingham, UK
- MEd Inclusion & SEN (Autism), University of Birmingham, UK
- BA Classics, University of Patras, Greece
- Counsellor at Actions For Asperger's Charity, Corby, Northamptonshire
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
A therapy session is 60 minutes long. I request that clients arrive 5 minutes earlier. This will help us settle in well and begin our work at a good pace.
The fee for one-to-one counselling & psychotherapy is £50 per session. The fee is paid in advance of the session in cash or BACS - this means that the final session is already paid for.
Sessions are weekly and usually at the same time. Some flexibility can be offered if you work shifts. I request a 48 hour notice in case of a cancellation.
What to expect in our first session
The process involves the following steps: first you email/phone me to express your interest in starting therapy. Then I will kindly reply to your email/phone call and arrange with you a 20-minute phone conversation. This will help me understand what you are looking for and whether I am the right therapist for you. If we agree to proceed, we will arrange our first session and I will email you more details about the address and some documents for you to read before we meet. In our first session we will go through the documents you will have already read and our therapeutic contract. We will also talk in some more detail about what you seek in therapy. If we feel that I am not the right therapist for you, that is ok. I will refer you to another therapist or service and the session will not be charged for. If we agree that we can work together, we will then arrange a weekly slot and the session will be charged for. Our journey has begun!