Global Perspectives in Family Therapy: Development, Practice, and Trends

By Kit S.Ng | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10

Reflections on Forty Years of Family Therapy, Research, and Systemic Thinking in Greece

BASILIA (LIA) SOFTAS-NALL

In ancient Greek, the word “individual” was idiotis, which translated as “idiot.”

The application of systemic thinking in Greece started in the early 1960s with the Vassilious. George Vassiliou, a psychiatrist, and Vasso Vassiliou, a clinical psychologist, were considered the “parents” of Greek systemic thinking. Both Vassilious were among the first students of Virginia Satir in 1956 to 1957 in Chicago. Under her supervision, they began to see families with important therapeutic gains. Through Satir they came in contact with the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto, Don Jackson, Watzlawick, and Bateson's work (Sakkas, 1994a, 1994b; Vassiliou, 1990a). In 1963, the Vassilious developed a private center, the Athenian Institute of the Anthropos (AIA; Anthropos means the human being, both male and female in Greek), which under their directorship has offered systemic treatment and training for about 40 years. In addition, they have conducted research on the psychosocial changes of the Greek family and culture since the origins of the AIA. The Vassilious believe that in order to understand families they needed to understand the cultural context within which families functioned. George Vassiliou has been elected as an honorary member of the European Family Therapy Association (EFTA) and is president of various professional international organizations. Both George and Vasso Vassiliou participate as Honorary Founding Members of the two newly founded national family therapy organizations, the Greek Association of Systemic Therapy and the Greek Systemic Thinking and Family Therapy Association.

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