Counselling is nothing additional. It is central.
Most psychological and somatic diseases could be prevented. Stress, unhealthy habits and wrong believes create incredible harm. A change of behavior treats most of these unhealthy states or, at least, improves them essentially. Counceling is therefore a central part of any general or family medicine. At times the required change might be minor. At times a more fundamental change is necessary.
However, people tend to prefer to take pills. One of the great physicians of the past (William Osler) even regarded the desire to take medicine as the major difference between humans and animals. If all the good that provides a 10-minute daily body exercise could be taken as a pill, everybody would take it, if necessary 20 different pills a day. But this will never work. We must move on our own. Comparingly, sleep is one of our best remedies, and a lack of sleep is responsible for many different diseases. Sleeping pills make things worse as it provides a sleep of bad quality with increased health risks. Nothing can substitute a good sleep.
We see this pattern time and again: The attempt to solve a problem with a drug or with a simple strategy becomes quite often part of the problem, makes things worse. Therefore, counceling is complex and often difficult. Easy answers are questionable.
Together with my collaborator Christina Tsineli we developed several talks open to the public, on topics we regard as crucial for a healthy and a fulfilled life. For some topics we designed a more detailed counceling program and/or groups of support. Our main emphasis centers around the subjects of eating and its disorders, of school stress and developmental difficulties.
1. Food and food related problems
Overweight or obesity belong to the most important problems in Western societies. People eat too much and too bad. Often, they just lack the necessary knowledge which is addressed in our talk Βασικές Αρχές της Υγιεινής Διατροφής
But the medical consequences of wrong eating are not the main problem. The main problem is that our relation to food has become unnatural and disturbed. According to the principle that the attempt to solve a problem becomes part of the problem, dieting increases the dysfunction. Rarely the scientific world agrees so unanimously: dieting is a disease. In our talk Η παγίδα της δίαιτας και άλλες αποτυχημένες και βλαβερές προσπάθιες we outline the difficulties people face in trying to cope with food related problems. We introduce and explain important principles of how such dysfunctional states can be solved.
As groups are the best way to create a sustainable change of behavior, we offer a group of support to help overcoming food and eating related problems
2. School stress
Schooling has become nearly as unhealthy as smoking. Families invest incredible time, money and energy and are strangely ineffective. They have no clear vision. Tensions and misunderstandings rise. Some families even tend to dissolve within the first days of primary school.
Our talk Η μάθηση στην προσχολική και στην πρώιμη σχολική ηλικία introduces into basic principles of learning and development during the first schooling period. It shows the impact of wrong expectations and improper strategies onto everyday life and the schooling stress of children. Far too often we observe the usual pattern: the attempt of a family to solve a schooling problem makes things worse. The same is true with setting boundaries, which had become an important problem in our times. In our talk Πως να βάλετε τα όρια αφήνοντας το παιδί σας ελεύθερο we explain strategies of how to support children towards self-responsibility, robustness and creativity.
For schooling difficulties which have their roots in behavioral difficulties and not in mental handicaps, we propose and adjust a five-step procedure:
- Analysis of the beliefs of parents about parenting, schooling and education.
- Valuation of eventual ineffective family interactions.
- Introduction of general guidelines and priorities of education
- Development of a short-, middle and long-term plan.
- Strategies of application.
In general, this can be achieved in three meetings.
A special case are the Panellinies (general qualification for university entrance). They are one of the major threats for the somatic and psychological health. Pupils tend to learn wrong, inefficiently and in an unhealthy manner. In our talk Πανελλαδικές – πώς να μαθαίνεις αποτελεσματικά και να μένεις υγιής we introduce basic principles of a successful learning. Knowing these principles, pupils are able to learn more effectively. In three group sessions we work out these principles more in detail such that every pupil develops her or his own effective learning style.
Pupils usually start well, but with the months they get ever more stressed, and fall back into old and harmful patterns of learning. As a continuous guideline and to cope better with stress we offer a regular support group. How we learn is more important for the outcome than how long we learn.
For further information on the counceling programs please contact us.