loulia Balaska

Systemic Psychotherapist, Trainer, Theatrical Improvisation, Writing and Performance Expert
Gerakas Attikis, Greece
Email: balaska@genathlon.gr
Web: www.genathlon.gr

Ioulia Balaska currently works as a systemic psychotherapist for individuals, groups, couples and families in private practice. She is the founding director of the non-profit organization GENATHLON – Center for the Interdisciplinary Approach of Human and Natural Systems. She studied Political Sciences at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Social Psychology (D.E.A.) at the Universite de Toulouse-le Mirail, France, at the Department “Development of the Personality and Social Changes”. She was, then, trained on the Method of Theatrical Writing and Practice, at the Compagnie Zarina Khan in Paris and continued her training in Athens, on Systemic Psychotherapy at the Laboratory for the Study of Human Relations and on the Systemic Appreciative Approach by Peter Lang and Smaro Markou. She also participated in the seminars on transmaterialism run by Dr. Gail Simon.

She has worked as associate at the General Secretariat for Equality, working with women’s cooperatives and was director of the Mediterranean Women’s Studies Centre (KEGME). She has participated and directed many Greek and European projects, for the development of self-protection mechanisms of adolescents (against sexual abuse, drugs etc), as well as for the sustainable management of the environment (NATURA and LIFE projects).

Since 1995, she has worked at GENATHLON Center as psychotherapist and coordinator of the Theatrical Writing and Performance Workshops through Theatrical Improvisations, based on the method she has developed. She also trains social scientists on the Systemic Appreciative Approach and on Therapeutic Writing. Since 2021, she has worked as a trainer at the post-graduate program “Alypias Techni” of the University of Thessalia, training social scientists on Systemic Psychotherapy.

She is a member of the Hellenic Association for Systemic Therapy (HELASYTH), the European Family Therapy Association (EFTA) and the European Association of Psychotherapists (EAP) and was awarded the European Certificate of Psychotherapists (ECP).

Her therapeutic, teaching and coordinating practices are influenced by Social Constructionist, Collaborative, Dialogic and Narrative ideas. She is very concerned by the social and environmental situation in our times, so her work focuses on networking, based on the “with-ness thinking within living moments” according to J. Shotter, on the notion of the “ecosystemic wisdom” elaborated by G. Bateson, as well as on transmaterialism. It is also important to spread these ideas to society. Through these, she shares the Social Constructionist ideas about the relational being, the Dialogism, the Appreciative stance and the Writing of human stories by everyday people.