Vicky Tsiaousi

Art Therapist at the Clinique des Vergers/ CERN welcome club/ Online therapist/ mother of three children

Before moving to Switzerland, Vicky worked as a care worker and later as a teacher for children with impaired vision, autism and cerebral palsy in special schools in Edinburgh and Nottingham in the UK. After her training in Art Psychotherapy she worked for several years in group and individual therapy in psychiatric hospitals in the UK and Sweden.

highlights of working Experience

Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, UK

Art therapist for groups of adolescents with mental health issues like depression, eating disorders and psychotic symptoms.

Royal Blind School, Edinburgh, UK

Special needs teacher working mainly with children with visual impairment and celebral palsy as well additional learning difficulties.

Enheten för Psykosomatisk Medicin, Västerås, Sweden

Art therapy groups with women in stress, psychosomatic issues, insomnia.

CERN Welcome Club

Art therapy groups with people with anxiety issues and depression.

Training

Special Needs Teacher

BSc, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece

Certified in Greece and UK (GTC).

Art Therapist

MSc, Master's programme and clinical experience, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Certified in the UK

Voluntary work

Résidence du Nant d'Avril, Satigny

Art therapy groups for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Languages

English, Greek, French, Swedish (B2)

Memberships

ASCA (Swiss foundation for complementary medicine)

EFAT (European Federation of Art Therapy)

APSAT (Association Professionnelle Suisse des Art-Thérapeutes)

BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists)

Artwork by me during the first lockdown

Why I love my work

As a kid, I used to paint and create stories with my mind in order to express my feelings. Now as an art therapist I help people, adults and kids, to express their feelings and overcome depression and anxiety disorders through creativity, this primal ability we all have.

Here are the main reasons that make my job shine:

1. the magic of people and their stories

I have always been content to listen to people's stories and had an innate interest in getting to know others deeper. With my job I get to meet so many different, interesting and funny people who all have a unique story to share with its ups and downs.

2. travelling the world

One of the great pros of online therapy is that I get to travel in the same day from a family home in central Europe to a community in the Middle East. Also, with more than 40% foreign population in Geneva, I have the chance to work with people coming from so many different cultures!

3. the moments of redemption

During the sessions, the past, the present and the future meet, and the moments of redemption (moments of 'eureka' where every piece of the puzzle comes together) come again and again until the gradual completion of the therapy. I feel lucky to be the companion of this journey and experience these moments of absolute satisfaction, where people discover something new about them. Especially when all this is reflected in a piece of artwork!

4. knowing myself better

Working with people I get to discover more things about myself and learn new ways to deal with my own struggles.

5. liberation through artistic creation

I sometimes joke that I would like to have all people on earth sit around a circle drawing and sharing stories! I really like to create with my own hands, but also to see others do the same thing. In our sessions I have the pleasure of watching the emotional relief of people who create freely often with very simple materials, in a criticism-free environment, with acceptance and love. And when I can participate in this process more actively, my joy is even greater!

6. an environment of truth and trust

As an earthy type of person, I listen to my intuition and my feelings and nurture a relationship of truth and trust within the therapeutic sessions. This makes life so much simpler and the therapy so much more effective. A place like that helps me feel comfortable and happy, especially when when I see the patients feel the same way.

7. I get paid to do what I love

And I'm lucky to work with all these people who see their mental health as valuable as their physical health!

8. I work with communities

I believe that communities form part of our identity and one of the communities I identify with is the European Federation of Art Therapists (EFAT), where we engage in social actions and promote Art Therapy. Another vibrant community I have been involved with is the CERN Welcome Club, where I run art therapy groups for its employees and their families that often suffer the emotional consequencies of moving abroad