Elias Kourkoutas – Professor of Psychology and Special Education, University of Crete

I am Cretian, married and have two wonderful girls. I am told I am a very friendly chap with a propensity to go off on a jargonistic frenzy, so am keeping my details simple. My career in psychology started way back in the 1980’s, so I am an old codger who had the amazing good fortune to study in Italy, Greece and Belgium, including training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Practice. I am interested in resilient based and inclusive project work that helps children with special educational needs, social emotional and academic difficulties, and those at risk for exclusion from school. Much of my research explores ways to develop meaningful resilient practices that can help teachers, parents, and students overcome their difficulties and be successfully included.

Evidence suggests that individual-based work, as well as the expert based-model should be integrated in a broader eco-systemic model of practice with a clear positive emphasis on children, family and teacher capacities. Our theoretical framework is rooted in many perspectives, including Resilient Therapy, resilience research, psychodynamic and systemic models and techniques, in an effort to get a holistic insight of contextual, interpersonal and intrapersonal factors related to the lives of troubled students. As you can imagine, the current social-economical conditions in Greece expose the most disadvantaged families and children to extreme additional risks depriving them of support from professional services. So, we are setting up a joint resilient program with Boingboing and the University of Brighton, linking Schools-University-Social-Professional agencies and local communities to offer children and families and schools, a minimum of psychosocial support and a framework to develop their own capacities and self-protecting mechanisms.

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