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In 2006 I was invited by Dr Panos Asimakis to run a 5-day training for psychotherapists in Greece. What I found particularly interesting was working with and through a translator. As a picture can say a thousand words, the translator also has to convey a sense of the unspoken, while being accurate to what is expressed. This happens through timing, intonation, sensitivity and care, which Yianna excelled in.

There were a couple of participants who were so facially expressive that I imagined I understood everything that was said prior to Yianna’s translation, and there were those who were nervous about speaking in any language…

I am including here a few photographs of the workshop as this was the first time I ran a course for 16 students in an outside space. The students were able to spread out into the newly planted orchard and paint in the gusty wind.

On day 4 I introduced the students to Body Map work and we spent time looking at the images and discussing the themes that emerge in this work. I was most touched by one of the students whose image was so unclear it could not be photographed, and to look at it was like looking at something partly formed and yet recognisably a body.

When I asked the therapist how she had made her image, she described how, instead of lying down on the paper, she had invited a partner to draw around the shadow of her body while she stood up. This could only have happened in an outside space.

The discussion of the shadow image, with all its associations could have gone on for days. Here are a few images to give you a feel of the Greek workshop. If you would like to come to Greece next summer for a workshop, please let me know as it is an unforgettable bi-lingual experience!

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