Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4
Phone: 1-800 637-6859
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Teaching Personnel

Grafanaki, Sotiria   Grafanaki, Sotiria
Full Professor
Program: Counselling and Spirituality
Office : GIG 330
Phone: 613-236-1393, ext.: 2262

Research Activities:

Psychotheraphy training and effectiveness; client and counsellor experience of therapy interaction; positive psychology and implications for counselling, flow and counselling, spirituality and leisure, counsellor self care and sources of renewal


PH.D (Counselling) Keele University, UK
PGCE (Higher Education Post-graduate Teaching Certificate) Keele University, UK
M.A. (Counselling) Keele University
Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, University of Ottawa

Courses taught:

IPA 6120 Theories of Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy
IPA 6156 Research Seminar
IPA 6221 Practicum in Individual Counselling
IPA 7108 Integrative Seminar
IPA Practicum in Group Work (families)


Chapters in Books:

Freire, E & Grafanaki, S. (2010). Measuring the relationship conditions in Person-centred and Experiential Psychotherapies: Past, Present, Future. In M. Cooper, J. Watson & D. Holldampf (Eds) Person-centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Work: A Review of the Research on Counselling, Psychotherapy and Related Practices (A publication of the World Association of PCE Task Force examining the evidence base for Person-Centred and Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS books.

Papers in refereed journals:

Grafanaki, S. (2015). Lessons from a Family Focusing Circle: Reflections from the young and the young at heart, The Folio: Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 26 .

Hernandez, W., & Grafanaki, S. (2014) Social Development with Focusing through the Pause The Folio: Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 25, 172-185.

Grafanaki, S. (2013) Special issue Experiencing Congruence and Incongruence, Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, 12 (3) 183-196.

Grafanaki, S. (2013) Transformational Focusing. The Folio: Journal for Focusing and Experiential Therapy, 24 (1), 89 - 93.

Grafanaki, S. (2012). Learning from research: Therapists’ perspective on the benefits & challenges of participating in a longitudinal, systematic case-study, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 12 (3), 194-203.

Grafanaki, S. (2010): Special Issue Editorial: "Counsellors in the making": Research on Counselling Training and formative experiences of trainee counsellors. Special Issue on Counselling and Psychotherapy Training. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research (CPR), vol. 10 (2), 71-82.

Grafanaki, S (2010) Editorial Special Section: Counsellors in Training: Journeys of Professional Transformation, Special Section on Counselling and Psychotherapy Training. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research (CPR), vol. 10 (3)

Guirguis-Younger, M., & Grafanaki, S. (2008). Narrative Accounts of Volunteers in Palliative Care Settings, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, vol. 24 (6).

Grafanaki, S., Brennan, M., Holmes, S., Tang, K. & Alvarez, S. (2007) “In Search of Flow”: Identifying the Necessary Ingredients of Peak Moments of Therapy Interaction, Journal of Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, vol 6 (4).

Grafanaki, S. (in preparation): The Client’s perspective on the benefits and challenges of participating in a longitudinal case study, Counselling & Psychotherapy Research

Harnden, R & Grafanaki, S. (in preparation): On Being With Clients: Presence and Resonance According to Humanistic and Contemplative Psychotherapies, Journal of Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies.

Book reviews

Grafanaki, S. (2008)((book review). Leaving it at the office: A guide to Psychotherapist Self- Care by John Norcross & James Cuy, Guilford Press.Counselling and Spirituality.

Papers Read

Grafanaki, S ( Nov. 2015) Keynote address “ Moments of Transformation and Optimal Experiences in Psychotherapy, Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Postgraduate Training Program in Person-Centred Therapy, Psychology Department, University of Leuven.

Grafanaki, S (Jun 2014): “The Emerging Professional Self”, International Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR).Copenhagen, Denmark,

Grafanaki, S (May 2014): Family Focusing Cirle. Third International Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapies, Stony Point, New York USA.

Grafanaki, S & Hernandez, W. (May 2013): Coming Home with and through the Pause: Lessons learned from Human Development Projects, 25th Focusing International, Lucern, Switzerland.

Grafanaki, S (Jun 2012): “Training Reflective Practitioners: Helpful and Hindering aspects of training in the development of new therapists”, International Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Virginia Beach, USA.

Grafanaki, S. (Nov. 2011) Looking in the mirror: Focus on Therapist Self-Care & Reflectivity, 2nd World Conference on Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy, Stony Point, New York.

Grafanaki, S (Jul. 2011): “Learning from Research: Therapist perspective on the impact of research on professional development and growth”, International Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Bern, Switzerland.

Grafanaki, S (Jun 2011) Invited Keynote Speaker at the Italian National Conference of Client- Centred Therapy, Genova, Italy. Title of Keynote Address: Optimal Experiences in Psychotherapy: Key ingredients and Conditions.

Grafanaki, S (May 2011) “Heart to Heart Conversations: Using focusing in intimate relations”, International Focusing Conference, California, USA

Grafanaki, S (Mar 2011) Healing Dialogues with our Inner Compass: Using the Power of Focusing, National Conference of the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), Ottawa, Canada.

Grafanaki, S. (Jul 2010) Measuring the Relationship Conditions in PCE. International Conference of Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies, Rome, Italy

Grafanaki, S. (Jun. 2009). “On Becoming a Reflective Person Centred Counsellor”, International Conference of Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy: Evolution and Challenges, Athens. Gr.

Grafanaki, S. (Jun 2008). “More than feeding the soul”: Narrative accounts on the experience and role of spirituality in the life of psychotherapists. International Meeting of Society for Psychotherapy Research,(SPR, Barcelona, Spain).

Grafanaki, S. (Jul 2007) Assessing Psychotherapy Training Effectiveness: Participation at an International Project, 10th European Congress of Psychology, Prague, Czeck Republic.

Others (Workshops presented):

Grafanaki, S & Hernandez, W. (2015 3-10th January ) 5- day retreat for the missionary Society of Saint Paul, Arequipa Peru.

Grafanaki, S & Hernandez, W. (2014) 2 workshops “Learning to listen through the Pause, University of Leuven, Belgium.

Grafanaki, S & Hernandez, W. (2013) 3 hour workshop “Learning to listen through the Pause, Saint Joseph Home, Malta (offered to 5 different groups of social workers, support staff, missionary Society of Saint Paul)

Grafanaki, S & Hernandez, W. (2013) 3 hour workshop Learning to listen through the Pause, Naples Italy offered to 2 groups of mental health workers, youth workers, UN personnel.

Grafanaki, S. (2011) 2 hour presentation for the graduate students and professors on the topic: Optimal Experiences in Psychotherapy, Rome University, Department of Clinical Psychology, Italy

Grafanaki, S. (2011) Congruence and Optimal Experience in Psychotherapy, University of Genova, Psychology Department, Italy.

Grafanaki, S. (2010) Intermediate Training in Counselling Skills for Military Chaplains. Saint.Paul University, Ottawa.

Grafanaki, S. (2009). What to say, What to do when it matters the most: Communication Skills for Residence Staff. Algonquin College.

Grafanaki, S. (2008). On becoming a reflective Practitioner. CPD series Algonquin College Counselling Centre. (6 / 2hour workshops)

Grafanaki, S. (2007) Two day workshop Introduction to Focusing, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

Grafanaki, S. (2007) Psychotherapists in the making: Training Processes and Practices that contribute to the effectiveness and development of new therapists, University of Rome, Department of Psychology, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Rome, Italy.

Grafanaki, S. (2007) Psychotherapy Training Effectiveness: Tools and Measures, Italian Association for Psychotherapy Training Institutes, Rome, Italy.

Grafanaki, S. (2007) Three Day Research Methodology Workshop on Assessing Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training: International Research Project, Measures, Protocols and Designs. Italian Institute for Person-Centered Therapy, Rome Italy.