Activating the Client-Therapist Dyad: Embodied and Expressive Presence within the Therapeutic Alliance Speaker: Sissy Lykou


L E A D I N G  E D G E S

A Series of Talks Initiated by Dr. Gottfried M. Heuer in 2010

TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2016, 8-15 to 9-45pm.   

Activating the Client-Therapist Dyad: Embodied and Expressive Presence within the Therapeutic Alliance

Speaker: Sissy Lykou

I will suggest that the therapeutic alliance is enhanced by the therapist taking risks, by being an active and alive member in the therapeutic alliance, and by exploring how she carries her own embodied and emotional baggage. Then there is the parallel impact on the therapeutic process when the client is perceived as an active self-healer. In this perspective, the client develops the potential to move self-regard and interpersonal concern for others into a wider set of social and cultural concerns. In a metaphorical sense, the client becomes more of an ‘activist client’, developing his capacities for citizenship and social responsibility.

The presentation draws on psychodynamic, person-centred and relational clinical theory and embraces psychotherapy as well as dance movement and body psychotherapies. We will look at ways in which clients overcome ‘body-stuckness’ and enter a wide range of states of embodiment and self-expression. The impact of diverse states of embodiment on interpersonal and intrapsychic relations can be significant.

Via experiential exercises, we will explore the way in which non-verbal exchanges can be another relational vehicle for the co-creation of a therapeutic alliance. We will experiment with the idea of each member of the dyad bringing her/his kinesphere in the therapeutic alliance, how this is in constant negotiation and how the therapist applies her kinesthetic empathy during this process.

Biography: Sissy Lykou MA, P.G.Cert. is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and an Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy registered dance movement psychotherapist who trained as a counselling psychologist in Greece. She practices in London privately and in community psychotherapy projects for children under five and their parents/carers. She lectures on several university and professional training programmes in the UK and Europe. She has worked on EU research projects at the Universities of Heidelberg and Athens. In addition to publishing papers and chapters, she serves on journal editorial boards and was a member of the Steering Group of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility. 

For reservation please email:

AJA: Flat 3, 7 Eton Ave London NW3 3EL Tel: 020 7794 8711

Admission: £6.00 for AJA members, £ 12.00 for non-members


Download the PDF flyer here >>> LEADING EDGES SISSY LYKOU 20 Sept 2016