One on one... with Constantina Demosthenous

We dip into the Society member database and pick… Constantina Demosthenous, a Clinical Psychologist at Limassol Hospital, Cyprus, and a PhD candidate at the University of Cyprus studying family caregivers of people with dementia. Including online-only extras.

One book all psychologists should read
Three classics have reflected the evolution of my interests in psychology. Sigmund Freud’s The psychology of everyday life; The situation is hopeless, but not serious: The pursuit of unhappiness by Paul Watzlawick; and The man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks.

One thing that you would change about psychologists
To be more assertive, market orientated in the sense of promoting our know-how, and believe in the capacities and knowledge our discipline has offered us. We must become acknowledged not only as therapists but also as scientists and important contributors in various fields of intervention. 

One reason I’m a member of the BPS
The richness of opportunities it offers to members for stimulation and thought. 

One motto
Treat others as you would like them to treat you. This guided me during my first years as a Clinical Psychologist. I found it empowering, especially while working with older people and people suffering with dementia. If you were old, fragile and incapable, how would you like others to treat you? 

One moment that changed my career
When I first started studying Psychology in Montpellier, France I had a particular interest in working with children. However, during the third year of my Licence (the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree) I was volunteering in the Internal Medicine Department in one of the University Hospitals in Montpellier. There, I first realised that working with older people suited me more. This triggered a special interest into clinical psychology and neuropsychology of the elderly.

One proud moment
Motherhood has been a life changing experience… to witness the development, evolution, and accomplishments of a little human being. It has helped me appreciate daily life and achievements in a completely different way. 

One place
Upi Bay in the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia. If you have the opportunity to be in that area of the Earth it’s not to be missed. A real paradise! 

One ballet performance
The Swan Lake ballet with Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music in the Vienna State Opera… The combination of the place, the performance and the music mesmerised me.

One article from The Psychologist
Christina Richards on the restorative power of the natural world (July 2018). Its personal tone touched me and reminded me of the importance of contact with nature as a means to cope with emotions and pressure in life.

One alternative career path
I had the option of getting into Law School but circumstances where such that I ended up choosing to study Psychology in France! Even though the idea of law is sometimes lingering in my mind I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity of becoming a Clinical Psychologist and I wouldn’t change it. 

One nugget of advice for aspiring psychologists
We are not born psychologists, we become one! It can be a harsh process with ups and downs. Enjoy the process of learning, from others and from yourself. Be respectful to yourselves and others. Be patient in the pursuit of your own unique path of becoming a psychologist and a better you.

One psychological superpower I’d like to have
Reading people’s minds! I’m always amused of how many people that aren’t psychologists have the impression that psychologists can read their minds, so I think it would be fun to have this superpower just for a day.

One ‘hero’ from psychology past or present
I consider Kenneth Gergen to be a ‘hero’ of the present for stimulating the rest of the community through his contributions to social constructionism. Being able to view knowledge as generated through relationships creates a lot of flexibility and opens up the opportunities for dialogue. I have found his ideas to be very useful in my professional practice in making more useful conversations for my clients with my clients.

One great thing that psychology has achieved
The contribution of cognitive psychology in theorising how our brain works and more specifically how human memory is structured and functions.

One person who inspired me
One of my first supervisors, Clinical Psychologist and UKCP registered Systemic Psychotherapist Dina Mousteri. She has been an inspiration to me for the last 12-13 years, introducing me to the ideas of Family and Systemic Therapy. I have been following her through the years in developing a unique therapy model through her experiences and professional practice, the Brief Systemic Dialogical Therapy model (BSDT), and I am always impressed by the clarity of her mind, the vivacity of her spirit, her dynamism, and devotion in developing the BSDT.

One challenge psychology faces
Psychology as a discipline is often underestimated and is mostly associated with mental illness, without being acknowledged for the contributions and influence it has and can make to all aspects of society, from healthcare and business, to marketing, computer science, politics etc. Psychology is very rich and it’s a challenge to manage to find its place through the various domains of our lives. 

One hope for the future of psychology
I hope that psychology and its various fields will continue to evolve by managing the challenges they face, embracing the changes and contributing in positive means to society.

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