is Center of Study, Research, Training and Development of Applications of the Social Sciences for Human.  AIA was founded in 1963 by George and Vasso Vassiliou and is a community service non-profit organization, based in Athens. AIA is a member of the Institution for Promoting Studies of Human Relations (E.P.E.A.S.).


AIA’s aim is to contribute, in a catalytic way, to Human Sciences, to Communication and Cooperation among professionals that are dealing with Human and its groups, on a local and international level.  It applies, cultivates and develops through all its activities the Systemic-Dialectic Multilevel-Multifocused approach of human situation, which was introduced by its founders.


AIA offers clinical services, with emphasis on family therapy, couple therapy and group psychotherapy.  In addition, it provides various programs of training, internship and supervision, addressing mental health professionals, educators, adult trainers, company executives etc.


AIA promotes research in the fields of therapy and training, collaborates in scientific editions, organizes scientific meetings, actively participates in the bodies and actions of Greek and international professional associations and organizations.


AIA serves with consistency the vision of a meaningful life, through training and constant psychosocial development of the human.  A life that bases personal and social development on “autonomy through and for interdependence” as George and Vasso Vassiliou formulated.


AIA is the first institution in Greece that offered training related to the theory and practical applications of Systemic Group and Family Psychotherapy as well as one of the first institutions for the systemic family therapy on a European level.

From 1963 until today, AIA is continuously evolving.  Through the years, Vassiliou developed a Systemic – Dialectic Model for Psycho-Social Intervention offering a holistic view of Human, which includes all the groups he belongs to (i.e. the Family, the Community, and Society).  AIA, at the same time, developed new theoretical models and therapeutic approaches, functional and effective for the Greek family, and it continuously trains an always increasing number of professionals in this scientific field.

In its years of operation, AIA, the scientific team and its associates, have dedicated their actions in the development, establishment and supervision of prevention programs that encourage the creation of functional groups within medical, educational and community settings, throughout Greece.

Besides AIA’s main activity in Greece, its associates build and maintain stable cooperations with institutions abroad.  As the central trainers for Family Therapy and for Group Therapy, they cooperated with worldwide outstanding educational institutions, they implemented Training Workshops, Post Graduate Seminars and Tutoring programs for applied techniques in important universities, research centers, health and welfare organizations and scientific associations in more than 15 European countries as well as in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Specifically, in the European continent the activities/cooperations extend in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, FYROM, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Algeria, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Great Brittan.

In the last decades AIA was represented by its founders and a series of its associates in events of worldwide significance and great scientific value all over the world and in Greece (i.e. “International Conference for Family Therapy”, “International Delphic Symposiums for Family Therapy”, presided by G. Vassiliou and co-presided by D. Rubinstein).  At the same time, participation of both Vassiliou in central positions of international scientific associations contributed to the organization’s ability to maintain constant contact with scientific research and evolutions in the systemic theory as well as feed the international scientific community with data which is derived from its contacts with theory and practice.


George and Vasso Vassiliou, graduates of Athens Medical University (1953) and of Loyola University of Chicago respectively, were the founders of the Athenian Center for the Study of Human (1963).  A couple in life and fellow travelers in the promotion of systemic approach and group therapy, worked as Psychiatrist and Psychologist respectively with groups all their lives.

George and Vasso Vassiliou, after their basic studies, completed their internship at the Illinois State Psychiatric Center, the Galesburg National Research Hospital and the Loyola University of Chigago.  Following that, they worked as permanent staff in these organizations as well as at the Catholic Charity Guidance Center in Chicago.

Upon their return to Greece and the foundation of AIA, they continued to develop their work and their technique in Group and Family Therapy.  Vasso Vassiliou was a tenured Psychology professor (1963 – 1975) at the Pierce American College and she further developed “Sequence Analysis Technique” for clinical and socio-educational reasons in the framework of Family Therapy and Training.  They developed approaches adapted to the particular cultural and social characteristics of the Greek family, capitalizing on the pioneering research of N. Ackerman, V. Satir, P. Watzlawick, I. Whyne and other scientists from the Palo Alto group, with whom they maintained a long standing relationship and cooperation, as far back as the ‘60s.

In addition, they themselves developed the “Synallactic Group Image Technique” in group therapy.  This specific technique is based on the “Story Sequence Analysis to the Group Process” developed by Arnold M. modified by Vasso Vassiliou.

AIA’s founders were members with significant positions in International Associations. George Vassiliou was President of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (1978-83), President of the Mediterranean Sociopsychiatric Association (1972-80), first Vice-president of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy (1973-80), member of the Board of Directors of the International Federation for Mental Health (1972-76), Corresponding Fellow from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and together with Vasso they were elected as Fellows and Master-Trainers of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.  Vasso Vasilliou was elected Member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy (1973-80) as well as of the Board of Directors of the International Council of Psychologists (1967-69, 1975-77).

The scientific team as well as hundreds of AIA’s trainees served for decades near Giorgos and Vasso Vassiliou, experiencing through everyday practice what it means to study and serve, via different roles, the human in a way that attests to a conscious presence, systemic look, social responsibility and human warmth.

Over the years, A.I.A.’s Associates have devoted much of their time in developing, establishing and supervising preventive programs which encourage the development of functional groups in various health, educational and community contexts in Greece. In addition to the core activities carried out at the Athenian Institute of Anthropos in Athens, A.I.A.’s Associates, have steadily worked as Master Trainers at several Institutions abroad.

They conduct Training Workshops and Postgraduate Seminars, both in Family Therapy and Group Therapy, at major universities, research centers, health institutions and associations in over 15 countries of Eastern and Western Europe: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Algeria, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Israel, Russia, United Kingdom, and North America (U.S.A., Canada, Mexico).

Post-Graduate Training and Collaboration has extended over more than two decades with a number of these Institutions such as Loyola University (since 1960), Post-Graduate Center for Mental Health of New York (1967 -to-date), Medical Academy of Sofia (1975-1991), Tibiscus University of Timisoara Romania, New University of Sofia (1992-todate), Stojanovic University Hospital in Zagreb (1966 -to-date), Hungarian Association for Social Psychiatry in Budapest (1976 -to-date), Institute for the Alcoholic Family in Belgrade, Serbia (1987-todate), Psychiatric Department of the University of Lisbon and Michel Bombarda Hospital in Portugal (1968 -to-date).

Many of these collaborations have taken the form of intensive training programs for groups of professionals from these countries who come to A.I.A. to participate as trainees.

The vision…

… for the creation of AIA and the way it operates from its foundation up to date, has its basis on collective academic cooperation.  It is based on the processes of co-creation, co-production and co-change among AMKA’s associates, the trainees, related to the interests of the organization and society’s at large.

AIA in all its activities (training, therapy, intervention in the community etc.) capitalizes the Systemic – Dialectic Approach, according to which the concept “Human” is perceived as an open, bio-psycho-social, alive system, capable of processing information, taking decisions, interacting and processing with the aim of evolving.

In this approach, the “whole” emerges through the interconnection of processes, on many and different levels: on the level of the individual, the family, the group, the community, the society, the global “becoming”.  It is a multi-level and multi-focused model of intervention which uses the on-the-field research within specific cultural frameworks.

The central principle in AIA’s philosophy is the preservation of its independence concerning scientific thought and action.  It operates guided by this principle, with an international and inter-cultural orientation and remains an independent body, financially and socially, promoting communication, interaction and cooperation among its sciences.

The central principle in AIA’s philosophy is the preservation of its independence concerning scientific thought and action.  It operates guided by this principle, with an international and inter-cultural orientation and remains an independent body, financially and socially, promoting communication, interaction and cooperation among its sciences.

Scientific Team

Dionyssis Sakkas, M.D., PhD


Georgios Gournas M.D., PhD

Kyriaki Polychroni

Mina Polemi-Todoulou, Ph.D., C.G.P., E.C.P.

Sofia Athanasiadou

Dimitra Kotorou

Board of Directors

Society for the Advancement of Human Relations Research

(S.A.H.R.R./ Ε.Π.Ε.Α.Σ.)








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