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Charity Bazaar for children with psychological difficulties. March Protected content the MEROPION FOUNDATION at the DIONYSIOU AREOPAGITOU 45(opposite Herodion Theatre). Please donate books, clothes ,toys, dry food, small furniture, house items etc. which will be sold and the money collected will help the every day maintenance of the children and their day care centre.

If you collect your items, contact us at Protected content Protected content Protected content and we will come and collect them.

Thank you in advance for your support.



 History
 Principles of Therapy
 Board of Directors
 Services
 The story of Ourania
 How can I help “TO PERIVOLAKI” continue its work?


“TO PERIVOLAKI” is a center offering integrated services for the treatment of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. It belongs to the Hellenic Center for Mental Health and Therapy of Children and Families.
It was launched in Protected content an alternative scientific proposal for the treatment of serious mental disorders of young children and continues up to now to provide services to children with serious mental disorders and to support their families.
It is a legal entity governed by private law, a charitable non-profit organisation, financed by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity.
Thirty years ago in Greece children with mental disorders would usually stay at home and no effort was made to educate, treat or integrate them. With a vision to help these children by offering an early intervention, “TO PERIVOLAKI” started its operation in Protected content treating one young child. It was financed at the time by a private individual who requested to remain anonymous.
It was staffed by an interdisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, special education teachers, social workers, music therapists, gym teachers and colleagues of other specialities, as required by the varied needs of the children. In its first phase “TO PERIVOLAKI” operated with 10 children and private funding. It gradually expanded and increased the number of children it helped, and in Protected content , financed by the European Union and the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity “TO PERIVOLAKI II” was created, which had a diagnostic unit, a short-stay unit and a day center, and then in Protected content PERIVOLAKI III", a day center for older children and teenagers.
The financial crisis however, and the consequent underfunding, led to its shrinking. It is now operating a single facility in the building it owns in the town of Paiania.
When we created “TO PERIVOLAKI” our goal was to turn it into a model facility for others to imitate. And this is what happened. Thirty years later more than ten facilities have been created in Attica for children with severe emotional disorders. The needs however are much greater. We, at “PERIVOLAKI”, with all the years of our experience, always based on our respect for each child and its family, are staying the course despite the difficulties, faithful to our original vision.


“TO PERIVOLAKI” operates in the framework of the psychodynamic theoretical model. The psychodynamic model aims at understanding the way in which these children: (a) perceive the world around them and their relationships with other people, (b) perceive their bodies and their experiences, and (c) compose the knowledge which they gradually acquire and connect it with their behaviour, communication and feelings.
Our therapeutic goal is also a developmental goal, in the sense that it aims at developmental psychological changes and not just at learning socialised forms of behaviour. This goal is reached through a variety of therapeutic interventions (pedagogic, speech therapy, arts, sensomotor) and through the child’s individual psychotherapy, always placing emphasis on the interpersonal relationship.


“To Perivolaki” is managed by a five-member Board of Directors.


The purpose of this facility is to provide services to children between Protected content old with autism or psychosis and to their families.
“TO PERIVOLAKI” offers the following services:
A. Diagnosis – support unit
• Diagnostic assessment of child and family.
• Short-term therapeutic intervention with the child and the family.
• Cooperation with the child’s family and school environment.
• Liaison work with other services and bodies.
• Follow up of each case

B. Morning psychoeducational program – Day center for children 3 to 6 years old
• Daily educational program in three groups of Protected content aged Protected content .
• Individual psychotherapy with a psychoanalytic focus.
• Individual speech therapy.
• Regular meetings of parents or the entire family with a therapist every week or every two weeks.
• Special movement therapy programs.
• Artistic activities: music and visual arts therapy in small groups or individually.
• Social and environmental education with weekly activities outdoors.
• Summer program in June.
The Center offers lunch and school buses for the transportation of the children.

C. Evening Cultural – Creative Program for children Protected content old.
• The goal of the Cultural – Creative Program is to promote the emotional expression, creativity and socialisation of the children through their participation in workshops and psychoeducational programs.

D. Education

• Continuing a long tradition in the education of mental health professionals in collaboration with Universities, “TO PERIVOLAKI” offers training in the form of internships to students of tertiary education in fields related to mental health, such as child psychiatrists, psychologists, special education teachers, social workers, speech therapists, art therapists, etc.
• In the framework of the same tradition “TO PERIVOLAKI” offers the possibility to its members to conduct clinical research, announcements and publications related to their academic discipline.


“One morning three years ago, a beautiful little girl came to “PERIVOLAKI”. Let’s call her Ourania. During the two first years of her life Ourania had been left alone in a dark room, where every once in a while a very indifferent woman would put a bottle of milk to her mouth. At that time the only “living" thing in her life was a naked bulb they would turn on briefly after it got dark.
When Ourania turned two, a person who gained her custody took her to a children’s hospital. The descriptions of the tests of that time say that Ourania could not sit, walk, or see very well, and also appeared not to hear. She didn’t speak at all of course. With medical help, the care of some relatives and a psychologist, Ourania made leaps in her progress. She started to walk and talk, but remained a very emotionally disturbed child. When she came to “PERIVOLAKI” she had the appearance of a “normal” child – but she wasn’t. It seems that the body is easier to heal some times than the soul.
During the diagnostic interview at “PERIVOLAKI”, Ourania noticed a small cut on the psychologist’s finger. She was terrified and asked her if she would die. The therapist assured her that “it’s nothing, a small cut that will heal”.
- “Do you also cure cuts at this place?” asked Ourania.
- “This will heal on its own” she answered. “Here we cure the worries and fears of small children”.
After a while Ourania asked:
- “Do you know how to cure the dark here?”
- “No, but we know how to help small children not to be so scared of it”.
Ourania stayed at “TO PERIVOLAKI” for two years, fighting the “dark”. She then started a regular primary school, with which we are in regular contact. Ourania continues her individual psychotherapy to beat the remaining “darkness”. Two years ago the chance of Ourania going to a regular school seemed utterly remote. But it happened.”
We use the word “dark” here symbolically. We actually mean: severe mental disorders, such as autism, pervasive developmental disorder, difficulty in communication and child psychoses in all forms. These mental disorders are similar and as serious as paralysis or spasticity, blindness, deafness, but because the body is not ill, they are not so obvious.
Please help us help other small children like Ourania to no longer fear the “dark”.


• Donations

You can help us continue our work, make timely interventions and care for children with autism and pervasive developmental disorders and their families. “TO PERIVOLAKI” is a non-profit organisation, and especially during these difficult times it is in great need of your contributions. Each donation, no matter how small or large, is valuable for us and the children!
Bank account No ALPHA BANK: Protected content

• Βazaar
To support its work, “TO PERIVOLAKI” organises a Bazaar once a year, selling clothes and objects offered by its friends and supporters. If you have clothes or objects in good condition which you no longer need, you can bring them to us at “TO PERIVOLAKI”, 39 Anapafseos Street, Paiania, Attica, to be sold during our next Bazaar.

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