The 16 + 1 interview

Petratou, V., 2012. The 16 + 1 interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.43.


  1. Welcome to the interview – how are you doing?
    I’m very well; the sun is shining after many weeks of rain and I’ve just finished a workshop with a nice group of people!
  2. In another life you would have been a……?
    An ant.
    Oh, cooo…. Well, what sort of an ant?
    One of those little ants that carry on contentedly doing their job -  small but knowing where they are going.  They can die at any minute, but they don’t know this ; they just carry on being ants.
  3. Freud, Jung or Pavolv?
    Jung.
    Jung’s playful and more interested in the arts.  He was more charismatic and I like his language more than Freud’s or Pavlov’s -  it’s more meaningful.
  4. Desert Island luxury?
    Someone to play with!
  5. Bach, Mahler or Radiohead?
    Radiohead.  Because it reminds me of my early years in England...dancing to this kind of music.
  6. Greatest hero/heroine?
    My husband because he puts up with me!!!!
  7. Cat, dog or Nintendo?
    A Cat.  I like their meowing; they know when to move and when to sit down and rest.
  8. Dream meal?
    My Mother’s Yemista - Greek stuffed tomatoes; the smell evokes memories of us preparing the meal together.  I love the smell from the oven whilst it’s cooking; you take out the flesh and mix it with rice, onion, herbs and garlic, and then put it back inside the tomato, which is then roasted in the oven. I love the smell of the mint and parsley.
  9. Who are you in the CAT village?
    The ‘Drama Greek girl’!
  10. Why did you become a psychotherapist?
    It was a coincidence.  When I was 19 I went to an acting evening class where I was asked to pretend to be a woman wearing high heels and a fur coat.  Well, I didn’t like wearing high heels so I didn’t wear them and I would never see myself in a fur coat.  It was against my ethical principles.  I knew that the sort of woman who wears high heels and a fur coat was just not me at that age.  So I didn’t want to pretend to be a person like that and I argued with myself against this, even though it was just pretending.  But, in the end, I gave it a go and I was astonished to discover that I enjoyed pretending to be someone who was not me, who was not my image of myself.  I realised then that I could actually be more than I thought I was; that there were wider options for being oneself than I knew. 
  11. Who has the biggest influence on the way you work?
    My ‘physical’ theatre experiences (i.e., movement based improvisational theatre), my generous and thoughtful supervisors and teachers and encountering daily inspiring moments that can come from everything and everyone.
  12. Recommended reading?
    Traditional Fairy Tales and myths.  They connect you with human beings throughout the world and across generations; they connect you with your children and the child within you.  There is wisdom in their simplicity.
  13. What do you hope to achieve with clients?
    Some fresh perspectives that can inspire freedom and love.
  14. How do you try to achieve this?
    By helping them to become more aware of the impact that their ways of relating to the world have upon themselves and other people; and helping them to find new ways out of these stuck patterns through playfulness.
  15. What is your number one CAT concept?
    Target problems.  It focuses me and the client.
  16. What do you see as a challenge for CAT in the future?
    To keep to its principles and not become too rigid, commercial or manualised.

    Follow up: What question do you wish we had asked?
    When are you going to Greece?  And I would answer: I’m going to Greece with 2 friends  in two weeks time for a few days with no children, no husband, no clients; just sea and sun and the smells of my beautiful Motherland!

Full Reference

Petratou, V., 2012. The 16 + 1 interview. Reformulation, Summer, p.43.

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