Education & Work Experience

Anna Doxastaki was born and raised in Heraklion, Crete. Since childhood she was interested in theatrical performances, particularly ancient tragedies, which laid down the foundation for her interest in theatrical acting and its effect on the human psyche at a later stage of her life. She moved to Athens as an adolescent and started her journey of self-awareness, learning and knowledge focused on humans in a wider social context. While at Athens, she graduated with a degree in Sociology from the the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. At the same time, she also dealt with reportage on cultural issues. After completion of her Sociology degree, she undertook three years of further studies in Drama and successfully cleared the exams held by the Ministry of Culture and obtained a Diploma in Drama from the Athens Drama School Iasmos – Vasilis Diamantopoulos. During this time, she also attended many Drama Seminars with important teachers, such as:

  • Kostas Filippoglou (member of the Complicite Theatre Group), Workshop: “Physical Theatre, Improvisation & Performance
  • John Strasberg , “Acting Seminar in Athens
  • Tapa Sudana (Balinese theatre Master), Workshop: “Tribuana Theatre – The expression of the Three Worlds : Body, Energy, Thought
  • Andreas Manolikakis, (Director of the New Actors Studio MFA Programme at Pace University NYC), Masterclass : “Text Analysis and its application to Theatre Education and Practice
  • Acting Seminars by Mania Papadimitriou, Pemi Zouni, Dimitra Chatoupi, Dimitris Imellos, Nikos Charalambous.

In 2009, she moved to London and completed her

Master of Arts in ‘Applied Drama: Theatre in Educational, Community and Social Contexts’, from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

During her masters she explored the application of theatrical and other artistic methods in different social contexts and organizations while also specializing in the Theatre of the Oppressed and the Forum Theatre technique inspired by Augusto Boal, with the writer and director Mojisola Adebayo. This method uses theatre as means of knowledge and transformation of the internal reality both in the area of personal relationships and social interaction. The audience become active during the show, and the constituent members explore, analyse and ultimately attempt to transform the reality in which they live.

Her Master’s Thesis explores the social environment that encourages obsessive preoccupation with women’s beauty and body image in Western societies and the ways in which Applied Theatre can serve as a transformative factor for their release from unrealistic and non-beneficial standards and objectives. In addition to the theoretical, sociological and psychological approach of the social environment, her research examined two theatrical performances that took place in Britain 30 years apart from each other. The performances were created by women who had an incentive to tackle their own problems as well as to open a broader discussion about:

  • the growing trend of eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia nervosa)
  • the epidemic Withdrawal Diets (deprivation diet) and
  • the warped perception of women’s body image.

In the next two years, she undertook postgraduate studies in Psychoanalytic Dramatherapy at the University Anglia Ruskin in the city of Cambridge that led to a degree of :

Master of Arts in ‘Psychoanalytically Informed Dramatherapy’

Her training was based on the psychodynamic approach and, therefore, her clinical practice has its roots in Psychoanalytic Theory. She is inspired by Attachment Theory as originally formulated by the psychiatrist John Bowlby and developed by subsequent therapists. Her Postgraduate thesis, based on her theoretical training but also on her clinical work (case study), investigates and analyses the application of Psychoanalytic Dramatherapy to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder in adults.

Anna remained in Britain until 2015 where she worked in various capacities such as Drama facilitator, Dramatherapist and Director with many organizations, theatres, schools, and counselling centres such as:

  • Oval House Theatre”, Kennington, ‘We are London’ Project (14-22 year old people client group);
  • Carefree Kids Charity, Waltham Forest : UK Based Charity that provides services for children with emotional & behavioural needs;
  • Respond: UK Based Charity Charity that provides services for children and adults with learning disabilities and emotional & behavioural needs
  • Camden Listening and Counseling Centre: Dramatherapy sessions with self-referred clients having symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, ADHD and emotional difficulties;
  • Sutton House in Hackney, National Trust, South East London: Christmas Workshops for children and their families; and
  • George Tomlinson Primary School
  • Riverside Special School
  • Chingford Junior School

She has also participated as an actress and director in many performances with autobiographical, social and/or therapeutic nature such as:

  • ‘The View from Above’ Director Anna Doxastaki;
  • ‘Star Quality’ Director Sian Pinder, Cambridge;
  • ‘In the Woods’ Director Emma Bulmer, Cambridge;
  • ‘The Zoo’ Forum Theatre Performance, under the direction of Amanda Carr;
  • ‘Wanting to play her Role(s) in Life’ Director Anna Doxastaki, Cambridge; and
  • ‘The Lily’ Directors: Hannah Griffiths, John Morales, London Southbank Festival

Anna has also attended the Cinematography Course “Narrative Film-Making” with Pete Gommes in City Lit College in London and in 2014 completed the short film “Rendez-Vous“.

The main focus of her research, academic studies and work is depression and anxiety disorders in children and adults. She has conducted a study on the beneficial effects of art and play in health crises and has organized and run workshops in Greece and Britain on dealing with anxiety and depression through creative actions.

All of these activities have enhanced Anna’s knowledge and deep belief that art and creativity, when implemented in the safe context of psychotherapeutic care by specialised professionals, have a beneficial effect on the human psyche and therapeutic effect in mental health.

Anna is HPC registered and a full member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth). She is also a full member of the Association of Dramatherapists and Playtherapists of Greece (EDPE) and of the Hellenic Actors Union (SEI).