School of Health in Social Science

Zoi Simopoulou

I work as a Research fellow in the department of Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences and as an Art therapist in practice with children and young people.

I trained in Art therapy in Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and in Therapeutic work with children and Young people at the Scottish Institute of Human Relations with a focus on psychoanalytic observation and reflexive practice. I undertook my PhD research at the University of Edinburgh on a Research Award from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Reveries of the existential: a psychoanalytic observation of young children’s existential encounters at the nursery (PhD, 2016)

Moving between psychoanalysis and existentialism I used writing as an inquiry into the liminality between interior and exterior spaces, that is, into how existential encounters emerge embodied in symbolic articulations in children’s play in the form of objects, characters, imagery, movement, sounds and scents.

Simopoulou, Z (2019) Young Children’s Existential Encounters. Palgrave Macmillan

An arts-based inquiry into meanings of young people’s self-harming practices

As part of our work with Dr Amy Chandler on creative approaches to self-harm, we facilitated a series of arts-based discussion groups to explore different understandings of self-harm among practitioners and young people with lived experience of self-harm.
Third Space

With Dr Lorena Georgiadou and Dr Alette Willis. Third Space is a programme that runs at the University of Edinburgh to support students’ international endeavours. Its aim is to promote reflexivity and intercultural engagement to enhance student learning and support. As part of this project I have been involved in work around thinking intercultural engagement through psychodynamic theory, and around reflecting on experience through visual images.