Symposium Programme In-Person

General timetable
(Last update: 10 September 2023)

September 21st 2023
September 22nd 2023
September 23rd 2023
September 24th 2023
09:00 – 9:15 The ‘start of the day’ meeting
(+ Registration)

Announcements (Hall)
The ‘start of the day’ meeting
(+ Registration)

Announcements (Hall)
The ‘start of the day’ meeting
(+ Registration)

Announcements (Hall)
09:15 – 9:30 The ‘start of the day’ meeting
HAPCEA (Room Aerides)
The ‘start of the day’ meeting
NOPG (Room Aerides)
The ‘start of the day’ meeting
HAC (Room Aerides)
09:30 – 10:30 Home groups Home groups (09:30 – 10:00)
Home groups
10:30 – 11:30 Keynote Speaker-
Keynote Speaker-
(10:00 – 11:00)
Keynote Speaker-
11:30 – 12:00 Break Break (11:00 – 11:30)
12:00 – 13:15 Presentations Presentations (11:30 – 12:30)
13:15 – 15:00 Light lunch Light lunch (12:30 – 13:30)
15:00 – 16:30 Registration Parallel Workshops Parallel Workshops
16:30 – 17:00 Opening ceremony
PCE Europe, EKF
Break Break
17:00 – 18:00 Keynote Speaker-
Community meeting
Community meeting
18:00 – 18:30 Break
18:30 – 19:30 Home groups
19:30 – 20:00 Welcome drinks Akropolis Museum
(optional – extra fee)
Social event – Polyphonic singing
20:00 – 20:30 Wine and Greek mezes
20:30 – 21:00

Download the General Timetable and the Detailed Programme
(as pdf files)


Detailed programme

Important note: The programme is almost final.
Small changes are probable regarding the “capacity” of each room
and the maximum number of participants in the workshops
(last update: 11 September 2023).


General descriptions


Thursday 21 September 15:00 – 16:30

The Registration procedure will begin early afternoon in the Ionic Centre. Each one of the following days (22nd-24th) participants can register in the same venue (Ionic Centre) early in the morning (09:00-09:15).

Opening ceremony – “Welcome”

Thursday 21 September 16:30 – 17:00

The Symposium will begin with an opening ceremony in the plenary room in the Ionic Centre. The hosts of PCE Symposium 2023, PCE Europe and the Hellenic Focusing Center will warmly welcome you. We intend that the opening ceremony will set the tone for a successful and memorable Symposium. The organisers will also use this opportunity to introduce the keynote speakers and the presenters and thank special guests, sponsors, and partners who have made the event possible.

Welcome drinks

Thursday 21 September 19:30 – 20:30

Everyone is invited to enjoy a welcome drink in the Central Hall, while meeting each other, reflecting on the first keynote address and celebrating the beginning of the Symposium.

The ‘Start of the day’ meeting – Announcements

Friday 22 September – Sunday 24 September 09:00 – 09:30

The beginning of the day is the time where we will welcome you and make important announcements about the programme for the rest of the day. The conference organisers will also provide practical information that relates to the administration of the conference. We encourage all participants to attend this meeting as the beginning of our time together for this particular day.

Special announcements from:

  • the National Organisation for Psychotherapy of Greece (NOPG) (Εθνική Εταιρεία Ψυχοθεραπείας Ελλάδος, (ΕΕΨΕ))
  • the Hellenic Association for Counseling (HAC) (Ελληνική Εταιρεία Συμβουλευτικής, (ΕΕΣ))


Thursday 21 September 17:00 – 18:00
Friday 22 September – Saturday 23 September 10:30 – 11:30
Sunday 24 September 10:00 – 11:00

Every day of the Symposium, keynote speakers have been invited to present on the conference’s theme: Welcoming Polyphony in a Changing World. Maria Malikiosi-Loizos, Siebrecht Vanhooren, Jo Hilton and Manu Bazzano form a strong group of speakers who will share with us their unique perspectives on the main theme or related subthemes.

Parallel Short Presentations

Friday 22 September – Saturday 23 September 12:00 – 13:15
Sunday 24 September 11:30 – 12:30

Individual presenters will offer theoretical or practice-focused papers, related to the Symposium theme and subthemes in a 30-minute time slot. Each presentation will be grouped as far as possible with another short presentation on a similar theme. There will be a moderator in charge of introducing the speakers, controlling the time, and facilitating possible audience questions following the presentations.

Parallel Workshops

Friday 22 September – Saturday 23 September 15:00 – 16:30

Each workshop will create an interactive environment on a topic associated with the symposium theme that gives the participants time and space for exploration, encouraging engagement with the subject through experiential exercises or other methods like discussions or practical tasks.

Home groups

Thursday 21 September 18:30 – 19:30
Friday 22 September – Saturday 23 September 09:30 – 10:30
Sunday 24 September 09:30 – 10:00

Home groups are small groups of people that will be formed at the beginning of the Symposium and remain the same until the end. Each group can find a quiet and pleasant place within the venue where they can meet each other every day. These daily gatherings will be a “safe place” that “feels like home”, where you can share your thoughts and feelings, exchange ideas or thoughts about the themes of the Symposium, or even reflect on your own experience at the Symposium. The purpose of a home group is for participants to get to know each other personally and as openly as they can, feeling free to exchange current experiences and emotions.

Community meeting / Encounter

Friday 22 September – Saturday 23 September 16:30 – 18:00

All the attendees will come together in the plenary room on Friday and Saturday. The participants will have the opportunity to unfold their reflections and emotions regarding the Symposium theme: Welcoming Polyphony in a Changing World.

Closing ceremony

Sunday 24 September 12:30 – 13:30

The closing ceremony of the conference is the final gathering of those who came together to share, learn, and build relationships during the days of the Symposium. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on our experience, to celebrate new friendships, inspiring conversations and any progress made in better understanding of the conference theme. We will also share our hopes and aspirations for the future of Person-Centred psychotherapy.


Experiential Symposium

Symposiums in ancient Greece were social gatherings, which combined entertainment and culinary delights with intellectual pursuits, the exchange of ideas and high-level dialogic and philosophical discussion, such as Plato’s well-known ‘Symposium’. Symposiums played a decisive role in the educational, social, political and intellectual life of the Greeks.

In keeping with these origins, the term “Symposium” is used nowadays for scientific meetings, where research and field scientists share their views and concerns and explore their ideas on a particular topic that draws their attention.

The symposium that will be held in September 2023 in Athens, Greece, the city of Plato, like all PCE symposia, will be held in such an interactive and experiential climate, perfectly compatible with the experientiality of the Person-centred approach.

The program of the symposium is structured so that the experiential character permeates all its processes. A variety of scheduled activities gives space for engagement, some less active, as in talks and presentations, but others highly active, as in workshops and specific group gatherings.

More specifically:

  • Four keynote lectures by excellent exponents of the Person-centred approach will introduce us to the topic by developing different aspects of the conference theme and will provide food for thought and reflection.
  • Shorter parallel presentations will give the presenters the opportunity to develop their thoughts on topics consistent with polyphony and pluralism and share their concerns with the participants.
  • Experiential workshops will allow focus on specific topics and the direct involvement of participants who will be happy to observe their direct experience, interact and share.
  • At the same time, encounter groups which will enrich the program will give us the opportunity to meet diversity and listen to many voices,
  • while shorter morning groups (home groups) will allow us to get to know each other better and accompany ourselves on this four-day journey.

As in the symposia of ancient Greece, the entertainment component of the gathering will not be overlooked. The same spirit of experientiality will run through the rest of the parallel events, which will support our spiritual quest and give guests the opportunity to get to know modern Athens and discover the old one. The ideal location and beautiful spaces where the symposium will take place will facilitate our transition from reflection and the exchange of ideas, experiences and reflections, to a kind of “walking” that favours assimilation and erudition—as the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle believed—and so the entertainment brings harmony of body and soul.

All of us who will meet at the 5th PCE Europe Symposium, people from different places and cultures, speaking different languages, bringing different ideas and perceptions, will together welcome diversity in a constantly changing world and experience the philosophy and power of the Person-centred & Experiential approach which makes it possible for us to listen deeply to diversity and polyphony.

Join us on this 4-day experiential journey to polyphony, September 21-24, 2023, in Athens, Greece.