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Prof Dr Nikola Atanassov (1955-2020) was one of the key figures of the psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic movement in Bulgaria. He was one of the founders and first presidents of the Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society, of the Masters programme in Clinical Psychology - Psychoanalytic Perspective in the New Bulgarian University, former president of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy, a training and supervising analyst who was fully devoted to the clinical practice and the organisational and scientific life of the analytic community as well as a close colleague, mentor and collaborator of so many. This web page is devoted to his life and work.
Ass. Prof. Nikola Atanassov

Curriculum Vitae

CURRICULUM VITAE

Name: Nikola Atanassov

Address: New Bulgarian university (NBU)

Department of Cognitive Science and Psychology

21, Montevideo Str.

Sofia 1618, Bulgaria

Tel. ++359 2/ 885 43 46 office

/ 974 80 19, 471 18 09 home

++359 888 724 069 mobile

E-mail: n.atanassov@gmx.net

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY:

1990 – Ph.D., Institute of Psychology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Topic of dissertation: “The Psychosemantic Validity of Personality Questionnaires”

1981 – Degree of Higher Education in Psychology (B.A.+M.A. combined), Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany

Thesis: “The Development of a Questionnaire for the Assessment of Alcoholism”

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION:

Since 2012 – interim training and supervising analyst of the Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society

since 2010 – participation at the Advanced Amsterdam Psychoanalytic Program “Training for Trainers”

2008 – finished psychoanalytic  training at the Han Groen-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA)

2006 – participation at the International Cognitive Science Sumemr School at the NBU

2005 – study visit at the Centre Alfred Binet – Paris (psychoanalysis)

since 1995 –  patricipation at the French/Bulgarian Psychoanalytioc Seminars organized by the Group for Development of Psychoanalytic Practice in Bulgaria (GDPAPB) and the Centre Alfred Binet – Paris

2003 – study visit at the Department of Psychotherapy, University of Ulm, Germany, research topic: “Empirical studies of the psychoanalytic process “

since January 2002 – training candidate at the Han Groen-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe of the IPA

since 1990 – participation at the East European psychoanalytic seminars and summer schools, organized by the Joint East European Committee of the European Psychoanalytic Federation and the International Psychoanalytic Association: psychoanalytic theory, case seminars and supervision (about 400 hours altogether)

1997 – study visit at the Washington Psyhoanalytic Institute, Washington D.C., USA

1991 and 1993 – study visits at the Institute of Psychoanalysis of the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany

1991 – Participation at the Group Relations Conference, directed by a joint staff from the Tavistock Institute and the GRUBB Institute ( London) in Sofia, Bulgaria

1989-1994 – Certified training in psychodrama, organized by the Swedish Psychodrama Academy and the Psychodrama Institute for Europe (seat in Munich, Germany), leading to a certificate for psychodrama therapist (950 hours)

1989-1990 – Self-experience group (105 sessions)

1984 – Courses in systemic family therapy, directed by George Vassiliou, M.D., former president of the World Psychiatric Association

1981 – Certified training in hypnosis and autogenic training at the Outpatient Clinic, Department of Psychology, Humboldt University in Berlin

1979-1981 – Training in cognitive-behavioral therapy (cognitive restructuring, systematic desensitization, assertive training) at the Outpatient Clinic, Department of Psychology, Humboldt University in Berlin

CLINICAL EXPERIENCES;

1990 to present – psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice in Sofia, Bulgaria: psychoanalysis and  psychoanalytic psychotherapys; clinical supervision of mental health professionals

1992-1997 – leader, 3 long-term self-experience groups for mental health professionals, New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Department of Behavioral Sciences

1985-1990 – Counselor, hot line service in Sofia, Bulgaria

1981-1990 – Clinical psychologist at the City Psychiatric Dispensary in Sofia, Bulgaria: psychological assessment of children and adults with neurotic and psychotic disorders, addictions, delinquent behavior, mental retardation, neurological diseases etc.;  individual, group and family therapy with adults and children

1979-1981 -Clinical practice at the Outpatient Clinic, Department of Psychology, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany

1979 – Clinical practice at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Leipzig, Germany (3 months)

RESEARCH EXPERIENCES:

since 2013 – key participant at the international research project “Trauma, trust and memory” designed to create a psychoanalytic research network in South-East Europe

since 2009 – research on mentalization and symbolization in  patients with personality disorders

1994 to present – research on the theory of psychoanalysis; “Developmental Theories in Psychoanalysis”, a monograph on psychoanalytic research on development in childhood and adolescence (second edition 2009)

1992-1993 – research on the history of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Bulgaria

1991 – research assisstant, research project “Implicit Personality Theories. Pupils and Their Potential for Creativity: The Teachers` View”; Neurosciences and Behavior Research Program, Institute of Psychology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

1989 – participation at the Bulgarian adaptations of the Offer Self Image Questionnaire for Adolescents and the Eysenck Personality Questionnare

1985-1988 – research project “Psychosemantic Validity of Personality Questionnaires”, Ph.D. dissertation

1984 – research assisstant, research and treatment program “Social Dysfunction in Schizophrenia”, Medical Academy of Sofia, Institute of Psychiatry

1980-1981 – “The Development of a Questionnaire for the Assesment of Alcoholism”, Master`s thesis (involving the item analysis and the dimensional – factor and cluster – analysis of the data, derived from the standardization sample; this questionnare, designed by a psychologist from Dresden, Germany, has come to use in Germany)

TEACHING EXPERIENCES:

since 2005 – associate professor of Clinical Psychology at the NBU

at present – lectures on “Foundation of Psychoanalysis”, “Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology” and “Introduction to Psychotherapy”, Master`s Degree Programme in Clinical Psychology, NBU, Department of Cognitive Science and Psychology as well as “Foundations of Clinical Psychology” at the Bachalor`s Programm in Psychology, NBU

1999 – 2005 – lectures on “Psychoanalytic Psychology”, “The History of Psychoanalytic Concepts”, “Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology”, “Introduction to Psychotherapy” Master`s Degree Programme in Clinical Psychology, NBU

September 1998 – 1999 – lectures at the SISEL Center for Psychotherapy, Sofia: “An Introduction to Psychoanalysis”

1992-1997 – lectures and seminars on psychoanalytic theory and psychoanalytic developmental psychology at the NBU, Department of Behavioral Sciences

1993-1996 – Introductory Lectures on Clinical Social Work at the NBU, Graduate Program in Clinical Social Work

1991-1993 – lectures and seminars on psychological counselling at the South-West University in Blagojevgrad, Bulgaria, Graguate Program in Social Paedagogy

1992 – special seminar on clinical social work for police and prison officers at the NBU

1990-1991 – special seminars on psychological counceling at the Climent Okhridski University in Sofia, Department of Psychology

COLLOQUIA AND INVITED LECTURES:

2016 – workshop at the 8th National Conference of Psychotherapy

2014 – invited lecture at the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Psychology

2014 – invited lecture at the 6th National Conference of Psychotherapy

2013 – panel at the 48th Congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association, Prag Прага

2011 – invited lecture, 6th National Congress of Psychology, Sofia

2010 – invited lecture, Forth National Conference of Psychotherapy, Varna

2006 – invited lecture , Sigmund-Freud-Anniversiry Conference of the Department of Preschool Paedagogics, Climent Okhridski University of Sofia

2003 – invited lecture, International Conference of Positive Psychotherapy, Varna

2002 – invited lecture, Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Psychiatric Association, Veliko Tarnovo

2002 – keynote-lecture “Psychotherapy in Bulgaria”, 3rd World Congress for Psychotherapy in Vienna, Austria

2001 –  “Psychoanalysis in Eastern Europe” Conference  in Magdeburg, Germany; invited lecture “Freud`s influence on Bulgarian medicine, philosophy and literature”

1996 – 1st World Congress of Psychotherapy in Vienna, Austria; presentation “the Development of Psychotherapy in Bulgaria”

1996 – International Conference “Psychoanalysis and Culture” dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Sigmund Freud; invited lecture on “Psychoanalysis in Bulgaria”

March-April 1995 – series of workshops on current trends in psychotherapy at the SISEL Center for Psychotherapy  in Sofia, Bulgaria

November 1994 – invited lecture “The Evolution of Psychotherapy. Observations from the World Congress on Psychotherapy in Hamburg, Germany”, at the meeting of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling in Sofia, Bulgaria

February 1994 – “The current situation of the mental health professions in Bulgaria”, presentation given at the Boston College School of Social Work, Boston, MA

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES:

2014 – 2016 – president, Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society

2012 – 2014 – secretary, Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society

since 2009 – director of the Doctoral program in psychology, NBU

2006 – 2008  – president, Bulgarian Association of Psychotherapy

since  2000 – member of the Scientific Council, Sigmund Freud Centre, Psychiatric clinic in Uchtspringe, Germany

1996 – 2008  – National Delegate and Board member of the European Association of Psychotherapy

1992-1994 – Director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Social Work  at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Department of Behavioral Sciences

Conference committees:

2011 – member of the Organizing committeem 6th National Congress of Psychology

2010 – member of the Organizing committee, 10th Anniversary Conference of the Master`s Programm  in Clinical Psychology, NBU

2009 – member of the Organizing Committee of the South East Euroipean Conference of Psychology

2008 – member of the Organizing Committee of the 5th National Congress of Psychology

2005 – president of the Organizing Committee of the East-European Psychoanalytic Summer School in Borovets, organized by the East-European Committee of the IPA and the Han Groen-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe

2002  - president of the Organizing Committee of the East-European Psychoanalytic Summer School in Borovets, organized by the East-European Committee of the IPA and the Han Groen-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe and the Group for Development of Psychoanalytic Practice in Bulgaria

1997 – member of the Organizing Committee of the First French-Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Conference in Sofia

1996 – Second Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling

1995 – First Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling

1988 – International Conference on Psychotherapy in Sofia, Bulgaria

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES:

Since 2012 – member of the Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society (study group of the IPA)

since 2009 – direct member of the IPA

since 1999 – member of the Group for the Development of Psychoanalytic Practice in Bulgaria

1993 to present – co-founder and member (1.1997 – 8.1997, 1.2006 – 12.2008 –  active president) of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy; 1996 – 2008 National Delegate for Bulgaria at the European Association for Psychotherapy

1991 to present – co-founder and member of the Bulgarian Society for Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy (group member of the Psychodrama Institute for Europe)

1991-1997 – co-founder, member and secretary of the Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society

1990 to present – co-founder and member of the Bulgarian Psychological Association

PARTICIPATION IN PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS:

2016 – Annual Meeting of the European Psychoanalytical Federation in Berlin, Germany

2015 – Annual Meeting of the European Psychoanalytical Federation in Stockholm, Sweden

2014 – Annual Meeting of the European Psychoanalytical Federation in Torino, Italy

since 2013 – participation at the Council meetings of the European Psychoanalytic Federation

2013 – 48th Congress of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Prag, Czech republic

1996 – 2008 – participation at the meetings of the Board of the European Association cof Psychotherapy

2004 – Annual Meeting of the European Psychoanalytical Federation in Helsinki, Finland

2003 – Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research in Weimar, Germany

2003 – Annual Meeting of the German Psychoanalytical Society in Stuttgart

2003 – Conference “Clinical Attachment Resesarch” in Ulm, Germany

1997 – VII Conference and Board Meeting of the European Association for Psychotherapy in Rome, Italy

1996 – “The Development of Psychotherapy in Bulgaria”, paper presented at the First Congress of the World Council for Psychotherapy in Vienna, Austria

1996 – “Psychoanalysis in Bulgaria”, paper presented at the International Conference “Psychoanalysis and Culture”  to commemorate the 140th Anniversary of Sigmund Freud in Sofia, Bulgaria

1995 – World Congress on Hypnosis in Munich, Germany

1995 – “The Development of the Psychotherapist”, workshop given at the First Annual Conference of the Bulgarian Association for Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling

1994 – Third Conference ”The Evolution of Psychotherapy” in Hamburg, Germany

1993 – 38th Congress of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1992 – “Psychodrama in Bulgaria”, poster presented at the 16th Congress  of the International Association for Group Psychotherapy in Montreal, Canada (with D.Ierocham and E.Gentchev)

1991 – “The Process of Political Change in Bulgaria and Its Implications for Families and Family Therapy”, paper presented at the World Congress on Systemic Family Therapy in Heidelberg, Germany

1988 – “The Hot Line Service in Sofia”, paper presented at the National Conference of Mental Health in Varna, Bulgaria

BOOKS EDITED:

2014 – “Psychology of Sexuality”, a volume of Sigmund Freud, Colibri Publishers

2013 – “Psychology of the Unconscious”, a volume of Sigmund Freud, Colibri Publishers

2009 – „Dictionary of Psychoanalysis” by Jean Laplanche and Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, Sofia: Colibri Publishers

2009 – „Psychoanalytic Practice, vol. 1” by Helmut Thomae and Horst Kaechele, NBU Publishers

1997 – “The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families and Groups” by Lawrence Shulman, translated into Bulgarian, Neurosciences and Behavior Foundation Publishers, Sofia

1994 – “Concise Encyclopaedia of Psychology” by R. Corsini (ed.), translated into Bulgarian, Naouka and Izkustvo Publishers, Sofia

1991 – “Love is Never Enough” by Aaron Beck, translated into Bulgarian, Naouka and Izkustvo Publishers, Sofia

1990 – “Introductory Lectures to Psychoanalysis” by Sigmund Freud, translated from German into Bulgarian, Naouka and Izkustvo Publishers, Sofia

1989 – “Dictionary of Psychology”, translated from German into Bulgarian, Naouka and Izkustvo Publishers, Sofia

PUBLICATIONS (abridged list of publications):

2017 - Atanassov N., Savov. S. (in press). Psychic trauma and addiction. In: Hamburger A. (ed.). Trauma, Trust and Memory: Social Trauma and Reconciliation in Psychoanalysis, Psychotheapy and Cultural Memory. London: Karnac Publishers.

2016 - Atanassov N., Savov S.  Mentalization and personality organization in heroin addicted patients: a narrative analysis. Language and Psychoanalysis, Vol. 5/1: 14-30.

2013 - Atanassov N.  “Out from the underground”, Therapy Today Vol. 24/7.

2012 - Savov S., Atanassov N. “Deficits of affect mentalization in patients with drug addiction: theoretical and clinical aspects”. ISRN Addiction 10/2012.

2011 – Atanassov N., Savov S. “Researech on Narratives in Psychoanalysis”. Bulgarian Journal of Psychology, No. 3-4.

2010 – Atanassov N. Empirical research on psychoanalytic narratives. Bulgarian Journal of Psychology (in print).

2009 – Atanassov N.  Developmental Theories in Psychoanalysis. A monograph. Sofia:  Marin Drinov Academic Publishers (second edition)

2009 – Atanassov N. Psychoanalytic theories of motivation: between the drive and the object. Bulgarian Jornal of Psychology, No. 1-2.

2007 – Atanassov N.  Mentalization and referential activity: the cognitive side of psychoanalysis. Bulgarian Journal of Psychology, No. 2.

2005 – Genchev E., Atanassov N. (2005). Traumatisierung durch politische Gewalt in Bulgarien. Personlichkeitsstorungen  4/2005, p. 212.

2003 – Atanassov N. Freud`s Einfluss auf die bulgarischen Medizin, Philosophie und Literatur. In: Toegel  C. und Frommer J. (Hrsg.). Psychotherapie und Psychoanalyse in Osteuropa. Uchtspringe: Sigmund Freud Zentrum.

2002 – Atanassov N. Psychotherapy in Bulgaria. In: Pritz A. (ed.). Globalized Psychotherapy. Vienna: facultas.

1997 – Atanassov N. Psychodrama and Psychoanalysis: an encounter. Bulgarian Journal of Psychology, No.4.

1997 – Atanassov N. The psychoanalytic movement in Bulgaria between  World War I and World War II. Annual of the Institute of Psychology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (in press).

1995 – Tomov T. and N.Atanassov. Psychoanalysis in Bulgaria. In: P.Kutter (ed.). Psychoanalysis International. A Guide to Psychoanalysis throughout the World. Vol. 2. Stuttgart: frommann-holzboog.

1993 – Gerganov E. and N.Atanassov. Psychosemantic validity of personality questionnaires. Bulgarian Journal of Psychology, No.3.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN FLUENTLY: Bulgarian, English, German, Russian.

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