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Current Practice

I currently run an in person therapy space in Makhanda, Eastern Cape of South Africa and online therapy for individuals, couples and groups.  I am also involved in environmental change programmes, employee wellness and transformational learning initiatives.


Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Geography (Dance Movement Psychotherapy and Water Resource Management)

2012 – 2017           


Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Master of Science - MSc, Dance Movement Psychotherapy

2012 - 2014


Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa

Master of Arts - MA, Drama

2000 - 2002


University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Bachelor of Arts Honours, Organisational Psychology

1996 - 1997


University of the Witwatersrand

Bachelor of Arts - BA, Industrial Psychology and Industrial Sociology

1989 - 1992

Registrations and Affiliations

  • Health Professions Council of South Africa (HSPCA) - registered Arts Therapist in the Category: Independent Practice Dance Movement Therapy (AT 000 1139)

  • Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK –overseas member 

  • South African Psychoanalytic Confederation – member

  • South African National Arts Therapies Association (SANATA) - committee member

  • International Authentic Movement Teachers Inquiry Group - member

  • Journal of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy – on International Advisory Panel

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (South Africa) – member

  • Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self and Relational Psychology Group – member

  • Arts Therapist Clinical Supervisor


  • Copteros, A. Karkou, V. & Palmer, C.G. (2023). Experiencing principles of dance movement therapy practice within transdisciplinary environmental research in South Africa. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy,

  • James, A., Ndhlovhu, D., Burt, J., Woodhill, F. & Copteros, A. (Oct, 2023). Climate Action Group Community-Based Monitoring and Evaluation of the Just Transition. A report for reflection and learning. This report shares a review of community-based monitoring and evaluation in general and a reflection on the Climate Action Group (CAG) Community-Based Monitoring & Evaluation (CBM&E).

  • Cockburn, J. Rosenberg, E. Copteros, A., Cornelius, S.A., Libala, N., Metcalfe, L. & van der Waal, B. (2020). A relational approach to landscape stewardship: towards a new perspective for multi-actor collaboration, Land, 9 (7), 224.

  • Copteros, A. Karkou, V. & Palmer, T. (2017) Cultural adaptations of Dance Movement Psychotherapy experiences: from a UK higher education context to a transdisciplinary water resource management research practice. In V. Karkou, S. Oliver and S. Lycouris (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Well-being (pp.681-698). Oxford University Press.

  • Copteros, A. (2017). Drawing on principles of Dance Movement Therapy practice in a South African water research context [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Rhodes University.

  • Burt, J., Cockburn, J., Fox, H. & Copteros, A. (August 2016). Visit the exotic places of birthplaces of transdisciplinarity. Postgraduate programme in Transdisciplinarity. Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa.

  • Burt, J., Wilson, J. & Copteros, A. (April 2016). Report containing learning, reflection and evaluation based on social learning. Changing Practice Course, Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa.

  • Copteros, A. (2002). Workshop theatre in post-apartheid South Africa. [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Rhodes University.


  • Part of panel discussion. The place of storytelling, embodiment and narratives in emotional responses to climate breakdown. Interdisciplinary Emotions in European Climate Politics workshop. University of Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). Amsterdam, Netherlands, 28-29 September 2023. (

  • Lectures on body-based therapies. Music and the Brain Course. Music Department, Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa, 28-31 August 2023.

  • Workshop on body-based therapies. Masters Music Therapy programme. Department of Music Therapy, University of Pretoria, Tswane, South Africa, 22 August 2023.

  • Copteros, A. & Belling, N. (2023). CPD event on ecopsychology and embodied therapies, South African National Arts Therapies Association, 16 August 2023.

  • Copteros, A. (2023). Dance movement therapy in South Africa. Global Panel - From tradition to diversity, innovation and breakthrough: Key conversations on dance and movement therapy around the world on the DT/MT Summit of World Arts and Embodiment Forum,10 March 2023.

  • Workshop on embodying sustainability. Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainability Learning. Environmental Learning Resource Centre (ELRC) and Environmental Science, Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa, 9 February 2023.

  • Workshop on body-based therapies. Masters Music Therapy programme. Department of Music Therapy, University of Pretoria, Tswane, South Africa, 28 August 2022.

  • Peer Supervision meeting on trauma and body-based therapies. South African National Arts Therapies Association, 16 May 2022.

  • Workshop on International Perspectives on Mental Health and Well-being. BSc Critical Approaches to Counselling and Psychotherapy. Edge Hill University, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 5 November 2021.

  • Workshop on Body-based approaches to Trauma, Displacement and Culture. Masters class MSc programme in Creative Psychotherapy and Counselling and year three students from the BA and the BSc undergraduate programmes. Edge Hill University, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 6 March 2021.

  • Copteros, A., Karkou, V. & Palmer, C.G. (2020). Experiences of principles of Dance Movement Therapy practice within transdisciplinary research: Lessons from working in a Water Resource Management context in South Africa. World Music Therapy Congress, Online, 7-8 July 2020.

  • Copteros, A. (2016). PhD research findings. Ntabelanga and Laleni Ecological Infrastructure Project: SCIENCE MANAGEMENT FORUM meeting under the Department of Environmental Affairs, Chief Directorate Natural Resource Management hosted at Rhodes University, Makhanda, South Africa, 14 July 2016.

  • Copteros, A. (2015). An exploration of the principles of Dance Movement Therapy in water resource management research practice: Speed talk and movement session presented at the PECS Conference, Social-ecological dynamics in the Anthropocene, Spier Estate, Cape Town, South Africa, 2 - 5 November 2015.

  • Copteros, A. (2014). Participatory Action Research into ways in which Dance Movement Psychotherapy can promote personal and social change in a South African community experiencing water-related injustice: Paper presented at the Healing and Social Transformation in Mental Healthcare in South Africa Conference for Arts Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Allied Psychotherapists, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 14 – 15 July 2014.

Environmental/Facilitation/Evaluation/Assessment Initiatives

realife learning Ltd Collaborator

realife is a UK registered value based organisation consisting of researchers, evaluators and adult educators from the UK, Africa, and the European Union who are committed to building resilient relationships and grounding social and climate-just action in the reality of our current global context.

Project: Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership Evaluation


My role: Relational and emotional facilitation and analysis, team coordination, data management and communications

The Kheta Project


My role: Contributed to a research report documenting the learning needs with recommendations regarding key learning outcomes and specific knowledge and skills domains that need to form part of an innovative new curriculum for community liaison officers and youth in the Greater Kruger.


Transformation to Sustainability (T2S) Research Project


My role: Compiled learning synthesis summaries of 12 projects around sustainability themes.


Open Online Course: Design for Inclusive and Adaptive Delta Management (DIADeM)


My role: Co-produced and contributed audio-visual content and course material to DIADeM - Delft University of Technology, Netherlands with Prof Tally Palmer, Director of the Rhodes University Institute for Water Research (IWR). The content and material focused on methods for transdisciplinary engagement in support of sustainable complex social ecological systems within the context of climate change and covered topics ranging from transdisciplinarity in practice, to stakeholder involvement and integrated coastal and port management.


The Tsitsa Project, a science-based, social-ecological, land restoration and livelihoods development programme.


My role: Focused on the development of principles of engagement. This involved exploring the integration of biophysical and practice methods, data and results, to deepen transdisciplinary praxis. Supported the development and running of the Monitor Capacity Development Short Course Module and contributed to Science Management Forum meetings, as well as various other community engagement initiatives.

Small Grant Funding Terminal Evaluation


My role: Selected as part of team to conduct Small Grant Funding Terminal Evaluation for SouthSouthNorth, the Executing Entity of the Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility.




My role: Assessor for the feasibility study to assess implementation of the Wise Wayz Water Care programme’s community development model in the Greater Tembisa Area of Gauteng, on behalf of i4WATER. To achieve the purpose of the study, detailed desktop research, as well as critical conversations with stakeholders and informal interviews with a range of community members, were undertaken.


Multi-Stakeholder Adaptation Think Tank


My role: Facilitated the Multi-Stakeholder Adaptation Think Tank entitled “Climate change and extreme events: Linking disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) to reduce social vulnerability and build resilience” (30 - 31 May 2017), at the Postgraduate Village, Rhodes University - Hosted by the Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University, with The Adaptation Network as co-host.


The Adaptation Retreat: A Journey of Discovery


MY role: Co-facilitated “The Adaptation Retreat: A Journey of Discovery” as part of Climate Change Adaptation training (15 – 18 May 2017) in Nieuwoudtville, Western Cape. Hosted by The Adaptation Network, the retreat was designed to meet the needs of more experienced adaptation practitioners – and in particular to provide them with opportunities to reflect on their practice and explore innovative approaches.




My role: Co-facilitated the first ever workshop on Trans-disciplinary Research for postgraduate students at Rhodes University (10 and 11 May 2016).


Changing Practice


My role: Ran a creative movement reflection session for Changing Practice participants, who took part in an action learning course through the South African Water Caucus (4 February 2016).


Institute for Water Research Open Day


My role: Co-facilitated an experiential workshop at the Institute for Water Research Open Day (28 January 2016).

Work History

I lectured and worked in organisational psychology for a few years before branching into a Masters in Drama where I explored Applied Theatre and alternative ways of engaging with communities and organisational systems.  After working on health, wellbeing, Life Orientation and HIV support programmes, I began to focus on embodiment as part of healing.  This led me to Dance Movement Psychotherapy.


I completed an MSc in Dance Movement Psychotherapy training in the United Kingdom in 2014 that formed part of a broader study on the role of embodied practice in transdisciplinary research, which is the subject of my PhD. My PhD explored ways in which movement can be a transformative communication medium for researchers engaging with complex social-ecological systems and trauma.


My clinical work experience began in Edinburgh.  I worked with women in individual therapy at Saheliya, which was established to support the mental health of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) women. I ran a group for children struggling at school that included elements of play and sand play therapy.  I also worked with individual children dealing with early childhood trauma.  In Makhanda (Grahamstown), I ran a women’s group at Fort England Psychiatric Hospital and a practice with individual clients at the Psychological Care Centre.  I worked with children, students and adults facing a range of mental health challenges. 


In Cape Town I ran a group at Lentegeur Hospital and a weekly group at Nonceba, a family counselling centre for women in Khayelitsha.  I saw private clients at practices in Sea Point and at the SA Centre for Mental Health in Stellenbosch.  I was also involved in social-ecological research, monitoring, evaluation and learning for a variety of projects on land restoration, climate adaptation and river health. 


I worked for 2 years at Rustenburg Addiction Care Clinic in Somerset West, which offers an in-patient programme for addiction.  I worked as a somatic psychotherapist. The Clinic is a dual diagnosis facility. As part of the multi-disciplinary clinical team, we ran a comprehensive primary care programme consisting of a variety of relevant group therapies, intensive individual counselling, written work and psycho-educational lectures. I worked with a variety of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, expressive arts therapy and mindfulness-based practice in both individual and group settings.

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