Dr Despina Sfakinos

Biography

Despina is a Lecturer and Course Convenor for the Coaching Specialisation of the Bachelor of Counselling at ACAP. She joined ACAP in February 2014, having completed her PhD with the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney in 2013.

Despina has over 15 years’ experience in helping both organisations and individuals achieve their goals. Her work spans a variety of contexts including coaching (leadership, workplace and life coaching), consulting, lecturing, teaching and tutoring.

Research

Despina’s passion is helping organizations and people excel. This passion is exemplified in her most recent endeavour - completing a PhD investigating the relationship between leadership performance/development, psychological wellbeing and self-awareness from a constructive developmental and systems thinking (complexity and chaos theory) perspective. In 2001 she completed her honours thesis, which involved an investigation into the social construction of gender in regards to suicide.

Despina’s passion is helping organizations and people excel. This passion is exemplified in her most recent endeavour - completing a PhD investigating the relationship between leadership performance/development, psychological wellbeing and self-awareness from a constructive developmental and systems thinking (complexity and chaos theory) perspective. In 2001 she completed her honours thesis, which involved an investigation into the social construction of gender in regards to suicide.

Research papers include:

  • Sfakinos, D. (2016). Self-awareness: creating space for innovation. Navitas Professional Institute Conference: Innovation and Engagement for Learning, Health and Wellbeing. Melbourne, 4 November.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2014). Strategies to assist students who have given up on school, not motivated to work or who have unrealistic career expectations. Careers Advisers Association of NSW & ACT Inc., Annual Conference Twenty Fourteen, Sydney, October.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2014). Measuring and developing self-awareness. 11th International Conference on Excellence and Innovation in Education: The Creativity ­– Innovation Challenge. Paris ­– France, July.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2009). What is the relationship between personality, self-awareness & leadership performance? Australian Conference of Personality and Individual Differences. Sydney, November.
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Teaching

Despina has experience teaching a range of topics, including: lecturing in Personality at the University of Sydney in the School of Psychology; tutoring two subjects (Critical Thinking in Business and Business Strategy) at Masters level at the Business School at the University of Sydney; tutoring in a range of first, second and third year subjects in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney.

At ACAP, Despina is a Course Convenor for the coaching stream of the Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching) and teaches in the Masters level course "Counselling in a Diverse World".

Expert Comment Topics

  • Coaching
  • Self-awareness
  • Leadership development and performance
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Constructive developmental theory
  • Systems thinking – e.g. complexity theory and chaos theory
  • Postmodern thinking e.g. Social Constructionism, Foucault
  • The history, philosophy and sociology of psychology

Research & Scholarships

Journal Articles

  • Self-awareness re-visited. Currently being reviewed for publication.

Conference Presentations

  • Sfakinos, D. (2016). Self-awareness: creating space for innovation. Navitas Professional Institute Conference: Innovation and Engagement for Learning, Health and Wellbeing. Melbourne, 4 November.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2014). Strategies to assist students who have given up on school, not motivated to work or who have unrealistic career expectations. Careers Advisers Association of NSW & ACT Inc., Annual Conference Twenty Fourteen, Sydney, October.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2014). Measuring and developing self-awareness. 11th International Conference on Excellence and Innovation in Education: The Creativity ­– Innovation Challenge. Paris ­– France, July.
  • Sfakinos, D. (2009). What is the relationship between personality, self-awareness & leadership performance? Australian Conference of Personality and Individual Differences. Sydney, November.

Professional Affiliations and Fellowships

  • Registered psychologist
  • Member, Australian Psychological Society (MAPS)
  • Member, Coaching Psychology Interest Group
  • Member, Women and Leadership Research Group (Business School, University of Sydney)
  • Member, International Coaching Federation (ICF)
  • Associate Certified Coach (ICF)