Maria Karekla

Maria Karekla, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist, peer-reviewed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy trainer, and Associate Professor, University of Cyprus. She is heading the “ACTHealthy: Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine” laboratory. She received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany, SUNY. She completed her residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital. Her research focuses on areas of health promotion and the investigation of individual difference factors (especially psychological flexibility parameters) as they relate to the development and maintenance of various behavioural difficulties (especially anxiety, eating, and health related problems). Additionally, she examines the treatment of these difficulties utilizing Acceptance and Commitment-based principles and innovative delivery methods (e.g., digital interventions, virtual reality). Her research (>90 scientific peer reviewed publications) received numerous local, European and international grants, and awards by (among others) the European Council and Pompidou’s group, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy. She is currently the chair of the Clinical Psychology Doctorate committee, University of Cyprus. She is also the convenor of the European Federation of Psychology Associations’ Psychology and Health committee and a member of the e-health task force. She recently completed terms in chairing the Cyprus Bioethics Committee on Biomedical Research and being a member of the Cyprus Psychologist Licensing Board. She presently serves as president-elect of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, from where she received the status of “Fellow” in 2019. In 2021 she became a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, whereas in 2018 she was nominated as Cyprus “Woman of the Year: Academic/Researcher category.” Her first psychotherapeutic childrens’ story book was nominated in 2017 for the National Literary Awards in the category Children/Adolescents and also for her illustrations for the book. She is a TEDx speaker and she has been hosted and interviewed for her work by numerous podcasts, newspapers, TV and radio stations nationally and internationally.