Dr Haris Karnezi, founder/director of the Cognitive Behaviour Drama Centre in Athens had been working as a professional actress and drama facilitator for 10 years prior to her engagement in the research on autism. During the course of her PhD she developed a unique intervention model for high functioning children with autism and Asperger syndrome that merges together the science of psychology with the art form of drama. The model is known as Cognitive Behavior Drama (CBD).
Her educational qualifications include a bachelors degree in Performing Arts from the Athens School of Dramatic Art in Greece, an MA in Drama in Education from the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK and a PhD from the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin.
Her commitment to the research of autism and the quality of her scholarly output is evidenced in the honours and awards she has received. These include the prestigious Woman of the Year Award (2009) in the science category, the Trinity College Dublin Postgraduate Research Award (2007), funding from the Irish National Council for Special Education (2007), three year scholarship from Trinity College Dublin (2004-07). Haris has presented her work in peer-reviewed conferences, nationally and internationally and has introduced the CBD model to professionals in Dublin (Ireland), Sydney, Melbourne (Australia), Monterrey (Mexico), NY, Long Island, San Diego (USA), Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa (Greece) and has set up collaborations with special schools and clinics in Dublin, Melbourne, New York and Athens. To date, over three hundred children have enjoyed the benefits of the CBD model.