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17th June 2024 

A few words about my professional background

'Migration is about two elements: the journey towards a new life and the settling into it…
Both migration and rootedness is my background.'

Ruth Padel, The Mara Crossing (2012, p.3-5)

I was born and grew up in Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw is where I studied Psychology and Neuroscience at university, and where I first worked, in the first private art gallery behind the iron curtain. I was an assistant to the gallery owner. I talked with artists, provided practical help in organising their exhibitions and shows, and coordinated sales. This was the time when creative Arts were seen as evolving out of immediate experience of an oppressed individual, anti-institutional and anti-regime; and basically acted as the social and political critic.

The ferment of my formative years in Warsaw had a strong influence on the rest of my life, including my interest in Gestalt therapy that makes it not only for a humane discipline of healing, but a way of living creatively in the uncertain times. 'Now, more than ever, you cannot lock down the future.'

I moved to the UK in the mid-80's and settled in London.
I continued psychology studies at the postgraduate level in Middlesex University and gained Diploma in Health Psychology. In order to survive, I trained as an RGN and begun working for the NHS in varied hospital settings. Whilst working with acutely and chronically ill, I became interested in the experience of individuals suffering with persistent body distress and medically unexplained symptoms.

As my career progressed, in particular whilst holding consecutive managerial posts in the NHS, I gradually realised the extent to which the ill state of the health care system kept people trapped in the cycle of illness. The outmoded biomedical model that has continued to dominate medicine and psychiatry for all these years does not suffice, and in the market-oriented system controlled by profit-maximizing investors and power hungry politicians leads to disaster. Unable to take any effective action I left the NHS, and chose to work independently as psychotherapist.

I have worked in a therapeutic capacity for over 30 years in London.
I am a graduate of The Gestalt Centre London and have MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy from London Metropolitan University. Prior to becoming an individual and group psychotherapist, I trained as counsellor and gained Post-Grad Diploma in Counselling. My particular interest in the body process and movement led me to train extensively in the integrative body therapy with the Chiron Centre in Ealing, Michael Soth and the founder of Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, Ruella Frank.

My clinical practice has been strongly influenced by my teachers and mentors: Peggy Sherno - the founder-director of the Gestalt Centre London, Gaie Houston, Jane Paddy, Toni Gilligan, Carol Siederer, and Carl Hodges - former president of New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy (NYIGT), as well as the work of Gail Feinstein, Erv Polster, and Joel Latner. I trained in couples therapy with Joseph Zinker in the mid-90's, and more recently with Rich Hycner, as well as Bob and Rita Resnick at GATLA (Gestalt Associates Training, Los Angeles), and with Judith Hemming at the Centre for Systemic Constellations.

Having trained in relational integrative supervision, I offer clinical supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists - qualified and in training, as well as coaches and leaders in complex organisational settings. I offer sound knowledge and substantial managerial experience gained whilst working for the NHS and more recently as a non-executive director and trainer in The Gestalt Centre London.

I am a registered practitioner with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I adhere to their Code of Ethics and Practice. I am committed to my personal development and continue to expand my clinical skills through regular supervision and ongoing training. Until only last autumn I was also a Board Member and a Publicity Officer of the UK Association for Gestalt Practitioners - UKAGP. I remain an active member of IAAGT - the International Association for Advancement of Gestalt Therapy.

Beside providing psychotherapy to the individuals born and brought up in UK, I have vast experience of working with a great variety of individuals representing different countries, race and religions, and language. I work regularly with clients from Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany, France and Brazil as well as those from the Middle East, India, and the African countries, including Ghana and South Africa. I work primarily in English but sessions can also be held in Polish.

I have extensive experience of therapy with gender and sexual minority clients, in particular those who additionally are part of another minority because of their race, culture, religion or were born and brought up outside of the UK. Having worked in LGBT organisations: London Friend and ELOP for many years, I gained the skills necessary to support those affected by prejudice, oppression and intolerance.

In addition to my psychotherapy practice, I offer clinical supervision to psychotherapists worldwide across a range of modalities - qualified and in training. I also run personal development workshops, facilitate seminars and training groups for psychotherapy and counselling students, and teach Gestalt Therapy in the UK and internationally, including ITEG and WSPG in Poland, as well as The Gestalt Centre in London, where I am a visiting trainer. Teaching, for me, is a form of learning from experience, conducted in the context of a joint search with students, supervisees, and colleagues. A good teacher is essentially a student open for experimenting and modifying his own ways of thinking and methods, and so, advancing his process of self-knowledge or ‘becoming’ and hopefully inspiring the other to do the same.

As a clinician working mostly in the second language, I am interested in the reverberations of cultural and linguistic cross-cultural phenomena and how they impact the therapeutic process. Most recently, I translated the seminal text of Gestalt therapy into Polish, which is now available to buy from Oficyna Związek Otwarty.

For my contact details, please click here.