It is a challenge to find a good psychotherapy that is right for you. Follow your gut instinct and conduct research about a person you will be working with. 


good psychotherapy

good psychotherapy

I’ve written some answers to common questions about psychotherapy and counselling. I hope this will help in your research.
And if you would like to discuss anything particular, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you or point you in the right direction.

Where is my psychotherapy practice located?


I work in West part of London in the Ealing and Acton area.


Psychotherapy. What is it?


Psychotherapy and counselling describes the work carried out by professionals who use interpersonal relationships as a basis on which to help people learn more about themselves and to embark on a journey to introduce changes to the way in which they live their lives. Working within mutually agreed boundaries and contractual arrangements and with their relationship founded on clear ethical principles, clients receive support in analysing and managing issues that they are grappling with. These can be personal, interpersonal or psychological challenges. Psychotherapists and counsellors draw upon a number of theories and models, along with applying a wide range of interpersonal skills through their counselling and psychotherapy practice to help instigate change in the person seeking help. This occurs within the context of a warm, respectful environment, where the client’s own unique qualities, needs, opinions and values, as well as the right to determine their own destiny are all recognised, respected and understood.    


What does a psychotherapist do?


Psychotherapists can offer support in an immediate crisis. They also help to address issues that are currently of concern, along with more long-term problems, where trauma can arise in response to adverse experiences in childhood. The therapy provided may be either short-term and/or long-term in duration and this is generally influenced by the type and severity of the issue being addressed. Psychotherapists may be open to working with individuals, couples, families and in group settings. Essentially, the client-therapist relationship is at the heart of this work, where therapists apply the skills and knowledge that they have learned in order to meet the needs of their client, so as to bring about meaningful psychological change. This relationship operates within a therapeutic framework which offers a structure to facilitate the healing process. Psychotherapists not only provide therapeutic intervention for particular diagnosed mental illnesses, but they also offer wider supports in the areas of personal growth, building emotional intelligence and improving self-knowledge.   


How does psychotherapy differ from counselling?


While psychotherapy and counselling are similar in many ways, it is also important to highlight the differences between them in terms of practice. Both counsellors and psychotherapists engage in in-depth work, however, counselling tends to centre on the specific issues that the individual is struggling with, including accommodating various life changes, as well as promoting a sense of well-being among clients. On the other hand, the focus of psychotherapy is more on reshaping the self or personality in order to become more self-aware and learn how to live a healthier life. While at a foundational level psychotherapy differs significantly from counselling, such similarities tend to be less pronounced at the advanced stages of training.


What form of psychotherapy would work best?


Over the years, many different forms of psychotherapy have been developed, differentiated by the various schools and methods that now exist. These methods can be sub-divided into distinct theoretical and philosophical approaches, which are based on a number of assumptions about the way in which we function as humans. A number of models, tools and techniques have also been devised which psychotherapists can draw upon depending on the issue that they are addressing during a therapy session. The theoretical frameworks developed offer a strategy that the counsellor can use to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing their clients, as well as forming a basis on which to identify and design a solution. However, it is also important to remember that the theories applied are merely based on assumptions or concepts. There is also evidence to show that the school of psychotherapy only accounts for 12% of overall therapeutic success. Other key factors influencing its effectiveness include the therapist having the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to develop a strong and positive relationship with their client. By achieving this, a level of trust, understanding and mutual acceptance can be built. In reality, psychotherapists tend to use a number of different forms of psychotherapy in their day-to-day practice. This means that they do not have to stick rigidly to any one particular approach, but can instead adjust and adapt so as to offer a more tailor-made, blended approach according to individual client needs.


My philosophical approach to psychotherapy


I believe that psychotherapy offers enormous potential in terms of assisting in identifying and addressing some of the self-destructive or unhealthy processes that have crept into our lives. It provides a safe, empathetic environment where these can be challenged from a relational perspective, so as to bring about significant change in the individual taking up this support. The counselling service I provide is co-creational in nature, where we work with each other, rather than to each other. The philosophical approach I use places emphasis on the sharing of personal experiences, which is known as intersubjectivity. I also pay particular attention to your own conscious and unconscious processes, along with those that you will form when engaging with me. This helps me to gain a deep understanding of the aspects of your life that you are dissatisfied with so that we can work together to resolve them.  


Why and at what point should You contact psychotherapist or counsellor?


There are huge benefits associated with engaging in psychotherapy and sex therapy, especially having reached a point in your life when you feel things are tough and you are finding it hard to deal with the situation. Sometimes at this time, the strategies and solutions we have been using all along are no longer working, or could even be causing some of these difficulties, while the circumstances in which we find ourselves may also be contributing to the problem. While these challenges are all normal, natural things that we can encounter and are essentially part of life, nevertheless, that does not make them any easier to deal with. Especially during times of crisis, it is vital that we seek support from others who can help, including professional support offered in the form of psychotherapy and counselling. It is very heartening to see that the stigma associated with availing of therapy has significantly reduced in recent years, as huge advances have been made in terms of support on offer from a psychological science perspective. As a result, there is a wider acceptance among society of the benefits counselling and psychotherapy can offer.  


When you are dissatisfied with the counsellor or psychotherapist.


The relationship that you form with your therapist is fundamental and at the core of the entire therapeutic process. It is important that you trust your instincts regarding how you feel about this relationship, especially during the first and also in subsequent sessions. If you feel dissatisfied or uncertain, then you may wish to source another therapist. It is essential that you develop a deep trust in your therapist if you are to gain most benefit from the experience. It is also important to remember that the decision to remain with that specific therapist is always your decision. If you feel things are not working out, for whatever reason, then you may wish to consider whether you would like to continue on or else end therapy with that specific counsellor or psychotherapist.


What approach to therapy do you use?


I am a humanistic, psychodynamic and psychoanalytical psychotherapist. These approaches all combine into what is known as relational transactional analysis psychotherapy. In addition, I am fully qualitied to offer sex counselling to those experiencing sexual intimacy difficulties.


How can I as a client be satisfied that my psychotherapist always maintains professionalism?


Before you begin to work with a psychotherapist or a counsellor, it is important to check that they are sufficiently trained and adequately qualified to deal with the issues that you are seeking to address.  


Number of therapy sessions needed.


The number of sessions needed and their timing differs from person to person. It really depends on the goals you have set for yourself at the time, as well as the level of distress that you are presenting with. We will continue to assess your needs over the course of the sessions to evaluate how you are progressing. It is important to acknowledge that every person and the circumstances they find themselves in can differ greatly. However, by working together and continuing to communicate with one another, we will build your confidence, independence and strength so as to be able to overcome your challenges. It is also important to note that bringing about effective psychological change requires commitment, as well as investing significant energy and time.  


What should You expect when attending psychotherapy?


There are two broad types of psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling: structured and unstructured. A structured approach tends to be more focused on setting goals, problem-solving, increasing self-awareness and instigating change. On the other hand, unstructured psychotherapy aims to work with those who are going through mental health problems, but without setting specific goals or a clear agenda. Instead, it mainly centres on exploring how the individual can realise their full potential by releasing their inhibitions, so as to develop greater self-awareness, independence, form closer emotional bonds and become more relaxed and less self-conscious. The relationship that forms between the therapist and the client plays a very important role in the therapeutic process, in that it offers a safe environment in which to explore and express unconscious beliefs, feelings and any other sources of conflict. This facilitates greater self-knowledge and understanding, as well as identifying healthy ways in which to convey feelings, wants and needs.


What kind of issues I work with?


As a therapist with more than ten years’ experience, I have successfully treated people presenting with a number of different issues. These include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, for example, within the family, emotional difficulties, addiction, post-traumatic stress, general stress, dissociation, burnout and bereavement. Sometimes people seek help in response to other challenges, for instance, adjusting to major life changes or feeling trapped and unable to find a solution. In addition, I offer specialist support to both men and women in relation to sexual health difficulties, for example, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, low libido and so on. As part of the treatment process, you will be invited to complete a specifically designed questionnaires where I can gather exact information about your individual situation. I may also refer you to your own doctor if there is a need to undergo a physical examination or to carry out blood tests, so as to rule out any underlying physical health problem that could be affecting your overall sexual health.


What should You expect at the first session?


A number of different aspects are usually discussed at the first session. Introductions are initially made and you will be given an opportunity to learn more about the service I offer, as well as to ask any specific questions that you may have. During this session we will also discuss the kinds of needs and issues that you would like to address, your background history and circumstances, as well as exploring how psychotherapy may be of assistance to you. Based on this information, we can both decide if we feel we can work together to address your current issues.

How often are sessions held?

Sessions generally take place on a once weekly basis. However, in some circumstances, it may be necessary from a clinical perspective to attend more frequently.

How long do the sessions last for?

Single sessions are 50 minutes in duration, while sessions with couples last for 60 minutes. They are generally scheduled for the same time and day of each week.

What happens if You cancel a pre-arranged appointment for a legitimate reason?

In order for psychotherapy to work, it requires an ongoing weekly commitment on the part of everyone concerned, both you as my client and me as the therapist. Having agreed to engage in this process, I will make sure to dedicate a specific time to see you each week, on a regular basis, so as to maintain the continuity of our sessions for the entire duration of the therapy. In securing this arrangement, it will be necessary to pay for all sessions, including any that you may have to unavoidably cancel. Emergency cancellation is an exception e.g. red weather warnings, notifiable disease, serious hospital admission illnesses of you or your close ones.

How soon will You see the benefits of psychotherapy?

It can usually take up to five sessions to be able to assess if the therapy sessions are working for you. I generally carry out a review at that stage, so that we can decide whether it would be helpful to continue or, alternatively, draw our sessions to a close. 

How long should You stay in psychotherapy?

Everyone is different and the length of time an individual needs to spend in psychotherapy or sex counselling will vary from person to person. Sometimes clients reap the benefits after a number of weeks, while for others it may take several months, after which time they decide to end therapy. This generally happens having struggled through a tough time and come through to the other side stronger and more resilient. Some people engage in therapy for months and even years, where they attend over a long-term basis so as to address deep-rooted long-standing issues that have presented as a challenge to them for a significant amount of time.  

Ending psychotherapy sessions.

You have the right to draw our sessions to a close at any time. However, ideally, I would like to receive four weeks’ notice of this decision, as it would give us both more time to prepare in advance. If either of us reach a stage where we believe it is time to end the therapeutic relationship, it is important that we allocate sufficient time to giving this careful consideration so as to make sure that it is a positive experience.

What code of ethics do I comply with?

I adhere to a number of codes of ethics, which are in line with the values I hold regarding my work within private practice. These are: the ‘Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy’, issued by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); the ‘Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct’ developed by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP); and the ‘Code of Ethics and Conduct’ published by the Metanoia Institute in London.

Counselling and psychotherapy in a foreign language.

I am originally from Poland, but I have been living in England for more than ten years. Other than English, I can also offer counselling and psychotherapy in Polish.

What training do psychotherapists or counsellors have?

Psychotherapists and counsellors are specially trained professionals who have studied human behaviour. The knowledge and skills that they have learned assists them to provide a professional therapeutic service in a safe and ethical setting, within agreed boundaries.

Therapists take the cultural, social and political environment in which their clients live in and work into consideration in terms of how these aspects impact upon the issues they wish to address within the therapeutic process. They have an understanding of and can analyse the effects of these social and cultural factors on the individual concerned, for example, in terms of their age, gender, socio-economic background, nationality, religion, cultural identity, sexual orientation, developmental stage and ability/disability. Psychotherapists and counsellors are culturally sensitive, while also respecting diversity and the rights of all those presenting for support.