I qualified as a lawyer in 1992 and worked as a barrister in Warsaw. As prestigious and rewarding as this career was, I soon realised that my heart wasn’t in it. I loved working with people, but I was more drawn to their emotional well-being and the psychological side of their suffering than in legal solutions and winning court battles. When I moved to the UK I took the opportunity to change directions in my career. I trained as an integrative counsellor at the University of East London and qualified in 2003.
Since then I have never looked back. I began working as a drug and alcohol counsellor in HMP Brixton, and then as a counsellor in HMP Wandsworth, as well as working with a number of private clients.
I take a unique approach to helping my clients, as I have personal experience of living with addictions, divorce, changing countries and professions – not belonging. I approach people from a position of somebody who is also still struggling with life and has compassion to client’s struggles, rather than an expert with a ready made solution. Put simply, I walk the talk.
My approach is integrative, meaning it includes several theoretical approaches which in my view suit best my values and my views on human nature and development.
I believe that all human beings strive to be happy and to avoid suffering. We are all full of potential, already perfect, only a bit confused.
The life journey allows us to regain the clarity and become who we have always been. On our way we do the best we know at the time to achieve that goal, but our lack of knowledge and resources makes us often clumsy, sometimes unkind.
It is no surprise that the above beliefs attracted me to the humanistic view of human development. I fully embrace the Person Centred Theory seeing people as intrinsically positive, striving for actualisation (“happiness”).
The principle of MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy), (part of CBT school) which I trained in during recent years, claims that we can change the way we think or feel not by changing the content of our brain but by changing the relationship with our thoughts and emotions. This theoretical approach allows the clients to see that “you don’t have to believe in everything you think and feel” and discover that by developing understanding and acceptance for our thoughts we are also gaining control and ability to choose whether to act upon them or not.
As MBCT meditation exercises became a part of my own practice, I could experience the effectiveness of this approach in my own life. I learned to see myself with more distance and warm sense of humour, seeing my “dramas” as product of my disquieted mind. I discovered joy coming from the sense of freedom to choose who I want to be. I believe that I can help clients in their journey to a similar place.
I subscribe to BACP code of Ethical Practice regarding client confidentiality and data protection.
Thich Nhat Hanh