I offer a meeting, which takes place between You and I on an existential and interpersonal level. In this aspect we are both ordinary, equal and different people. It is also a unique meeting in its professional dimension, because its goal is to help you to unravel your internal problems, inter alia, thanks to the so-called “therapeutic alliance”.

This is psychotherapy

Psychotherapy researchers who have done a transtheoretical analysis of multiple therapeutic systems, define psychotherapy as

informed and intentional application of clinical methods and interpersonal stances, derived from established psychological principles, for the purpose of assisting people to modify their behaviors, cognitions, emotions and/or other personal characteristics in a direction that participants deem desirableProchaska, Norcross

Forms of psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapyCouples therapyGroup therapy

Individual psychotherapy is a therapy that takes place in the therapist-client dyad. It is a process adapted to your pace (of experiencing, awareness, reacting), which touches upon the topics of current and past issues, that are important for you. We are interested in your attitude towards yourself, achieving the goals, the way you function in relationships with other people.

Often in an individual therapy we also work on getting back into balance after various traumas, both singular events (eg. accident, act of violence) and long-term (eg. being sexually abused, being brought up in “an alcoholic family”).

Sessions are held every week and last 50 minutes.

In couples’ therapy the meeting is between a pair (not necessarily married) and a psychotherapist (or pair of therapists). It is a form of psychotherapy, in which you can understand the causes and reasons for your disagreement or fight for power. Sometimes we look at your family stories to discover, wheter you treat yourselves as partners or do you react to each other as if you were your parents.

In long-term relationships we often cannot hear each other, because we respond to the partner habitually, led by experience. Couples therapy provides a safe environment to communicate, see each other and learn how to communicate on a deeper level. It also gives a space to hear each other’s needs, expectations and agree to conditions of being togheter.

Sessions for couples are held every two weeks and last 90 minutes (sometimes with a short break).

Group psychotherapy is a form of therapy led by two psychotherapists in a group of 6-12 clients. Together they form the experimental community, which means that the participants operate in a group like in everyday life. As a result, participants can work to change their behaviours and feeling with the support of the group and the therapists in a safe environment.

Figure-ground dynamic and a pole, rather than striving for perfection

In Gestalt therapy we work with the so-called figure and background, which is what is currently important and what disappears from the field of attention in particular moment. In short – what is present and what is not. The figure is most commonly associated with the need that demands satisfaction so much that for some time all other cases cease to occupy us. For example, when watching a movie our thoughts are with the recent quarrel with our boss or when we become so hungry that we stop listening (till now) interesting speech. Careful observation of what becomes a figure for our organism gives a very important information about what you need and want.

In a wider perspective, unmet needs from previous stages of development call for closure in the present. Let’s look at a person who, as a little child, was in discomfort, crying loudly, calling his/her caregiver. If a caregiver came and answered the need (eg. changed a diaper), the figure was fullfilled and did not bother the baby anymore. However, when the guardian did not come, the child became exhausted with tears, and finally stopped screaming, but in order to keep functioning it may had “decided” that I do not need anything and since now I will carry on by myself. Still, he/she is left unsatisfied and sorrowing. In the first case, as an adult he/she will become a resourceful, over-independent person who can not accept help from others. In the second – he/she is will require to meet the early childhood needs through excessive dependence on another person, relying on his/her decisions; it will be extremely difficult for him/her to tolerate conflicts. As you can imagine, being in the relationship with each of them can be exhausting and frustrating.

In Gestalt we assume that in therapeutic relationship we can change both situational and complex disorders of self-regulation, or the inability to identify and closing figures (needs, goals, desires).

This is closely connected with the concept of polarity, that is, the assumption that the health lies in the fact that we can function flexibly. For example, if someone never catches a cold and is always ready for action, I look at him/her suspiciously, wondering how he/she operates without a rest and demobilization.

As we’re at it what is not present, I will say what psychotherapy is not. Despite all the kindness and closeness that appear between the therapist and the client during a longer process, therapy is not friendship, but sometimes, unilaterally fulfills its functions. Furthermore, it’s not about providing life tips – I won’t tell you what to do (unless it is absolutely extreme situation, like suicidal behaviour), what you should think, or who/what you have to be. Psychotherapy is a long-term impact, so do not expect results after several meetings. We won’t deal with the problems of others, but only how is their behaviour/feelings a problem for you, (eg. your husband does not come home after work).

It’s about the therapeutic relationship and self-awareness, rather than symptomatic treatment

There are therapists who focus on (technically) removing the symptoms. I’m not one of them. I work by am attachted to the concept of working on the relationship which we build with each other during the session and observing what troublesome areas, activated in our contact, tell us about ourselves. My way of conduct stems from to a prinicple that if we took a painkiller each time when something hurts us, we would miss the window of opportunity to treat the actual source of pain, (which can be somatic, psychological or interpersonal).

In humanistic-existential psychotherapy the goal is to broaden and deepen awareness (attitudes, beliefs, emotions, bodily sensations, motivation, needs, etc.), watching how am I, how I experience the here-and-now situation, and discover how I can function differently, better than before. All this is aimed to return to a healthy self-regulation of the organism and make your life more rewarding in areas that lie within the sphere of your freedom, responsibility and influence.

Psychotherapy is hard work on yourself, which can be compared to climbing a high mountain. Often it is a journey that requires determination and effort and almost always view from the summit fills us with joy, relief and pride.