Daniela Szukiel - CPsychol, BPS Chartered Psychologist
I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist. I have practised as a Counselling Psychologist in NHS and in private practice since 2003. I strive to provide excellence in psychological therapy with a focus on individual subjective experience and a social justice ethos.
I work flexibly, integrating psychological models and engaging with the recent research in the pursuit of knowledge that serves the interests of people and communities more broadly.
How can I help you?
I help people find effective ways to manage anxiety, regulate mood, improve relationships and cope better with life. I am also experienced in working with more severe and enduring mental health difficulties, including those resulting from childhood adversity or trauma.
My approach is well suited to people who have a preference for a therapist who is kind and supportive, but also quite structured, transparent in sharing their thinking and open in giving feedback. From the first Consultation I see you as my partner: we jointly and openly discuss what is wanted (your goals), what is needed (my professional understanding on causes of your difficulties and the way in which they could be addressed) and what is possible (duration and cost of therapy).
What to expect
I offer a free Initial 20-minute Telephone Consultation and a Reduced Fee Face-to-Face Initial Consultation (£40) for us to meet and discuss in more detail your difficulties and goals. If I am not able to offer you help at this time, I will endeavour to signpost you on to an alternative services. I operate a waiting list for when I do not have an immediate vacancy or the space I have is not suitable for you.
Psychological Therapy Plan: If, after the Initial Consultation, we decide to work together, we will use next 2-3 session explore in more detail the nature of your current concerns and any difficulties from your past. This will help us to build a comprehensive picture of what’s going on for you and how your difficulties can be most effectively addressed.
We will jointly develop a Psychological Therapy Plan and agree approximate time-frame for our work. This could be short-term (typically about 8-12 sessions), medium-term (typically 6-12 months) or longer-term, in case of more chronic and severe difficulties. Three- and six-month follow up sessions after the work has ended are offered if appropriate.
In addition to 1:1 work I also offer two innovative group programmes which offer a cost-effective way of doing therapy. Both groups are designed to be effective as a stand-alone treatment modality or can be used to supplement 1:1 therapy, according to your needs and requirements.
Embodying Resilience Programme on Zoom
The innovative, comprehensive experiential Programme will be helpful for people experiencing mild and moderate anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem or interpersonal difficulties relating to trust. The programme is grounded in neurobiology and integrates it with a number of other evidence-based psychological approaches to well-being. It will take place on Zoom on Monday evenings 7.30-9pm in a small, confidential and supportive group of up to 12 people.
The Programme will be co-facilitated by a Feldenkrais teacher Jackie Adkins and will use gentle, mindful movement to bring new awareness and possibility into how people experience themselves. Recent neurobiology studies show that somatic awareness is an integral and necessary part of psychological treatment.
Next group starts: Monday 21 September 2020 Enrol in blocks of 6 sessions. £30 per session. First session £15. Please email for the Information Leaflet.
Benefits of spending time in nature for well-being have been well documented. At the time when meeting people indoors has been made more difficult, nature offers us a safe place to connect to others, to revitalise and enrich our senses.
We will meet once a month for a year to explore how what we see around us in the natural world can bring us to a visual, physical and symbolic encounter with the self and the unconscious. The relation of Nature’s cycle of birth, life and death can be reflected in our own journey through life with its personal struggles and obstacles.
The Course will use an approach developed by Ian Siddons Heginworth, author of "Environmental Arts Therapy and the Tree of Life", a leading pioneer in this work. His idea of using the Celtic calendar, the turning of the year and the changing seasons provides a framework for this course. Elizabeth and Daniela have trained with Ian over the last two years and have been greatly enriched by the deep and profound nature of this work.
When we work in nature, we can find hidden parts of ourselves and feel freedom to express them through gentle therapeutic exercises, which may involve a physical action, symbol or metaphor. This work feels safely contained by a small group experience providing confidential and emotional support.
The process is an individual journey and the depth of the experience is whatever feels is right for you, without judgement. Paying attention to your own emotional well-being and keeping yourself safe is of prime importance. There will be time for reflection throughout the course, and the opportunity of sharing experiences with the group.
Time and location The course takes place in a peaceful, wild and beautiful woodland in Kent, the Garden of England. The Group will meet once a month for a year, on every 2nd Saturday of each month from November 2020 to October 2021, 10.30am – 4.15pm.
The woodland is within 10-15 minute walking distance from Bekesbourne train station. There are regular trains to Bekesbourne from London Victoria. The cost is £95.00 per session - there will be no more than 12 participants in the group.
The course will benefit people who would like to enhance their well-being and feel more alive by establishing a deeper connection to themselves and to nature. Working in nature can reconnect us to our instincts and deep ways of knowing who we are, what is right for us, how to survive, how to be strong. It can help us to honour and understand our feelings, to be playful and curious, to seek beauty, to care and to love.
The work is particularly suitable for people who might have done some talking therapies in the past and are now looking for other ways to continue their journey of growth and self-development. Whilst the Course is not designed to address individual significant difficulties, it could also work as an adjunct to 1:1 work.
Please contact Daniela with any questions or to arrange an Initial Consultation via Zoom (£40) This will help us understand your needs better and together we can think whether the Course would be suitable for you.
Why choose a Counselling Psychologist?
Counselling Psychologists specialise in providing psychological therapy of a highest quality, aiming to reduce psychological distress and promote psychological well-being in clients.
Counselling Psychologists are trained to a doctorate level through courses that focus on both research and practice of different schools of psychotherapy as well as underlying knowledge of psychology, neurobiology, ethics, social factors etc. The involves a minimum 7-year training, including a 3-year undergraduate psychology degree and a 4-year post-graduate training.
Our training model is that of a "Scientist-Practitioner": it includes an in-depth study and supervised practice of a number of contrasting therapeutic approaches, but also puts emphasis on developing our ability to critique each model by dissecting its underlying assumptions and possible limitations.
This means that, as practitioners, we are able to integrate different treatment models into bespoke treatment plans that are driven by the client and their needs rather than trying to fit the client into a specific model.
Counselling Psychologists are Chartered Members of the British Psychological Society. It is a legal requirement that Counselling Psychologists register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), meaning that the protected title “Counselling Psychologist” ensures peace of mind that you are working with someone trained to the highest level.
What is Somatic Psychology?
Somatic Psychology is a fairly new and growing form of Psychotherapy that focuses on somatic experience, and the embodied self, including therapeutic and holistic approaches to the body.
In my experience of working with clients, somatic methods can help when people feel "stuck" and where their "rational" understanding of reality does not tally with their "emotional" understanding. For example, a person may rationally know there is "no need" to feel anxious before going to a social event, yet that cognitive knowledge does not help to eliminate the often debilitating anxiety.
Somatic methods are helpful as they can address more directly the bodily experience of anxiety. For example, re-experiencing sensations of anxiety in the the session can considerably lessens the fear of it outside of therapy. In session, we also learn techniques for grounding and calming the body which can be used outside the session. Finally, we can learn to distinguish "realistic" anxieties related to valid threats to our well-being from states of hyper-activation related to the past experiences when we might have felt unsafe.
Distinguishing "realistic anxieties" from "re-experiencing anxieties from the past" is an important life skill. When we are faced by realistic anxieties, we need to problem-solve and take action. When past anxieties are re-experienced we need to find ways to manage our fears so that we do not avoid things that make us anxious (and thus create more difficulties in our life, which then can add to our anxiety!).
In other words, somatic therapy can be an extremely effective tool that can teach us how to manage our feelings so we can be more effective in pursuing of our life goals.
Over time, people learn themselves how to understand and manage their feelings and how to use them as supports for navigating life. They become their own therapists and my role is completed.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, with a full professional registration with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health and Care Professions Council, and a full professional indemnity insurance. I am also registered as an Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor with the BPS.
In addition to my core training, I have done training in EMDR, CBT, Somatic Psychotherapy, Mentalisation, Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Compassion therapy, Emotion focused therapy and Mindfulness. I have a strong interest in the application of neuroscience to understanding how the mind works and how change can be created. This allows me to see your difficulties and solutions through different theoretical lenses and effectively tailor my approach to your needs and goals.
I have worked in the NHS for the last 11 years, prior to that I worked as a counsellor in voluntary services with young people and in the forensic setting. Before training in mental health I worked for a City law firm as a marketing manager and for a geophysical consultancy as a translator/interpreter.
- British Psychological Society Chartered Counselling Psychologist (Membership No 96128)
- Health and Care Professions Council accredited Counselling Psychologist (Membership No PYL27878)
- Member of the British Psychological Society Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors
MSc Counselling Psychology (Roehampton University, 2010), Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Counselling Psychology (Roehampton University, 2011), Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology (Roehampton University, 2007), Conversion Diploma in Psychology (Open University, 2000), BSc Psychology and Business Studies (London Guildhall University, 1998).
Certificate in Counselling Skills and Attitudes (Westminster Pastoral Foundation, 1998), Diploma in the Application of Psychodynamic Theory to the Principles of Counselling (Westminster Pastoral Foundation, 2000); Foundation Certificate in Biodynamic Massage (Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre, 2003), Mentalisation Based Treatment (Anna Freud Institute, 2016); Reflective Parenting: Increasing Mentalising in the parent-child relationship (Anna Freud Institute, 2016); Multi-family mentalisation based group training (Anna Freud Institute, 2016); Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors Training (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2017); Use of Imagery in CBT (BABCP training, 2017); Environmental Arts Therapy (London Arts Therapy Centre, 2018-2019) and with Ian Siddons Hegginworth 2019-2020), EMDR Therapy (EMDR Academy, Parts 1-3).
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
Areas of counselling I deal with
SERVICES AND PRICES
Initial 20-minute Phone Consultation - FREE
Introductory Consultation - £40 - will help us understand your needs and help us decide if the approach I offer would be suitable for you.
Individual Psychological Therapy Sessions - currently online only - £70. Concessions to low waged for daytime sessions only - £60, please enquire. Availability: currently online sessions only: Monday 9am-8pm, Tuesday 2-7pm, Sat 9am-2pm.
Insurance companies: I am registered with AXA, Aviva, Vitality Health and BUPA. I can obtain registration with other insurance providers - please enquire.
Developing Resilience Group on Zoom: Mondays 7.30-9pm (£30 per session). This is a small (up to 12 people) experiential weekly group based on the up-to-date psychological research that considers what Resilience is and how we could best equip ourselves to cope with life in a resilient way. The group allows participants to develop both the "basics" of Resilience such as skills to enhance self-esteem, manage anxiety, stress and mood, as well as opportunities to develop a sense of "inner knowing" as a compass to navigate life in uncertain times. The group is co-facilitated by a Feldenkrais Teacher Jackie Adkins and uses somatic practices to help participants experientially embody psychological constructs taught in the group. Next group starts: Monday 28 September 2020. To enrol please email to book the Initial Consultation (£40) to determine that the Group is suitable for your needs. Early Bird Discount: request your Initial Consultation by 13/9/20 and attend your first group for FREE.
Woodland Therapy Group: monthly 2nd Saturday of the month ,10am-4pm, in a private woodland in Bekesbourne in Kent (1.30 minutes by train from London Victoria), £95 per month. Starting October 2020 for 13 months.To enrol please email to book the Initial Consultation (£40) to determine that the Group is suitable for your needs. Early Bird Discount: request your Initial Consultation by 1/10/20 and attend your first group for £50.
In the course of my own life, I experienced many of the challenges, losses and set-backs as well as joys and accomplishments that are experienced by people who come to me for help. I have also received my own in-depth therapy over several years so I am able to appreciate how it feels to be a client and what is needed for a successful change.
Through both my personal life and professional practice, I learned that the sooner help is received, the better. Modern life can be complex and stressful, demanding an individual to have good psychological adaptation. If that adaptation is fragile, a person may lose their “inner compass” and respond by withdrawing from life’s demands or from their own inner life or by overcompensating, ie responding too aggressively to the perceived threat. This often leads to making decisions that are not conducive to their well-being or achievement of life’s developmental tasks. The longer this continues, the less options may be available.
However, I also discovered that it is never too late to improve something in your life that you really want to change, to learn new skills, treat yourself with compassion, to connect to yourself and to others and to find meaning and valued directions. In other words, it is never too late to start doing what you can with what you have, wherever you are right now.