Daniela Szukiel - CPsychol, BPS Chartered Psychologist
I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist working in the NHS and private practice, with over 17 years experience in the field of Counselling Psychology. I currently work as a Senior Psychologist and a Clinical Lead in an in-patient acute psychiatric hospital. I am also accredited as an Applied Psychology Practice Supervisor by the British Psychological Society.
I have particular expertise in helping with difficulties such as anxiety, low mood, managing intense emotions or relationship problems. I am also experienced in working with more severe and enduring mental health difficulties, including those resulting from childhood adversity or trauma.
As a Counselling Psychologist my core training is in CBT, psychodynamic psychotherapy and humanistic psychotherapy. In addition to these well-established and evidence-based therapies, in my work I also incorporate methods from the more recently evolved therapeutic approaches, supported by the fast-evolving field of neuroscience.
When working with me, you have an opportunity to address not only symptoms but "causes" of these symptoms. This is done by tracking of the underlying bodily sensations that then are "translated" by the mind into beliefs and behaviours. This approach can be particularly suitable for people who have tried other analytic or cognitive approaches but have not experienced change. Working with the body allows us to access the wisdom of the "body-mind" and achieve often a rapid change: once the underlying emotion is experienced and understood it has potential to profoundly alter the belief system and change behaviour.
Please see the section below on "somatic psychology" where I provide more information on the body-mind approach. I also have training and experience in delivering therapies such as DBT, Mentalisation-based therapy, Compassion-focused therapy, Mindfulness and others.
Because I have specialist knowledge of many different treatment approaches, the therapy I provide is is bespoke and driven by your needs and what could work for you, rather than trying to fit you into a specific model.
How can I help?
I can help you understand what is causing your difficulties, become aware of the things that might be keeping you stuck or making things worse, understand your emotions and learn different ways of responding to difficult situations. Together, we can work to help you to make effective and meaningful changes in your life so that you feel more confident in coping with life's challenges.
I appreciate the often considerable anxiety people feel when deciding to come to therapy. I respond to that by offering a caring, compassionate and non-judgemental approach. You can relax in knowing that I offer a safe and experienced pair of hands. After the first session, most people experience immense relief when they finally share things that have troubled them for some time. They feel their difficulties have been understood and can be addressed in a straightforward way. This in itself helps to lift mood and build confidence and self-belief.
In that first session, I also address fear some people have that therapy will make them feel "dependent" on the therapist. I respond to that fear from the start by working with you collaboratively: we jointly and openly discuss goals of therapy, its structure, cost and duration thus giving you a sense of control over the process of therapy. You are a partner in the therapy process and we openly share our understanding of what is happening and is it working for you.
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 your goals. If I am not able to offer you help at this time, I will endeavour to signpost you on to 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.
During the first few sessions after our first meeting we will explore your current concerns and any difficulties from your past. This will help us to build a picture of what’s going on for you, how your difficulties might have developed and what might be keeping them going.
From this we can develop a plan for therapy and agree a time-frame for our work. This could be short-term (typically 8-12 sessions), medium term (typically 6-12 months) or longer-term. Three and six month follow up sessions are offered if appropriate.
My approach is well suited to people who have a preference for a therapist who is kind and supportive, but also quite active ( helps you focus on achieving your goals), transparent (shares their thinking regarding the clinical strategies they use) and open (gives realistic feedback on what is achievable).
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. Somatic methods are helpful there as they can help to bypass the cognitive level (where self-beliefs are held cognitively) and access the more unconscious ways in which we learned to approach the world.
Having this direct experience helps us to have a "felt sense" for beliefs and ideas we may implicitly hold. Once these are "felt", they can be understood, evaluated, and where appropriate, let go off.
These experiential, right-brain, insights are then processed and integrated more cognitively (through analytical left brain) and are used as basis for creating a treatment plan, habit trackers, action strategies etc.
This work can heal the often deep-seated pain of the past wounding and allows us to approach our precious life in a fresh way. Somatic methods are especially helpful for people for whom the more cerebral, "left brain" approaches brought insight but no sense of emotional "shift".
I find that the combination of experiential somatic work with cognitive meta-processing keeps the therapy balanced between the need to attend to your inner world and the need to attend to external realities of your life. Both streams of work nourish and support each other, as experiential insights are applied, practised and tested in the daily life. Over time, people learn themselves how to access their feelings and how to use them as supports for navigating external realities. They become their own therapists and my role is completed.
HeartMath® Certified Coach
As a HeartMath® Certified Coach I use Biofeedback technology which measures heart-rate variability to indicate a level of balance in the autonomic nervous system. The heart-rate variability can be affected by breathing and mindfulness techniques. Bio-feedback indicating that the heart-rate is becoming more regular is a powerful tool that helps helps individuals to achieve a calmer, more regulated and resourced state. With practice, this state can be accessed on a more regular basis, in time becoming a new baseline level at which the individual operates and to which they can return more quickly after stressful situations. Please visit https://www.heartmath.co.uk for more information.
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 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).
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Career counselling
- Carer support
- Dependent personality disorder
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Relationship problems
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Behavioural therapy
- Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)
- Cognitive and behavioural therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive therapy
- Compassion-Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
- Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy
- Humanistic therapies
- Other therapies
- Person-centred therapy
Photos & videos
SERVICES AND PRICES
Individual Session – £70 London, £65 Faversham
Individual session by phone/email/Skype - £50
Introductory Consultation - £40
Initial 20-minute Phone Consultation - FREE
Face-to-face sessions in London are only available on Saturdays. It is possible to attend weekly or fortnightly. If you wish to attend fortnightly, I will suggest work you can do in between appointments.
INSURANCE PROVIDERS: I am currently registered with the following insurance providers: AXA, Aviva, Vitality Health. I am in the process of registration with BUPA. I could obtain registration with other insurance providers - please enquire.
Reduced fee sessions for people on lower income and students: Saturday 4 pm.
Please contact me to book an Initial Consultation (£40) that will help us understand your needs and help us decide if the approach I offer would be suitable for you.
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.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
London - therapy room is on the upper ground floor, there are about 5 steps to access the ground level. Faversham - wheelchair accessible.
London - Saturdays 9am-4pm Faversham - Wednesday day time, Tue and Thu evenings from 5pm
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training