Karolina Izabela Wtorkowska
I am an empathic and reflective counsellor with a strong commitment for a positive regard of others. My sense of humour and caring attitude have proven to be great assets. I am passionate about mental health and I believe my excellent understanding of psychological theories is complemented by a vast work experience. I enjoy travel, meeting people, and diverse challenges. I have worked and studied in Australia, and travelled independently across the world. I appreciate visual art and being immersed in a process of creating. I see counselling and psychotherapy as a creative collaboration between myself and the client.
Everybody is unique and based on this premise psychotherapy should be tailored to individual needs. I practice Integrative Psychotherapy – an eclectic form of practice which integrates elements from different schools of psychotherapy. In other words Integrative psychotherapy/counselling is a conglomerate of different theoretical and practical approaches informed by the client’s individual needs and values. Integrative style of therapy reflects the complexity of human experience by uniting the affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological systems within a person. It also gives the chance to conceptualise a holistic case formulation – informed not only by the unique, individual and personal client’s journey but also by the choices the client makes in the therapy room.
This particular form of therapy/counselling nurtures a spontaneous and creative therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist. I believe forming a positive therapeutic relationship is the paramount of the healing process. In other words, the process of forming and maintaining a therapeutic relationship by providing safe and reflective space for a person to reconnect with her/his painful memories and emotions is crucial for the therapy to be successful.
Above all, I believe that mental health is a complex issue which requires an elaborate, analytical, and contained approach to tackle the knotty way to recovery. Counselling/psychotherapy can reflect this complexity, and therefore transpires hope.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) (see www.bacpregister.org.uk/check_register)
I am bound by BACP’s Ethical Framework (see www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework)
Training, qualifications & experience
I have got an excellent academic background. My undergraduate degree in psychological sciences included elements of neuroscience, human physiology and psychopathology – these were necessary for me to understand the objectives of hard science, and further developed my analytical skills. I continued the path by studying existential psychology and psychotherapy at postgraduate level. Consequently I gained a deep understanding of Existential Philosophy which can inform and enrich any therapeutic encounter. It is also very relevant in terms of the reconstruction and understanding of social structure and how culture and the society influences us as individuals.
While working for the NHS, I trained in Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), which contains components of CBT as well as psychoanalysis. CAT is an excellent example of how a therapeutic relationship and dialog can be taken outside of the therapy room in a form of letters. This process of expanding therapeutic space can reinforce the healing process, but also transpires the importance of containment (‘keeping in mind’).To date, I have worked for a wide range of organisations including: Turning Point (Substance Misuse Service), Rethink Mental Illness, NHS and various Universities. I believe my experience of working in a context of higher education institution gave me the chance to focus predominantly on the resources and accomplishments of my clients, and therefore brought about more ‘positive’ components of human experience to the therapy room. Whereas my experience of Art Therapy, while working within the NHS (Secondary Care), helped me to integrate more creative and abstract problem solving skills while trying to comprehend clients’ situations.
In addition I worked as a psychodynamic therapist for a homeless charity. I worked with homeless (or in danger of becoming homeless) clients. I offered long term open-ended therapy. Long term therapy provides an opportunity to develop a good therapeutic relationship with clients who need more in depth, historical exploration of their lives.
Presently I work for a busy NHS IAPT service. Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) is a free talking therapies service for people with common conditions, such as anxiety, depression and stress and is part of the NHS IAPT initiative to involve local qualified mental health providers in the treatment of common psychological disorders that affect all of us at some point in our lives. I also work as a Specialist Mental Health Learning Mentor at various universities, where I support students who require help in overcoming barriers to learning in order to achieve their full potential.
In addition, I am a mother of two children, and I frequently use the knowledge and experience of being a parent in a therapy room.
- MSc in Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy – a joint programme between the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling and Middlesex University
- Foundation Course in Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT), Theory and Practice, Psychological Therapies Training Resource, South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre (Chelsea &Westminster Hospital), Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
- BSc Psychological Sciences, Westminster University, Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours in Psychological Sciences with Upper Second Class Honours (2:1)
- Barnet College, London: Access to Health Professions and Nursing Studies
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Career counselling
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tourette's syndrome
- Work-related stress
- Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)
- Cognitive and behavioural therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Individuals : £45
- A reflective and creative space. While you yourself develop and expand the space as the therapy progresses, I will accompany you on the journey towards more fulfilling life. The work is always collaborative.
- Time to reflect on your experience, to look back reviewing past events or situations (Retrospect) to examine and observe your own mental and emotional process (Introspect).
- Safe and non-judgmental space.
- Professional expertise
- Empathic understanding (empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another; is to understand and feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s perspective (frame of reference).
- A therapeutic relationship. Therapy/counselling is always relational. It happens between two people (the client and the therapist) in real time (‘here and now’); as Buber stated: ‘All real meeting is healing’.
- Space where you can focus on your achievements, values and believes.
- Time and space to communicate, open up and offload.
- Structure and regularity – therapy room can be seen as a meeting point for the client and the therapist to meet on a regular basis (usually once a week).
- Protective space when you can stop for a moment (for the duration of the session) and put your mind and body at rest.
- An opportunity to reconnect with your feelings.
- An opportunity to resolve historical and present conflicts. Resolution of conflicts can lead to a deeper sense of meaning in life and therefore enhance your well-being.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client