Dear Parents, your role is so important, you are the „birth of the future”. Those children who were already born as well as those who will be born in the future will grow up to be the adults taking care of us when we get old. These children will soon get involved in education, industry, politics, science and they will support us. What adults will they be? Will they be open to the needs of the other? Will they have the skills necessary to share their talents? Will they be capable of establishing close relationships? Will they be making responsible decisions?
Dear Parents, you are where it all begins. You can support your children in becoming mature, emphatic and involved adults. Parenthood consists of endless series of events, conflicts, temporary crises which require your reaction. These reactions have their consequences which influence the child’s personality as well as their respect for themselves and the other. Often the quality of communication constitutes the source of difficulties in the parent – child relationship. What would you feel if, as a patient waiting for a surgery, you heard the surgeon tell you: “To be honest, I’m not experienced in this field, but I love my patients very much and I rely on my common sense”?
You would probably panic and run away in order to save your life. Unfortunately, for the children whose parents believe that not only love and common sense are necessary in the upbringing process, this is not so easy. Just like the surgeons, they need to acquire appropriate skills in order to address everyday needs of their children in a competent way. Similarly to a qualified surgeon, who acts with utmost care using a scalpel during the operation, the parents need to use the words which should build bridges and not walls.
Paradoxically, the work on the relationship with the child begins not with our little one themselves, but from the work on ourselves. Bringing up children, establishing close relationships with them is in fact based on regulative properties: ability to listen, to notice, to shape the behavior as well as the way of transmitting feelings and thoughts with the use of words. The words are very powerful, so we should benefit from their power.
Below you can find the list of the most common questions asked by that the parents who visit me:
- How to encourage the child to cooperate?
- How to reinforce child’s realistic self-confidence?
- How to replace punishing?
- How to encourage the child to independence?
- How and why set the limits for the child?
- How to talk so the children will listen?
- How to free the child from playing the imposed roles?
- How to praise and reward the child?
- How to help the child develop new skills?
- How to help the child in building friendly relationships with other children?
- May the conflict with a parent constitute a stimulus for development?
- How to teach the child to recognize and express their feelings?
- How to deal with competition between siblings?
- How to talk with the child about splitting up and divorce?
Dear Parent, each demanding situation constitutes a chance to stop, take a deep breath and react in a different way than usually. If you want to make the first step towards change – I am waiting for you.
The session lasts 50 minutes (suggested every 7 or 14 days).
Does your child often participate in conflicts?
Does he or she behave in an impetuous way?
Or maybe withdraws from contacts with other children?
Are you getting divorced?
Or creating a new family after divorce?
Does your child have difficulties in adapting to the reality at school or in the kindergarten?
Maybe you don’t know how to help your teenage child?
Does your child play truant or has no motivation to study?
Does your child struggle with fears?
Individual psychotherapy for children, especially younger ones, resembles free directed play referring to their natural interests and forms of expressions (building, drawing, modeling, attributing roles, board games etc.). During the therapy the child, using their natural activity in play as well as conversation, communicates the things important for them as well as problems, demonstrating at the same time how they feel in a given situation. During the meetings, basing on the trust developing within the therapeutic relationship between the child and the therapist, the change becomes possible in connection with unfavorable emotions and difficulties blocking the child’s development.
Parents’ involvement and support is of great importance during the process of children’s therapy. I usually meet the parents of the child participating in the therapy once a month. The aim of the meetings is to help the parents to understand their child better, to discover his or her internal world, the perception and experiencing of himself or herself and the other (this may concern better understanding of the course of the child’s development and their crises, separation problems, difficulties in learning, phobias, fears, aggressive behaviors and many other).
During the meetings we do not discuss with the parents what the child is telling me about during the sessions, as psychotherapists are obliged not to reveal the issues discussed. Such approach aims at creating secure space and favorable conditions for the child’s therapy. The situations threatening to health or life constitute here the only exception.
The frequency of sessions depends on the area on which we are working – it is usually one meeting per week.
Individual psychotherapy for teenagers consists in a cycle of meetings with the psychotherapist, making it possible for the young person to get to the meaning of the area with which he or she is struggling. I recommend individual therapy in particular to those teenagers who have to deal with apathy, depression, stress, fears, difficulties in establishing relationships with other people, who are suffering after losing a close person or cannot deal with their parents’ divorce or with moving to a different place.
Other reasons for contacting the psychotherapist may consist in the crisis of values, the feeling of the lack of meaning in life, experiencing the void in relationships with other people, experiencing physical or emotional violence, incidents of risky behaviors. Therapeutic work takes place in conditions which are secure for the teenager and which make it possible for them to discover their own self and the result of the therapy, increasing the satisfaction from life, consists in the opportunity of development and achieving change in desired fields.
Therapeutic sessions take place once a week. One session lasts 50 minutes. The period of therapy depends on the addressed problem and the needs of the teenager.
During my work both with children as well as teenagers, I follow the cognitive-behavioral approach.
Couples therapy consists in the conversation between the people in relationship and a psychotherapist. Topics covered include everything the couple considers important and relevant to discuss for both of them. In practice, therapeutic sessions concentrate on facilitating communication as well as the share in what matters in a relationship, opening to the feelings or needs which were so far ignored.
Issues with which the couples come to me usually include:
- Disappointment with the relationship, blaming the partner.
- Relationship full of anger, aggressive behaviors, violence in the relationship.
- Jealousy and cheating in the relationship.
- Parenting conflicts – couples experiencing the conflict in fulfilling their parental roles.
- Splitting up and divorce – how to survive splitting up, regain emotional balance and what to do to take control over the life again.
- New relationship after splitting up – how to build a new family.
Therapeutic sessions are held once a week. One session last 60 minutes. The length of therapy depends on the presented problem and the couple’s needs.
The word “psychotherapy” comes from Greek and means “healing the soul”. At work I follow the SFBT (solution focused brief therapy) approach, which is based on the assumptions of short-term solution focused therapy created by Steve Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee (USA).
In Shazer’s works, the influence of Erikson’s problem solving strategy is visible. TSR rules are connected exclusively with the techniques of change support themselves and the way of their effective application. Instead of creating theories on “How should it be?” and “Why isn’t it like this?”, SFBT concentrates on “What has been tested?” and “What helps?” as well as searches for the ways to broaden the abovementioned activities into other areas and moments of the patient’s life.
The perspective of therapeutic work is directed in particular at present and future. The methods and rules for the shaping of the therapeutic process are determined in a simple and cohesive way. However, SFBT does not constitute strategic therapy, it is not interested within this model in creating the theory describing the nature of the patient’s problem or else in making diagnoses.
The aim of the SFBT therapy is to introduce important modifications in the current functioning of the patient and to increase the quality of their life. The therapy is addressed to those who:
- are going through the states of apathy and fatigue, suffer from fear, depression, neurosis;
- have difficulties in building close and satisfactory relationships with other people, suffer from the feeling of loneliness or incomprehension;
- are going through crises in their lives, breakdowns, are searching for support in the periods of mourning, divorce, splitting up or other difficult changes;
- are struggling with losing the meaning of their life or experiencing other existential problems;
- want to discover their own potential, aim at self-development, are searching for objectives for their lives, deepening the relationships with other people or greater self-consciousness;
- are experiencing emotional or physical violence.
The period of therapy is not strictly determined. Usually the therapy does not exceed 10 meetings, often it is even less. But the period between the first and the last meeting may amount to several months. One meeting lasts 50 minutes.
Would you like to organize workshops or lectures with my participation?
Discover the offer of training workshops. The offer is addressed in particular to parents, teachers, tutors as well as school pedagogues. The trainings are run under the form of lectures, multimedia presentations as well as workshop exercises (group work, discussion). Participation in workshops makes it possible to increase practical and theoretical knowledge and thus the participants acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work with children.
The workshops usually last 6 hours and they are organized for groups (16 participants maximum). They are devoted to specific subjects that parents, teachers, tutors and pedagogues want to work on, which they wish to discuss, they broaden their knowledge. The workshops constitute the occasion to look at oneself and their relationship with the child. They require active participation, but also constitute the occasion to go deeper into the topic to which a given workshop is devoted. This working style provides the participants with a new perspective of looking at themselves and at children. The workshops may also constitute a cycle of meetings. Their participants receive a training completion diploma as well as a document which proves that they professional qualifications have been improved.
Below please find the examples of topics of workshops for parents, teachers, tutors and pedagogues:
- How to understand a teenager.
- Effective cooperation with parents.
- Constructive praising, i.e. how to shape child’s realistic self-confidence.
- How to encourage a student to cooperate/to learn?
- A rebel in the classroom.
- Boundaries in the classroom – how to establish them?
- A difficult student – what is it about?
- Efficient communication, i.e. how to talk to be listened to?
- How to free the children from roles played at school?
- Token systems in the classroom or at school as a method of motivation to change.
- Discovering the child’s potential.
- How to build the student’s self-confidence?
- How to deal with students’ provocative behavior?
Below please find the examples of topics of workshops for teenagers:
- My emotions – what are they, how can I express them, how to deal with difficult emotions?
- Rules of direct communication – “I” message.
- Nonviolent communication.
- Being assertive – how to say YES and how to say NO and how to recognize what I would like to answer?
- Communication strategy in difficult situations.
- Developing the skills of dealing with difficulties at home and at school.
- Self-discipline, i.e. how to find self-motivation?
- My strong points, resources, how to recognize and apply them. Developing auto-presentation skills.
- Habits – which of them are destructive and which constructive, i.e. I am the power.
- Plans for the future, dreams, intentions and strategies for achieving goals.
- Friendship, trust, intimacy, secrets.
The workshops create unique atmosphere. This is where the space for self-expression opens, where there is the opportunity to meet somebody interesting. The workshops are usually treated by young patients as having fun with friends.
Lectures the assumptions of which match the abovementioned workshops, combined with a multimedia presentation. All teachers of a given school or other institution together with parents may take part in lectures. One lecture lasts 2 hours.
The examples of lecture topics are as follows:
- Neurodidactics, i.e. on how the brain learns.
- The art of praising the students, i.e. on how to inspire them.
- Nonviolent communication – good communication.
- Students’ behavior disorders and their determinants.
- Suicidal behaviors of children and teenagers.
- Communication teacher – student, teacher – parent.
- Self-destruction and auto aggressive behaviors among students.
- Motivating teenagers to change their behavior.
- After a suicide attempt – how to talk with the student, the class and the family?
- Tics and Tourette’s syndrome.
- Depressive disorders and anxiety disorders in children and teenagers.
- Teenage world.
- Believe in me and I will believe in myself.
- How to build the parent’s/teacher’s authority?
- A teenager in the world of stimulants and addictions.
- Death in the child’s world.