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18th October 2018 
Welcome. piotr1c

Welcome to my psychotherapy and counselling website:

"Therapy is an investigation of how we function in the world,
and how we can function more in tune with our nature…"

My name is Piotr Mierkowski.

I am a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer with over 25 years of clinical experience in the NHS, private practice and voluntary sector in London. I am registered with UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), accredited by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT), UKAGP and the AHPb.

My therapeutic work is with adults and couples. I offer psychotherapy and counselling in my private practice in North London, N19 - borders of Highgate and Islington - walking distance from Archway and Upper Holloway stations. I create a safe and confidential space to explore whatever the clients' issues.

My professional background is in psychology and neuroscience I studied at the University of Warsaw, in Poland, where I was born. After moving to the UK in the mid-80's, I trained at The Gestalt Centre, London - initially as a counsellor and later as an individual and group psychotherapist. I hold MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy from London Metropolitan University and have considerable training in the integrative body therapy as well as extensive experience of working with couples, both straight and gay.

In addition to working as a psychotherapist, I offer clinical supervision to therapists across a range of modalities - qualified and in training. I run personal development workshops, facilitate regular seminars and groups for the psychotherapy students of the Gestalt Centre London, and teach Gestalt therapy in the UK and Poland. Teaching, for me, is a form of learning from experience, conducted in the context of a joint search with students, supervisees, and colleagues. A good teacher is essentially a student open for experimenting and modifying his own ways of thinking and methods, and so, advancing his process of self-knowledge or ‘becoming’ and hopefully inspiring the other to do the same.

My approach is gestalt therapy.

Gestalt therapy is a creative attitude towards life and personal growth with the emphasis on present experience, contact and awareness that addresses the whole person: mind/body/emotion/spirit.

My opening quote is by Joel Latner, whose view of psychotherapy has been guiding my clinical practice. This American psychotherapist drew the attention to two central ideas on which Gestalt therapy is built: focus on the experiential present moment and the therapeutic relationship - "as it is only possible to know ourselves at any given time against the background of our relationships to others". Any change in therapy occurs by paying close attention to our experience from one moment to the next.

Acceptance of each person in their unique reality is inherent in my practice. I believe in learning from my clients and am committed to supporting every person to get in touch with their authentic nature and live from the fullness of who they are. I draw on my own experience of migration to working effectively with individuals from diverse cultures and race. I have extensive experience of therapy with gender and sexual minority clients, and in particular those who also are part of another minority because of their skin colour, ethnicity, religion, language, and all those who transgress any category.

I foster development of honesty and trust between myself and my clients. I work collaboratively to awaken their curiosity of what keeps them stuck, unhappy and suffering, and to increase their awareness of strengths as well as identifying blocks to change, growth and fulfilling relationships. I am not claiming I can ever know my clients better than they do, nor defining how they have to be, although I might have some ideas as I experience them in therapeutic relationship. Still, the authority for the choices that clients make remains squarely with them.

I work regularly with visual and performing artists - actors, musicians, poets, writers and designers. Some of my clients face existential concerns and search for meaning in their lives, explore their place in society and their own identity, seek to increase their self-understanding and understanding of the world around them. I believe that increased engagement in the lived experience and self-reflection, which are the focus of psychotherapy, enable us to find new creative ways of being in the world.

Some individuals bring to therapy specific issues, such as anxiety, depression, abuse, early life trauma, loss, sexual concerns, compulsive behaviour, intrusive self-critical thoughts. Others look for a safe space to share “bottled-up” emotions or attend to some "unfinished business" from the past. Most people look for a sympathetic ear, acceptance and support. This is by means of increased awareness of their unique present situation that they succeed to move beyond problems, re-engaging fully with themselves and each other - this radical shift in people's outlook becomes the source of their healing.

I have considerable experience in providing counselling and psychotherapy to individuals with enduring mental health difficulties and those seeking help on the advice of their GP or psychiatrist for debilitating complaints, including anxiety states, depressive illness, psychosomatic and stress related symptoms.

I offer brief therapy when appropriate, but I tend to work longer term to facilitate deep and lasting change. Clients can choose to see me for psychotherapy and counselling on the open-ended basis or book a set number of sessions. I work primarily in English, but sessions can also be held in Polish.

If you wish to book an initial appointment, contact me on my mobile: 07779 506 412 or call the landline: 020 7281 5409 - in any case, leave a message and I will call you back.

You can also contact me by email at [email protected]. All messages, phone calls and correspondence will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Links to information about gestalt therapy:

Here are some links on Gestalt therapy. There are two interesting interviews, one with Malcolm Parlett - the founder of British Gestalt Journal and author of Future Sense, and another with Peter Philippson, the founder member of Manchester Gestalt Centre and author of Gestalt Therapy: Roots and Branches - these two eminent British psychotherapists give a clear and very personal account of gestalt therapy. More formal article on Gestalt is by Gary Yontef, an American psychotherapist trained with Fritz Perls - the finder of Gestalt approach to psychotherapy. When, in the late 40's and early 50's, Perls worked on forming the theoretical basis of Gestalt Therapy, he collaborated closely with his wife, psychoanalyst Laura Perls and Paul Goodman - novelist, playwright, poet, and "community anarchist" - as he used to call himself. Having as many as three creators gestalt therapy stands in sharp contrast to other psychotherapies. From the many videos about Gestalt, probably the most interesting is the short introduction to Gestalt Therapy theory by Bob Resnick of GATLA. I also highly recommend the talk on counselling and psychotherapy by Gaie Houston, as well as her article, in which she reminiscences on the development of Gestalt Therapy in the UK. There is also very an informative interview with Bob & Rita Resnick - leaders in the field of contemporary Gestalt couples therapy. Another link is to recently re-published online book Ordinary Truth by Ursula Fausset - the grandmother of British Gestalt and the founder of The Gestalt Centre - the only training institution in London dedicated solely to teaching gestalt therapy. More links can be found below and on the Gestalt Therapy page of my website.

For any further information on psychotherapy and counselling email me.

Piotr Mierkowski, MA Dip Psych UKCP reg MBACP (accred)

Gestalt Therapy & Counselling in Central and North London

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