Meet the Therapist: Agnieszka Burban
What attracted you to become a therapist?
I simply love to understand why we do what we do. Why we feel the way we feel. Why we think the way we think. And how those three are interconnected. It is fascinating to see how everything changes, when we change one element of that equation.
Where did you train?
I am lucky. I trained at one of the best training and research centres for cognitive behavioural therapy in England, if not in Europe – The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College, London. We truly had the best of the best teach us.
What sort of people do you usually see?
My main focus is relationship work, and although I am trained to treat depression and a range of anxiety problems, over the years I have discovered that my heart is in helping women find the relationship they truly want; a lasting, nourishing, and safe relationship where you can really be yourself. I myself have gone through a lot of pain in my love life for many years and it was only when I received a thorough training, when everything changed for me. I feel now safe and cherished in my relationship, and my mission is to help others do the same.
I take my clients through a carefully designed, 7-step programme where they learn everything they need to learn to break through the unhealthy patterns in love, to create loving, safe relationships.
The coaching method I teach has already helped many, many clients. I just love to see my client happy and sending me pictures from holiday with their new love! ;-)
What do you like about being a therapist?
I love the sense of connection I get with my clients and being able to truly get into their world and see it from their perspective. Then, from that position, I am able to understand how they “work” and help them achieve the goals they want to achieve.
What is less pleasant?
The only thing I do not like is admin work. Otherwise – I love everything about what I do.
How long you’ve been with welldoing.org and what you think of us?
Just over two years. I think welldoing.org is like a breath of fresh air in therapy. The client can see the profiles of many therapists and there are plenty of articles and materials to help. I like the open-minded team who run welldoing.org! I use the booking and payment system and it works well.
I have joined the Welldoing Facebook community and I can see there is more and more interaction in the group. I would like us to interact even more!
Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?
Absolutely! Our growth never stops at a session with our therapist or our coach. I do a lot of reading in between my own sessions with my mentor. I definitely can recommend Calling in The One by Katherine Woodward Thomas and Hold me Tight, Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson. Both excellent reads! I love writing and inspiring people around the topic of love and relationships myself and you can see my posts on https://www.facebook.com/agnieszkaburbancoaching/
I have also recently co-authored a book called “Wild Wise Women”, where I described how I overcame years of loneliness and anxiety in love and created a beautiful relationship at the age of 41. My followers love this story as it gives them lots of hope. You can access my story here: https://amzn.to/2SHYp4o
I also run a closed Facebook group for women, which you can join here.
What you do for your own mental health?
The most important thing I do for my own mental health is to tune into myself. Away from the noise, away from the tasks of the day. I usually start my day in a very calm, grounded way and do my meditation and journaling. Otherwise, I am in love with my new electric bike – finally I can have a really, crazy fast ride on my bike! I take a walk in the nearby fields every day. And, last but not least, I form and maintain meaningful connections with others every day.
You are an online therapist. What can you tell us about seeing clients online?
I think one of the greatest benefits is the comfort of seeing a client (and vice-versa, the client seeing me) from home, without the stress of having to travel to a particular location. A huge benefit is also that I experience exactly the same level of connection with the client online as I do in face-to-face contact. And so do my clients.
Another fantastic feature of online sessions is that we can record the session and the client receives a video recording which helps review a session and integrate new learning. I have recently had a special request from a client who felt that she had made such breakthroughs in the session that she asked for the recording to be sent immediately to her after the session. Also, we can share materials on the screen, e.g.: I can easily access a document we need to look at so we can both see it on the screen without having to send it via email.
What’s your consultation room like?
I usually use Skype or Zoom for online sessions but I have a special, cosy room from which I work. It has plenty of light, plants, books and candles. Clients often say “Oh, I really like your room!”
What do you wish people knew about therapy?
It is a process of self-discovery and change which is not really that easy to achieve if you are doing it on your own. I think one of the most important features I have seen in my work is that it changes people's lives. People recover from depression, clients with social anxiety stop fearing talking to people they don't know and can have chats with others in different environments, and, my main focus – women break through years of blocks in their love life and finally find that man who they have only dreamt about before – someone who deeply cares for them and puts them first.
What did you learn about yourself in therapy?
That I can grow much more quickly when I have someone to help me go through the process. I have not recently had a therapist, but I had a coach and this experience changed my life. My biggest breakthrough has been learning to become truly myself and vulnerable with others, expressing what I really feel, think and need.