School of Education

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Urszula Plust

Assistant Professor of Human Flourishing, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Urszula Plust is currently an Assistant Professor in Human Flourishing, a person-centered facilitator and Placement co-oridnator on the MA in Person Centred and Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is also a PGR Coordinator in the Centre for Research in Human Flourishing.

Urszula trained as a person-centred counsellor at Salford University (2007-2010). Her interest in therapeutic potential of the art-based expression led to completion of a degree is in Fine Arts at the University of Bolton (2010-2013). This interest was became even more profound following her work as a school counsellor where working with children often involved creative media. These learning experiences combined informed her work and inspired her to train as a teacher for learners with additional needs (University of Bolton, 2016). She also studied at Cumbria University where she completed a Certificate in Allied Health which expanded her understanding of the whole person.

Before joining the University of Nottingham Urszula was leading on a project for charity organisation Future Visions, where she set up a program called "Future Visions Trainer Training in Skills for Life" (FVTTSL). It was an innovative project with the objective of preparing learners, with learning difficulties, to teach others. During that time Urszula completed her MA in Educational Management at University of Bolton (2016-2017) where she investigated the process of that project in her her dissertation. Her educational journey led her to embarking on a doctoral studies at UoN where she graduated with PhD in 2023.

Expertise Summary

Person-centred pedagogy and leadership

Authenticity and creativity in education and research

Self-expressivness in therapeutic and psycho-educational group work

Personal power and liberation

Teaching Summary

Urszula is currently the Children and Young People pathway module convener on the MA in Person Centred Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy, and co-facilitates on other modules within the… read more

Research Summary

Urszula's research interests reside at the intersection between positive psychology and education. Her current phenomenological research explores the relationship between self-expressiveness,… read more

Urszula is currently the Children and Young People pathway module convener on the MA in Person Centred Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy, and co-facilitates on other modules within the program.

She has a particular interest in varied ways towards self-expressiveness in context of learning about self, others and our phenomenological fields. This includes delivering workshops on creative/expressive methodologies and facilitating person-centred experiential groups on 'All-ways Towards Expressiveness' at UoN. In the past, working in this way was also a significant part of her role as a Special Educational Needs tutor when working with Future Visions Charity as well as when developing and delivering online based therapeutic art groups for Big White Wall & Tavistock and Portsman NHS.

While her preferred choice is to practice person-centred pedagogy, she is also experienced in a more instructional teaching as part of her teacher training and in her role as an ITT placements mentor for the University of Bolton. She also worked as a sessional tutor on the MA in Educational Management and Leadership at UoN. She is interested in how teacher-centred pedagogies interract with self-detrmination and personal power of learners.

Current Research

Urszula's research interests reside at the intersection between positive psychology and education. Her current phenomenological research explores the relationship between self-expressiveness, creative experience and authenticity (congruence) - in context of learning and development of greater self-acceptance/unconditional positive self-regard (UPSR). She is also involved in collaborative autothethography examining the phenomenon of Unconditional Negative Self-regard.

Past Research

Her previous research projects explored teachers authenticity in context of lifelong learning and State Funded Education (SFE)

Future Research

In a broader context she has an interest in research related to person-centred approach in working with children and young people whether its in context of therapy, education or parenting. Urszula would also be particularly interested in hearing from potential PhD students or practitioners wanting to explore any of the following:

  • Pedagogical or/and therapeutic approaches and authenticity/personal power/self determination/relatedness
  • Self expressiveness - finding the freedom and encountering our inhibitions
  • Growth and harm in education

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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