Joanna Rzadkowska

Academic Affiliation

Department of psychology, University of Oslo.

Research project

The PhD project aims to investigate contextual and emotional predictors that influence emotional experience and change processes during couple therapy at the Family Unit. Both extra-therapeutic factors like socioeconomic status and intra-therapeutic factors like the experience of shame or emotional overload are going to be studied, in addition to examining how they relate to symptom improvement at the end of therapy.

Data will be gathered through qualitative interviews and a routine outcome monitoring system (ROM) known as Modum Process Outcome Questionnaire (M-POQ), that collects data concerning symptoms, common factors (therapist-patient factors, as well as couple and family factors), in addition to emotional, therapy-specific factors.

The motivation behind the study is to further our knowledge and thus be able to give better quality treatment to couples and families with complex challenges, in addition to identifying sub-groups that may have unique needs or experience the therapeutic process differently.

The study aims to address gaps in knowledge regarding the therapeutic experiences of socioeconomically disadvantaged couples and families.

Research interests

Couple and family therapy

How poverty, socioeconomic status and other contextual factors influence mental health in couples and families

Equal access to mental health services

Emotion focused therapy, emotions, and affective processes in therapy

Psychotherapy research

Process and outcome research

Mixed methods

Critical psychology


Rzadkowska, J. (2023). Bokanmeldelse av Jacob B. Priest, The Science of Family Systems Theory. Fokus på Familien, 4(50), 349-354.

Rzadkowska, J. (2024). Etikkpanelet: Fattigdom som elefanten i psykologkontoret. Tidsskrift for Norsk psykologforening, 61(1), 44-47.


More publications:

List of all publications from Modum Bad

National Collaborators

PhD and professor in psychology Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie (Dep. of Psychology, UiO)

PhD candidate and clinical psychologist Catrin Sagen

PhD and clinical psychologist Nadia Ansar (IPR, Oslo).

International Collaborators

Project team


PhD and senior researcher in couples and family therapy Terje Tilden (Modum Bad),

PhD and professor in psychology Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie (Dep. of Psychology, UiO),

PhD and director of the Modum Bad Research Institute, KariAnne Vrabel (Modum Bad/UiO).



PhD candidate Kristoffer Whittaker (Modum Bad)

Rzadkowska is a member of the research group EASIER, a collaboration between Modum Bad and the Institute for Psychological counselling (IPR).

PhD candidate and clinical psychologist Catrin Sagen and PhD and clinical psychologist Nadia Ansar (IPR, Oslo).

Project Team at Modum Bad

Family and relational problems:

Kristoffer J.  Whittaker, Ph.D.

Kristoffer J. Whittaker, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Terje Tilden, Ph.D.

Terje Tilden, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher

Clinical Social Worker, Family Therapist.

Joanna Rzadkowska

Joanna Rzadkowska

Clinical psychologist


Clinical psychologist