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Psychotherapeutic Approaches

Psychotherapy is not a 'one size fits all' treatment. Different diagnoses and personality styles may fit better with different therapeutic approaches. Below you will find a list of the main approaches that I draw from in order to create a treatment specifically suited to your needs and you as a person.


Person-centred psychotherapy’s chief goal is to help individuals realise and increase their self-actualising tendency. The self-actualising tendency refers to our innate capacity to find the order and structure we require in our lives in order for us to reach our full potential. This is achieved through what is referred to the three core conditions of person centred therapy, namely; congruence, unconditional positive regards and empathy. Congruence is the willingness of the therapist to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings. This allows a more genuine connection between the client and the therapist. Unconditional positive regard consists of an attitude of complete acceptance of the client as he or she is. This allows for the client to openly and honestly reveal themselves without fear of judgement. Empathy communicates the therapist’s desire to understand the world from their client’s perspective. This validates the client’s experiences and contributes to the client’s willingness to share fully.



Psychodynamic psychotherapy’s chief goal is to recognize negative/unhelpful patterns of thoughts and behaviours that are rooted in past experiences and resolve them. This is generally achieved through attempting to re-interpret past experiences with a clearer and more critical perspective as well as through exploring unconsciously held beliefs. Much of psychodynamic work focuses on our beliefs about ourselves and our relationship with ourselves as well as our beliefs about others and our relationships with others. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy also utilises a lot of “here and now” work. This refers to recognising and analysing dysfunctional patterns that arise within the session and the therapeutic relationship.



Cognitive behavioural therapy is currently the most scientifically supported mode of treatment and it focuses on understanding the relationship between thoughts, behaviours and emotions. Much emphasis is placed on understanding how to challenge unhealthy patterns of thoughts and beliefs that may be causing/maintaining self-destructive behaviours. Challenging and restructuring these unhealthy thoughts and beliefs can be done cognitively as well as behaviourally.  The scientific method is utilised to test healthier alternatives to the unhealthy thoughts and behaviours. Cognitive behavioural therapy also has a focus on emotional regulation techniques.

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that combines the best of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness meditation practices. It has a strong focus on emotional regulation and dealing with emotional distress. Long term mindfulness practices have shown to be extremely efficacious in nurturing a general sense of well-being.  



Dialectical behaviour therapy is also based on cognitive behavioural therapy, but its focus lies more in emotional regulation and interpersonal skills. There is also a strong emphasis on learning how to balance acceptance and change in one’s life. Knowing when to accept life as it is and when to try to change it often brings much relief to a person who often finds themselves torn between action and inaction. This clarity is usually accompanied by a better understanding of one’s priorities and this often leads to one’s energy being focused on what really matters to oneself.


Systems therapy focuses on individuals and the relational dynamics of the individuals within a given system and attempts to optimise the achievements of the system by accommodating for the needs of the individuals. This is often accomplished by creating a space in which each individual member feels comfortable enough to voice their problems with, and hopes for, the system. Through a process of mediation an understanding of the needs and motivations of the individuals are uncovered. This information is utilised to align the individuals with shared goals that will lead to long-term well-being of the individuals as well as the system at large.

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