Alex Louw Clinical Psychology

Services

Individual Therapy

Therapy assists with understanding and managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviour through support and collaborative sessions. This in turn can build better coping mechanisms, encourage personal growth as well as empower individuals. As a therapist I provide psychotherapy to fit each individual’s needs. The focus of therapy is on collaboratively addressing your emotional, psychological, or behavioural challenges. As both a qualified clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, my training and experience encompass various therapeutic modalities, including psychodynamic, cognitive, humanistic, and mindfulness-based approaches such as ACT, CBT, DBT, object relations, and person-centered therapy. This allows me to utilize a therapeutic technique or approach that is well-suited to your specific needs, in a safe and comfortable environment.

Individual therapy is entered into for a wide range of reasons. For example, at times people may feel stuck in their lives for one reason or another and building awareness and understanding can help move us forward. At other times we simply feel completely overwhelmed and therapy can support a person through this difficult time while strengthening their ability to navigate similar difficulties in the future. Some people may seek to build insight and encourage emotional growth in their lives in order to build the kind of lives they want to live. Through individual therapy I can assist with these kinds of challenges.

I offer individual therapeutic services in both English as well as Afrikaans. I work with both adults as well as adolescents ages 13 and up.

Couples & Relational Therapy

Human beings exist within a network of relationships that significantly impact our lives. Whether in the context of close friendships, extensive family connections, or romantic partnerships, relationships contribute to our strength, shape our identities, and provide support during difficult times. However, when relationships face difficulties or break down, they can also have negative consequences for our lives.


Couples or relational therapy, a specialized form of psychotherapy, focuses on understanding relational dynamics and improving communication within various relationships, which can include couples, friends, siblings, and family. This form of therapy can not only serve as a crisis intervention but also as a preventative and maintenance measure, offering an unbiased space for individuals within a relationship to express themselves. It addresses foundational elements like trust, communication, and respect, while also fostering effective communication, constructive conflict resolution, and emotional intimacy. By encouraging insight and open communication, relational therapy aims to strengthen relationships, offering assistance in overcoming challenges and finding amicable ways to coexist.

Personal Development

It is a common misconception that psychologists can only assist in terms of crisis intervention or when things are not going as planned. Therapy also serves as a powerful tool for personal growth, gaining a deeper understanding of oneself and insight into the things that keep us from succeeding. This can occur during the process of therapy however often clients also seek out therapists when they are not struggling with a crisis, but purely for personal development. If you feel stuck or unable to succeed in the way you want, personal development focused therapy may be able to help.

We all want to live meaningful lives and what is meaningful or successful is different for every person. Personal development focused therapy sessions build insight, into yourself, your values, what you find meaningful, as well as what may be preventing you from reaching what is meaningful to you. We use these insights to work together to overcome obstacles and figure out how to make choices that align with your deeply held values. Choices that can assist in building a life that is rich and meaningful to you.

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.”

— Jonathan Harnisch

Specific Challenges

People turn to therapists for a variety of reasons, each challenge being truly unique. Please note that the list below is not exhaustive, but I will briefly touch on some difficulties in which I have extensive experience assisting clients.

Depression and Anxiety

In depression, individuals commonly experience deep and prolonged feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, alongside sensations of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Anxiety involves intense emotions of worry, stress, nervousness, or fear. These states of mind are not mutually exclusive and can co-occur, often accompanied by symptoms like increased irritability or quickness to anger. I have experience in treating both depression and anxiety, with a special interest in anxiety disorders. Evidence-based therapy can assist with managing these symptoms and has been shown to offer much needed relief.

Grief and Loss

One of life’s most challenging experiences is coping with grief or loss, and there is no predetermined right or wrong way to grieve. Grieving is a natural process with the emotions associated with grief varying greatly depending on the nature of our loss. At times loss can overwhelm us to the point where it disrupts our ability to manage daily life, and at this time it is often good to access professional support.

Grief or bereavement counselling can provide a comforting environment precisely when you need it most. Grief counselling assists with a quiet supportive space to just talk. It can help you find coping mechanisms that work for you, process complex emotions related to grief, and to gradually move forward, rediscover meaning and solace in a life that has now changed.

Trauma

Life is at times unpredictable and events occur that can very quickly and distressingly pull us away from where we feel safe and in control. These events often leave us lost, uncertain and trying to find our way back to a place where we can once again feel safe and in control. At times making use of coping mechanisms that only benefit us in the short run but harm us in the long run. Traumatic events are also not limited by time and some of us carry the consequences of past traumatic events for many many years.

Therapy can assist with exploring and understanding not just the traumatic event but the impact it has had on our lives. Therapy does not just allow you to process your trauma, but to move beyond it to a space where you can once again live the kind of life you want to live.

Major Life Changes

Major life changes occur regularly however from time to time they can catch us off guard in such a way that we find it difficult cope. Sudden and major changes in our lives can leave us feeling lost, emotional and overwhelmed. The severity of the stressor, our current coping skills, and the presence of support all play a role in determining if we are able to cope in that moment. Marriage, divorce, retirement, relocation, illness, loss of income, starting a new job, new school or a change in supportive relationships can all trigger distress in us that can make it very difficult to function in our day-to-day lives.

Therapy can assist in supporting you through this difficult time and with building appropriate coping skills that will allow you to better manage similar situations in the future.

Compulsive or Challenging Behaviour

Behaviour, our actions and reactions to situations and stimuli, have an enormous impact on our lives. Positive habits and behaviours are incredibly beneficial in our lives while challenging behaviours impact us negatively. Controlling our behaviour is however not always as simple as we think. Individuals engaging in compulsive or challenging behaviours may feel compelled to repeat certain actions despite negative consequences, impacting their daily functioning and relationships. This can occur in relation to certain compulsive disorders where rituals and compulsions allow us to alleviate our anxiety. Or in some cases it could be ineffective coping mechanisms that have gotten out of our control, for example, smoking, compulsive binge watching of series or over eating when we are stressed.

When we engage in behaviours that impact our physical or mental health but we cannot stop it, it may be a good idea to see a therapist. Therapy will assist with understanding the root cause, working through the emotions/thoughts that keep the behaviour in place as well as assist with positive coping mechanisms.

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