Alex Louw Clinical Psychology

Therapeutic Approach

My approach

Part of my approach to therapy centres on the following idea. I may have professional expertise as the therapist; however, you are the expert in your life. You have lived and experienced every bit of it. My primary role is as a facilitator, I offer my experience, training and a safe nonjudgemental space so we can collaborate on how to best approach your challenges. Each individual intrinsically knows what they need in order to overcome their obstacles, sometimes it just takes some help and support to find it.

No two people’s difficulties are ever exactly the same, hence assessing and understanding difficulties the way you as an individual are experiencing them is vital in the process. As a qualified clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, I have been trained in a wide variety of interventions which allows me to adjust our sessions to fit your particular need.

I am guided by a psychodynamic framework; however, I extensively utilize approaches rooted in cognitive psychology such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT),Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as Schema Therapy.

ACT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on promoting psychological flexibility by encouraging individuals to accept their thoughts and feelings rather than struggling against them. Rooted in mindfulness and behavioral principles, ACT aims to help clients clarify their values and commit to actions aligned with those values, even in the presence of distressing thoughts and emotions. The therapy emphasizes six core processes: acceptance, cognitive defusion, present moment awareness, self-as-context, values clarification, and committed action. ACT seeks to foster a mindful and open approach to one’s internal experiences, enabling individuals to lead more meaningful lives by making choices that align with their deeply held values while navigating the challenges that arise.

CBT

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely practiced and evidence-based therapeutic approach that focuses on the interconnected relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It aims to help individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to psychological distress. In CBT, clients work collaboratively with therapists to develop coping strategies, challenge irrational beliefs, and reframe negative thought patterns, ultimately promoting more adaptive and positive ways of thinking and behaving. The therapy is goal-oriented, time-limited, and structured, often involving homework assignments and practical exercises to reinforce skill development. CBT is effective in treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, and stress-related conditions, by empowering individuals to take an active role in managing their thoughts and emotions.

DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a specialized form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with principles of acceptance and mindfulness, emphasizing a dialectical balance between acceptance and change. The therapy focuses on enhancing interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness skills. DBT aims to help individuals build a life worth living by addressing self-destructive behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and fostering effective interpersonal relationships.

Object Relations

Object Relations Therapy is a psychodynamic therapeutic approach that centers on the exploration of individuals’ internalized relationships with others, particularly their early attachments and the development of internalized mental representations also referred to as “objects.” This therapy, influenced by psychoanalytic traditions, emphasizes how early relational experiences shape one’s sense of self and interpersonal dynamics. Object Relations Therapy seeks to uncover and understand the unconscious patterns and dynamics that influence a person’s current relationships and emotional well-being. The therapist and client work together to explore and reframe these internalized object relations, aiming for greater self-awareness, improved relational functioning, and the resolution of emotional conflicts. The focus is on the therapeutic relationship itself, as a vehicle to improve the client’s patterns of relating and working towards healthier, more fulfilling connections with others.

Person-Centered Therapy

Person-centered therapy, is a humanistic approach to psychotherapy developed by Carl Rogers. The key principles of Rogerian therapy include empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence. In this therapeutic approach, the therapist creates a supportive and non-judgmental environment, allowing the client to explore and express their feelings without fear of criticism. The focus is on the client’s subjective experience, self-exploration, and personal growth. The therapist aims to understand the client’s perspective, fostering a sense of self-acceptance and facilitating positive change. The emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and the client’s self-exploration distinguishes Rogerian therapy as a client-centered and empathetic approach to therapy.
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