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Clinical Psychologist – Brett Groves

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117 Main Road, Heathfield, Cape Town, South Africa, Western-Cape

I am a registered Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice since
2013. Recently I have relocated my practice from Gauteng to
Cape Town on 117 Main Road, Heathfield.

Having trained at UNISA my approach to therapy is largely informed by Systemic Theory. This theory holds that problems can be understood practically rather than analytically. Thus, rather than trying to determine past causes of behaviours and/or symptoms such as early traumas etc (Psychoanalytic Therapy), the Systemic Therapist identifies here-and-now patterns in the individual, couple, or family that maintain the problem and addresses them directly. An example of such a pattern in the family is the double-bind hypothesis:

The double-bind hypothesis highlights the role of conflicting messages in the formation of problems. According to Bateson (1972), a double-bind occurs when an individual is exposed to two orders of messages and where one message denies the other. For example, a mother may inform her son that he needs to be more independent and to make decisions for himself, as she is tired of caring for him. Simultaneously, the boy receives an additional message that any act of independence must be according to his mothers standards and not that of his own. Consequently, the boy in this predicament is unable to act independently, as this will upset his mother. Alternatively, if the boy does not act independently then he will also upset his mother, as she will have to continue to care for him. Thus, the boy does not know what message to respond to. Further, if he responds to either message he will upset his mother. Thus, he is damned if he does and he is damned if he doesnt. Following constant double-bind messages, Bateson (1972) notes that an individual will begin to display a lack of sensitivity to signals that accompany messages.

Systemic Therapy therefore punctuates as well as treats problems in the context of relationships. Even in individual therapy the Systemic Therapist will be noting as well as treating the client's stuck patterns that emerge with him or herself in the therapy session in order to promote change.

If you feel that the above therapeutic approach resonates with you please feel free to contact me on 083 388 8173 to schedule a consultation.

Contact Information
Phone: 083 388 8173

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