Therapeutic Style

Therapeutic Style

Effective therapy requires a holistic approach that does not only seek to treat the ‘problem’, but to empower the whole person thus facilitating deep and dynamic change. Because different therapeutic approaches work for different people, Kegan utilises and adjusts a variety of these approaches as required, and at different points in the therapeutic process. This approach offers clients the best chance of finding positive solutions to complex personal problems.

The following approaches inform Kegan’s therapeutic style:

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning. It aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive. Rather than simply treating mental illness, Positive psychologists seek to "find and nurture genius and talent", and to “make normal life more fulfilling" (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Therefore, rather than focussing exclusively on dysfunctional or abnormal behaviour, positive psychology is centred on helping people realise their unique strengths and resiliencies, in an effort to help them achieve their full potential, which ultimately results in them living healthy, happy lives.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that bring clients to seek therapy. It enables clients to identify and attend to their own internal competencies, skills and resources, as well as their immediate support systems and supportive social networks. This approach facilitates the construction of narratives that enable the client to generate innovative, highly appropriate and effective solutions to their personal problems (Greenberg, Ganshorn & Danilkewic, 2001).

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy aims to separate people from qualities or attributes that contribute towards the very often dominant “problem-saturated story” (stories of failure, inadequacy, fear etc.) while coming to acknowledge and cherish those qualities and attributes that contribute towards the “subordinate story”, that being the often inferior, yet more favourable story (stories of courage, hope, resilience etc.). This allows people to consider their relationships with problems, thus the narrative motto: “The person is not the problem, the problem is the problem” (White & Epston, 1990). Once a person’s unfavourable attributes are externalized, people are able to actively participate in the construction and performance of preferred identities. In the end, narrative therapy helps people clarify for themselves an alternate and more favourable direction in life to that of the problem, one that honours their values, hopes, and life commitments.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), as the name implies, is a mixture of cognitive and behavioural therapy. Because our thoughts can influence our behaviour and our behaviour can influence our thoughts, these two approaches have been shown to be very effective when integrated into one therapeutic approach.

  1. Firstly, CBT assists individuals in developing deeper insight and understanding concerning the destructive and disturbing thought patterns that influence their behaviour and helps them learn new skills that allow them to quickly discern and change these disturbing thought patterns, ultimately leading to more favourable behaviour outcomes.

  2. Secondly, CBT alerts individuals to their counterproductive and destructive patterns of behaviour that influence their thought life, while helping them adopt and exercise more productive ways of behaving, which in turn has a positive effect on their psychological and emotional wellbeing.


Contact Details

25 Milner Street, Mount Pleasant,
Port Elizabeth, 6070,
South Africa

Tel: 076 162 3811
Fax: 086 262 4415