Over 30 years of experience focusing on mainly long-term psychodynamic therapy and relationship therapy.

It is with some surprise that I find myself amongst the older Clinical Psychologist in Cape Town. I started this journey in 1976. With a newborn and a two year old on my lap I started studying. It took 12 years to qualify and it certainly has been worth it. Like any significant journey it has taken twists and turns, not all of my choice but all enriching and wisdom enhancing. So now I mainly do long-term psychodynamic therapy and relationship therapy and I have a special interest in religion. This kind of work is slow and deep and hard work for both of us but life changing. I believe that in this ever accelerating world of instant rewards, long term therapy is getting bad press and shiny new shortcuts are grabbing the headlines but I know, with 30 years of experience behind me, that big changes take big work.

The kind of issues I am talking about are chronic lack of self esteem, past trauma, midlife questioning, loss of meaning, depression, anxiety, breakdown of relationships and many more life challenges. These are stories that have been with us, sometimes for a lifetime but often a particular event will trigger a call to face and change our attitude to our history and its conscious and unconscious influence on our lives.


Having said this, I also do some shorter term therapy. Sometimes a stable life gets thrown out of balance by unexpected twists and an outside therapist’s voice can help steady us. Which brings me to why therapy works. I rarely tell people what to do, or how to do it, but I do offer a safe, warm forum for us to consider, without shame or judgement, how things have evolved, your part in it and where you had no control. The way forward becomes clearer out of the mist of confusion.


With relationships, I generally work in the Imago format. I came to this new training about 12 years ago and find that it encompasses a number of useful theories in one method. Of course, each therapist makes a theory their own by overlaying their own personality on it and so I can weave together a unique way of working that has proven to be very successful. Success in relationship is not always walking into the sunset with violins playing, it can mean hard adaptations to the other or even parting ways but I always hope this can be done with graciousness and gratitude.


So I present myself to you, a potential patient, assuring you of my wholehearted attention in a warm and accepting way. I offer a welcoming space to explore your difficulties, hear your own wisdom and offer appropriate guidance when needed. Add to this a solid clinical training and 30 years experience and we could make a good team.

Alison Burns - Clinical Psychologist In Cape Town

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Send Alison an email using the form below or call on 083 6688144 or 021 7123493.