Gerhard Pretorius (B.A., MSc.) (Reg. UKCP, HCPC)

Gerhard Pretorius  (B.A., MSc.) (Reg. UKCP, HCPC)



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About me

About me:

I am a UKCP registered psychotherapist who helps individuals, couples and families with difficulties like depression, anxiety, trauma, childhood behavior difficulties / parenting, couple and relationship issues, family issues, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias and eating disorders. I use a variety of approaches and methods, including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (a form of behavioral therapy), Systemic Psychotherapy, and some Cognitive & Behavioral therapies for couples and families. I have worked with individuals, families and children at all levels of the NHS and Social Care Services for the past 16 years. I have extensive experience helping children and young people (teenagers).

The First Session.

You are welcome to call me or send me an e-mail to arrange an appointment. We might have a brief conversation and arrange a time and place to meet. During our first appointment we might talk about what brought you to therapy and discuss what you wish to get from therapy sessions. We will also consider what strengths you have that can support your progress towards your goals. Rather than telling you what your goals are or what you should do, I will work with you to identify them. Together we will also identify which therapeutic approach and method might be helpful for you.

I make use of Feedback Informed Therapy (FIT), an evidence based approach to using feedback and outcome measures to enhance the outcomes of therapy. We will also make us of other measures appropriate to what you wish to achieve (usually questionnaires) to track and monitor progress in sessions.

If it's clear enough how to proceed we might then write a Service Delivery Agreement together. This agreement will describe your stated reasons / motivations for seeking services, agreed upon goals / purpose/preferences for services, agreed upon means and methods (including type and frequency of sessions).

If you are coming to see me as a couple I might ask for separate follow up meetings with each partner, in order to explore each partner's own unique points of view, histories, goals and strengths prior to starting further treatment sessions. If you are coming to see me as a family I will usually see as many family members as possible together unless agreed otherwise. I will usually follow a similar process to the one described above with families, but will include views from all family members in setting goals.

Follow up sessions:

Follow up sessions will usually start with a review of progress since the last session. I often agree tasks or 'experiments' with clients to try in between sessions. These are usually suggested because they might help you progress towards your goals. These are often reviewed at the start of sessions.

You will usually be also be asked what else you would like to discuss. We will usually explore and discuss different themes, therapeutic techniques or skills that help you progress towards your goals and the things that you value in life. each sessions we will also review progress using the outcome measures (questionnaires) introduced to you in the first session.

After each session I might ask you to briefly discuss your experience of the session. Previous research has shown that therapists often misjudge how useful sessions were to clients. I will usually ask you to complete a Session Rating Scale designed to help me see whether sessions are working for you. This gives us a chance to address whether you feel listened to, whether we are talking about the right things, and whether the approach we use in sessions are helpful to you.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment times often differ depending on how long a problem has been around and how complex it is. Despite this I would usually expect to see some meaningful changes early on in sessions (usually the first 6-8 sessions, sometimes earlier.) If no change has taken place in the first 6-8 sessions I would usually discuss this with you, and we would explore the reasons for this. We might then agree a change in approach or direction. If this does not help you progress then I might not be the right therapist for you and we could discuss ending sessions or a referral to another professional. All decisions will be made collaboratively with you.

Training, qualifications & experience

I qualified as a social worker in the year 2000 with a B.A. (Hons) (Social Sciences) degree Social Work. I started my career working with military families in the South African National Defense Force (SANDF). Seeking international experience and new challenges I moved to the United Kingdom in 2003.  There I continued to work with children and families with complex social needs in various Local Authority Child Protection Services in and around London. In 2009 I started to specialize in working with young people and families with mental health difficulties. I started working full time in the UK National Health Services Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  In 2010 I received my Master of Science degree (with Merit) from the Institute of Family Therapy and Birkbeck, University of London.  I received a distinction for my dissertation. In 2014 I completed the Tavistock Qualification in Family Therapy & Systemic Supervision at The Tavistock Centre, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Since then I have supervised psychotherapy trainees while on placement in the NHS.

For the past 8 years, I have worked with Adolescents and Families in an Inpatient Adolescent Psychiatric Unit for an NHS trust in England. I am also currently an independent panel member for Family Works Fostering, a private fostering agency.

Over the years I have continued to train and develop, training with notable therapists including Matthew Selekman ( Partners for Collaborative Solutions, Illinois, USA); Frank Datillio, Phd. ( CBT ) – USA; Karl Tomm, MD, FRCPC (Calgary Family Therapy Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada); Gary M. Diamond Phd. (Ben-Gurion University Psychotherapy Research Lab, Israel – ABFT); Sandi Richman (Richman EMDR Training); Sandra Taylor (ICEEFT Trainer – Potential development)

I completed training in:

Systemic & Family Therapy at the Institute of Family Therapy in London.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with Lane Pederson, Psy.D, LP.

Skills Training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) with British Isles DBT Training / The Linehan Institute, Behavioral Tech / Christine Dunkley & Emily Fox

Cognitive Behavioural therapy with Families and Couples with Dr Frank Datillio (Harvard)

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy with Henry Whitfield (Mindfulness Training Ltd.)

Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) (Parts 1,2 and 3) (EMDR Europe & EMDR International Association Accredited Training) with Matt Wesson (EMDR Academy), Sandra Richman (Richman EMDR Training.)

Mentalization-Based Treatment for Families, Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families in London.

Attachment-Based Family Therapy (for Depressed Adolescents) at Stockholms Akademi for Psykoterapiutbildning (Sweden).

Eating Disorders in Children & Adolescents at UCL Institute of Child Health & Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Emotionally Focussed Therapy (ICEEFT Accredited) with Sandra Taylor, Phd. (ICEEFT accreditated trainer and supervisor), Potential Development.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I have extensive experience in working with young people (both children and adolescents.) When working with couples I use Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy.


Individual Sessions: £60
Couple and Family Sessions: £75

(Please note that the above fees are indications. Fees are usually negotiated based on the individual or families circumstances.)

I am also able to see BUPA & Aviva clients.

Further information

I usually ask the clients complete payment for a session before the session starts.

Maps & Directions

Rochford, SS4

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: Afrikaans


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: Unspecified


I have some appointments available after 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Types of client

Young people