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BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® (BWRT®)

What is BWRT®?

BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® is a highly effective, modern model of psychology and psychotherapy created by a therapist, Terence Watts, MCGI. Further developments and research in BWRT® were conducted by Rafiq Lockhat in South Africa who partnered with Terence Watts. The BrainWorking® Recursive Therapy Institute awarded Rafiq sole rights to training mental health workers in Africa.


Due to our unique challenges, South Africans have been instrumental in developing some of the innovative protocols currently used worldwide in BWRT e.g. the protocol for use with intellectual disabilities, group therapy for homogenous trauma, group therapy in schools and universities for exam anxiety and couple therapy. It has been translated into Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, Portuguese and Italian.


BWRT® is grounded in neuroscience and uses natural psychological processes to reroute pathways in the brain leading to unwanted behaviour or thoughts. By stopping and rerouting the brain’s natural response to anything traumatic or not understood, it attempts to prevent the negative outward symptoms of conditions such as anxiety and PTSD. The technique uses no devices or medication; it simply involves a patient and a therapist working through a process together and it is all carried out in a completely conscious state.


BWRT® has been designed to permanently change upsetting emotional responses triggered by deeply troubling memories and to create new, adaptive neural pathways that do not have the old undesirable emotional responses attached to them. Within a very short space of time, the client no longer feels any negative response to the usual trigger for their presenting symptom, no matter how hard they may try to ‘fire it up’ again.


BWRT® is one of the most exciting developments in psychotherapy as it is a fast-acting and extremely effective way to bring about change within the minimum amount of sessions compared to other therapeutic systems.  BWRT® is a natural and practical form of therapy, and the best thing is, the change comes completely from within you. BWRT® is already used by the police force and in prisons across South Africa to deal with mental health issues like PTSD.

Core elements of BWRT®

The core elements of BWRT® are:

  • It is largely content-free, so often (although this is relative to what your presenting struggle is) all I need to know is how you would prefer to feel instead of what you currently feel.

  • BWRT® is based on neuroscience and how the brain functions.

  • The client is alert and reactive during the process.


BWRT® in my Practice

In my practice, I use BWRT® as part of a therapeutic process and find it extremely useful as a way to assist clients with a range of struggles. BWRT® is a valuable tool that I incorporate in individual counselling when indicated.


Before we become aware of an action, our brain has already selected the response. BWRT® focuses on the gap between a stimulus and the conscious awareness of our action.  This enables us to effectively ''short circuit'' destructive associations and to disconnect upsetting feelings from problematic memories, allowing for new adaptive neural pathways to be created. This is a simple, logical technique which delivers remarkable success. It presents a ''user-friendly'' understanding of the subconscious mind that is empowering to clients.   

It will not be necessary for a client to talk about anything they would rather not discuss.  We mostly work with how a client feels, and how they would prefer to feel instead.  

Some of the areas I use BWRT® include: Trauma, Anxiety, Fears & Phobias, Grief and Bereavement, Loss (including with relationships), and Self-Worth. BWRT® in a safe space offers a less threatening and creative way for clients to engage with presenting difficulties.


Only certified practitioners have been trained to deliver BWRT® and all have to adhere to a strict ethical code. I am a registered Level 1 BWRT® practitioner with BWRT® South Africa and the Terence Watts BWRT® Institute.



“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because

we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

—Walt Disney

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