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The method

Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)  is a revolutionary method of psychotherapy with a well-established and robust evidence base developed by Dr Habib Davanloo.


It focuses on accelerating the treatment process so clients see tangible change in a matter of months rather than years. The therapy involves active participation from both the client and the therapist, immediately engaging in a collaborative process to free you from your suffering and distress. In fact, the first therapy session, referred to as a trial therapy, is 3 hours long. This intensive session allows you to actually experience the therapy and therapist, to get a very real sense of what the underlying cause of problems are and to determine whether this form of therapy is indicated. 


Therapy isn’t something that is done to you but is a process that demands full engagement. You are expected to bring will and determination to the process – assuming responsibility for your own life and the outcome of your treatment.


I seek to create a safe but challenging environment where you are encouraged to give up old and outdated ways of relating to yourself and others. Whilst coping mechanisms may have been helpful and adaptive in the past, we take an honest look at how these are now getting in the way from the life you want to lead and help to remove these obstacles.


ISTDP is an empirically supported treatment for a wide range of psychological disorders, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, OCD, personality disorders, conversion disorder, chronic pain, and unexplained medical symptoms.  For those interested in examining the research results directly, follow the link to the Center for Emotions and Health (medicine.dal.ca). 

Dr Brown's training

Dr Brown has trained and continues to train directly with Patricia Coughlin, one of the most respected luminaries in the history of ISTDP. 

The goals are ambitious

The Process

In ISTDP, we want to remove and free you of your symptoms not just learn how to manage them. Through therapy, we will seek to understand what is at the core of your difficulties and where they began so that you can have long lasting change in the shortest time possible. If you are committed to getting to the heart of what has been driving your difficulties then this may be the treatment for you.


Many people have found ISTDP to be effective even when they have tried previous therapy with little success.


Dr Brown's training has focused on providing the following elements proven to be responsible for change in therapy:

  • Maintaining a high level of focus
  • Developing an atmosphere of trust by displaying skill and competence and being a resource for clients
  • Building a collaborative alliance in which both participants give 100% of their effort to the task
  • Facilitating intense involvement, in which multiple modes of experience (cognitive, emotional, physical, and interpersonal) are facilitated and integrated
  • Keeping anxiety and stress in the moderate range, alternating with periods of calm consolidation
  • Encouraging profound moments of meeting by encouraging the removal of barriers to intimacy and closeness
  • Developing meaning and a coherent life narrative


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How it works

Sessions & Follow up

At the end of the three hour trial therapy I will seek your feedback and we will discuss whether this is a suitable method for your treatment. I will suggest how long treatment may take based on the trial therapy. 


For clients living locally, therapy is typically conducted on a weekly basis following the initial evaluation until goals are achieved. 


I offer free 1,3,5 & 10 year follow up for all clients I see. Research shows that life satisfaction and symptom removal should continue to improve after therapy ends, rather than return to where you were before embarking on therapy. Once you have a deep understanding of what is at the heart of your difficulties and are no longer haunted to repeat your past problems, you become free to live a fulfilled and enriched life; having access to your feelings, creativity, and energy to thrive.


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