BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®

BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® (or BWRT®), is one of the therapies that I provide. It is a relatively new therapy developed within the last ten years.  It is showing a great deal of promise as it has the ability to rapidly alleviate distressing symptoms under certain circumstances and with specific clients and presenting problems. It is not a panacea for all ills (no therapy works for everyone, all the time), however it seems to be a good tool when used discerningly. There is very little research up to now given the relatively short time that it has been around, with only one PhD study thus far (which showed positive effects for the participants). A more rigorous study was underway at the start of 2020 but was interrupted by Covid-19. This study is a collaboration between the University of The Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Bergen in Norway.  However, most of the "elements" of the therapy are accepted in "standard therapies" such as psycho-education around the brain and use of positive imagery. The integration of these elements in a specific way, as well as a few very smart additions using knowledge about how the brain (specifically the "early brain") functions, lies at the heart of why this therapy works so well.

I have been trained and accredited in BWRT® Level 1 and 2. I am also an approved supervisor (for New Zealand based practitioners) and I am the approved BWRT® trainer (for "face-to face" or "classroom" training) for New Zealand.


‘BWRT®’ stands for ‘BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®’, a model of psychology and psychotherapy created by UK professional therapist, Terence Watts, MCGI. Like many other modern therapies, it allows a ‘core of privacy’ so that you do not have to divulge anything you would rather not talk about – in fact, the practitioner only needs to know how you feel and how you would prefer to feel instead. BWRT® is a completely new and different therapy based on the latest discoveries about the way the brain works and how it affects our moods, behaviour and emotions. Only Certified Practitioners have been trained to deliver BWRT® and all have to adhere to a strict ethical code. Find out more at or

In essence, BWRT® is a solution-focused, short term therapy that focuses on the earlier part of the brain (brain stem and limbic system) using predominantly imagery, as well as employing the early brain’s natural fight/flight/freeze response to interrupt and change neural pathways. In essence, BWRT is a very effective tool to alleviate intense negative emotion linked to past negative experiences or imagined future negative experiences. This is in line with current thinking around the neuroscience and interventions with trauma. The main things to work with is anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, phobias, and anger/aggression. However, once you understand the theory behind it, there are many more presenting problems you can work with. It is not a panacea for all ills but when used discerningly, it really is a powerful tool to have in your kete.

Training for Professionals

There are two ways to get training in BWRT® as a New Zealand practitioner. The first is to do the 10-week online training. You will train with Terence Watts himself and this occurs in a group-format online. The second is to do it during a 2-day "classroom" training. This occurs in New Zealand a few times a year. Have a look at more information: here for classroom training and here for online training

Please note that the classroom training in New Zealand (through Phillip Louw) is only available to mental health professionals, predominantly registered psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists. You need to have a current practicing certificate (or equivalent) and you need to have an active membership with a professional body that has oversight over practice and that has an ethics code. You need to have been practicing for at least two years post-registration. Experience in working with mental health conditions as well as knowledge and experience in formulation and treatment planning are prerequisites. Furthermore, the New Zealand Psychologists' Board Code of Ethics is expected as a minimum for practice of all the professionals trained. Use of BWRT® as a methodology is secondary to good and ethical practice at all times. This includes working within your scope of practice and experience, as well as ethical and professional advertising practices.

If you want to know more about how to train in BWRT® as a practitioner in New Zealand, contact me on or 

Click here for information on next scheduled classroom training in New Zealand.