Who we are

Read about our background, affiliations and membership.


The Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group (CTPSPG) is a non-profit professional association devoted to advancing theoretical and clinical understandings and development of contemporary Self Psychology and Relational Psychoanalysis.

We were constituted in 1992 by a small group of clinical psychologists and psychoanalytic psychotherapists who were looking for human, non-judgemental ways of working psychotherapeutically. Self Psychology, as formulated by Heinz Kohut, places a person’s “self experience” at the centre of psychoanalytic inquiry. With its emphasis on empathic attunement, the therapist attempts to understand clients from within their own emotional world. In more recent years, the theoretical and clinical focus of the CTPSPG has expanded to include Intersubjectivity Theory and Relational Theory

Our purpose is to provide a supportive and vibrant home for clinicians who are interested in Self Psychology and Relational Psychoanalysis to read, think about and discuss theoretical ideas and clinical psychotherapeutic practice.

We are accredited by the HPCSA as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provider.


We are a member organisation of the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC) and we also benefit from strong connections with international colleagues and professional groups. We are an institutional member of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP) and have a strong relationship with the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP). International speakers are occasionally invited to present lectures or seminars here, and our own members often attend and present at international conferences. Several of our members have also published books and articles in these fields.

Our membership

Members of the CTPSPG are registered therapists and students whose professional interests include psychotherapy for individuals, couples, groups, communities, or families in distress. We usually have about 70 – 80 members.