Counsellor and DBT skills trainer

With 13 years of experience he eats, breaths and loves DBT and don’t get him started on validation. Jonathan has a BA degree in psychological counselling and is studying towards his masters.
Regarding his DBT therapy, he offers individual dialectical behaviour therapy(DBT for young adults, adults and persons that have been diagnosed with BPD; a DBT skills groups, STEP-UPP® for teens (13-18 years old.) and tweens (9-12) and he follows the Rathus and Miller skills training as well as Dr. Marsha Lineman programme. Rathus and Miller infused their version of DBT with original, creative, and developmentally appropriate elements. Dr. Alec Miller, Dr. Jill Raghu’s, and Dr. Marsha Lineman developed DBT for young adults and adults. This evidence-based approach is the gold standard of treatment for individuals suffering from emotion, identity confusion, interpersonal difficulties, impulsivity, risky behaviours, and young adult-parent conflict. Among its interventions, DBT places strong emphasis on acceptance and validation. He also co-facilitates the BPD support group, Step-upp group, Parent support group and the DBT outpatient programme for adults.
BA (HSS) (Psych) (UNISA)



Laeni has always had a passion for children and their well being. A strong believer in open communication, when dealing with both adults and children, she believes when the basics are impaired, it usually leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

Laeni regards The Step-Upp Tweens programme as instrumental in equipping children with essential tools to deal with conflict and change, early in life so they grow up to be resilient, happy and successful adults.

Being a mother herself, Laeni understands the importance of skills-based training for children; particularly when faced with the ever changing environment in which they are growing up, such as new technology and social media.

Laeni is co-creator of the Step-Upp Tweens programme. She is confident that the skills children gain will be invaluable to successfully navigating life’s challenges.



DBT Facilitator – TEENS STEP-UPP

Jess was born and raised in Cape Town. Attending Kirstenhof Primary School, and then completing high school at Springfield in 2015. She had also trained under Kimura Shukokai Karate for 10 years, achieving bronze medal on the world stage and received her Black Belt. After a gap year of personal development, she decided to attend The South African College of Applied Psychology and attained a Bachelor of Applied Social Science, majoring in Counselling Psychology. She completed this degree with distinctions in her Work Integrated Learning modules.

Jess approaches counselling with an eclectic and holistic veiw of human nature and growth, with the idea that each person and system is inherently capable of change/healing- requiring the space and unconditional acceptance to discover the best inside them. She incorporates ideology from Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, DBT, and Eastern philosophies & healing.

She has specific interests in working with tweens and teenagers dealing with: emotional dysregulation, risky behaviour, distress intolerance, gender identity, and sexuality.
Jess’ interests and hobbies include: Spending time with animals, nature walks, meditation, skating, hiking, music, and Taoism.
Bachelor of Applied Social Science, Major in Counselling & Psychology



DBT Facilitator – TEENS STEP-UPP

Christiane obtained her Bachelor of arts Honours in Psychology degree, with distinction, from Varsity College. Her Counselling journey began at The Family Counselling Centre, when she joined the counselling apprenticeship program; this program created a bridge, connecting the theory taught in university with the real world. On the completion of this apprenticeship, Christiane joined The Family Counselling Centre team as a practicing counsellor in 2021. It was here that she found her passion to encourage the development of personal insight for her clients, and to provide them with the tools necessary to assist them on their journey.

This passion to encourage the development of personal insight for her clients has inspired Christiane to utilise holistic approaches towards her clients’ unique needs and has in turn, inspired her to enrol in many courses and training programs in her search to provide unique and client tailored approaches in her work as a mental health care practitioner

The knowledge, skills and experiences Christiane has gained during her psychological studies and ventures has shaped and enabled her to view the world differently, to utilise her strengths in innovative and creative ways, and has provided her with the power of understanding and an empathy for adversity.

Christiane truly feels that she has been called to this field due to the experiences she has had and her desire to help others.


DBT Facilitator – TEENS STEP-UPP

Tertius was born and raised in town of Springbok in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape, after which he moved to Cape Town to pursue his career and spent a decade in the Arts. While studying Tertius spent a lot of time interning at a Community Radio station where he was exposed to the communities and all the battles faced within them. Through the medium of music he found that what he most enjoyed about it, is the connection it nurtures between people. This eventually led to a passion for the helping arts. To further his dream, Tertius proceeded to Graduate with Distinction his BA in Psychological Counselling, taking special interest in Counselling for youth and how they can benefit from preventative care.

Being a people person, working in the arts and more specifically the entertainment industry has given Tertius a broad understanding of people from all walks of life that practise different forms of expression and communication. With an ever-growing interest in the human mind and its individuality Tertius seeks to expand his knowledge base at every given opportunity and learn all the comprehensive skills that a counsellor would need to practise the helping arts. In his off time, Tertius is an avid musician, photographer and writer, that likes to explore nature – passionate about everything that he is interested in.
BA (Psych)(UNISA)



Programme Director

Johanna is the Step-Upp boss and is in charge of all things admin with Step-Upp. (her photo to follow soon)
Should you have any questions please email Johanna or call her on +27 83 227 9771