John Söderlund

Counselling Psychologist

Portrait of John Soderlund, Psychologist


I am a licensed counselling psychologist, registered with the HPCSA and working in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. I work in an insight-oriented and solutions-oriented approach with clients around the world, both online and in-person. 

I aim to ensure that therapy can be a safe space in which to more consciously understand the relationship between what we feel, think and do in order to make decisions that are congruent and sustainable, and that give us a more lasting and deeper sense of meaning. 

Professional interests

Since 2000, I have been providing psychotherapy to individuals and groups to deal with a wide range of difficulties. Special areas of interest include depression, anxiety difficulties, substance use disorders, couple relationships and the complexities of navigating an increasingly time-urgent, myopic and pressured world.  

Increasingly, I provide internet-based counselling services to a wide range of clients around the globe ( 

Between 2000 and 2016, I cofounded, and served as the editor of, New Therapist magazine (, an international magazine for psychotherapists, providing essential support to therapists around the world who are interested in ensuring that they provide a thoroughly informed, sustainable, ethical and effective service to their clients. 

Corporate and online services

Since 2000, I have designed and implemented wellness and psychological services to corporate and organisational clients through employee assistance providers. To date, these services have been used by over 200,000 members of the South African workforce. 

Guiding principles

I regard integrity in our most important relationships as central to our overall health and find much satisfaction helping couples to become more real and engaged with one another when those relationships feel most under threat. I  have a strong interest in how our behaviours in daily life subtly, but powerfully, influence our overall sense of wellbeing and in how we can make changes to these to tip the balance towards increasingly engaged and confident ways of being in our home and work lives. 

As my own age marches relentlessly onwards, I am increasingly interested in how we seek meaning that goes beyond simply making a living, raising a family and being a respectable citizen. I see creativity as an essential component of psychological health and enjoy exploring with my clients where that can be most meaningfully nurtured. I also pursue a range of creative pursuits that I believe are central to my own sanity.

I have worked for many years in helping people who are struggling with one or another kind of addiction, both as inpatients and as outpatients. I believe that addiction is often an attempt (albeit misguided) to soothe unmanageable emotions and that recovery is about finding more sustainable ways to deal with the emotional distress, gain insight into the dynamics of the addiction and chart a path towards dedicated commitment to taking the long road home

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