Learning how to learn

As an occupational therapist, my focus lies in helping individuals and groups (Grade 4 -12 and adults) to develop metacognition and to focus on learning how to learn to improve their academic or professional skills, competencies, and performance. I have developed the BE MORE approach which is suited for learners, parents, educators and professionals – from any generation.

The diagram below provides an overview of the BE MORE Approach that incorporates a Mediational Coaching Approach, a Metacognitive Approach, a REAL Thinking and Learning Approach and a Functional Medicine Approach – (also refer to Education and Training Topics that refer to other aspects related to the Be More Approach):

“Most of us are not what we could be.
We are less.”

– Paul and Elder (2014)

Coaching Approach


REAL Thinking
and Learning Approach

Medicine Approach

Mediational Coaching Approach

A Mediational Coaching Approach implies that an effective mediator (e.g. therapist, educator or parent) will mediate and coach a learner to develop, use or monitor the use of cognitive functions, thinking skills, executive function skills, etc.  The interaction always takes place in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) or learning zone and the purpose is to enhance the ‘building blocks of thinking,’ as well as executive function skills, so they can become more efficient in order to enhance higher-order thinking processes, metacognition, learning and the ability to cope with challenging tasks.

Metacognitive Approach

A Metacognitive Approach aims to develop skills and strategies to select, apply and monitor one’s own cognitive skills to do a specific task or to solve a problem. The development of metacognitive knowledge (e.g. knowledge of self and own cognitive abilities; knowledge of the cognitive demands of a task; and knowledge of strategies), as well as metacognitive regulation (to monitor and control cognitive processes and learning) are crucial in this approach. The nurturing of metacognitive self-talk instead of negative self-talk, is a critical part of this approach.

REAL Thinking and Learning Approach

A REAL Thinking and Learning Approach strives to always be Realistic and Reflective, Effective, Achievable and Long-Lasting/Life-Long and to provide REAL support.  The underlying neurodevelopmental systems needed for learning health are addressed when required; the core executive functions are developed; critical thinking processes and building blocks for thinking are taught and practiced explicitly; and are infused as part of the 6 Step REAL Learning Process.

Internationally researched programs and approaches (to develop a growth-oriented mindset, executive functions, metacognition, thinking skills, etc.), as well as processes and models that I have developed and refined over a period of more than 20 years in my practice, are used.

Functional Medicine Approach

A Functional Medicine Approach focusses on the underlying causes of disease. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that aims to address the healthcare needs of the 21st century in a better way. The focus is on promoting and creating health, preventing chronic disease and not simply treating disease. Many learners lead unhealthy lifestyles; do not get the required nutrition due to bad eating habits; struggle with anxiety, stress or depression; are overloaded with extra-mural activities and do not get enough proper sleep; do not have any spiritual foundation; etc.

In my approach I make a deliberate effort to incorporate a functional medicine perspective and to educate parents and learners within my scope of knowledge.


Once (or maybe twice!) a month I offer a reduced price for my Learning How to Learn with the REAL Learning Process Path Course

This course offers an excellent alternative if you cannot do face-to-face intervention. For more information about my courses, go to the COURSES section on my website.

I keep this offer for people that are really interested in my work and service/product offerings.

To know when this happens every month, you have to do something so I can help you!

Complete the contact form on the right-hand side of this page and send me a message and tell me why you are interested in my course.

In return I will keep you posted about my special offer dates.

Please jump in immediatelly when you receive the information, as the reduced price will just be available for a short window period every month!



Let's Get Started

    Contact Info

    Estelle Brettenny

    For Intervention, assessment or training


    082 430 7956


    1 A Stepping Stone Street,


    My target groups

    • Grade 4 to Grade 12 learners and adult learners.
    • Learners that are doing well academically but that desire to develop more effective thinking skills, learning skills and coping skills.
    • Learners that are not coping too well academically but they have no formal diagnosis.
    • Learners with diagnosed problems such as ADD/ADHD or learning difficulties.
    • Learners that are not growth-oriented enough, and/or lack knowledge, skills, and strategies for optimal academic functioning and in life.
    • Learners that lack metacognitive skills and that struggle with complex cognitive processes (executive functions) such as goal setting, cognitive flexibility, organizing, prioritising, time-management, working memory, self-monitoring, etc.
    • Learners with a combination of above-mentioned difficulties or needs.

    If you are interested in learning how to learn, or you would like to find out more about metacognition and how it can benefit you in your professional life, or your child in their academic life, please feel free to get in touch.