About Me

Qualifications

I am a clinical psychologist, registered with both the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF). A clinical psychologist has a minimum of a Masters degree and two years of practical training in state psychiatric hospitals and clinics. Training includes diagnosis, understanding and therapeutic treatment of mental health disorders/abnormal behaviour.

This is different from a psychiatrist, also a medical professional that can be a complement to mental health treatment. A psychiatrist is trained as a medical doctor, with specialisation in mental health. Psychiatrists diagnose mental health problems and prescribe medication for treatment.

A clinical psychologist differs from a counselling psychologist in that they have additional training in psychopathology (abnormal behaviour). Other psychologists, like educational and industrial, focus more on specific childhood learning disorders and workplace problems, respectively.

Please feel free to ask me more about my qualifications should you feel the need for more information.

HPCSA Registration number: PS 0119962
http://www.hpcsa.co.za/

BHF Practice number: PR 086 001 0532053
http://www.bhfglobal.com/

Treatment Modality

Sometimes people want to know how I work (i.e. my therapeutic style), or have been prescribed a specific treatment by another professional (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT) and they want more information about this type of therapy.

I prefer to use psychodynamic therapy.

This type of therapy emphasises building an individual’s insight into his/her problems, by raising self-awareness and self-knowledge. Insight helps provide understanding of the cause and effect relationship between past experiences and present behaviours.

In a nutshell, sometimes one may feel stuck in a rut with no way out. You may feel like you keep making the same mistakes over and over, or find you end up in the same dysfunctional relationship patterns. Or you may feel like you make choices that seem right at the time, but your life isn’t panning out the way you want it to.

Whatever it is that is stuck, this type of therapy puts the therapist in a companion/guide role, so that he/she can facilitate increased insight for the client. Once you clearly see the pattern/picture of your life, you can make the changes you choose – not those dictated to you by significant others or even your therapist.  This means that you, the client, remain in the driver’s seat of your own life, you just acquire a navigator/passenger (the therapist) for a portion of the route.

Despite my personal therapeutic style, I am trained and competent in other therapeutic styles (including CBT). During the first few sessions, I will assess your problem with you and we then make a joint decision about what treatment will suit your specific needs best. At no point are you forced or obliged to do anything that doesn’t feel right for you. You have the right to say no to any therapist, their personality and/or therapeutic style and have that choice respected!

Areas of Interest

I work with adults – both students and professionals. I do both individual work and couple’s therapy. Individual therapy focuses purely on the person and how their behaviour influences their environment; whereas in couple’s therapy the primary focus/client is not a person, but rather the relationship itself.

My focus areas include, but are not limited to:

1. Adjustment problems – when a change in your life causes increased stress and difficulty coping

2. Grief

3. Depression (including post-partum)

4. Anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety

5. Relational problems – marital or relationship conflict

6. Problems with anger

Personality

A psychologist is trained to be professional at all times, which includes keeping my personal life and all its contents out of the therapy. This serves to protect the space of the client and remove the burden of having to reciprocate socially. It’s truly a space just for you.

This means I will refrain from sharing personal details, but I do still bring my real self and personality in the therapy. It’s important to me to build a genuine bond with you, by being transparent and ethical about the way I practice. I take the responsibility of treating mental health problems very seriously, just as I enjoy the privilege of being allowed in to each person’s life. I am also realistic and don’t take personally that it isn’t possible for me to connect with everybody; so if I’m not your cup of tea – we can find you someone/something else together.