Clinical psychologists treat people with relatively serious kinds of psychological distress, like depression or anxiety disorders. They hold Master’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology and are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Having been fascinated by both the therapeutic and neuropsychological aspects of psychology, I obtained a Masters degree by dissertation in Research Psychology (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. My research focused on the effects of methamphetamine (tik) on neurocognition in current and recovering addicts. I followed this degree with a Masters in Neuropsychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. This programme exposed me to both neuropsychological assessment techniques and rehabilitation, psychometric training and psychotherapeutic skills. In addition to this family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy and a broad understanding of psychiatric disorders and diagnosis were also been covered.
I completed my internship year at Tara Psychiatric Hospital in Wards 6, 8 & 9 and the Outpatient Department. As an intern clinical psychologist my job included providing individual, group, and family therapeutic interventions and psychological services for both adults and children. Working as a therapist in the Children’s Clinic and Ward 9 I was provided the opportunity to perform play therapy, group therapy with children, individual therapy with adolescents, and parental counseling for parents of children who attended the clinic and the ward. I was also provided the opportunity to engage in peer supervision, family therapy, perform numerous psychological and projective assessments for the children who attended the clinic, and run an outreach bereavement group with children at Rembrandt Park School.
Working as a therapist in Ward 6 and Ward 8 Biochemical Wards, and in the Outpatient Department at Tara Hospital my responsibilities included providing psychotherapy for both inpatients and outpatients diagnosed with illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, anxiety disorders and depression. In addition to this I was both the facilitator for, and member of, the reflecting team for inpatient psychotherapy groups in addition to providing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for an outpatient group of individuals. I was also actively involved as a family co-therapist for two families. Utilising my training in Neuropsychology, I was involved in assessing a number of patients in order to help facilitate diagnosis and treatment planning.
My Community Service year was completed in the Primary and Secondary Health Care Community Clinics in the North District of Ekuhuleni. Within this year I was involved in providing psychotherapy, trauma counselling, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, play therapy and couples therapy to a diverse population group. Fundamental to this work was the ability to work adaptively in the community setting where resources are scarce, and to be able to effectively and empathically make contact with people of different cultures and language backgrounds. Additionally the lack of knowledge regarding mental health and the stigma regarding mental illness are hurdles which continue to require sensitive and persistent management. I also partook in multi-disciplinary interactions with Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Audiologists, Nurses, Doctors and Psychiatrists in order to facilitate more effective and comprehensive patient management.
I currently work from a psychodynamic psychotherapeutic framework and provide both neuropsychological and cognitive assessments for both children and adults. I enjoy working with individuals, couples and families and am passionate about psychology and helping people to understand their own needs and concerns, whilst aiding them in gaining psychological well-being.