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.
My journey towards pursuing a career in psychology has been a varied and interesting one. Having a background in banking, recruitment, sales as well as being involved in the emergency services has finally led me to my dream and passion, psychology. It was whilst volunteering in the emergency services that my interest in psychology grew. Having been exposed to traumatic events as well as psychopathology I realised that despite being trained in dealing with the biological aspects of an emergency I was ill-equipped to deal with the psychological aspects of patients and families. After much consultation with others and my own research I then decided to pursue a degree in psychology.
During my Masters programme I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a variety of contexts, such as in a Hospital setting dealing with members of the community on an out-patient basis requiring psychological assistance with depression and anxiety. I was also involved within a school setting dealing with children who had behavioural problems as well as assisting their parents with parental guidance. Lastly, I worked for a substance rehabilitation organisation dealing with the treatment of individuals who abuse substances as well as providing families with family counselling and support.
After completing my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, I completed my internship at two Hospitals. The first, being at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Here I was involved with the treatment of both male and female patients in acute psychiatric wards (patients presenting with severe psychopathology such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar). Treatment involved both individual and group sessions. In addition to working with acute psychosis, I was involved with the treatment of patients on an out-patient basis as well as the assessment and management of patients who presented to the hospital with a history of suicide attempts or suicide ideation. My second internship placement was at the Child, Adolescent and Family Unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. My primary function was the assessment and treatment of children who had presented to the Unit for multiple reasons ranging from behavioural problems to severe trauma such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse. In addition to this, I was also involved with parental guidance and family counselling.
On completing my internship I was then placed at Sterkfontien Psychiatric hospital for one year. During this period I worked in the Forensic Neuroscience Unit and acute psychiatric male wards. My function within the Forensic Neuroscience Unit was to assist the Multidisciplinary team in the assessment and diagnosis of accused individuals as to whether or not they are fit to stand trial and whether or not they could be held responsible for the crime that they had committed. Apart from treating patients on an individual and group basis I also had the opportunity to implement a substance abuse programme in one of the hospital wards that I worked in.
My psychotherapeutic approach may be characterised as working from an integrative stance using Cognitive Behavioural framework, integrated with Existential and Interpersonal psychotherapy models. I have an interest in dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse as well as couples therapy. I work with both individuals (children, adolescents, adults) and couples. I offer both short and long term psychotherapy to suit the needs of my clients.
HPCSA Number: PS 0121703
Practice Number: PRA NO: 0556815