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Sybrand Hagan

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Sybrand Hagan the couchMy Story

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“I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me” - Terence

As the words above suggest, I believe that we can all access parts in ourselves that will help us understand others, even if those experiences feel alien. Everyone has a unique story and face their own difficulties in life. From early on in life I have had compassion and empathy for others, respecting that all of us at any point in time might be facing our own struggles and difficulties, often not seen by others. This has helped me to try and understand others and work together with them to figure out how I can best help them to improve their overall wellness.

The challenging, enlightening and rewarding journey to becoming a Clinical Psychologist began at Stellenbosch University, where I graduated with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and Community Counselling. During my training I also worked at the Welgevallen Community Psychology Clinic. My duties included the provision of outpatient play therapy to children, individual psychotherapy to adults, cognitive assessments of children, case presentations and various academic responsibilities.

Following my training at Stellenbosch University, I interned at Tara The H. Moross Centre (a psychiatric hospital). My first rotation at Tara was in Ward 4 and 5, a highly specialised psychotherapy unit. The treatment programmes that I was involved with, include individual and group psychotherapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) groups, mindfulness and life-skills groups, goal setting and review groups and family support sessions. My second rotation was in Ward 1 and 2, an Adolescent and Eating Disorders unit. During this rotation I did individual and group psychotherapy with both adolescent and Eating Disorder patients, DBT groups, Art Therapy groups and family meetings. Throughout the year I also did cognitive and emotional assessments.
I conducted psychotherapy and assessments in both English and Afrikaans. In addition to ward responsibilities, I also took part in evening family therapy sessions, weekly peer supervision and journal club, and various academic activities and presentations. During my internship year I worked with different paradigms, including Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Cognitive behavioural therapy - enhanced (CBT-E), DBT, Systems Theory and Relational Therapy.

During my community service year, I was based at the Johannesburg Metro Community Healthcare Clinics, I had the opportunity to work independently in various Community Health Clinics in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area. My duties included individual and couple psychotherapy, screenings, cognitive assessments and referrals. I was also responsible for the case management of patients and continued to be involved in Family Therapy.

My training in Stellenbosch provided a strong foundation in psychodynamic theory and practice and CBT. I also enjoy working from a relational and humanistic paradigm. My approach to the therapeutic journey is to tailor the treatment/therapy specifically to what is needed for the unique needs of the client. I thus aim to understand every client’s very unique experiences, feelings and thoughts in order to help them improve their mental wellbeing. My own personal journey and growth is also of vital importance to me, and as such I continue to attend supervision and professional courses.

I have worked in various psychiatric contexts, with numerous different professionals and have been exposed to a range of psychopathology and therapeutic modalities. I have a particular interest in working with people that have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving, as well as mood disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and people that have difficulty regulating their emotions. I also enjoy working with adolescents and helping them explore their inner world and finding their identity.

My Qualifications

Sybrand The CouchClinical Psychologist

B.A. Humanities (Stellenbosch)

B.A. Honours in Psychology (Stellenbosch)

M.A. Research in Psychology (Stellenbosch)

M.A. Clinical Psychology and Community Counselling (Stellenbosch)

My Clinical Experience

Welgevallen Community Psychology Clinic

January 2016 – December 2016 (1 year)

Duties and responsibilities

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Administration of psychological and psychometric assessments, assessment report writing, assessment feedback

TARA The H Moros Centre, Psychiatric Hospital

January 2017 – December 2017 (1 year)

Psychotherapy unit, Ward 4 & 5

Duties and responsibilities

  • Individual psychotherapy with adult inpatients
  • DBT group therapy
  • Life skills groups, mindfulness groups, goal setting and goal review groups
  • Family support sessions and family meetings
  • Family Therapy
  • Neuropsychological, personality and cognitive assessments for adults
  • Case presentations, multidisciplinary team academic ward rounds

Eating Disorder and Adolescent units, Ward 1 & 2

Duties and responsibilities

  • Individual psychotherapy with inpatients with eating disorder patients and adolescents with severe psychopathology
  • Adult Art therapy
  • Adolescent DBT group therapy
  • Family Therapy and family meetings
  • Neuropsychological and cognitive assessments for adolescents and children
  • Case presentations, multidisciplinary team academic ward rounds

Johannesburg Metropolitan Community Clinics

March 2018 – March 2019 (1 year)

Duties and responsibilities

  • Administration of psychological assessments to children and adolescents, assessment report writing, assessment feedback
  • Individual psychotherapy with adolescents and adults (outpatient)
  • Couples psychotherapy
  • Parental counselling and support
  • Suicide risk assessments
  • Monthly multidisciplinary team academic ward rounds.


The difference between child and adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

For many years the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)was reserved for children, and not adolescents or adults. This means adolescents and adults with symptoms of the disorder, who might have been struggling for many years, not exactly knowing what they're struggling with, couldn’t officially be diagnosed with ADHD.
Read more about pdfMHM_Difference_between_Child_and_adult_ADHD.pdf


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Head Office

37 Homestead Road,
Corner 12th Avenue
Block F, Homestead Park
Rivonia, Sandton
060 961 7882
Tel: (011) 234 0741

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Please note that if you are unable to contact us on 011 234 0741 due to the Load shedding, kindly contact us on 060 961 7882