“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health… being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else's mind and heart.” ― Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score.
My work is dedicated to creating a safe, empathetic, and supportive environment for patients to explore and express their experiences and develop healthy relationships and productive, satisfying lives
I began the journey of becoming a psychologist at Rhodes University, where I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy. I then worked abroad in Europe and Asia before returning to South Africa to complete my Honours and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, graduating cum laude for both. My training was integrative and focused both on treating severe psychopathology and assisting healthy individuals to achieve optimum functioning. My post-graduate research dealt with resilience, post-traumatic growth, and the role of spirituality in recovery from traumatic brain injury.
I interned at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital where I gained experience in the mood and personality disorders unit, young adult psychotic disorders unit, forensic unit, and complex childhood disorders unit. I ran both family and group therapy sessions, utilising dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and an interactional systems approach. I also conducted a substance rehabilitation programme for those dealing with addiction and substance use disorders. I then completed my community service year at Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital, where I helped patients of all age groups manage a range of difficulties including adjustment challenges, learning disorders, grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
My background in western and eastern philosophy, particularly in stoicism, mindfulness, and existentialism, informs my therapeutic approach. This means that I include evidence-based techniques that are focused on improving psychological flexibility, reducing rumination on unwanted thoughts, accepting both negative and positive aspects of experience, appreciating and experiencing the present moment fully, and discovering one’s guiding values to create a meaningful life worth living. My goal is to equip my patients with the skills, tools, and resources to better their lives and achieve their desired state of functioning and wellbeing.
Each patient has different needs and desires for therapy, so my approach is tailored to the individual. In my ongoing quest for professional growth, I attend training courses in a range of approaches and techniques to expand my therapy ‘toolbox’. Recent courses include Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based and effective treatment for a range of trauma-related difficulties such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, and Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT), an approach aimed at reprocessing difficult memories to release negative unwanted emotions. I am currently completing my PhD at the University of Johannesburg, investigating the application of artificial intelligence for mental health care in South Africa.
Therapy is a process in which the patient and therapist are fellow travellers on a journey of exploration and discovery. Beginning therapy can be a challenging step to take, but it has the potential to be a life-transforming experience. I look forward to taking the journey with you.