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Cassandra Govender

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Practice Number: 0726265

Cassandra FinalMy Story

The Couch Light

“Set your heart in doing good. Do good over and over again and you will be filled with joy” – Buddha

The calling to help others is something which I have nurtured and has grown in me over the years. My journey formally began when I started my undergraduate studies at Wits University in Psychology and English. During my time there, I volunteered at various organizations and hospitals such as Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital and the South African Depression and Anxiety group to gain more experience within the field of psychology. Along with my honours degree, these experiences culminated in me pursuing and successfully obtaining my MA in clinical psychology at the same university. Following this year, I went on to complete my internship at Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital and Tara H. Moross Centre.

While at Bara, my duties included providing both inpatient care in the female psychiatric ward and dual psychology and HIV unit, as well as outpatient care. I conducted neuropsychological testing on adult and adolescent populations to assist with treatment planning and diagnosis. I was simultaneously involved in the family therapy clinic at both Bara and Tara on a bimonthly basis and ran various inpatient groups for support and coping skills. From here, I worked at Tara in the Eating disorders and Adolescent unit. I primarily worked from a CBT-E perspective in treating patients with eating disorders while used DBT and dynamic therapy to treat the adolescent patients both during twice weekly sessions for a minimum of a 2 months stay. This included running the Art therapy and DBT groups which also compromised of formulating and structuring them.

I spent the next year completing my thesis on relationship experiences of adults recovering from substance dependence. During this time I worked as a research assistant at Wits University conducting research interviews with therapists and patients on their experiences of therapy. I also began my career as a sessional lecturer for undergraduate psychology. From here, I entered my Community Service year at Helen Joseph Hospital where I honed my skills in assessment, formulation and treatment planning of patients from a diverse cultural background. I primarily worked with Mentalization techniques and DBT to assist patients with personality and conversion disorders. I performed multiple suicide risk assessments to inpatients throughout the hospital as well as outpatients. I participated in the running of the family therapy clinic and adolescent and parental case management services. Additionally, I was instrumental in creating, formulating and carrying out the Adolescent Mental Health Awareness community project which continues to exist at the department.

After Helen Joseph, I primarily worked as a locum practitioner providing therapy to in-patients suffering from a number of psychiatric disorders at various psychiatric hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal. At the same time I lectured undergraduate psychology courses, sessionally, at the Pearson Institute for Higher Education, Umhlanga Campus, before joining the wonderful team at The Couch.

My interest and experience resides in providing family, couple, parental and adolescent interventions. This includes working with individuals or systems in which psychopathology such as eating disorders, psychosis and mood disorders may occur.

I believe that we are in control of our own healing but that with the right space and assistance almost anything can be spoken about, no matter how painful, and therefore overcome.

My Qualifications

Cassandra the couchClinical Psychology

B.A. Psychology & English with distinction, B.A. Honours General Psychology with distinction, M.A. Clinical Psychology

My Clinical Experience

Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital

(January 2015 – June 2015)

  • Individual psychotherapy with inpatients and outpatients with psychosocial issues and psychopathology.
  • Inpatient support and coping skills groups.
  • Suicide risk assessments.
  • HIV adherence and support groups.
  • Neuropsychological and cognitive assessments.
  • Family Therapy

T.A.R.A. Hospital Moross Centre

(July 2015 – December 2015)

  • Individual psychotherapy with inpatients with eating disorder patients and adolescents with severe psychopathology.
  • Art therapy and adolescent DBT group therapy.
  • Family Therapy.
  • Neuropsychological and cognitive assessments for adolescents.
  • Play Therapy.

Helen Joseph Hospital

(January 2017 – December 2017)

  • Individual psychotherapy with inpatients with severe psychopathology ad personality disorders.
  • Suicide risk assessments.
  • Therapy assessment and screening.
  • DBT group Therapy.
  • Ran and put together the HIV/AIDS pre/post-test counselling workshop.
  • Neuropsychological and cognitive assessments.
  • Community work promoting mental health.
  • Family Therapy.
  • Onsite supervision for MA students.
  • Adolescent and case management work.


Cassandra Govender Video on Teen Suicide



Women In Africa With Cassandra Governder On Dexterity Radio

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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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