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Dr Shonisani Raphalalani

Specialist Psychiatrist

Practice Number: 0932493

MP Number: 0681385

Emily Knott

My Story

The Couch Light

I have always been fond of getting to know people and very curious about how we each uniquely navigate through life. Looking back, I think this is why I did medicine.

After medical school and completing my internship in 2009, I felt very disconnected to my job. It was as if I was just on autopilot, making a diagnosis and prescribing medication. There was no real connection with my patients. In 2011 whilst working at Mokopane district hospital in Limpopo, I was asked to join the psychiatry department for a month, as they were short of doctors. That was the first time that I finally started enjoying my work. I ended up staying in the psychiatry department for the next two years and during that time I obtained a diploma in Mental Health. In 2015 I started specialising in psychiatry at the University of Pretoria at Weskoppies Hospital.

The brain as we know controls many functions of the body. These functions include mood, emotions, behaviour, addiction, appetite, concentration, sexual function and sleep. Mental illness can affect these vital functions and this can result in severe impairment in functioning and poor quality of life. Mental health is very important, I think this has been highlighted over and over again, especially in the current COVID pandemic. Taking care of our mental and physical health is how get our power and energy back, to help us navigate through life.

I love psychiatry because we spend time with our patients so that we can understand where they come from and what factors have led to them presenting to us. We treat patients holistically not just with medication, but also using various therapies and with other multidisciplinary team members. We support the patients and their families. The aim of treatment is not only to treat or manage the mental illness but also to help patients understand themselves better.  Patients learn better coping and adaptive skills, which can improve the quality of life.

I enjoy working in mental health care because in today’s world, where everything is so fast pace and we face many challenges daily, psychiatry and psychology offer a space where patients and can pause, reflect, and begin the road of recovery.  Patients also re-discover who they are and what really matters to them.

Additionally, I enjoy giving talks about mental health on various platforms, as this is a great way to raise awareness and to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses. In my free time, I enjoy painting and taking long walks.


• First consult is usually 90minutes. A comprehensive medical and psychiatric history is taken. If there is a diagnosis is made, medication and management are then discussed.
• Follow up sessions are 30minutes.

My special interests

  • Psychotic disorders: such as schizophrenia, psychosis due to substances and other conditions
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Women mental health
  • Neuropsychiatry (head injuries and epilepsy)


  • MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery) (University of Cape Town)
  • DMH (Diploma in Mental Health) (The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa)
  • MMed Psych (Masters in psychiatry) (University of Pretoria)
  • FC Psych (Fellowship in Psychiatry)(The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa)

Clinical Experience

  • 2008-2009: Internship-Polokwane-Mankweng Hospital
  • 2010: Community service-Military Hospital in Polokwane
  • 2011-2012: Mokopane District Hospital
  • 2013 -2015: Thabamoopo Psychiatric Hospital
  • 2015 - 2020: Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital


Part-time at The Couch and full time at my private practice at Roodepoort and Life Care Poortview Private Psychiatric Hospital

If tired don’t quit, learn to rest and take gentle care of yourself.”