Deciding to see a psychologist or attend therapy is a very personal decision. If you have not seen a psychologist before, it might feel strange or you may feel nervous to consult as we usually keep our struggles to ourselves or talk to people close to us about these. It may be difficult talking to someone that you do not know. You may feel unsure how to start or maybe wonder whether you will be able to clearly tell your story. This is normal and okay and after the first session you may well feel quite relieved.
As a psychologist I am highly trained to work with you through your journey, to be with you in your pain and to work through it towards finding solutions that fit with you as a unique individual. I understand that this is not an easy journey and will walk it with you, yes I will challenge you at times and maybe assist you to think about things in different ways. My aim will always be to assist you in the direction that you are hoping to move towards, that is in line with your goals for therapy. This is a different process to friendships or having a chat to friend. Often talking to someone that is not involved in your life is both rewarding and relieving.
It is important to keep in mind that you may need to attend a few sessions prior to feeling as though there is change or that your struggle is being resolved. For this though, it is also important to keep in mind that regular and frequent consultation will most likely result in better outcomes. It is difficult to work through struggles and achieve progress if the client misses sessions regularly or fluctuates in their commitment to the therapeutic process.
When you arrive, you will be asked to complete a normal intake form. Thereafter, the first consultation will begin, where you can express what brings you to the psychologist. When you first meet with me, we will work together to set specific goals based on what you want to achieve and will agree on the duration and frequency for visits.
The sessions are generally 50 minutes to an hour and usually take place once a week, at least initially. However, after the initial session, your psychologist may better direct how many sessions are recommended and the length of each session. We will also reassess your goals and duration and frequency of sessions through the process.
Traditionally psychologists have assisted people in coping with emotional problems. Psychologists can also help improve day-to-day functioning. We can also do assessments for emotional functioning, occupational or scholastic assessment, and psycho-legal assessments.
It is a misconception that people consult a psychologist because they are crazy. People from all spheres struggling with various, personal reasons work with a clinical psychologist. Sometimes this includes learning how to manage their stress, to improve relationships or to deal with a specific stressor or crises in their lives. Some people attend psychotherapy or group interventions to improve or seeking development or personal growth for an already content and happy life. Consulting a psychologist provides a safe space where confidentiality is maintained for a person to vent.
A registered psychologist in South Africa is a psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a psychologist in Independent Practice. All practicing psychologists are required to have completed the HPCSA criteria for their registration category, which includes completion of the relevant master’s degree, passing the ethics board exam of the HPCSA and then registering and maintaining yearly payment to the Board of Psychology at the HPCSA. You can visit the HPCSA website http://isystems.hpcsa.co.za/iregister/ to search for the practitioner and view their registration status.
In South Africa, there are different categories of registered psychologists, including:
- Clinical psychologist
- Counselling psychologist
- Educational psychologist
- Industrial or organisational psychologist
- Research psychologist
- Forensic psychologist
- Registered counsellor
Each of the categories has a specific scope of practice related to their specific field. This means that each has a specific focus direction. Visit the HPCSA site to view the various scope of practice, this will also help to clarify the difference between the various registration categories under the umbrella field Psychology.
In respect of clinical psychology, the process of qualifying as a clinical psychologist involves completion of a master’s degree in clinical psychology (MA or MSc Clinical Psychology). This is generally a one-year course work programme which includes theoretical and practical training in therapy, assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Thereafter, the training involves a second year, which focuses on completion of a research dissertation. In addition, clinical psychologists must complete a full-year internship programme. Thereafter they can receive their master’s degree qualification. Once having received their master’s qualification, clinical psychologists are required to complete a full-year community service or public service programme, where they work as a clinical psychologist in the public setting. They are also required to pass the HPCSA board examinations.
Once the psychologist has met all of these criteria they can register in the category Clinical Psychologist in Independent Practice.
Many people confuse the work or rather definitions of a psychologist with that of psychiatrist. Both work in the field of mental health, however these are different qualifications, different types of degrees, and differ in application.
A psychologist holds a master’s degree specialising in a registered category of psychology, whereas a psychiatrist is a medical doctor that further specialises in psychiatric medicine.
Practically, psychologists primarily intervene or work through therapy (although this depends on the registration category – see what is a registered psychologist). Psychiatrists are more involved with medical management of individuals diagnosed with or seeking medical treatment for a psychiatric diagnosis.
I am affiliated with medical schemes and claim on behalf of clients after their consultation sessions. I also charge in accordance with medical aid rates, if you are to use your medical aid to cover your therapeutic process. To determine whether you are covered and for how many sessions, it is best to first confirm with your medical scheme directly. If your medical aid does not cover psychological intervention or your funds are depleted, you will be responsible for the fees and can chat directly to me about out of cover costs for psychological treatment, which are negotiable depending on the affordability of the client.
You do not necessarily have to use your medical aid for consultations and can pay “out of pocket”. The costs are in line with medical aid rates, however individual circumstances can be accommodated.
You may also work through your Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), where your company may well be affiliated through your company. In these cases, the number of sessions are predetermined by the employer and covered for by the company. You would need to contact your EAP call centre for more information in this regard.
A 24 hour notice is requested if you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment. You may contact me through various forms should you wish to reschedule, this includes email, text, phone, or via whatsapp. Late cancel or no shows will be charged a fee relative to this. I do understand that sometimes circumstances beyond your control may prevent you from arriving at the scheduled appointment, and we can handle that when it arises.
I am flexible, and with that ask you to please try as far as possible keep me in the loop. Should you then wish to reschedule, it is your responsibility to contact me when you are ready to do so to discuss your next appointment date and time.
Payment can be made via medical aid or card.
Medical Aid: Clients making use of a medical aid are charged approved rates and funds claimed directly from the medical aid. If sufficient medical funds are available, no co-payments exist. Clients remain responsible for accounts, if not covered by medical aid. It is recommended that clients check whether there are sufficient funds available. You can do so directly with the medical scheme prior to initiating therapy.
Private Payment: Alternatively, accounts may be settled via card after the consultation at the practice. Rates for 2019 are R950.00 per 51 – 60 minute session.
Please Note: All accounts are to be settled at the session. If medical aid claims are rejected or sessions are invoiced for specific agreed upon reasons, the account is to be settled within 30 days of invoicing. After 90 days, accounts will be handed over for debt collection.
Cancellations: Please allow at least 24 hours notice when cancelling a session. Sessions cancelled without 24 hour notice will be charged for in full.
Clinical psychologists are trained in a variety of modalities and their are different schools of thought in psychology.
I work from a person centred approach using Integrative Interactional Psychotherapy (Applied Systems Theory) and the Interactional Pattern Analysis (IPA) in assisting my clients. This means I look holistically at what my client is dealing with and how their relationships and whole environment is impacting on them. I consider relationships, environments, health, wellness, and total functioning in assisting my clients towards healing and personal growth. Within my work, I draw on various techniques and approaches that would more optimally assist my clients with their unique struggles.
I have received thorough training and exposure to a wide variety of therapeutic interventions, including:
- Applied Systems Theory
- Interactional Pattern Analysis (IPA)
- Interactional Psychotherapy
- Person Centred Therapy (PCT)
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Behavioural Therapy
- Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT)
- Systematic Desensitization
- Assertiveness Training
- Communications Skills Training
- Family Therapy
- Couples Therapy
- Sex Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Jacobson’s Progressive Relaxation
- Guided Imagery
- Play Therapy
- Teddy Bear Therapy
- Strategic therapy
- Creative Psychotherapy
- Solutions Focused Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Trauma debriefing
- Art Therapy