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Treatment Areas


Feeling anxious is something that we will all experience in our lives at some point. The feeling can be fleeting or constant. In fact, anxiety is considered to be part of being human and is often linked to our decision making processes. It can let us know what decisions are important to us and whether we’re living authentically or not – our own built-in alarm system that can keep us ‘on track’.


However, when anxiety feelings begin negatively to impact our ability to make decisions and to engage in both meaningful work and stable relationships it is often helpful to unpack these experiences with the assistance of a psychotherapist. 


Anxiety experiences that can negatively impact your life include some of the following:


  • A constant feeling of being overwhelmed with worry,

  • Difficulties in sleeping and eating,

  • Difficulties in concentrating that are significantly different from before,

  • Thinking about the same problems or issues over and over again without solving them,

  • Irritability and anger,

  • Experiences of becoming hyper aware of oneself and of one’s surroundings,

  • Feelings of impending doom,

  • Physical symptoms including heart palpitations, nausea, trembling, and sweating.

  • Panic attacks


Research shows that psychotherapy can be very effective in helping to alleviate debilitating anxiety feelings. My therapy method aims to explore what the anxiety means to you, where it comes from, and how these experiences are currently affecting your life.  Often times, greater self-awareness leads to the reduction of inner conflict and the promotion of acceptance, hope, and feelings of power.   


Common anxiety disorders include Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). See resources for more information about these anxiety disorders.


The word “depression” has unfortunately fallen foul of twenty first century misrepresentations. To be depressed is not to be confused with everyday feelings of sadness or ‘Monday blues’. 


Depression is a Mood Disorder that is diagnosed according to certain criteria. Someone who is depressed finds it very difficult to just ‘think happy thoughts’ or to ‘feel better’. A person who is experiencing a depressive episode will feel low most of the day nearly every day for an extended period of time. The low mood can affect a person’s ability to function in their day to day life potentially leading to problems in work and relationships. If left untreated, depression can, and often does, last for weeks, months and even years. Untreated depression can also lead to other dangerous activities such as reckless behaviours, and increases in alcohol, medication, and recreational substance use.  


A summary of depressive symptoms are listed below. 


  • Depressed mood, feeling low (irritable) most of the day every day,

  • Diminished interest or loss of pleasure in nearly all activities,

  • Significant weight changes or appetite disturbances,

  • Sleep disturbances,

  • Feelings of restlessness and agitation,

  • Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time,

  • Feelings of worthlessness,

  • Problems in concentration, and indecisiveness,

  • Thoughts of self-harm and suicide.


Depression is one of the most frequently diagnosed issues of mental health. Recently, diagnoses of depression and anxiety across the world are increasing at an alarming rate. There are various reasons for this sharp increase. Much research points toward experiences of isolation, loneliness, and feeling disconnected with oneself and the world that seem to contribute to this major modern problem. 


There is much evidence that psychotherapy can help to alleviate feelings of depression. My therapy method aims to provide a space in which you are able to talk and feel. Through feeling your emotions and understanding them, we can then make sense of where they come from and how best to move forward towards hope and empowerment. In some cases, a person might need additional treatment such as psychiatric assessments and medication in order to begin to feel better. 


See the resources section for more information about Depressive Disorders and other Mood Disorders.


Sad and painful events are experienced throughout the world by many people on a daily basis. Most of these events are experienced and then processed through our own individual coping mechanisms and support structures. The loss of a loved one, failure, and when life does not go to plan can be difficult to cope with, while also requiring time to grieve; however, grief and trauma are different. 


When a person experiences a deeply disturbing, or painful event and their response to this event includes becoming overwhelmed and unable to cope with regular life we can say that the person has experienced trauma. A traumatic event can also be experienced vicariously through someone else. For example, if parents experience a hijacking, their children might experience the event through them leading to trauma reactions.  


Trauma can lead to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, while seriously affecting an individual’s ability to feel connected to themselves and to others. Traumatised people often experience feeling cut off from their emotions and normal thinking patterns. Simply put, trauma is due to something that has happened in a person’s life that shatters her/his basic assumptions about themselves, others, and the world. Left untreated, trauma reactions can have devastating consequences in the form of Trauma and Stress Disorders. 


Some trauma symptoms are listed below.


  • Avoidance of places, people, and thoughts that bring up memories of the event,

  • Social isolation,

  • Depression and loss of interest or pleasure in activities,

  • Excessive guilt, loneliness, anxiety, fear and panic,

  • Intrusive unwanted thoughts,

  • Insomnia, and nightmares,

  • Flashbacks,

  • Mistrust of others and the world,

  • Hypervigilance,

  • Increases in alcohol and substance use,

  • Irritability and anger outbursts,

  • Feeling detached from oneself and the world, feeling unreal.


See the resource section for information on Trauma, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 


South Africa has been considered a traumatised country for quite some time. Incidents of trauma in SA are some of the highest in the world. I have experience in treating trauma in adolescents and adults. My therapy approach is aimed at creating safety in the room, while allowing you to tell the story of what happened and how you survived. Through telling your story we can come to an understanding of who you are, here and now. This process focuses on assisting you to gain clarity on the events that took place, and where to find meaning. Trauma therapy is not an easy process to engage in but if committed to it can be a very worthwhile and positive life altering experience.

Life Adjustments
Life Adjustments

Experiencing major changes in your life such as beginning a new job, moving house or country, starting university, and break ups etc. can trigger a lot of emotional responses including stress and anxiety - feeling ‘strange’ or apprehensive about change is very ‘normal’. However, when these emotional responses to change result in you feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and begin negatively to affect your ability to work, love, and derive meaning in your life, we can say that you are experiencing a disorder of adjustment. 


As a counselling psychologist, my therapy method is specifically aligned to assisting you with issues of adjustment. Exploring change, understanding what it means to you and how best to cope with it can lead to a deepened self-awareness, feelings of self-empowerment, and creativity. Therapy should help to  promote present-focused and future resilience and confidence.


See the resource section for more information on Adjustment Disorders and the treatment of them.


Adolescence is the developmental stage between 11 and 19 years old. During this stage, young people often go through growth spurts both physically and psychologically. Adolescence is a powerful time in a person’s life. The youngster begins to experience strong physical drives, urges and desires, while also going through major shifts in how they perceive and think about themselves, others and the world. Due to these strong shifts in themselves, adolescents are frequently confronted with new belief systems, powerful emotions and social needs that were not there beforehand – the Sturm und Drang (turbulent emotions and stress) of adolescence.


Parenting during this time of a child’s development can be very difficult, especially in single parent households and households in which both parents work. The adolescent can become confrontational and rebellious causing parental anger and resentment. It can also be difficult for parents and caregivers to recognise differences between ‘normal’ adolescent upheaval and mental health issues that require assistance. For example, depression in adolescent boys can frequently manifest in irritability, anger, and rage rather than low mood.  


Often times, adolescents can profit from regular psychotherapy sessions aimed at creating a stable boundaried space in which they are able to express themselves, argue, think and feel. My therapy method encourages adolescents to express themselves, while assisting them to understand their strong emotions. Feeling, thinking, and arguing are encouraged within the session! 


It can often be difficult to get an adolescent to the therapy space and also to commit to it. Bearing this in mind, I often encourage parents to ask their adolescents what it is that they would need to feel better and if they think therapy would benefit them. Getting ‘buy in’ is a crucial first step in the therapy process.


See the resource section for more information of adolescent psychotherapy.

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