frequently asked questions
WHAT IS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
A clinical psychologist is a professional mental health care practitioner, that has undergone intensive and specialised training to assist and treat people struggling with psychological, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Their training and expertise allows them to diagnose, assess and employ various psychological techniques and tools to help their clients overcome these difficulties. Furthermore, clinical psychologists can employ specialised psychotherapies, psychological assessments, and engage in psychological research and training.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
A clinical psychologist practising in South Africa needs to complete a 3 year undergraduate degree such as a BA or BSOCSCIE, a 1 year Honours degree in Psychology, as well as a 3 year Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.
The Masters degree includes completing 1-2 years course work, a Masters thesis (research dissertation) and one year internship in a mental health care setting. After completing a Masters degree the clinical psychologist needs to write and pass a national board examination so that he or she can register as a clinical psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
Following the completion of a Masters degree the clinical psychologist needs to complete one year of community service in a state mental health care setting. After which he or she is able to enrol as a clinical psychologist in private practice and register with the Board of Health Care Funders (BHF).
A clinical psychologist practicing in South Africa needs to engage in continuous learning and development within his or her respective field of psychology. This allows the clinical psychologist to widen his or her knowledge base and renew his or her yearly registration with the HPCSA.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PSYCHIATRIST AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST?
A psychiatrist studies medicine and then chooses to specialise in psychiatry – the study of mental illness, emotional disturbance and abnormal behaviour.
A psychiatrist clinically assesses and diagnoses psychological, emotional and behavioural symptoms. Depending on the findings of the clinical assessment a psychiatrist will usually prescribe psychiatric medication to treat the problem. However, some psychiatrists choose to use a combination of medication and psychological interventions to assist the client.
A clinical psychologist also assesses and diagnoses psychological, emotional and behavioural symptoms. However, a clinical psychologist does not prescribe medication to treat the problem, instead he or she will use psychological techniques and tools to address, treat or manage the underlying issue.
HOW DO I FIND A PSYCHOTHERAPIST?
Starting one’s healing journey is not always an easy process. It can be a daunting experience for a person to share their vulnerabilities with someone they are not yet familiar with. It is therefore normal for clients to experience anxiety and feel a sense of reluctance when making an appointment or seeking professional assistance.
It is important that the client feels comfortable with the psychotherapist and his or her approach, and that the therapy space allows room for the relationship to develop and for past, present and future difficulties to be explored.
Success of the psycho-bio-dynamic treatment process is often dependent on the level of commitment and willingness to explore difficult or painful past terrain in order to move through it. It is therefore important that the person entering the psychotherapeutic space, personally makes the decision to undergo his or her psychotherapeutic healing journey.
WHAT HAPPENS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The first psychotherapy session is generally used to gather some brief background information in order to get to know the client and find out more about his or her struggles and difficulties. Following the history intake, I will explain the approach I use in detail, in terms of how it works and what it entails, so that the client can make a more informed decision as to whether it will fit his or her needs. If the client decides to continue with the psychotherapeutic process a follow up session is arranged.
It is important to note that all information shared between the client and clinical psychologist is deemed confidential. This means that the psychologist cannot share the information with anyone else, unless given permission to do so.
HOW LONG WILL PSYCHOTHERAPY TAKE?
The psycho-bio-dynamic process consists of five phases. Completion of these phases ensures that the client has achieved a sustainable level of healing and growth and will not need to return to the therapy space.
Often what is brought to therapy is a long standing difficulty or way of being, therefore a ‘quick fix’ solution is not always a realistic expectation. The length of time that it takes to complete the full process differs from person to person, and most often depends on how much trauma (overwhelming past experiences) the person is carrying from their life journey. In my experience, clients generally experience noticeable and sustainable shifts or changes within the first ten to fifteen sessions. To complete all five phases is generally a longer term process.
how does ship therapy differ from other forms of psychotherapy?
Conventional talk therapies may focus more on creating a supportive space, administration of coping/management techniques or tools to help one better manage their symptoms, and/ or focus on gaining insight and awareness around particular issues that are causing emotional, behavioral and/or psychological distress.
The psycho-bio-dynamic process focuses on healing, rather, than managing past trauma. During the process one will gain insight and awareness as we explore past difficulties, however the focus of this psychotherapy is placed on the completion of unintegrated physical and emotional memory that is connected to past trauma (overwhelming experiences), so that one does not have to spend time and energy managing the associated symptoms, and can rather live life more comfortably and freely.
HOW LONG ARE THE CONSULTATIONS AND HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO ATTEND PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The psycho-bio-dynamic process that I employ differs from conventional talk therapy in that the more time spent completing difficult experiences, the quicker one is able to heal and move forward. Psychology consultations are generally an hour in length (50-60 min). The frequency of psychotherapy sessions depends on the clients needs, time and resources. I generally see clients either once a week, every second week or once a month.
WHAT SUPPORT DO I HAVE BETWEEN SESSIONS?
Clients are most welcome to call or message me between their sessions if they are not coping, need to reschedule or cancel, or need any information regarding their process. If I am unable to answer their call or message at the time, I will get back to them as soon as possible.
IF I need to CANCEL OR RESCHEDULE MY appointment HOW MUCH NOTICE DO I NEED TO GIVE?
If you would like to reschedule or cancel a session kindly inform me at least 24 hours prior to the appointed consultation
do you offer couples therapy?
I do not offer conventional couples therapy. I rather choose to treat each partner in their own individual processes. Relationships often ask of us to share our vulnerable selves with another so that we can engage in intimacy. This vulnerable position can often trigger or activate past relational or childhood wounds (overwhelming experiences) which are projected into the relational space, resulting in various relational insecurities, problems and/or hardships. When both partners heal their past wounds, the relationship begins to redefine itself and a sustainable healthier interaction starts to emerge.
HOW MUCH DOES PSYCHOTHERAPY COST?
My practice is registered with the Health Proffessions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Board of Health Care Funders (BHF). I therefore accept and work with most medical aid providers. I also assist with Prescribed Medical Benefits (PMB) applications.
(* Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMB) are defined benefits to ensure that all medical scheme members have access to certain minimum health services, regardless of the benefit option they have selected.)
I offer medical aid rates and I can claim directly from your medical aid provider. Private patients are charged a reduced cash rate of R990 per session.
I accept cash, card and EFT transactions. The first consultation needs to be payed upfront at the practice, or via EFT prior to the virtual consultation. For further inquiries regarding rates and fees, please contact me.
If you have any further questions or would like to set up an appointment, you can either Whatsapp or call me on 076 232 3837
Alternatively, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or leave a message below and I will get back to you asap.
Let me know what times and days you are available to attend an appointment, and I will let you know when I can accommodate you.
I offer both face to face and virtual psychotherapy consultations.
Please note that I allocate enough time between clients to ensure privacy and confidentiality.