MY APPROACH TO COUNSELLING
I choose to hold an integral view of life, therefore honouring every aspect of being human, and it is this disposition that I bring into counselling when I journey with clients. I strive towards creating a therapeutic environment that reflects unconditional acceptance and a safe space for self-expression. I see my role not as the expert with all the answers, but as a companion prepared to journey with my clients in search for better outcomes of problematic life situations. In this regard I draw a lot on the principles of Narrative Therapy which honours the client as the one with authority and knowledge, and draws on the strengths and knowledges of the client’s life and relationships which is normally not spoken about when the focus is only on the problem story.
Early on in my life I realised the value of Meditation and Mindfulness Practices. It is vital in assisting neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to change during our life time. It is also an invaluable aid in assisting us to develop integrated and coherent life stories. I will therefore, where appropriate, introduce my clients to these practices.
I have been interested in Integral and Complementary Medicine from early on, and qualified as Reiki Master to offer a hands-on healing practice that complements my counselling practice. Reiki assists the body’s own energetic field and meridians to facilitate physical and emotional healing. Being a Master in Reiki, I teach courses on Levels 1, 2 and Master Level.
The healing power of creative processes, especially in art, movement and music, also interests me, and I use these processes working with groups and during my workshops and retreats teaching Mindfulness Practices. I will also encourage my clients coming for counselling to use creative processes in order to develop new narratives for their life stories.
THE STORY OF MY CAREER PATH
After completing degrees in Theology (BA and BD) as well as Honours in Psychology at the University of Pretoria, I moved to Cape Town in 1994 to do a Masters in Theology (Clinical Pastoral Care) at the University of Stellenbosch, and completed my thesis in 1997. I then started working at the Community Counselling and Training Centre (CCATC) in Manenberg, where I was running the Men & Women’s Programme, focusing on group work and counselling as well training lay counsellors in Basic Counselling Skills.
In 1999 I started my private practice. Apart from my counselling practice and running workshops and retreats, I got involved with mentoring programmes for HIV/AIDS counsellors. I served Lifeline’s HIV/AIDS counsellors in Khayelitsha for 12 years, and had contracts with other NGO’s in this field: Wola Nani, Sothemba AIDS Action and Positive Muslims.
Since 2004 I am involved with a mentoring programme of the City of Cape Town’s Health Department. This programme focuses on debriefing (often trauma related), team-building and stress management for teams in clinics and clinic managers. I also support clinic managers individually in the districts that I serve. I also held a counselling contract with the City’s Wellness Department, providing support for employees.
Since 2008 I am involved with a similar mentoring programme for the Desmond Tutu TB Centre linked to the University of Stellenbosch. Group support is provided to teams of fieldworkers, counsellors and nursing professionals involved with HIV and TB studies.
From 2006-2011 I supervised and taught M.Th. students specialising in HIV/AIDS counselling at the University of Stellenbosch.
I am registered with the Association for Supportive Counsellors and Holistic Practitioners (ASCHP) as Specialist Wellness Counsellor and with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as Psychometrist.
Counselling: R600.00 p/h
Reiki Treatments: R440.00 p/h
Meditation group: R100.00 (one hour)
Please note that my fees are not covered by Medical Aids.