It often takes courage to approach someone you do not know for help with problems that you are struggling with. Together with my clients I have been dealing with life narratives which are problematic in many ways and filled with stories of depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive living and addictions. These “problem-saturated” stories tend to take over people’s lives and attempt to stop them from living their lives in the manner they would prefer.
In my training as a narrative therapist I discovered that it is possible to discover new ways of living without the problem being the driving force in a person’s life. When I have a narrative conversation with people, we discover together how the person’s strengths, abilities, values and commitments may have taken a back seat to the problem and how beliefs and ideas that the person may have, could be supporting the problem. My approach is one of non-blaming and acceptance of the person. I view the problem as separate from the person. To me the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem.
"You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there." - Edwin Louis Cole
What about religion?
Most people consider their religious beliefs or their spirituality as a very important part of their lives. I have had a broad exposure to various religious viewpoints and I welcome the inclusion of a person’s religious or spiritual beliefs in our conversations if and when the person chooses to do so. Therapy is ideal for helping people deal with relationships. As people we have different relationships and someone’s relationship with God in whatever way God is perceived, is one of the important relationships that often has an impact on how a person experiences life.
I mainly work with adults and late adolescents in both English and Afrikaans and I adjust my approach to most effectively deal with the presenting problem. Narrative therapy is one of the approaches I use and in which I completed an internship at the Institute for Therapeutic Development.
CBT: I was trained in CBT at the Centre for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy in association with the Albert Ellis institute in New York. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is an evidence-based, scientifically driven approach toward the treatment of emotional andbehavioural problems. It is highly practical and has been shown to be highly effective in treating a variety of problems, including:
- Anxiety disorders (panic, phobias, OCD, PTSD, GAD)
- Dysfunctional anger and aggression
- Shame, shyness, and assertiveness problems
- Substance abuse
Couples: I was trained in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) by ICEEFT (International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy) and continue with ongoing training under supervision with this institution. My work includes couples in a same-sex relationship.
Emotionally focused couple therapy is a relatively short-term, systematic intervention. EFT is one of the most researched, delineated and empirically-validated approaches in the field of couples therapy. The significant role of emotional communication in the development of relationship distress is acknowledged in this approach. Rather than a focus on resolving content issues, EFT structures small steps to create safe emotional engagement so that partners can move from relational distress to a more secure bond between them.
Why would you see a therapist?
There are many good reasons why you may choose to see a therapist. The following reasons may be included in yours:
- Being in a safe environment where you can share your own personal stories, even though it may be embarrassing, knowing that it will be kept in total confidence.
- Sharing the feeling that something is wrong with you and that you cannot seem to understand what it is. Therapists are trained to approach your concerns in a caring and sensitive manner and to identify any possible serious conditions. Therapy is for people who realise that they may need help and is willing to act on that thought.
- The need to meet with someone who will approach your personal pain and fear of the future in a professional, therapeutic and caring manner.
My practice is in Glen Marais (Kempton Park) and is close to the following areas:
Kempton Park, Benoni, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Bedfordview.
My fees are within the range of most medical aid rates. I also offer sessions outside of standard business hours.