Frequently Asked Questions

Pick up the phone and speak to her/him.
Ask the therapist if they deal with the issue/s you are struggling with (some psychologists are trained in certain areas and not others)

Ask how they work.
While the therapist may be able to speak to you for a short time on a first phone call, you can hear if you like the way the person responds.

From there, set up a first appointment and in that session see if you feel comfortable with her/him.

Use the following criteria to help decide if the psychologist is a fit for you:

  • Does he/she explain things well to you?
  • Is he/she open to your questions?
  • Is his/her approach caring and professional at the same time?

If not, you can ask for other referrals or look elsewhere.

This is a difficult question to answer straight off.
The therapist will need to make an assessment in the first session or two.

So much depends on your actual problem/s, how long it/they have been around and your support structures.

Are you open to therapy and exploring issues?

In the first session I find out what your main issues and difficulties are.
I ask a few questions to get an overview and history.

We explore what you want to get from the sessions, your expectations, and then I share how I work as a therapist.

If you feel comfortable so far, we set up 3 “assessment” sessions; usually one a week (unless you are in a major crisis).

In the 3rd session we do a summary – how are we doing? Is this what you want? Is it helpful so far?

From there, we look together at some more sessions or decide to end.
So much depends on what you need and want.

This depends on what you are looking for and the nature of your issues.
You may want to “touch base”, get a bit of support and a basic understanding of what is happening.

This may be enough to assist you, and for you to make the changes you need, or to understand certain issues.

You may want to really get to grips with certain issues at a deeper level. You may want to come to terms with difficult relationships, emotions, memories, patterns of behaviour, and so on.

You may want to really get to grips with certain issues at a deeper level. You may want to come to terms with difficult relationships, emotions, memories, patterns of behaviour, and so on.

Usually the longer and deeper the issues/challenges, the more time it can take to understand what is really going on, to get some perspective and to start to ease some of the associated emotions.

This will be different for each person

I start off with the 1st session and then the 3 "assessment" sessions. Then it often unfolds depending on what you want and need. We keep on coming back to this to make sure we are on track.

Some clients will request longer term therapy as they go; this can be from 6 months to a few years.

Most Medical Aids support psychotherapy with a registered Clinical Psychologist.

You need to check:

  1. What Medical Aid you are on
  2. What PLAN /SCHEME within the Medical Aid you are on. (eg Classic Comprehensive plan in Discovery Medical Aid).
  3. Most plans give you an annual limit; most take the amounts from your "daily savings" first.
  4. Some plans have a specific limit for psychotherapy (apart from daily savings).
  5. Some plans have a Wellness department, and a motivation may have to be done to apply for psychotherapy benefits.

It may help to phone your medical aid and ask what the annual benefits are for a Clinical Psychologist, and where they come from in your medical aid.

If you are unsure, please phone me and we can explore how to go about this.

A clinical psychologist does 6 years of training (a masters degree at University) including an internship.

The basic approach is that of talking and exploring issues that are of concern to the client (psychotherapy is often referred to as “the talking cure”).

With “no judgement”, and a neutral yet empathic attitude, the psychologist assists people to address every day concerns and worries, and can include depression, anxiety, stress and other distressing states of mind and emotion (refer to other pages on this website).

This is different for each person.
A psychologist cannot prescribe medication (a Medical Doctor or Psychiatrist can prescribe).

We are ALL in search of greater happiness in our lives.
EVERY person has some challenges or difficulties in their lives.
I believe it takes courage to start to face ourselves, to start to be honest with ourselves and to see if we can make some changes in our lives, or even to accept the difficulties we cannot immediately change.

It is too easy to run away and find distraction in other things (harmful or otherwise).

So if we need some support to start this process, who says this is a weakness? Maybe we need to start to say this is courage and strength!

Techniques and skills can definitely be taught, and at times are essential to our well-being.

These can include how to resolve conflict, how to express ourselves better and assertiveness, dealing with stress and relaxation, anger management, etc.
We are not always taught these skills by our parents or caregivers for many reasons.

Psychotherapy offers a safe place to learn some skills and practice them.