Samuel Waumsley
Clinical psychologist, Cape Town

Samuel Waumsley, Clinical Psychologist

M.A. Clin. Psych. (UCT)


Bishop Rd, Observatory

084 350 2102

50 minute psychotherapy session offered via online platform

I am a registered clinical psychologist in private practice in Observatory on the slopes of Devil's Peak. I practice psychotherapy and have a special interest in self esteem, anxiety and depression. I work with my patients on their situation as a whole, considering their experience as central. Therapy is a process of discussion, consideration and problem-solving.

Approach to therapy

I have an overall 'existential psychology' approach to therapy, that is also integrative using psychoanalyticpsychodynamic, and relational theory. My approach to treatment considers centrally how my patient feels; looking squarely and in-focus also at their thoughts, opinions, at their pasts and present, and at the conclusions they may have come to in their experience of life so far.

Becoming more conscious and open as well as nurturing of our impressions, selves, feelings, perspectives and thoughts; the 'psycho-emotional', the intuitive, the felt, is fundamental in finding better control and personal power in our lives.

Areas of interest and experience

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-consciousness
  • Fears of meaninglessness
  • Wellness
  • Setting boundaries/ assertiveness
  • Parent and child family therapy
  • Dream analysis
  • Self-calming
  • Online therapy
  • Long-term therapy

Personal well-being

Personal and psychological well-being is our natural state, our default, but things happen that disconcert; things can sometimes go wrong, in our lives, in the world, in our families, even a generation ago, that impact us so heavily -as children but also as adults- that our stance psychologically is changed and sometimes determined by these experiences of stress, and trauma. Therapy is a formal way of addressing these core personal stories and traumas that we carry and the symptoms that they manifest.


  • The feeling of anxiety is associated with the 'fight or flight' (and freeze) reflex we have in response to danger and threat; it's automatic and happens faster than our eyes can show us the threat; adrenaline is released before we are conscious we have registered something is a threat. This is called the 'hyphothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis', and this HPA axis can be 'chronically activated' in anxiety sufferers. Resolving and talking through and discussing the concerns that usually sit beneath anxiety feelings with someone you trust can help to address these symptoms.

  • Sigmund Freud, originator of modern psychotherapy said depression was the 'psyche' or our psychological-emotional mind, finding itself hitting a dead-end, and so when we feel depressed it's our unconscious psyches giving us a sense of being stuck, and that this path or state of affairs is not feeling good, in our lives, and we can't keep doing the same thing. That said depression is dangerous, to our psychological health and physiological health, and constitutes a fundamental challenge to the self to grapple with that's very difficult and that needs to be taken seriously.  

'Making the unconscious conscious', and being aware of not only things around you, but your own reactions, automatic responses and thoughts is very useful and the basis of 'talk therapy/ psychotherapy. 

I work with patients in these steps:

  1. Address the core reason for their referral 
  2. Understand the key mechanisms and contexts underpinning their symptom cluster 
  3. Work to build a sound sense of self, opinion and stance around core issues and reflexes of the self 
  4. Maintenance and trouble-shooting as we meet to check progress and address key challenges 
  5. Acknowledgment of progress and difficulties, philosophical questions, personal reflections

Therapy can be brief work focused on one issue or dilemma, or more long-term at 20 sessions or more where a longer-term process psychologically is scaffolded. I work centrally with adults. Anxiety, depression and self-esteem are my key areas of focus. I am 'client-centered' in terms of practice and tailor-make my therapeutic intervention to each patient.