In sessions I want to consider centrally how my patient feels in life, in themselves, their sense of things, the experience they carry. Existential therapy considers how the human condition; being alive as a human being, is complex and naturally does include associated human feelings of anxiety and concern sometimes, and of despondency and despair. We know life can be bleak, and overwhelming; how do we answer that? Thinking through matters in therapy together can be useful and the process can be strengthening.
By becoming more conscious of our own feeling, our intuition, impressions, thoughts and values, we can work towards finding authentic personal reflection, and useful direction in our lives. Congruence in ourselves psychologically is an essential yardstick. In therapy we work to find clarity and conscious awareness.
Self-esteem is like a lens through which we see and operate in the world. Our sense of self is crucial, informing our day to day feeling and functioning. Seeking confidence is perhaps a useless task; searching for authenticity in ourselves, however, is a clearer goal, and practiced consciousness in and of ourselves can slowly work to quell anxiety and depression.
I work with patients in these steps:
- Address the core reason for referral.
- Understand the key mechanisms and contexts underpinning their symptoms.
- Work to build a sound sense of understanding and positioning around core issues and reflexes of the self.
- Maintenance and trouble-shooting as we meet to check progress and address key challenges.
- Acknowledgment of progress and difficulties, philosophical questions, personal reflections.
Areas of focus:
- Anxiety: The feeling of anxiety is usually a general feeling of unease and disquiet internally; a feeling of restlessness, being keyed up or on edge. Muscle tension, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, irritability and fatigue can also be associated with anxiety, as well as a raised physiological response - feeling like butterflies in the stomach. Anxious feelings can take the form of generalised anxiety, social anxiety and panic attacks.
- Panic attacks: Include symptoms of increased heart rate, feeling faint, sweating, panic and a feeling of impending doom, racing thoughts and, or shallow breathing. This human automatic response to stress forms the hyphothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and can be chronically activated in anxiety sufferers.
- Depression: Signs of depression can include: hopelessness, thoughts about death, despair, a feeling of low motivation, dysphoria, indecision, feelings of guilt, low-concentration, insomnia, weight changes, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, and, or sadness, for more than two weeks. Depression demands answering, therapy can assist in this process of addressing our feelings.
- Self-esteem: Our sense of self and of self-trust is essential in all of our life persuits. We come from what we know and have seen in life around us, often that becomes self-directed in ways that are unhelpful, 'knots' as R.D.Laing called them.
- Dream interpretation: Dreams are reflections of the deep mind, I work with patient's associations to images and to the story in dreams.
M.A. (Clin. Psych.) (UCT), B.Soc.Sci. Hons (UCT), B.A. Hons (UCT), B.Soc.Sci. (UCT)
CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST & PSYCHOTHERAPIST
PS0111686 | PR 086 001 0447293
UCT Child Guidance Clinic
Groote Schuur Hospital, Valkenberg Hospital
Private practice established 2012
My MA dissertation was a review of work done at the UCT Child Guidance Clinic between 1997 and 2007, and focused on therapy outcomes, social class and access to services. It was published in the South African Journal of Psychology in 2010. I believe progressive public policy, like universal basic income, is essential in a modern functioning society. I believe that psychotherapy can promote centeredness and mental health.
'Making the unconscious conscious'; being aware of things around you and of your own reactions, thoughts and feelings, is useful psychologically and in life, and is the basis of psychotherapy.