Clinical Psychologist

By: Nicolas van Zyl - Clinical Psychologist  09-10-2012
Keywords: Personal Coaching, Family Counselling, Depression Counselling


Individual psychotherapy aims to bring about changes in problematic behaviour by intervening on the level of individual client-therapist interactions. The psychotherapist seeks to identify the factors that either cause or maintain the client's problem and to help the client change these factors through one or a number of therapeutic approaches.

These approaches include:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) - CBT is a structured approach that seeks to bring about individual change by identifying and changing problematic beliefs and patterns of thinking that a client holds about the world and themselves. It is assumed that such distorted beliefs and thought patterns are the basis for the psychological problems that individuals suffer.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy - Psychodynamic therapy is less structured and operates on the assumption that psychological problems are rooted in traumatic childhood experiences and memories that have been suppressed in the unconscious mind before they were adequately dealt with. This approach therefore seeks to recover these unconscious memories and deal with them appropriately so that individual change may occur.
  • Family Systems Therapy - Family therapy works on the assumption that individual problems are caused by problematic family interactions and therefore aims to make individual family members aware of how they contribute to each others' and their own problems and to facilitate healthier communication between family members.
  • Narrative Therapy - Narrative psychotherapy assumes that individual problems are caused by the way individuals make sense or meaning of the events in their lives. Therapy then aims to help the individual discover new ways of looking at difficult events in their lives so that they are no longer problematic to the individual client.

  • The aim of couples therapy is to help couples work through issues that impact negatively on their relationship. These issues may include destructive communication patterns, infidelity, conflict, sexual and intimacy difficulties, divorce, etc.

  • Group Therapy

    Group therapy works on the basis of doing psychotherapy with a group of unrelated people dealing with more or less similar difficulties. The therapist acts as a facilitator and group members share their experiences of coping with their problems. The advantage of group therapy is that each participant gets inputs from various other individuals suffering from similar problems and group members get to learn ways of coping from each other.

  • Hypnosis

    Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique in which a client's state of consciousness is altered to the extent that interfering external stimuli are tuned out. The hypnotic state is similar to a state of meditation/inner focus and allows the therapist to facilitate change through the use of suggestions.

Keywords: Alcohol Abuse, Clinical Psychology, couples therapy, Depression Counselling, Drug Abuse, Drug Rehab, Family Counselling, Individual Therapy, Marriage Counselling, Personal Coaching, Substance Abuse, Trauma Counselling, Trauma Debriefing