As a therapist, you listen to and observe the distress of others. How people have tried too many times, and failed to make things better. Over time – in my case 35 years – you see humanity unfolding in front of you: In its shame, its anger, its amazing resilience, and its despair. In this blog, I share with you what I have witnessed and what I have learned over the years: How to make sense of distress, and what to do so that life is not so hard, less daunting, and more satisfying. I have worked deliberately to create a style of therapy that feels alive and innovative so that both the person(s) in the room and I could grow and heal.

I worked as a Psychologist and Supervisor at Child and Family Clinics for most of my career; this knowledge and experience are reflected throughout my writing. I always saw a small number of adults privately, supervised and trained other Psychologists for over two decades, and, of course, I am an adult with my own issues. I have a strong interest in dreams and any forms of imagery (metaphor, visual cues signaled by e.g. clothing, posture, collages, clay, etc.) as these speak beyond words and in my opinion, are uniquely able to shift energy. I have written a book on dreams and presented my work at numerous conferences [1] [3]

My interests span anthropology, child development, education, Jungian analysis, longitudinal cross-cultural research in Psychology, psychotherapy, and systems theory. My interests lie in naturally occurring human behaviors (what people do who cope naturally, for example), as demonstrated through longitudinal cross-cultural research, ethnological studies, and my own observations over time. In Psychology it bothers me that mothers are far too often maligned, that fathers and specifically siblings are often marginalised, and that the human body, as well as cultural and Zeitgeist [2] factors are far too seldom taken into account.

Increasingly it strikes me that, so often the difficulties that walk into the consulting room, reflect the dynamics of the times that we live in. Someone once wrote that the dynamics of each period in history play out in the life – and body – of each individual.

  1. The Book of Dreams (Tafelberg, 2004).
  2. From German: Literally, The spirit of our times.
  3. Here is a sample of some of my conference presentations:
  4. 2015   What children play when parents are in distress. The play of young children mirrors their experiences, also of their parents. An audio-visual presentation of the play of a two and half-year-old in the presence of distressed parents, and how this was used to facilitate a deep understanding in the parents.  Gauteng Infant Mental Health Congress, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  5. 2012 Simple tools can be surprisingly effective: An evaluation of children’s experiences of schooling in Namibia. Inter-Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, “Children and Youth in a Changing World”, Bhubaneswar, India.
  6. 2010 Sandplay, Clay & Story Stems: Enhancing maternal sensitivity in caregivers who take care of AIDS orphans. 12th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Leipzig, Germany, June 2010.
  7. 2004 Looking at dreams through a theoretical lens: Dreams reflect the coping strategies and mental state of the dreamer. The 21st International Conference on Dreams, Copenhagen, Denmark.  
  8. 2004 Stories and Healing: The use of stories and dreams to facilitate healing. Two workshops for teachers. International Storytelling Conference, Johannesburg.

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