Honouring Nurses on International Nurses Day

Bridging the Gap: Honouring Nurses on International Nurses Day 2024 “Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care.” As we celebrate International Nurses Day this year, the theme “Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care.” resonates deeply, urging us to reflect on the invaluable contribution of nurses and the critical role they play in shaping our collective … Read More

Improving the mental health of unemployed healthcare workers

🌟 Attention to Unemployed Healthcare Professionals in South Africa: Elevate Your Emotional Resilience, One Cup of Coffee at a Time 🌟   đź©ş Are You Prepared to Cultivate Your Emotional Wellness? This invaluable opportunity beckons to recently qualified South African healthcare practitioners who find themselves amid a period of unemployment, inviting them to invest in and fortify their mental fortitude. … Read More

Recognizing Your Courage: Steps to Therapy Success

Navigating the Therapy Journey: 7 Steps to Courage and Success Embarking on the therapy journey can feel like stepping into the unknown, but each stride forward is an act of courage and self-awareness. It’s not just about reaching the therapist’s office; it’s about recognizing your strength in taking those initial steps towards healing. Let’s delve into the seven crucial stages … Read More

The Power of Words in Trauma Recovery

Introduction: The Impact of Words on Trauma Recovery When it comes to healing from trauma, the journey can be significantly influenced by the words and comments of those around us, often in ways we might not anticipate. In my experience, remarks from family, friends, or colleagues—though well-intentioned—can sometimes create barriers rather than bridges to recovery. This was notably evident in … Read More

Best Hopes Intervention: A Beacon of Hope for Senior Medical Students at Stellenbosch University

Introduction: Unveiling the Best Hopes Intervention In July and August 2023, I launched trial interventions targeting burnout and amplifying emotional well-being among senior medical students at Stellenbosch University. Each session, tailored for 3-5 MBChB IV-VI students, featured three hour-long discussions rooted in Solution Focused Brief Therapy principles.   Positive Shifts in Emotional Well-being My primary objective was to fortify emotional … Read More

Healing from Religious Trauma and Abuse: Rebuilding Faith and Spirituality

Introduction Religion has been a cornerstone of human civilization for millennia, providing solace, guidance, and a sense of purpose to countless individuals. However, as with any powerful force, religion can be used to harm rather than heal. In recent years, the discussion around religious trauma and abuse has gained prominence, shedding light on the psychological consequences it can have on … Read More

Hookah pipe use among adolescents

This is a summary of the health concerns and contributory factors cited in the article, Zainab Kader, Rik Crutzen & Nicolette Roman | (2020) Intervention to reduce adolescent hookah pipe use and satisfy basic psychological needs, Cogent Psychology, 7:1, 1782099, DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2020.1782099 Hookah Pipe Use: A Major Public Health Concern for Adolescents Hookah pipe use poses a significant threat to … Read More

Challenges and help during adolescence

Time of rapid change Adolescence is a challenging time for both teenagers and their families. It is a time when young people are developing rapidly, both physically and emotionally, and facing a range of new experiences and pressures. While many teenagers navigate this time successfully, others may struggle with the challenges of adolescence and may benefit from therapy or counselling. … Read More

Strong evidence that shift work can cause cancer

The Health Risks of Shift Work Shift work has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, dementia, poor mental health and generally a higher chance of death. This is particularly alarming for medical professionals, who work long hours and may have to work late nights and early mornings. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 20% … Read More

Choosing a therapist and type of therapy

Some guiding questions on choosing a therapist and type of therapy.   What does the therapist’s approach or philosophy say/ imply about you as client? What does the type of therapy / therapeutic approach imply about you as client?   Are you seen as someone who is capable of change? Do you feel empowered by the therapist’s approach, philosophy and … Read More

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)?   The Solution Focused Universe (SFU) Training Organisation, the world’s biggest training institution, that I have been part of since its inception, made the following statement: Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a therapeutic approach that was developed by Steve de Shazer, Insoo Kim Berg, and their colleagues in the 1980’s. SFBT is … Read More

Psychological counselling / therapy

Psychological counselling / therapy Part I What is psychological counselling or therapy? In essence it is a conversation between two or more people. Sometimes psychological counselling is also referred to as talk-therapy. The reason for the existence of this term is that there are also other therapies alleviating mental health problems or improving general mental health. As an example of … Read More

What Is Trauma?

traumatized man crying

I am overjoyed that you have discovered this post, and I have high hopes that it will prove useful to you in the course of your investigation. In the next paragraphs, we are going to discuss traumatic experiences. What exactly is trauma? Therefore, a traumatic event is nothing more than an emotional reaction to something upsetting, distressing, and overpowering. It’s … Read More

Depression Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

feeling of depression symptoms and how to cope with it

Depression is a serious mental illness that can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. According to the World Health Organization, depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. While it is important to seek professional help if you think you may be depressed, there are also some symptoms that you can look out for. … Read More

Change without understanding?

Popular wisdom posits that in order for change to occur in problematic behaviour, emotions or thoughts, we first need to understand or find the reason behind the problem. One of the masters in the therapeutic approach I use (Solution Focused Brief Therapy), Chris Iveson, explains best why this is not the case and why the “how” question if often way … Read More

Debriefing and rebriefing

Third wave? Many healthcare workers are heaving a sigh of relief after the first 2 waves of Covid-19. At the same time many are struggling due to moral injury, burn-out, depression, anxiety or PTSD. In what ways can debriefing and “rebriefing” help? You can familiarise yourself with the concept of burn-out, by reading this previous blog post: https://www.helderbergcounselling.co.za/counselling-approach/counselling-for-burnout/ Although anyone … Read More

Helpful questions for healthcare workers during the second wave of Covid-19 in SA

Helpful questions for healthcare workers during the second wave of Covid-19 in SA can guide them in creating individualized meaning and coping. Now, during this second wave of Covid-19 in South Africa, healthcare workers are really struggling. The death toll, lack of resources, workload, staff shortages because of Covid-19 positive colleagues, personal risk, risk to the family, denial of (the … Read More

Toolbox approach to therapy

This is my take on the toolbox approach to therapy/counselling. Master of all trades? Recently I added my practice details to two psychology service directories. Before I decided on these specific two, I looked at the profiles of currently subscribed members. In order to get an idea of what these directories offer. I was astounded by the number of therapies … Read More

The unintended consequence of labeling frontline workers as “heroes”

This piece is not based on research unless specifically mentioned. Rather, this is a reflection based on my personal counselling sessions and informal discussions with front-line medical workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Appreciation for service I am sure that front-line medical professionals are thankful for the public’s appreciation for their service. However, this labeling of front-line medical workers as “heroes”, has … Read More

No pain, no gain?

Does “No pain no gain” also apply to therapy/ counselling? Does it need to become worse before it can become better? During the Covid-19 pandemic many therapists needed to move their practices online. Consequently, new procedures and protocol needed to be put in place. Most importantly, to regulate this type of therapy. To communicate these procedures and protocol to clients, … Read More