I’m Behaviour Therapists, and a licensed Clinical Psychologist. My practice has a strong focus on assisting individuals with obsessive compulsive spectrum conditions/disorder. This includes body based repetitive behaviours (BBRB's) such as hair pulling (Trichotillomania) and skin picking. I also assist individuals who present on the tic-spectrum, including Tourettes. I also work with the full presentation of "anxiety disorders" and also help individuals with functional health conditions such as irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, chronic pain and tinnitus. I also assist individuals who suffer from dizziness conditions (of psychogenic origin).
I have been working as a clinical psychologist since 1997. I work with individuals, children, adolescents and families. I do occasionally see couples. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Behavioural Therapy are the main paradigms I employ.
Integrating evidence based behavioural science with millennia old contemplative technologies
I have been registered as a clinical psychologist since 2007 and completed my degree from the University of Witwatersrand with distinction. I went on to complete my PhD in Psychiatry at the University of Stellenbosch obtaining the degree in 2015. My study examined the neurocognitive, genetic and neurobiological antecedents of social anxiety disorder within the context of early developmental trauma. During this time I lectured neuroanatomy to third year audiologist students and also began a neuropsychology practice firstly with Keelie Smith and then Dr Katherine James. I lastly completed a Masters degree in Buddhism Studies with distinction, with a focus on psychological aspects of Buddhist Technologies. My thesis examined the syncretisation of focusing therapy and Zen.
I am registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and I have been a board member of the South African Chapter of the Association of Contextual and Behavioural Sciences.
RESEARCH BACKGROUND AND ACADEMIC WORK
Science, teaching and innovation
I have published several articles on social anxiety disorder, early developmental trauma, genetics and neuroimaging in psychiatry and psychology journals. I am also involved in research using virtual reality (VR) to treat a number of anxiety disorders and phobias with Dr Stefan du Plessis at the University of Stellenbosch. These studies are also examining various psychophysiological assessments of stress and anxiety. I had the privilege of working with Prof Petrus de Vries and Dr Liezl Schlebusch on a WHO study assisting caregivers of children with developmental disorders (including children with autism spectrum disorder). I facilitated the training in ACT and was involved with the initial publication of findings. I have also published a book chapter with colleagues on the effects of digital technologies on adolescent mental health and the delivery of mindfulness based interventions through digital technologies for mental health.
I have been appointed as an honorary senior lecturer at the The University of Cape Town, since supervising registrar psychiatrists, since 2015, at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (DCAP) at Red Cross Children's Hospital. In addition I teach the University of Cape Town Clinical Psychology cognitive behaviour therapy program to first year Masters students.
I also supervise colleague clinical psychologists and psychiatrists and provide training in behavioural therapy.
ZEN BUDDHISM AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Contemplative practices and Zen in psychotherapy
I am a member of the Zen Garland order and a Dharma practitioner. I bring various contemplative technologies into my behavioural therapy practice. In addition I have regular contact with my teacher and mentor, where I sit Dokusan. As part of meditation and body awareness practices, I cultivate Kyudo (Japanese Archery), were I have travelled to Japan to learn and grade. As a process based behavioural therapist, I have discovered many overlaps and synergies between the meditative/awareness technologies and current contemporary behaviour therapy techniques and processes.
Behavioural science, neuroscience and innovation
My past has been filled with other adventures and explorations. I have been an entrepreneur in the startup space. Exiting a fairly successful business to focus more on my family, my work as a psychologist and Zen practices. I have also supervised Masters and Doctoral student research projects, mainly in the faculty of commerce, in consumer neuroscience. I have handed this off to colleagues and been involved in the Academic Board of Red & Yellow Private University. In addition I have consulted for Employee Assistance Programs within the corporate sector. Currently I remain a director of the startup, but silent in its operations. I have also been involved in other startups, offering training to psychologists and other health care providers (Contextually Conscious Inc).