The Team

Megan Tucker

Educational Psychologist (children and adolescents)

Megan studied her undergrad and postgrad at the University of Pretoria. Megan is registered with the HPCSA and forms part of EPASSA. Megan Is an Educational Psychologist who offers Psychotherapy to children, adolescents and families. She is also passionate about Psycho-Educational, subject choice and career assessments to scholars. She has a special interest in working with children from the ages of 8 to 18.

Therapy

Approach and Values: Megan follows a person-centered approach to therapy as she believes it’s effectiveness is closely linked to a holistic approach, supporting the entire person (person, thoughts and psyche) and encourages people to actualise their own goals and values.

 She furthermore makes use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic techniques, as she believes that when addressing destructive thoughts, beliefs and behaviours, any attempts to combat the negative modes need to be accompanied by explicit efforts to create new thought patterns and behaviours. She is also interactionally trained, which provides information about a person’s interactional style. This assists in effectively targeting therapy. She also makes use of Brain Spotting which assists in revealing a client’s unprocessed traumas through fixed eye positions.

Key areas of interest
  • Psychotherapy for adolescents
    • anxiety
    • stress
    • depression
    • self esteem
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • School readiness assessments, career guidance/assessments
  • Subject choice assessments
  • IEB and GDE assessment

Avashni Ramnath

Speech-Language Therapist (All ages)

Avashni qualified at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal – Westville with a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Therapy and is registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and is a member of SASLHA.  Avashni has a dual qualification (Speech-Language Therapist and Audiologist), however is not practising as an audiologist at present.

Avashni worked for many years in Durban, before relocating to Johannesburg in 2011.

Her experience includes:

  • assessments
  • facilitating home programmes,
  • providing consultation to teachers,
  • parent in-service training,
  • teacher in-service training
  • therapy with both children and adults.

 Key areas of interest:

  • Speech sound errors (articulation)
  • Understanding and use of language in the oral and written form
  • Language processing
  • Literacy based therapy (reading & spelling)
  • Stuttering (both child & adult)
  • Voice (both child and adult)

 Avashni works well as part of a multidisciplinary team, and is open to sharing ideas and learning from others.

Irene Hatzipapas

Counselling Psychologist
(Adults, Couples Therapy and Trauma related support)

Irene is a qualified Counselling Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and with the Board of Healthcare Funders. In addition, she is affiliated with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

Irene completed her master’s degree at the University of Pretoria. She has worked  extensively in corporate wellness clinics as well as in private practice. She has a preferred interest in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and has attended numerous interactive groups in this regard. Furthermore, she has an interest to explore alternative and empirically researched methods to help alleviate mental health distress. In this regard, her dissertation for her master’s degree was exploring the possible benefits of laughter therapy as an adjunct intervention to alleviate distress.

Irene’s passion is to help individuals to cope and adapt to the continuous changing world in order to perform optimally in their communities and work place. Her aim is to offer individuals and couples a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space where change and meaning can be explored and facilitated. She respects the uniqueness of individuals and therefore she tailors each therapy to meet the individual presenting challenge. Irene integrates elements from numerous approaches including, but not limited to, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Client Centred Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness Based Therapy and Brain Working Recursive Therapy Level 2 (BWRT)

Areas of interest:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression (Mood Disorders )
  • Trauma
  • Bereavement and Grief
  • Couple therapy (International training with Gottman Institute in USA)
  • Stress Management
  • Life Transitions and Adjustments
  • Personal Growth and development

Dr. Helga-Wendy Bensusan

Chiropractor

Dr. Helga-Wendy Bensusan graduated with a master’s degree in Chiropractic from the University of Johannesburg. She received an invitation to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. She is registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) as well as the Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA).

Dr Bensusan is a family chiropractor with an interest in sports, as she competed in the South African Athletics Championships. She represented the University of Johannesburg at University Sport South Africa as well as at Varsity Cup Athletics.

Dr Bensusan is passionate about the well-being of others and strives to improve their quality of life. She enjoys working with people and supporting them to reach their full potential.

Daniellé dos Reis

Counselling Psychologist
(Adults, Couples, Adolescents)

Daniellé completed her Master’s in Community-based Counselling Psychology at the University of Witwatersrand and is a qualified Counselling Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and with the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF).

Daniellé has extensive experience in working with young adults in a tertiary setting. She is passionate about promoting mental health and well-being among young adults and adolescents because mental health is crucial for healthy development to ensure adolescents and young adults develop into confident, independent, and healthy adults. Good mental health among adolescents and young adults is essential and aids in the development of positive communication, emotional, and social behaviours and skills.

Daniellé values the therapeutic relationship between the individual and the therapist and believes that it plays a crucial role in the therapeutic process. Therefore, she aims to strengthen the therapeutic relationship by creating a space that is safe, empathetic, genuine, non-judgemental, and respectful.

Additionally, Daniellé believes that each individual is unique, experiencing and understanding their circumstances, challenges, and lived experiences differently. Therefore, she takes an eclectic approach by drawing on relevant techniques from evidence-based therapeutic modalities to tailor therapy specifically to address the individual’s needs including, but not limited to, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Person Centre Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy.

Areas of interest:

  • Adjustment and life transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Psychoeducational workshops
  • Psychoeducational assessments

Jessica Saieva

Registered Counsellor
(Toddlers, adolescents and Adults)

Jessica completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in educational psychology at Stellenbosch University, where she was awarded the Dean’s Award and Rector’s Award for Academic Excellence. She is a Registered Counsellor, and is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She is also a member of the Educational Psychology Association of South Africa (EPASSA); South African Association of Infant Mental Health Association (ZAIMH); the World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH); and the Golden Key International Honours Society.

 

Therapy

Jessica has always had a special interest in and passion for early childhood development, and becoming a mother to a former preemie and NICU graduate, she gained first-hand insight into how specific developmental challenges and early life experiences impact the lives of children and their caregivers. She is passionate about early intervention, child development, attachment work, and parenting.

Jessica has a special interest in maternal and infant mental, and how this influences infant

development, and the parent-infant attachment. Work within the field of infant mental health

explores the emotional, social and psychological development of infants and young children (from conception to 3 years). This may include general parenting support, such as that related to potty training and weaning, to more complex issues, such as feeding or excessive crying. This also includes parent-infant work, which is a supportive, gentle, and non-threatening approach to counselling. The counselling space allows for parents and their babies or toddlers are able to relax in a non-judgemental space, and the parent is included throughout the process.

Within the field of parental mental health, Jessica works with parents as they adapt to the changes and transitions of parenthood. This may include managing feelings of anxiety and stress, and developing adaptive coping strategies, whilst activating supportive resources. Sometimes, the infant may be present in the session in order to continue to facilitate the attachment bond and development; however, the space may also be utilised as a ‘safe haven’ purely for caregivers. Jessica also supports individuals and couples who are currently experiencing or experienced infant loss, fertility treatments, and adoption, as well as adapting and learning new parenting approaches as your child grows.

    Siyanda Msibi

    Counselling Psychologist
    (Individual, Adolescent, Couples Therapy. LGBTIQA+ friendly. Career Counselling and Assessment.)

    Siyanda is a Masters graduate, having completed her qualification in the field of Community-based Counselling Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy and is a Board Certified Counselling Psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Although trained in Psychodynamic therapy, she is equipped at using an integrative approach by employing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy techniques (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Techniques into therapeutic work with clients, based on their needs, goals, background, and context. 

    Siyanda believes that although individuals may share similar experiences in life and be able to relate to each other, that the impact and manifestation of thoughts, emotions, beliefs and ideas surrounding their experiences, are completely unique. This requires both flexibility and structure, skills that are used to navigate the process with her clients. 

    Life can also get away with us and may make it difficult to keep in touch with YOURSELF (whoever that is, whatever that looks like) and that is why the concept of taking care of yourself/myself is important; be it spiritually (religion, nature, art, etc), physically (picnicking, hiking or gym), mentally (reading, puzzle making, journaling) and emotionally (talking, drawing, music, etc). 

    “I enjoy spending time doing activities that fulfil the playful and creative parts of me and remind my clients that even among all the stressors and worries in life, there can be relief (not just on scheduled holidays or ‘leave days’. Working with and learning from the experiences of others allows me to learn more about what diversity truly embodies. I believe that all persons have the right to find what makes them as unique as they are and to embrace that.” _Motto 

    Not all problems have the same solutions and not all solutions share the same paths. Not all things and situations in our lives are as simple and seemingly straightforward as we are made to believe; I understand the complexities and sensitivities of this and am here for it.

     Special areas of interest

    • Depression & Anxiety 
    • Stress Management 
    • Grief & Bereavement 
    • LGBTIQA+ friendly 
    • Self & identity (cultural complexities) 
    • Career guidance & Assessment 
    • Psycho-education workshops

      Zandile Dimakatso Seleme

      Drama Therapist
      (Children, adolescents and adults)

      Drama Therapy
      Zandile Dimakatso obtained her Master in Drama Therapy from University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in 2017.
      Drama Therapy is the application of dramatic and/ or theatrical methods with the sole intention of providing symptomic relief. An oblique approach is utilised to offer clients enough distance in relation to presenting concerns affecting their mental health to shift perspective and gain awareness of their agency in being authors of their lives. The experiential process affords clients to rehearse desired transformation in each unfolding moments. They become reflexive by engaging divergent thinking and creativity on how affect influence their cognition in being able to attain anticipated outcomes in their lives. Drama therapy can be offered to children, adolescents and adults . Clients tend to respond well to treatment and attest to personal development.

      Experience
      Zandile serves as an associate lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand, training aspiring drama therapists to apply social justice principles when they work with individuals in difficult environments. She is an experienced researcher, with knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative approaches in research. She applies Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) in extracting themes to make meaning of critical human experiences. She has a keen interest in the application of Trauma-informed approach from an African spiritual perspective and contemplative practices in providing therapeutic process within Drama Therapy. She firmly believes that health should be contextualised for individuals to gain access.

      Zandile has experience in providing psychoeducational interventions and devising Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tools for children, adolescents and adults. She offered such interventions to stakeholder and stateactors in the legal and justice system. Recently, she designed a psychoeducational workshop series- funded by the French Embassy- for Early Childhood Development (ECD) which focused on the relationship between bullying and gender stereotypes. She also has five-year experience as a programme manager at Lawyers against Abuse. Additionally, she offers Master classes to healthcare practioners on sexuality, gender and reproductive health so they may be able to be sensitive and compassionate to their client’s needs and environment.

      Approach and values
      Zandile has almost seven years of experience as trauma-informed practitioner- working in a culturally-sensitive ethos with children, adolescents and adults: primarily females and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Most of her experience has been honed under a precarious socioeconomic context in Diepsloot, which is resource-constrained. She gained insight into the value of critical reflexive thinking based on an integrated approach (Psychodynamic, person-centred, gestalt, postmodernism- intersectional feminism and system theories) regarding individuals within their context and system, so that they are optimally supported to enhance their wellbeing and improve their quality of life. She is led by a human-rights approach in her praxis.

      Key focuses
      Individual, couple, family and group
      ●mood disorders
      ● neurocognitive impairment
      ●identity transition (sexuality, gender, race, spirituality, divorce, chronic illness and LGBTQIA+)
      ● trauma
      ● substance abuse
      ● personality psychopathology
      ●anger management
      ●grief/loss
      ●HIV/ AIDS