Psychoanalytic work in South Africa today Conference 2016


welcome address
Welcome from the SAPC

On behalf of the SAPC we are pleased to welcome you to this our first Conference.

The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation was formed in 2009 joining together over 50 groups representing a diverse range of Psychoanalytic paradigms, practices and settings with a common commitment to a Psychoanalytic approach to the broader mental health of all people of South Africa.

Besides the interlocking economic, structural, social and psychological conditions consequent on our traumatic and troubled history, the prevalence of mental illness, especially depression, has increased in SA. This troubling fact, coupled with the poor state of mental health services in SA, has had a further adverse effect on not only the mentally ill adults, but also those most vulnerable – children, the elderly and postnatal others. There is an urgent need for mental health interventions that respond meaningfully and sustainably to these present conditions as well as preventing further deterioration of our nation’s mental health and resource provision.

We believe that the Psychoanalytic paradigm is such a sustainable alternative. Traditionally Psychoanalytic work is associated with individual work in the consulting room but for many years internationally Psychoanalytic clientele have diversified beyond the individual to couples, groups and communities and its settings have increasingly moved out beyond the therapy room, hence the title of the conference “Couch and Country”.  Rather than merely the obvious symptoms and behaviour our work focuses on the deeper structural issues that underlie individual and social difficulties. What is applied in common to all of these approaches is a depth of understanding of human emotions, behaviour and relatedness.

The SAPC constitution mandates us to

  • Promote and broaden access to psychoanalytically oriented therapy
  • Foster the growth of psychoanalytic thinking, studies, training and research in an African context
  • Foster dialogue with the public health sector and the general public sector, including the relevant professional statutory bodies.
  • Promote cooperation between component organizations.
  • Promote the maintenance of high standards of training, practice and ethical conduct hold Congresses.

We are happy to say that this, our first conference, fulfils all of these aims as well as offering us an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the rich and diverse work of SAPC members and the impact and reach that psychoanalytic thinking is having across all levels of mental health care.

We look forward to sharing our psychoanalytic work and having the opportunity to dialogue with you. We are pleased to share with you our work, our friendship, our hope for fruitful dialogue and ideas to take our psychoanalytic profession and work, forward into the future.

Thank you all for coming and a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to arrange this historic occasion.



SAPC 2016


CHAIR – Irene Chait


SECRETARY – Nicolette Jordan

TREASURER – Dr Nicola Dugmore

 BOOK DISPLAY –Nicolette Jordan and Trevor Lubbe

 POSTER CO-ORDINATORS – Bea Wirz and Siobhan Sweeney

MEDIA (COG) – Enzo Sinisi and Candice Dumas

 MARKETING – Dr Manie Vujovic, Dain Peters and Jenny Twiggs

 WEBSITE – Michelle Scott

 CONSULTANTS – Geordie Pilkington and Mireille Landman




Armien Abrahams

 Armien Abrahams, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in private practice. Qualified Clinical Psychologist. Trained at UCT graduating with MA Clinical Psychology. Trained in Psychoanalysis graduating with MSc from Trinity College Dublin. Registered with HPCSA. Registration number: PS003680.

Principal Clinical Psychologist worked in Dublin for 20 years as head of Psychology Department. Special interests: Adults and Asperger’s: autism spectrum.


Umesh Bawa

 Umesh Bawa is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.  He also serves as a senior team member on key community-engaged research projects led by the University of South Africa’s Institute for Social and Health Sciences. He has worked in the fields of violence rehabilitation, trauma and human rights in South Africa, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Chile. He has served on the Council for the International Society for Health and Human Rights. He is chair of the Ethics Committee of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), the national psychology association in South Africa. His research, training and clinical interests are in the areas of the psychological effects of violence on children, trauma counselling, the re-integration of ex-combatants and child soldiers in post-conflict countries, and safety and peace promotion.


Astrid Berg

Astrid Berg is a Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist as well as a Jungian Analyst. She is an Emerita Professor at the University of Cape Town and A/Professor Extraordinary at the Stellenbosch University. She consults to and teaches at the Parent-Infant Mental Health Services and Child Psychiatry Divisions at both Universities and is involved in the newly established M Phil degree in Infant Mental Health at Stellenbosch University


Philippa Colinese

Dr Philippa Colinese, Psychiatrist and Jungian Analyst, member of SAAJA and IAAP, currently in private practice in Cape Town, serving on the Assessment and Review Committee of SAAJA (South African Association of Jungian Analysts). I am involved in training and supervising volunteers in Expressive Sandwork in Hanover Park, Cape Town


Katharine Louise Frost

 Katharine Louise Frost is an Educational Psychologist, the Director of Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust and a member of the IPCP. Katharine was the Head of the Ububele Parent-Infant Programme. A position she held for 10 years. She developed the Baby Mat Project and has parent and infant mental health as an area of specialty and focus. She has trained and supervised professional and lay counsellors who work in the infant mental health field. Katharine has authored several articles on the Infant Mental Health interventions at Ububele and she has presented Ububele’s work at local and international conferences. She is in the process of completing the IPCP Diploma in Therapeutic Communication with Children.


John Gosling

 John Gosling, trained as a psychiatrist in Cape Town and then moved to New York in 1982 where he spent twenty-two years and trained as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. He repatriated back to Cape Town in 2004. From 2011-2015 he was president of SAAJA. He is also a SAAJA training analyst and has presented seminars both locally and abroad


Lauren Gower

 Lauren Gower is a clinical psychologist and Sapi member who heads up a research group for the IPCP.


Margaret Green

Margaret Green is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who trained in London at the Arbours Association. After qualifying she went into private practice and joined the staff of The Women’s Therapy Centre when it opened in 1976.  After almost 30 years of living and working as a psychotherapist, and as a supervisor and teacher at the Arbours and at the Bowlby Centre, she returned to South Africa in 1999.

She became a staff member of the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture in Cape Town in 2001 and worked there for almost 10 years, counseling survivors of criminal, domestic and political violence as well as refugees.

She is currently in private practice, is a member of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self-Psychology Group, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).

For over 40 years she has been a teacher of Re-Evaluation Co-counselling – a method of peer counselling and leadership training used by an international network of social activists.


David Hadley

 David Hadley is a UK based, child and adolescent psychotherapist. He trained at the Tavistock Clinic and was a consultant in the British National Health Service for many years.

In 2013 he spent a year in South Africa as a volunteer, based at Ububele, providing supervision and training of psychotherapists and other professionals in a range of settings working with children and adolescents. He has returns to South Africa annually to work for a month, consults to a range of child based organisations, and continues to provide remote supervision via Skype with a particular focus on children who have suffered developmental trauma.


Sue Hawkridge

 Dr Sue Hawkridge is a Fellow of the South African College of Psychiatrists and a registered child and adolescent psychiatrist. She is the clinical head of the child and adolescent psychiatry unit of Tygerberg Hospital, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University and Clinical Associate in the Department of Psychology at Rhodes University. Her interests include early onset schizophrenia, paediatric psychopharmacology, child and adolescent forensic psychiatry, and community-based child psychotherapy.


Hayley Haynes-Rolando

 Hayley Haynes-Rolando is an Educational Psychologist, and staff member of Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust, working on various projects within the organisation. She is a member of a research group for the IPCP.


Shahieda Jansen

 Shahieda Jansen, specializes in masculinized personal growth and transformation. With an Ubuntu-inspired strengths-based ideological style she facilitates the development of an explicit male-friendly culture in which participants risk “fishing inwards” to achieve deeper behaviour change without disruption of their ‘man code’.

She was the manager of the Student Counselling Service of the University of the Western Cape from 2008 – 2016 where she coordinated the psychological and broader developmental needs of the student community as well as supervised and trained masters level psychology interns.


Her special area of interest is the application of psychological principles for the enhancement of peak performances personally and professionally. She excels at diversity and transformation work and some of her most successful interventions have been with those who seek self-mastery in sport. She facilitated the life coaching program of the top performing UWC rugby team during 2013. She acted as the official sport psychologist for the WPA Middle Distance Training Camp held at UWC 6-10 January 2014. She also served as the sports psychologist to the sport coaches of the various sporting codes at the University of the Western Cape.

Her PhD topic focused on the emotional experiences of participants of male-only psychotherapy groups.

Currently she is the deputy director of Learning and Technology Unisa Western Cape region


Sharon Johnson

 Sharon Johnson is completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Psychology Department of Stellenbosch University. Her Masters and PhD mixed-methods research focused on interventions to alleviate the stress and burnout of teachers in high-risk schools and those dealing with HIV/Aids. Her research examined transpersonal psychology techniques and evolutionary insights into the brain’s response to threat. Her post-doctoral focus was on qualitative participatory action research for teacher and staff wellness in a youth care centre and high-risk secondary school. Dr Johnson is a senior lecturer in the Psychology Department of Cornerstone Institute, a non-profit higher education institute, and runs a private practice as a registered counsellor.


Yael Kadish

 Dr Yael Kadish is a clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in the department of psychology at Wits. She is a member of both the M. Clin programme and the PHD including publication, teams.  She is also an advanced candidate in psychoanalytic training. Yael is the lead researcher of the research group PROWISS at Wits. She has published several papers in International journals and has presented her work at International conferences. Yael is also a member of the SAPC ethics advisory committee.


Amanda Kottler

Amanda Kottler (M.A. Clinical Psychology), previously been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, has been in full time private practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist since 1998.  She has lectured at Stellenbosch University from time to time. She has published predominantly on the issues of “Difference”, “Intersubjectivity” and “Twinship”, and presented at numerous South African and International Conferences.  She is a founding and Faculty member of and the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group, Emeritus Council Member of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, and an International Editor of both the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and Psychoanalytic Inquiry. With Routledge, New York, she recently published as second author “Kohut’s Twinship Across Cultures: The Psychology of Being Human”


Lou Marie Kruger

 Professor Lou-Marie Kruger, obtained a M.Soc.Sci. (Political Studies) from the University of Cape Town (1989) and a M.A. and Ph.D (Clinical Psychology) from Boston University (1996). She completed an American Psychological Association accredited internship for Clinical Psychology at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical School (July 1995 – June 1996). She co-ordinated the postgraduate programme in Clinical Psychology and Community Counselling at Stellenbosch University in South Africa for 13 years (2000-2013) and is currently still teaching and supervising in the programme. In her research, she focuses on the emotional worlds of low-income South African mothers, utilising mainly psychoanalytic, feminist and postmodern theoretical frameworks.


Wahbie Long

 Wahbie Long, PhD, is a senior lecturer and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychology at UCT. He is a Mandela Mellon Fellow of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, a member of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Indigenous Psychology, and the 2016 recipient of the Early Career Award of the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the APA). Wahbie’s general research interests include history, theory and indigenization of psychology. His current work focuses on the field of African psychology, in which he attempts to replace cultural questions with an analysis of the interpersonal, institutional and structural violence that pervades life in South Africa.


Trevor Lubbe

 Trevor Lubbe is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist in private practice working mainly with adults and young people in long-term psychotherapy. A graduate of the Tavistock Clinic in London he worked in The British National Health Service for 8 years before returning to SA in 1989.  He is a member of the SAPC and a lecturer and committee member of the IPCP (Institute of Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy), an organization that runs object relation’s courses in theory, infant observation, and clinical work with children and adolescents.

My talk is about the mentally vulnerable when they are faced with violence.


Philippa Martin

Philippa Martin, Self-psychology analyst, graduated from UCT with a M A Clinical Psychology. She has worked for many years with children and is currently employed part-time in The Western Cape Juvenile Forensic Assessment team at Valkenberg hospital where she conducts criminal capacity assessments. Philippa also works in private practice where her forensic focus is on care and contact assessments and her therapeutic focus is with adults.


Tshidi Maseko

 Tshidi Matshidiso Maseko a registered Educational Psychologist practicing psychology with interest in child development, play therapy groups, community work interventions and psychometric assessments in various fields. Since 2000 she is mentoring and supervising intern educational psychology students. A founder member of Khanya Family Centre and for the last 20 years has been serving as a case consultant and counselling section head at Khanya Family centre as well as overseeing staff development in psychotherapeutic psychodynamic way of working. Served as a board member at Ububele. Have presented papers published in Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa. A Member of the Institute for Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy and the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation.


Lesley Miles

Lesley Miles, is a clinical psychologist/psychotherapist with 20 years’ experience. She has a private practice in which she does short- and long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy, plus short-term work in employee wellness.  She is a qualified and registered Focusing- Oriented Therapist, and in 2014 presented a paper at the Third International Conference of Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapies in New York, and this year offered a workshop at the 27th International Focusing Conference of the British Focusing Association.  Lesley’s earlier academic work was primarily in the field of sexual negotiation and HIV-AIDS, and she has published papers on this topic. Her academic background includes an MA in English Literature, in which her preferred theoretical orientation is feminism. Lesley is a poet and regularly performs poetry at local reading platforms.


Kamal Naran

 Kamal Naran is a trained Community Art Counsellor, volunteer coordinator and social media coordinator for Lefika La Phodiso. He is also an artist and part time after school art teacher. He has completed an Intermediate Counselling Skills course with JPCCC (Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Center at a High School in Johannesburg) and Basic Counselling Skills course with Intec College and is registered with the Council for Counsellors S.A. Kamal is a SETA accredited facilitator (“Facilitate Learning Using a Variety of Given Methodologies”) for Lefika and is able to train the Community Art Counselling Course. He is a co-author and featured artist of one of the Lefika ‘Body of Knowledge’ Book Series, “Holding Bodies – School Holiday Programme”. He facilitates a number of groups for Lefika La Phodiso with children, adolescents and adults as well as groups outside of Lefika for adults and children with Intellectual impairments.


Humbu Nsenga

Humbu Nsenga trained as a Community Art Counsellor in 2013 and currently works at Lefika La Phodiso as the Safe Spaces Programmes Coordinator. She is a practicing artist, certified life coach (COMENSA) and wellness art coach. She completed an intermediate Counselling Skills course with JPCCC (Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre) and is a SETA accredited facilitator (“Facilitate learning using a variety of given methodologies”) for Lefika and is able to train the Community Art Counselling Course . She is a co-author and featured artist of one of the Lefika ‘Body of Knowledge’ Book Series, “Opening Bodies – Open Studio for Children”.  Humbu facilitates a wide range of groups including adolescents and children. She works both psychodynamically and cognitively, using the creative arts to uplift and transform.


Lisa Rae Padfield

 Lisa Padfield is a clinical psychologist working in private practice in Stellenbosch. She has taught post-graduate students on a part time basis at Stellenbosch University and served as an executive committee member of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group from 2012 to 2015. Theoretical approaches which resonate include the Self Psychological, Relational and Intersubjective schools of thought. Lisa’s interests include psychodynamic adult and group psychotherapy, academic writing as well as contributing to the training of tomorrow’s lay counsellors and clinical psychologists.


Shayleen Peeke

 Shayleen Peeke is a clinical psychologist who chairs the IPCP and works for Ububele. Research group members are psychologists Hayley Haynes (Ububele and IPCP) Michal Waller, Katie Bromley, and Lauren McClurg (IPCP).


Kopano Ratele

 Kopano Ratele is a Professor at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and researcher at the South African Medical Research Council-Unisa’s Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit. Ratele’s research, teaching, social-political activism, and community mobilisation focuses on the subject of men and masculinity as it intersects with violence, class, traditions, sexuality, and race. He is a member of a number of international and national journal boards, reference groups, and committees. A former chairperson of the board of Sonke Gender Justice and past president of the Psychological Society of South Africa, Ratele is a regular contributor on television, radio and newspapers. He has published 7 books and over 100 peer-reviewed journals articles and book chapters. His latest book is Liberating masculinities (2016, HSRC Press).


Joan Schon

 Joan Schön is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Although she works primarily as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Joan has been involved with supervision and training for much of her professional life. She was co-author of the SAPC Code of Ethics and is currently a member of the SAPC Ethics Advisory Committee. Her research interests include the diagnostic and clinical use of dreams and her PhD dissertation sought to develop a model of dream interpretation for training, drawing on different theories and the practice of experienced clinicians. Joan was co-founder of Sophiatown Community Psychological Services under whose umbrella she was managing editor and co-author of a book entitled Elements of Counselling; a revised 3rd edition is currently underway.


Michelle Scott

 Counselling Psychologist

MA (Counselling Psych), BSc (Hons), BSc (Physical Sciences)

Michelle is currently working as a counselling psychologist at a student counselling centre at Wits University in Johannesburg. She is involved in individual psychotherapy for students, group interventions, career counselling and supervision for intern psychologists. She is also involved seeing adults, adolescents for psychotherapy in a part-time private practice in Dunkeld. She is serving on the executive committee for the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation managing the website and in the diversity portfolio. Michelle qualified as a counselling psychologist at Wits University in 2008 through the Masters in Community Counselling Psychology programme and has an interest in psychoanalytic thinking and its application to broader social issues.  She has previously worked as a psychologist in an inner city school in Hillbrow as well as in the HIV division of an employee wellness programme and is interested in psychological interventions that focus on difficulties that marginalised communities face.


Cora Smith

 Prof C. Smith is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of the Witwatersrand. She also holds a joint appointment post as the Chief Clinical Psychologist at Child, Adolescent and Family Unit, Johannesburg Hospital. She runs the CAFU Family Therapy Programme and teaches Trauma Counselling and Individual Psychotherapy with children, adolescents and parents.  Her interests are in the development of personality pathology through the life cycle with a particular focus on attachment. She has a keen interest in the ethical dilemmas that emerge in clinical practice. She is responsible for the training of MA Clinical Psychology Interns, as well as training of Child Psychiatry Specialists and Psychiatric Registrars in psychotherapy. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand.

She currently serves on the Human Ethics Research Committee at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Ethics Advisory Subcommittee of the S.A. School Psychologist’s Association and the Ethic’s Advisory of Educational Psychologists of SA. She also previously served on the Ethics Advisory Committee of the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation and has presented several papers on the ethical dilemmas faced in the practice of psychotherapy.


Karen Solms

Dr Karen Solms, has traversed seven disciplines through more than 40 years of training and experience, in order to arrive at her current, holistic approach to the relevant topic: Beyond Trauma: An Application of Insight. Her topic is a distillation of aspects of her personal experience (and of unexpected discoveries).


Dr Kaplan-Solms has trained and worked for over 4 decades, firstly within Speech Pathology and Audiology, secondly within Clinical, Developmental and Neurological branches of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, and thirdly within Occupational Medicine. She is a Founder Member of international Psychoanalysis and Allied Disciplines, specifically within South Africa. She carries various, senior and long-term responsibilities. For example, she is the Voluntary Chairperson of Youth Empowerment Action, (which is a preventative, developmental Charity for birth to young-adulthood phases, and families). And in addition, she is a Voluntary Founder Member and Trustee of the Franschhoek Valley Transformation Charter. Dr Kaplan-Solms has also invested time and energy (once again on an unpaid basis) in activities which facilitate Education, and which strengthen the link between teaching, learning and development.


Dr Kaplan-Solms is married with two children; she has a son who is 20 years old, and a daughter who is 16 years old. She met her husband 32 years ago. Beyond their personal co-existence, she and her husband are colleagues who collaborate closely and widely, on varied projects.


Brandon Swanepoel

 Brandon Swanepoel – Brandon holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand and is registered with the HPCSA as an educational psychologist. Brandon has a private practice which focuses on individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults and children. He is the founder and chairperson of the South African School Psychologists Association (SASPA).


He stands as an executive board member of a number of other professional organizations including:


  • South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC)
  • Institute for Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy (IPCP)
  • Educational Psychology Association of South Africa (EPASSA)
  • The South African Society for Mental Health and Deafness (SASMHD


Sally Swartz

 Associate Professor Sally Swartz, is a member of the University of Cape Town’s Psychology Department training faculty in the clinical psychology programme. Her research is in the fields of colonial psychiatric history, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy in South Africa, and the monograph, Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the Nineteenth Century (University of Cape Town Press) was published in 2015.


Siobhan Sweeney

Siobhán Sweeney is a registered Counselling Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) practicing privately in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. She attended the University of Cape Town and received her Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours Degree with Distinction before going on to complete her Master’s Degree at Rhodes University, for which she also achieved a distinction. Before opening private practice, Siobhán’s past clinical experience includes the Rhodes Psychology Clinic and the Rhodes University Counselling Centre. She has obtained a Diploma in Therapeutic Communication with Children and Adolescents and has completed psychotherapy courses through the Institute of Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy (IPCP) affiliated with the Tavistock Clinic in London. She is a registered Babies in Mind Practitioner, offering both workshops for parents and individual consultations. In her private practice, Siobhán offers both psychoanalytically orientated psychotherapy and assessment to children, adolescents and adults. She also works in the corporate environment offering individual counselling and guidance around social difficulties. Siobhán is involved in clinical research with individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s and is currently completing her PhD in Psychology, with a psychosocial  focus on Maternal Subjectivity of working mothers in South Africa, through Rhodes University. In addition to being a member on the Exec and Ethics Committee for Cape Town Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CTSPP), Siobhán is a member of the South African Psychoanalytic Initiative (SAPI), the Western Cape Association for Infant Mental Health (WCAIMH), the Cape Town Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Group (CTCAPG), and the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC).


Sibongile Tloubatla

 Mrs Sibongile Tloubatla is an Educational Psychologist at Khanya Family Centre.  In 2008 she completed her research work and graduated in 2009, obtaining a Master of Education She is currently working as a Psychologist conducting counselling to adolescents, youth, adults, couples and families.  She specialises in play therapy for children who experience emotional difficulties and traumatic experiences.

She conducts psycho-educational and emotional assessments for children with learning disabilities. She is a remedial therapist designing programmes suitable for an intervention of barriers to learning. She conducts workshops for parents, educators and learners from the schools who participate in Khanya’s outreach programmes.

She is an experienced trainer in Psychosocial Support Skills Development Programmes for Home- based caregivers and their supervisors.  She is a registered assessor and moderator for this programme.


Tanya Wilson

 Tanya Wilson is a clinical psychologist, based in Cape Town, who has run a private psychotherapy practice since 1998. Her clinical work includes psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adults and parents, and play therapy with young children. She has a particular interest in child and infant mental health. She belonged to the Cape Town Child Psychotherapy Group from 1999 until 2009, and was on its executive committee for several years, including as Chairperson from 2007-2009. She was also a member of the Cape Town Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for 10 years, and remains an affiliate member. She completed the Tavistock Diploma for Psychotherapeutic Communication with Children in 2007 and has been teaching the Bion component of that diploma since 2012. She is currently a member of the South African Psychoanalysis Initiative and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Child Psycho therapy. Publications include Wilson, T. (2007). How do you know? The centrality of Bion’s containter/contained concept in developing the capacity to think and to know. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 15 (2)




Cathy Aaron

Cathy Aaron works as a senior a clinical and supervising psychologist in District Mental Health services, and as psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice.

She has been the Chair of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology group since 2009.


Armien Abrahams

Armien Abrahams, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in private practice. Qualified Clinical Psychologist. Trained at UCT graduating with MA Clinical Psychology. Trained in Psychoanalysis graduating with MSc from Trinity College Dublin. Registered with HPCSA. Registration number: PS003680.

Principal Clinical Psychologist worked in Dublin for 20 years as head of Psychology Department. Special interests: Adults and Asperger’s: autism spectrum.


Astrid Berg

Astrid Berg is a Psychiatrist, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist as well as a Jungian Analyst. She is an Emerita Professor at the University of Cape Town and A/Professor Extraordinary at the Stellenbosch University. She consults to and teaches at the Parent-Infant Mental Health Services and Child Psychiatry Divisions at both Universities and is involved in the newly established M Phil degree in Infant Mental Health at Stellenbosch University


Irene Chait

Irene Chait is a Clinical Psychologist, (MA Clin. Psych. Wits), and Psychoanalyst (IPA) working in private practice in Johannesburg. She is the Consultant at the Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling ( JPCCC), and Child Therapy Tutor for the IPCP Diploma in Therapeutic Communications with Children. She is currently the Chairperson of the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC).


Judy Davis

Judy is a consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist who trained at the Tavistock Clinic.  After working in the NHS in the UK she returned to South Africa in 1994 and works with children, adults and infants with their parents in private practice.  She has taught infant observation for 26 years and teaches and supervises in Cape Town, Durban, Bulawayo and Harare.  She has coordinated the Post Graduate Diploma from the Tavistock Clinic and University of East London based for many years.


Nicola Dugmore

Dr Nicola Dugmore is an educational psychologist working as a psychotherapist in private practice in Cape Town.  She is a member of the SAPC Executive and the IPCP Executive. Her doctoral thesis including publication was on parent-infant psychotherapy in South Africa. She teaches infant observation.


Daksha Hargovan

Daksha Hargovan is a registered Clinical Psychologist who has been in practice for 23years. She is chairperson for the Cape Town Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Group and serves on the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Society’s Public Lecture committee. Daksha is a Board Member for Lawrence House (Home for Refugee Children) and sits on the Alternative Care Advisory Panel for Child Welfare Cape Town.


Graeme Hendricks

Graeme Hendricks (MA Clin Psychology) is a psychoanalytic psychologist who practises self-psychology. He is a senior lecturer at UCT in the department of psychiatry and mental health. He convenes two post graduate diplomas namely Addictions Care and Psychotherapy. He runs a private practice and consults for Triangle Project on sexuality and gender issues.


Crick Lund

Crick Lund, BA (Hons), MA, MSocSci (Clinical Psychology), PhD, is Professor and Director of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town. He is currently Principal Investigator of the AFrica Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) U19 NIMH Collaborative Hub, and CEO of the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME), a DFID funded research consortium focusing on the integration of mental health into primary care in five low and middle-income countries.


Carin-Lee Masters

Carin-Lee Masters is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Constantia, as well as is the advice columnist for Independent Newspapers’ Cape Community Newspapers. She is a member of SAPC (The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation) and SAPI (The South African Psychoanalytic Initiative). She is also a member of the ITTT group (Inter-transgenerational Transmission of Trauma), a subsidiary group of SAPI. She is committed to supporting and being involved in the psychological healing of the wounds of Apartheid which continue to haunt communities in South Africa. She has an eclectic approach to working with clients but her focus is on working with the psychodynamics of the therapeutic relationship and its transformative potential.


Dain Peters

Dain Peters is a qualified musician, Clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst. He serves on the executives of the SAPC (The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation) and SAAJA (South African Association of Jungian Analysts).

Previously Dain managed the Midlands office of Sinani (Kwazulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence), an NGO addressing the multiple consequences of socio-political violence in Kwazulu-Natal. In Cape Town, where he runs a private Psychotherapy practice, he is regularly contracted to support, develop and run workshops,retreats as well as programmes to train local NGO employees. These include the Trauma Centre, the Quaker Peace Centre, Buddhist Retreat Centre, Dharmagiri hermitage and Triangle Project with whom he has worked closely for over 10 years in support of local and international LGBTI communities.


Enzo Sinisi

Vincenzo Sinisi is a psychoanalyst, group analyst and clinical psychologist in private practice in Kenilworth, Cape Town. He is an active member of the psychotherapeutic community and has held several executive positions including Chairperson of the Cape Town Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Secretary of the South African Psychoanalysis Initiative, Communications Representative for the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation, and Treasurer / Board Member of the Centre for Group Analytic Studies.


Elda Storck

Elda Storck-van Reenen, 1949, born in South Africa where she grew up and returned to in 2001. In 30 years of living in Zürich, Switzerland (1971 – 2001) she raised a family and trained at the Psychoanalytisches Seminar Zürich, subsequently serving on their Board and Training Committee. Since her relocation to Cape Town, she has continued working in private practice and was a founder member of the South African Psychoanalytic Initiative SAPI and the SAPC. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association IPA and of its Study Group in South Africa SAPA. She holds the office of Director of Training and is a Training Analyst.


Sally Swartz

Associate Professor Sally Swartz, is a member of the University of Cape Town’s Psychology Department training faculty in the clinical psychology programme. Her research is in the fields of colonial psychiatric history, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy in South Africa, and the monograph, Homeless Wanderers: Movement and Mental Illness in the Cape Colony in the Nineteenth Century (University of Cape Town Press) was published in 2015.



Time Event and format  Topic, chair and venue   Presenters and titles
12h00-12h30 Registration & Arrival Refreshments Venue: Orange Room Digital Poster Display and Book Display
12h30-13h00 Opening and introduction Venue: Congo Room Irene Chait –SAPC Chairperson

Session 1  



(2 presentations)


 Analytic work Beyond the Frame

Interrogating the frame in non-traditional Psychoanalytic applications: Children for Tomorrow and Communities of Care. A lively beginning to a conference with challenging overview and optimistic compromises.
Chair:  Irene Chait    

Venue: Congo Room

Umesh Bawa et al. Analytic work beyond the frame: Peaks, potholes and possibilities


Kamal Naran et al. Creating Communities of Care as a tool for Mental Health Promotion: The Lefika & Fight with Insight approach



Venue: Orange Room Digital Poster Display and Book Display

Session 2  



(2 presentations)


Persistent Apartheid Power Relations

Maids and Madams/Nanny infant


Chair:  Nicola Dugmore

Venue: Congo Room


Cora Smith Black Maids and White Madams and the Ghosts in the Nurseries of Post-Apartheid South Africa


Siobhan Sweeney “I have all the power!” Containing Powerless Feelings in Observing a Nanny-Infant Relationship in South Africa



Session 3  




(2 presentations)


Anger, its vicissitudes and costly consequences


Chair:  Daksha Hargovan

Venue: Congo Room


Armien Abrahams Anger and its South African Vicissitudes


Trevor Lubbe The Mentally Vulnerable

17h15- 19h15 Cocktail party River Club: Orange Room  Guest Speaker: Kerry Cullinan, Managing Editor of Health-e News


Launch of SAPC video award with the video screenings



Time Event and format Topic, chair and venue Presenters and titles
08h00-08h45 Registration  & Arrival Refreshments Venue: Orange Room Digital Poster Display and Book Display
08h45-09h00 Welcome


Venue: Congo Room Dain Peters  – SAPC Exco







Session 4 



(2 presentations)

 Being and Inter-Being

Two psychoanalytic approaches to repairing disconnections in a traumatised context, in terms of  early infant community development work (country) and deepening sense of communality (couch)


Chair:  Dain Peters

Venue: Congo Room


Astrid Berg
From Couch to Country through Culture Amanda Kottler Home wasn’t built in a Day: Self Psychology, the Psychology of Being Human and Working with Trauma in South Africa 


Venue: Orange Room   Digital Poster Display and Book Display




Session 5  


Plenary  (Panel)


 Political Considerations

How to hold the country in mind in the therapy room and vice versa. What is the price of engagement for an analytic practitioner? How politics attends our work invited or not.


Chair:  Sally Swartz

Venue: Congo Room



Sally Swartz, Lou-Marie Kruger, Wahbie Long

Politics and Psychoanalysis


Session 6  



(2 presentations)




How better to define, articulate and advocate our role  psychoanalytic practitioners in response to national mental health care problems -medical aids, scope of practice and NHI.


Chair:  Crick Lund

Venue: Congo Room


Brandon Swanepoel and Cora Smith
Couch and Country: challenges and opportunities







Venue: Orange Room
Digital Poster Display and Book Display





Session 7


4 Parallel Sessions

(2 presenters per session)







 Parallel Session 1:


Mother tongue , therapeutic communication and transitional phenomena


1.       Chair: Judy Davis

Venue: Congo Room


Parallel Session 2:


Anti-sexual violence demonstration & male therapy group

Chair:  Graeme Hendricks

Venue: Tugela Room







Parallel Session 3:


HIV and maternal ambivalence & dark superegos


Chair: Armien Abrahams

Venue: The Club House




Parallel Session 4:

Bridging Spaces

Community placement and digital therapy


Chair: Enzo Sinisi

Venue: Berg Room



1.1   Margaret Green Some Thoughts about Language Oppression and Transitional Phenomena


1.2   Lauren Gower & Shayleen Peeke Therapeutic Communication with Children in Clinical Setting






2.1    Michelle Scott Critical Community Psychology and Psychodynamics in Anti-Sexual Violence Campus Protest Demonstrations


2.2    Shahieda Jansen & Kopano Ratele The Application of an Analytic Attitude in All-Men’s Psychotherapy Groups in the Western Cape




3.1    Katharine Louise Frost An Infant Observation: The Looming Shadow of Something Unspeakable


3.2   Tanya Wilson Dark Superegos and  Other Religious Objects







4.1  Lisa Rae Padfield  A Story of Dislocated Thinking


4.2  SAPC Ethics Com, Joan Schon Psychotherapy in the Age of Technology:

        Keeping Ethics in Mind

15h00-15h15 Changeover/break

Session 8



4 Parallel Sessions

(2 presenters per session)




Parallel Session 1 :

Different Community Interventions

Interventions in workplace & township communities


Chair: Cathy Aaron

Venue: Congo Room




Parallel Session 2:

Working with Trauma

Working with Trauma, Insight and Supervision


Chair: Elda Storck

Venue: Tugela Room




Parallel Session 3:

Play Therapy

Play therapy on the Cape Flats & play therapy to rediscover lost self


Chair: Astrid Berg

Venue: The Club House



Parallel Session 4:

Psychoanalytic Dilemmas In Non-Traditional Spaces

Criminal assessment, care centre


Chair: Carin-Lee Masters

Venue: Berg Room


1.1    Lesley Miles From Tea-Ladies to Professors, From Constantia to Khayelitsha, Short-term Work in the Employee Wellness Context


1.2    Hayley Haynes-Rolando Psychoanalytic Reflections on a Community Intervention




2.1    Karen Solms Beyond Perspectives on Trauma: An Application of Insight


2.2   David Hadley  Play in the Supervisory Space






3.1    Philippa Colinese/John Gosling  Play Therapy on the Cape Flats: Introducing Expressive Sandwork


3.2   Tshidi Maseko/ Sibongile Tloubatla How Eight Tamaho Nursery- School Children used Play Therapy to Regain the Self that was Thought Lost



4.1  Philippa Martin Couch and Criminality: Ethical Reflections on Juvenile Criminal Capacity Assessments and Research


4.2  Sharon Johnson Transpersonal and Psychoanalytic Psychoeducation and Counselling in Teacher Wellness Group Work in a Care Centre for Maltreated Youth



16h15-16h30 Changeover/break  

Venue: Orange Room


Digital Poster Display and Book Display

Session 9  


Closing Plenary  (Panel)



Centre for Group Analytic Studies (CGAS) Panel

This panel will give their reflections on the conference – sharing themes and ideas.  This will anticipate Sunday’s AGM to which all are invited.


Chair: Dain Peters

Venue: Congo Room


The conference as a large group:  Listening to the Unconscious at play




Monica Spiro

Willem de Jager

Thabile Zondi

Madie Duncan

Lily Becker







17h15-17h30 Farewell and thanks


Irene Chait

Venue: Congo Room





SAPC AGM:  Conversations, Contrasts and Coalitions Continued



Registration and welcome


Snapshots of 2016 Portfolio highlights  2016 SAPC portfolios and SAPC groups share the high and low lights of the year.


11h00-12h30 Positions, Projects and Priorities for 2017 Plans for the way ahead  

Developing new partnerships and collectively implementing learnings from  Couch and Country




Analytic work beyond the frame: Peaks, potholes and possibilities

Umesh Bawa, Sue Hawkridge2, Jyoti Chauhan3, Wonique Dreyer3, Hannelie de Klerk3 and Kerstin Stellermann.

2: Head: Child and adolescent psychiatry unit, Tygerberg Hospital and senior lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University.

3: Private practice and Children for Tomorrow (SA)


The analytic frame is central to any psychoanalytic model of praxis.  It guides theoretical developments as well as interventions in the field. Some countries that have had a history of oppression, societal vulnerability and significant social inequity, have had a rich tradition of psychoanalysis that has offered much succour to those attempting to understand and integrate the experiences of persecution, genocide and its consequent physical and psychic annihilation.  The analytic community has often contributed meaningfully in helping individuals connect through   memory and the unconscious to reclaim their humanity.  This has sometimes left the issues of embodied trauma and residual hurt that impinge on a society’s collective renewal, unresolved.  The personal remains political, and the political reflexively personal.


This presentation will draw on the experiences of the NGO ´Children for Tomorrow- South Africa’ in Langa and Parow, Cape Town in offering psychoanalytically-informed curative, promotive and preventive services.  It will discuss the successes and failures of addressing the challenges of prolonged oppression, violence and poverty among the young who sought therapeutic services from the project.  It will also discuss the lessons learnt from the private practice-public health partnerships that have creatively addressed the resource and human capital constraints of service provision. It will address the relevance of the current acontextual psychoanalytic frame in South Africa, and share some thoughts on an intersectional approach to the race, class and gender dynamics of psychoanalytic work for a sustainable service orientation to health care.


Creating Communities of Care as a Tool for Mental Health Promotion: The Lefika La Phodiso & Fight with Insight Approach

Kamal Naran, Sheri Errington, Humbu Mamphiswana Nsenga & Luke Lamprecht

Lefika La Phodiso & Fight with Insight


We often talk about doing community work and the implicit meaning is that those of us who are more privileged help those of us who are less privileged. This work is perceived to be other than what is considered the true therapeutic frame and work. Lefika La Phodiso and Fight with Insight have re-imagined what it is to do community work, and have become a community in which work with children is done. Through expressive art and boxing, children have been given access to a safe space where thoughtful caring adults assist them to digest and process the sometimes chaotic experiences of growing up in a resource limited inner city context. This is an environment that is fraught with splits within those trying to raise children in the midst of often rampant social contact crime, substance abuse, bereavement and a general sense of disorder. Through a combination of expressive arts and boxing the organisations have provided a home in which everyday life events occur in the therapeutic frames of the studio and boxing ring. Here children have access to the nurturance of the maternal function in the open studio, as well as the more penetrative paternal function in boxing. All of the work is premised on the fact that to promote positive mental health, children need present caring adults who are surrogate parents. Through our work, we have found that change only happens in relation to others, therefore the greatest protective feature for children’s mental health and resultant positive behavioural outputs is parents and a family unit.


Black Maids-White Madams and the Ghosts in the Nurseries of Post-Apartheid South Africa

Prof. Cora Smith Adjunct Professor Child, Adolescent and Family Unit, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

University of the Witwatersrand


Following the democratic dispensation of 1994 a trend emerged wherein many black domestic workers who live on the residential premises of their white employers are permitted to keep their children on the premises and rear them alongside their white counterparts. Many of these black children have been incorporated into the families of the white employers with varying outcomes. This psychotherapy presentation will focus on the blurring of boundaries between employer-employee and the power differentials that interplay in the co-parenting role of these children as old ghosts of power, white superiority and black submission re-surface between ‘black maids and white madams.’


In a conscious effort to repair old wounds and right past wrongs the white employers discussed in this paper (Smith, 2015), often themselves reared by black domestic workers under apartheid rule, unconsciously undermine their domestic workers parental authority, devalue their attachment roles and appropriate their children by offering these offspring a ‘superior white identity.’  These black domestic workers often feel dependent on their employers who provide their children with private education and material opportunities that they are unable to offer. Most report that they feel disempowered in their parental role in the process.


Using a psychoanalytically orientated framework, this paper focuses on the psychotherapy of an individual trapped in one such family constellation. The central debates that will be addressed include how toxic social discourses are repeated unconsciously through a failure to deal with collective trauma, defensive disavowal, lack of reflective function and unacknowledged shame, contribute to re-enactments of racism.


The process of re-constructing a sense of self that is palatable in post-apartheid South Africa as bound up in the politics of memory and forgetting will be discussed. The consequences of forgetting and the recuperation of memory in order to set the ghosts of apartheid to rest will be explored in the psychotherapy of one family member. In this paper I will argue that societal and individual healing is contingent upon reclaimed memory, integration of painful truths and recognising the subjectivities of the other.


Smith, C. (2015). Black Maids-White Madams and the Ghosts in the Nurseries of Post Apartheid South Africa. In M. O’laughlin, M. and Charles, M. (Eds.) Fragments of Trauma and the Social production of Suffering: Trauma, History and Memory.  Roman and Littlefield Publishers, USA.

“I have all the Power!”

Containing Powerless Feelings in Observing a Nanny-Infant Relationship in South Africa.

Siobhán Sweeney (Counselling Psychologist)


Most South African families include nannies who play a significant part for infants. In all care-giving relationships, containment is necessary. Infants need another mind to digest difficult, split off feelings and for these to be returned in a more manageable form. In South Africa, a fragmented apartheid legacy resulted in socio-political and economic factors of racial tension and wealth inequality. Consequently, the infant-caregiver relationship takes place in a collectively damaged society. Nannies are exposed to deprivation and trauma, giving rise to feelings of powerlessness and oppression. As individual psychological structure is grounded in social factors, nannies may possess chaotic and destructive inner worlds and struggle to contain an infant’s distress. This failure in the container-contained relationship was witnessed in a nanny-infant dynamic during a two year infant observation process. Drawing on theories by Klein and Bion, the presentation with explore how the nanny’s struggles with her own traumas resulted in attacks on linking and refusing, defective containment. As nanny and infant acted out painful feelings in a defensive cycle of sadism and splitting, the role of the containing observer was vital in facilitating continuity of the infant’s early experiences of containment. The presentation will also reflect on the observer’s feelings of powerlessness while observing sadistic interactions that dominated normal paranoid-schizoid development as well as ethical concerns around the observer’s role that surfaced.


 Anger and its South African vicissitudes

Armien Abraham.


“I don’t know how to silence the part of me that is shocked every time my humanity is erased, no matter how many times it happens.”  Dominique Matti, July 2016.


Anger appears to be part of the shock in the qoute above and often a core element in most issues affecting South Africans, including the current malaise of corruption. Indeed it is revealed by several political analysts that widespread corruption, particularly in the top echelons of government, is the cause of many socio-political and economic problems in the country. What is often lacking in these accounts, is an analysis of  psychological factors which underlie such phenomena, especially anger and trauma.


To qoute again, this time at some length, from the young journalist qouted above whose following remarks are apt:


“I keep getting comments and emails from white people about my anger, about my bitterness, in regard to racial injustice. The fire that injustices stirs in me burns me. I suffer a lot of anxiety, I often feel despair, it’s difficult for me to enjoy many things. But my suffering has its roots in societal trauma – trauma I am working to heal, work fueled by the same fiery anger that sometimes eats me up.  My anger is functional, my bitterness rational. My anger sparks a fierce determination in me, an urgent commitment to creating change”


It would thus be hard to ignore the manifestations of anger and its escalation in almost every aspect of life in South Africa. Anger appears everywhere, even as humour and entertainment. The President as a bungling buffoon seems to be depicted regularly by satirists and cartoonists. Unusually, a cartoonist recently declared his anger publicly, towards the President.


There is also anger about the polarised divisions in society and the lack of attempts to homogeneity. A well known author at a literary award  begged the question of what it was that white people had to do to be accepted by blacks. Subsequently and on foot of the “fees must fall” protests, and lack of direction due to poor leadership by government, students have posted ‘Decolonising the Mind’ on social media as  a pathway toward understanding the question of ‘black lives’, racial injustices, exploitation and inequality. South Africa has the highest number of protests than any other country in the world. Anger is at the base of these protests. How to redirect this anger towards shared values against the prevalent white-black default positions which serve more to dehumanise rather than build humane values and contribute to  nation building, is one of the questions that will be addressed in this presentation.Questions of cause and effect are as multiple and complex as they are varied.


This talk will take its cue from such questions. It will attempt to analyse the changing character of anger in our polarised and divided nation. Highlighted will be efforts towards effective nation building. In spite of the pioneering efforts of the TRC and a new government, rampant anger prevails precipitated by fundamental socio-economic deficits that appear to sow and maintain divisions between black and white. The perceptions of right and wrong, attack and retaliation continue apace which only serve to undermine all major efforts towards nation building. This talk will draw on psychoanalytic references on anger and it’s associated dynamics that may serve as a link to nation building – as catalyst to unifying the great divide between white and black – towards being South African.


The mentally vulnerable

Trevor Lubbe


My contention in this short commucation is that when bombs and rockets are systematically and anonymously dropped from far away destinations on another country’s inhabitants and infrastructure the residents take the material hits to life and limb, but furthmore the hits impact on the infrastructure of the mind. Mental stuctures that were once in place, perhaps only provisionally, slip away one by one, and it is then that the mentally vulneable react  and re-enact the violence and the murderousness in their midst. What at first was inactive becomes radioactive both from the the outside and the inside. I will be choosing examples from a number of sources including from South Africa where recently in the province of northern Limpopo violent protest against poor service delivery and municipal boundary changes resulted in the burning down of 25 schools by residents and sudents.  This convulsion seemed to be predicated on the idea that to receive reliable infrastructure and services you are compelled to destroy existing infrastructure.  A double blind?


From Couch to Country through Culture

Astrid Berg


Forced emigration in the 1930’s from  Nazi Germany to capitalist democracies such as the USA inhibited many ‘political Freudians’ from further developing their social critiques and engagements; for the new-comers it was necessary to adapt and blend into their surroundings and thus  psychoanalysis became part of the mainstream medical establishment, as it indeed is largely still today.

With the advent of democratic South Africa many assumptions have been and continue to be challenged; psychoanalysis has had to confront  its history and the manner in which it had become to be practiced in the middle classes of the northern hemisphere.  The needs of populations previously split off from the well-to-do parts of our society had to be addressed. However, the challenge of entering into communities affected by displacement, family disruption and poverty can be overwhelming and evoke complex, painful questions which are prone to be, understandably, avoided. In our country the split between the private and public sector psychoanalytic service provision has thus largely remained, with the well-off group being the beneficiary.

There are however ongoing projects in our communities where psychoanalysis has been applied and a way been found by those involved that offers a model of meaningful psychological intervention.

The Parent-Infant Mental Health Service in Khayelitsha was sustained for over 18 years. One of the factors that made this possible was the curiosity and subsequent getting to know a culture different from one’s own – it was this new knowledge and understanding that offered the therapeutic team a sense of containment and deeper purpose, despite the often difficult outer circumstances of our patients. Cultural sensitivity and competence played a pivotal role in the positive way in which this service was received.


 Home Wasn’t Built in a Day: Self Psychology, The Psychology of Being Human and Working with Trauma in South Africa

Amanda Kottler


This paper introduces a theoretical framework referred to as “The Psychology of Being Human” (Togashi and Kottler, 2015) which originates in Heinz Kohut’s “The Psychology of the Self” (Kohut, 1984), is influenced by the relational turn in psychoanalytic theory and understands traumatization in a relational, social and hermeneutic context.  Working with existential anguish caused by living in a traumatizing and alienating world, this theory unquestionably applies to South Africa’s population, which with a history of divisiveness and accentuated differences, is steeped with this kind of existential trauma — and a particular need for a relational home. This perspective recognizes that a sense of belonging through human relationships and social systems are all ways in which human beings seek relational homes.  It argues that traumatized people yearn for, and actively seek out, ways of experiencing an “at home” feeling (Kottler, 2014) of “being human among other human beings”, which Kohut (1984) believed was central to successful treatment.


Achieving this complex feeling is the central challenge that I will address in this paper by highlighting: 1. the ways that traumatized people, whose sense of being human is at risk, cannot tolerate uncertainty and how they divide the world and the human beings in it into extremes, and 2. how this influences the therapeutic process.  I will introduce ideas about the therapist’s need to recognize their own traumatic experiences and how this influences their capacity to be authentic and honest in their interactions with patients (and themselves).  I will argue that this is what ultimately provides the kind of space in which patients (and therapists) can find and experience themselves as being human among other human beings. That this can be generalized beyond the metaphorical couch to the broader population will be implicit throughout the paper.


Panel Discussion: Our Theories, Our Worlds

Sally Swartz


This is a suggestion for a panel discussion, with three interlocutors and a moderator. It would take as its theme the ways in which different schools of psychoanalysis (Relational, Jungian, Contemporary Freudian, Self, Object Relations) allow those steeped in them to be attuned and reactive to different facets of our social and political contexts. (So for example Relational analysis has recently engaged fiercely with dynamics of repeating trauma in war-ravaged countries, while Self theorists have contributed a strand of theory around trauma, empathy and ethics.) In other words, our theories prime us to be alert to and to understand social contexts in very specific ways. This panel would invite representatives from three (or more?) of SAPC’s member organizations to present briefly – 15 minutes each – on the ways their own theory helps him/her to think about our complex context. Then would follow a discussion between panellists for 30 minutes, and a moderator would round the panel off with concluding remarks. The aim of such a panel would be to celebrate our diversity, to highlight our connectedness (there are sure to be strong points of agreement in the presentations), and to set a theory/society frame for the parallel sessions. Choice of panellists might safely be left to each organization. The length of individual presentations is modest, and is unlikely to be daunting.


Panel Discussion: Decolonizing our Curriculum

Similar to the panel suggestion above, this one would invite speakers from three or more SAPC (and other) organizations to discuss the issue of decolonizing our curriculum. Here there would be a chance to debate not only our canon (why we take some texts as ‘essential’ and ‘basic’, while others we put aside), but two further issues: what those essential texts bring with them as race, class and gender assumptions; and what we could or should be reading to engage with new challenges to our knowledge. My interest here would be to debate not only what each school or organization is reading from its own scholars and thinkers, but more broadly, what it is opening its doors too in terms of philosophy, public health, politics, neuroscience, and so on. I expect organizations would be able to suggest speakers to represent them, and the format would be similar to the suggestion above.


Panel Discussion: Politics, Practice

This panel suggestion follows the same suggested rubric, but the topic would be to try to tease out some of the implications of being a practitioner, and also being engaged politically – as an activist, a public intellectual, a writer. When does politics enter our therapy rooms? What is appropriate to disclose about the impact on us of events in our social and political contexts? What is the impact on our clients of those occasions on which we speak out at a conference, on the radio, in a newspaper, about pressing social concerns? Do psychoanalytic thinkers have a role to play in commenting on or mediating in major conflicts, or traumatized communities? How do we think about our political views when we work with clients whose views are very different to our own? This debate would surface our community engagements, but would also bring to the fore differences in theory around disclosure and enactment in our practices.


Panel: Political Considerations



My focus is on the on the seemingly inevitable presence of anger and rage in caring relationships and institutions, particularly in the South African context.  I will argue that psychoanalytic theory (Klein, Bion, relational psychoanalysis) can facilitate a deeper and more complex understanding of such anger and rage and how it manifests, often in violent ways.  This understanding can be applied to the relationship between nurse and patient, teacher and learner, university and student, social worker and client, parent and child, intimate partners, state and citizen, but is also applicable specifically to the psychotherapeutic relationship.


Panel: Political Considerations

Wahbie Long


In this talk, I draw on the works of Karl Marx, Erich Fromm, Frantz Fanon and, in particular, the concept of alienation to argue for a broader definition of mental illness. I argue correspondingly for an alternative orientation to psychotherapy while raising some of the personal difficulties this presents for psychotherapists.


 Advocacy Issues

Brandon Swanepoel


In this session there will be feedback and discussion around our advocacy strategies around matters affecting our mental health profession in South Africa.


These include:

  • Scope of practice : the relationship between professional bodies and medical aids in securing funding and services for our clients
  • Medical Aid payments: The logistics of securing funding for services, including recent medical aid policies around the use of ICD Z codes.
  • NHI: Feedback about the current state of affairs and how to secure the role of psychoanalytic thinking and practice in the NHI rollout.


You will be aware that some of these issues require us to react immediately to policies that are impeding our service provision; others like NHI are more prospective, requiring us to be ahead of the game, to ensure the inclusion of mental health professionals in the national service provision. These matters do affect us all collectively and we need to address them collectively. This is a significant window of opportunity.


Mental health workers are aware of issues that are impacting our profession and affecting the mental health services we provide, such as Psychologists Scopes of Practice, Medical Aid issues and the advent of NHI. The SAPC is represented on the Medical Aid Liaison Body (MALB), and MALB has been in discussions with the HPCSA and the Council for Medical Schemes. The proposed NHI also has implications for our members who are practitioners.  We want to share the work we have been doing to increase collaboration, consultation and participation.


 NHI: How will most psychologists fit in?

Prof C Smith


This presentation will raise some of the concerns facing the profession of psychology in delivering a meaningful service within the NHI. Those psychologists (9.7%) already serving within state or provincial services will be slotted in at the various levels of district, regional, central and specialist service clinics and hospitals within the NHI structure. As just over 90% of all registered allied psychologists (Educational, Counselling, and Clinical) are in private practice, (not by choice but due to a lack of state/province posts), most psychologists will have to register with the NHI to form private / state partnerships. The question is who will negotiate these private-state partnerships, how many sessions will the NHI pay for and what will be the level of the reimbursement? Will patients who need psychotherapy be better or worse off under the NHI? Will there be any space for long term psychodynamically informed psychotherapy? Evidence based psychotherapy models will be reimbursed. Who gets to decide what constitutes evidence? How can we ensure that psychologists are incorporated in the NHI system in ways that are effective and meaningful? Even though private practice psychologists constitute the largest grouping of psychologists in SA, they are not represented on the Board of Psychology at the HPCSA which mostly represents the interests of the public, academics and hospital based psychologists. Psychologists in private practice represent the largest single group delivering services to South Africans. Who should be representing their interests, the quality of their service delivery and the rights and interests of their patients?


Some Thoughts about Language Oppression and Transitional Phenomena

Margaret Green


In this paper I explore why I think that the lack of resources invested in mother-tongue education, mother-tongue publishing and in training interpreters in South Africa constitutes a serious failure on the part of local and national government and is oppressive to 2/3 of the population in our country. Using ideas from D.W. Winnicott about transitional phenomena, one of which is the voice and language of the mother, I link this issue to early childhood development and the meanings our mother-tongue has for us in our ability to be creative, to play and to learn. I then raise a few questions for ways in which we can try to think about how to move forward on this issue.



Therapeutic communication with children in clinical settings

Gower, L (MA Clin Psych. IPCP). Peeke, S. (MA Clin Psych. IPCP). Institute of Psychodynamic Child Psychotherapy (IPCP: Developmental Training Program)



Being able to communicate therapeutically with children maximizes the beneficial impact childcare professionals have in their day-to-day interactions with infants (children under 6) and their mothers (we use the term to refer to primary caregivers). We describe three interventions which demonstrate how childcare workers with training in Therapeutic Communication with Children (TCC) apply these skills to enhance interactions with mothers and infants.



Our clinical vignettes detail some of the difficulties of working with mothers and children. They describe how important it is, particularly in time-limited situations, for childcare workers to be able to make correct psychological observations on which to offer informed and effective interventions to mothers. The interventions are designed to increase emotionally attuned behavior between mothers and infants as well as to support and alleviate childcare workers’ anxiety.


Three Clinical Interventions

Baby Mat work describes how a clinician, able to track the emotional processes between a mother and baby, capitalizes on a difficult moment in order to help the pair re-find each other. Baby Mat work can be used in many settings, as can Standing at the Scales. A training that includes infant observation equips nurses to detect emotional and communication problems in the mother-infant dyad. Special time is a dedicated time during which a childcare worker is both attentive and responsive to the child and engages playfully in a way that does not intrude upon, but supports the child’s direction of thought and interest. Special Time can be introduced in playgroups, creches and schools. Work Discussion Groups, set up by childcare workers can have numerous functions. They may operate as peer supervision groups where both didactic and emotional sharing is possible.


The TCC curriculum offers people working with children the opportunity to develop core theoretical and therapeutic competencies. The program, which includes courses in child development theory, infant observation, and emotional communication with children, is unique in its focus on the emotional development of the child and the mother-infant relationship.


TCC is based on the extensive body of child psychotherapy and attachment theory. It also relies heavily on research that advocates intervening early with children to achieve maximum impact on their social and emotional development. Because it builds capacity, TCC is particularly suitable for professionals working on the frontline with at-risk children and their parents. TCC attempts to address some of the capacity and skills training shortages in South Africa – a country where statistics present a bleak future for many children


Considering the Intersection of Critical Community Psychology and Psychodynamics in a Campus Wide Anti-Sexual Violence Protest Demonstration Through Interview and Survey Findings

Michelle Scott (University of Witwatersrand CCDU);Yael Kadish (University of Witwatersrand Psychology Department)


The effects and phenomena of sexual violence have been described in the literature in complex ways. One mechanism of operation that has been described is how this type of violence disempowers individuals, groups and communities. The silent protest is an annual protest march on campuses across South Africa that aims to raise awareness of sexual violence through breaking the silence around sexual abuse and violence. The Silent Protest was initiated through protests that took place in the One In Nine Campaign at the start of the rape trial of Jacob Zuma, to ensure the expression of solidarity with the woman in that trial in 2006 and now aims to help those affected by sexual violence to reclaim power through speaking out. The current marches aim to provide solidarity. The addition of various components and interventions to the ritualistic march has turned the event into a day long experience for students. Thus the Silent Protest is a social justice movement that also aims to provide a cathartic space for those affected by sexual violence. Critical community psychology advocates for a focus on reclamation of power, well-being and liberation across collective, relational, political and personal domains in both research and practice (Prilleltensky, 2003). A protest march such as the Silent Protest would traditionally be seen to fit onto a critical community psychology model. However, sexual violence has the ability to evoke the most unconscious of psychological dynamics and speaking out, standing in solidarity as well as making a political statement is hypothesised to have particular internal psychodynamics evoked. This paper will attempt to briefly consider some of these psychodynamics and touch on some of the intersections of critical community psychology and individual psychodynamic conceptualisations.


The application of an analytic attitude in all-men’s psychotherapy groups in the Western Cape, South Africa

Shahieda Jansen, Clinical Psychologist, Manager: Therapeutic Services

Centre for Student Support Services, University of the Western Cape

Kopano Ratele, Masculinities expert, Professor at Unisa

Violence Injury and Peace Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council


This paper presents on unstructured masculinized all-male psychotherapy groups. The work with all-male groups is founded on the assumption that participants possess the emotional sophistication for open-ended, non-directive, psychological processing of trauma experiences. At the beginning of these groups participants are enculturated that the purpose of the group is to do emotional work; and through-out the group work an analytic attitude is judiciously woven into a multidimensional framework of African philosophy and psychotherapy theories to process emotions towards transformed self-understandings and behaviours. The paper examines the application of an analytic attitude in a population historically excluded in psychoanalytic formulations. We relate to the analytic attitude as a therapeutic technique within an epistemological support structure of cultural sensitivity, indigenous worldviews and gender norms. This analytic thread is organized to enhance manhood performances without loss of cultural and gendered identities.


An Infant Observation: The Looming Shadow of Something Unspeakable

Katharine Louise Frost, Ububele

Educational Psychologist, Executive Director


This paper describes an infant observation conducted between 2010 and 2012 as part of the IPCPs Therapeutic Communication with Children (TCC) course. The observation was of a first-time Zimbwean mother and her daughter and it took place in Kew, Johannesburg. It describes how the news of an HIV positive diagnosis in the third trimester of pregnancy shocked mother and then how the trauma of the diagnosis cast a shadow over her relationship with her unborn daughter. What did the (unborn and newborn) baby girl represent to her mother?  The matrix of complicated feelings stirred up by the news of the positive HIV diagnosis, resulted in significant ambivalence toward her newborn daughter.  This ambivalence  also manifested in the observer’s feelings about the observation as well as in the seminar group where we tussled over several months about the viability of this dyad as an observation. This paper will demonstrate, through observations, how this ambivalence played out between mother and daughter in the first year of baby’s life, and it will describe some of the parallel process that took place with the observer and the observation seminar group.


Dark Superegos and Other Religious Objects

Tanya Wilson


Making use of psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion’s ideas, this paper examines how religious internal objects manifest themselves in a number of long-term psychotherapy patients. One commonality among the history of these patients is their own attempts to escape the rigidity of their religious (Christian) upbringings. During the course of therapy a further, striking commonality is that they find themselves up against by powerful, dark, and unforgiving internal objects, which resolutely impede their development, even as they reject religious doctrine. Some of Bion’s ideas that help to make sense of the clinical material at hand include his ‘negative container’ and his conception of a highly omnipotent and hyper-moralistic superego. Bion’s concepts of K and –K are also drawn upon as a way of understanding how these superegos are propped up, for example in the form of intellectual defenses that prioritize the accumulation of facts (-K) at the expense of deeper experiential knowledge (K). By way of contrast the paper also looks at examples of development and transformation in patients, making use of Bion’s elusive concept of O (unknowable, ultimate truth) a concept that is simultaneously psychoanalytic and quasi-religious. The paper explores O and argues that it offers a unique and valuable framework in which to think more creatively about religious objects and experiences, both in patients’ internal worlds, as well as in South Africa and the world at large.


A Story of Dislocated Thinking

Lisa Rae Padfield

Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group


This paper offers a narrative description of what it means to be an itinerant, clinical psychologist at the primary health care level in South Africa from an experience-near vantage point.  Case material from the author’s community service year is drawn on to explore what happens when psychodynamically-oriented thinking becomes: a) displaced due to an absent or significantly modified analytic set-up (frame) and/or b) disabled, largely as a defence against trauma. The hypothesis proffered is that these disruptions in thinking can be mitigated when the ‘thinking space’ represented by the psychologist, is also an itinerant one.  Winnicott, Bion, Ogden and others will be used to illustrate relevant constructs such as reverie, containment and transitional phenomena, while psychoanalytic trauma theory will be drawn on to show how trauma can affect thinking.


Psychotherapy in the Age of Technology: Keeping Ethics in Mind

Julie Green, Sheri Hanson Yael Kadish, Julia Kuhn & Joan Schon


Technology is constantly advancing; new developments have filtered into the therapeutic enterprise, affecting the way that many therapists conduct treatment. New modes of communication introduce a host of ethical dilemmas and clinical concerns, which need careful consideration. This paper will focus on the use of Skype for therapy sessions and address some of the difficulties and challenges involved in using this medium. These include the impact on the frame, patient confidentiality, the therapist’s knowledge around the use of technology as well as patients’ rights if they are in a different country from where the therapist is registered.  Vignettes will be used to illustrate these dilemmas.  Attention will also be given to technical issues arising out of the use of Skype, for example, the use of a camera or not, the reliability of the call, losses and gains in the transference and countertransference.  Finally possible enactments and resistance will be discussed.


From Tea-Ladies to Professors, from Constantia to Khayelitsha: Short Term Work in the Employee Wellness Context

Lesley Miles, Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group


In this paper I reflect on some of the satisfactions and frustrations of working on a short-term basis (3 – 6 sessions) in the context of employee-wellness referrals. This work is stigmatized (in my view) in that it is seen as less satisfying and less important than the “real” work, that is, long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and that those who do it are less successful than those who do not “need” to do it.  Using vignettes I interrogate the idea that from a psychoanalytic point of view, short-term therapy is neither viable nor useful; “solution-focused therapy” being seen as the modality of preference.  I argue that in a context of a reduced mental health service this work is crucial and of great help to many who would have no alternative access to psychotherapy, and that bringing in psychoanalytic principles is often helpful.  At the same time it is draining for the therapist, and remuneration does not nearly match the amount of time and engagement involved.  However, in the work I have done in this area, over time I have encountered some of the most frustrating, some of the most distressing, but also some of the most fulfilling and heart-warming therapy experiences of my life.  Further, the range of clients who make use of this type of service exposes the therapist to the (at times) shocking experiential differences over class, race and gender to which South African history and the current socio-political context has given rise.  My experience is that it can be extremely useful and at times life-changing for its clients, despite the brevity of the therapeutic contact.


Psychoanalytic Reflections on a Community Intervention

Hayley Haynes-Rolando


The on-going social research on the plight of our country, coupled with our very own experiences and observations, makes it evident that inequalities, poverty, the rise in unemployment, and the state of many schools in townships, has an impact on the opportunities as well as the experiences of children in South Africa (Alexander, 2013). Se’ Stwetla, a growing informal settlement within Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, experiences many of these environmental and social stressors. The area has existed since 1996 and is home to over 3000 people .The location of Se’ Stwetla means that there is little to no access to medical, psychological or other services and there are few safe spaces for children to play.


The Ububele Ubuntu Bus is a mobile psychology ‘clinic’ that goes into Se’ Stwetla with the aim to offer opportunities for play, which is essential for the all-round development of children (Davin, 2013), and also as a way of connecting with the community and forging relationships. Through observation and reflections the intervention attempts to understand the community, and draws on psychoanalytic observations to focus on seeing what is already there, rather than seeking out what the observer thinks they should see (Miller, 1997).


Using psychoanalytic tools, this paper will critically reflect on on the importance and therapeutic value of play and the in which this is perceived. It will also highlight the way in which observation is both a means in which we gain insight as well as a non-threatening way of offering a sensitive intervention in a community. It will engage with some of the difficulties encountered during this project, as well as make sense of community perceptions and the way in which our personal experiences and identities are negotiated and understood.  Finally the hope is to shed light on the dynamic nature of psychoanalytic work, particularly relating to young children and their caregivers, in a South African community setting.


Beyond Perspectives on Trauma: An Application of Insight

Karen Solms


Humans and sub-human mammals share their make-up, especially as regards the structure and function of the brain and nervous system. Make-up here refers to ‘innerspace’-that internal meeting place of body, mind, heart, soul, family, culture, history, evolution and more. This case study of six, traumatized/brutalized dogs from the animal shelter, demonstrates that we as mammals are plastic; we are born to adapt to nurturance, bonding and cure, as much as to developmental disruption. This report and presentation constitutes a systematic application of psychoanalytic principles to internal malformation and change. The implications for positive social change on a broad scale will be considered and demonstrated through the preventative development project called Youth Empowerment Action. Whether one prevents maladaptation or rehabilitate the effects of trauma, the outcome will be the same.


Play in the Supervisory Space

David Hadley


This paper looks at the process of supervision of psychotherapeutic work with children in a setting where trauma is a factor in the internal and external worlds. It builds upon ideas based upon the concept of a malignant container and its detrimental impact on paternal functioning. The capacity to hold onto the ‘third position’ and engage creatively with the ‘analytic third’ as described, respectively, by Britton and Ogden is seen as central to such work. It is important for the supervision to help the therapist to ‘observe oneself whilst being oneself’ (Britton) and to avoid becoming more ‘a figure in the dream than a dreamer of the dream (a dreamer of the analytic relationship)’ (Ogden)


The supervisor has the privilege of occupying the position of observer when the therapist brings their experience of the patient: verbally; symbolically; in the transference or projected into the supervisory relationship. This can help mediate the impact of the ‘shock wave’ (Lanyado) that the communication of trauma carries, which threatens to collapse the transitional space.


A link is made with Winnicott’s assertion that psychotherapy is done in the overlap of two areas of playing, that of patient and that of therapist and that if either can not play psychotherapy can not proceed. (Playing and Reality).

To counter this it is argued that it is necessary for the supervisor to engage in play, by which is meant being willing to shift the focus of attention from the embodied to intersubjective experience, symbolic communication and to the external world, using metaphor, verbal description and theory, as is necessary.


Taking Play Therapy to the Cape Flats: Introducing Expressive Sandwork

Dr Philippa Colinese and Dr John Gosling (South African Association of Jungian Analysts)


There are vast numbers of South Africans living in vulnerable communities characterized by poverty, unemployment, gangsterism, abuse and crime. The children in such environments are at risk for emotional disturbances, but are unlikely to receive psychological support. One intervention which can be used in these contexts is Expressive Sandwork, developed over a number of years by Eva Pattis Zoja.

The South African Association of Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) in collaboration with a non-profit organisation, Community Action towards a Safer Environment (CASE), worked together to introduce Expressive Sandwork in Hanover Park, a vulnerable community in the Cape Flats.  Volunteers to facilitate this intervention were drawn mostly from the Hanover Park community and were trained in Expressive Sandwork by Eva Pattis Zoja. Children were referred by teachers and aftercare workers. Volunteers attended support groups with analysts from SAAJA

Expressive Sandwork draws on Jung’s idea of the self-actualizing capacity of the psyche. It also draws on sandplay therapy, and on Freud’s idea of the Free Clinics which operated in Europe before WWII. It is a non-verbal group process, where each child pairs up with a trained adult volunteer, and spends an hour working in their own sandtray, using miniatures to create their own story. The sessions take place each week in the same setting over a twelve week period.

Besides describing the background to Expressive Sandwork and how it was successfully implemented in Hanover Park, this presentation will focus on a sequence of sandtrays which eloquently portrays the journey taken by one particular child in the Hanover Park Project over twelve weeks. Seeing the remarkable results of this work as manifest in the powerful imagery which emerges over the weeks, shows the undoubted benefit of providing a free and protected environment in which children can play creatively.



How eight Tamaho Nursery school children used play group therapy to regain the self that was thought lost 

Sibongile Tloubatla: Therapist

Tshidi Maseko: Supervisor


Every child needs the security of unconditional love from his parents and other adults who play an important role in their lives. Children with history of trauma, abuse and neglect often at times are robbed of this opportunity and present with behavioural challenges for expression of their emotional need. Through group play therapy this paper seeks to indicate how 8 children from a deprived Kathlehong township environment were seen weekly at their Tamaho nursery school for over a year and how group play therapy has allowed them an opportunity to speak the unspeakable through relieving their psychological trauma by use of projection and identification form of communicating in releasing their anxieties and defences amongst themselves through play in the presence of an accepting adult (therapist).


Couch and Criminality

Ethical Reflections on Juvenile Criminal Capacity Assessments and Research

Philippa Martin
What does psychoanalytic thinking have to do with Juvenile Forensic Assessment and research? This presentation looks at ethical concerns regarding the current criminal capacity assessment process for children. It explores possible courses of ethical action for the clinician concerned about working in a questionable system and how these lead to an engaged scholarship (research).

The Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 describes schedule 3 offences as violent criminal activity, including rape, murder, and attempted murder amongst others. In South Africa, under the Child Justice Act (75 of 2008) children aged 10-14 years are presumed not to have criminal capacity. However, this is a rebuttable presumption. This is the group of children who are by law (Child Justice Act, 75 of 2008) required to undergo a criminal capacity assessment after committing a schedule 3 offence, if the court wishes to proceed to trial. The state has determined that in order to meet the requirements of this law the Department of Health shall provide the assessment of criminal capacity by suitably qualified mental health professionals. In October 2013 the Western Cape Juvenile Forensic Assessment Team was established at Valkenberg Hospital with the appointment of an assessing psychologist under the supervision of, and in collaboration with Dr Susan Hawkridge  informally ‘on loan’ from Tygerberg Hospital.

After more than two years of these assessments of largely neglected, abused and impoverished children in an unsupported team, battling for legitimacy, a battle weary  clinician asks “Is doing this work that is legislated for in fact ethical?” There are ethical arguments for the analyst to make public comment, to lobby and/or to act when the system is in crisis. This presentation considers these arguments in response to the ethical concerns regarding the current criminal capacity assessment system and how research became the presenter’s solution.


Transpersonal and Psychoanalytic Psychoeducation and Counselling in Teacher Wellness Group Work in a Care Centre for Maltreated Youth

Sharon Johnson, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Psychology Department, Stellenbosch University; Part-time Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, Cornerstone Institute


Care facilities in the Western Cape for maltreated youth have been systematically repurposed over the past 20 years by the Western Cape Education Department and the last remaining centre in Cape Town has been ordered to close by a recent judgement in the Supreme Court of South Africa. Neglected adolescents will in future be incarcerated in correctional facilities for juvenile offenders. This paper examines the wellness group work carried out in the care centre with teachers and support staff in participatory action research over a two year period (2015-2016), utilising transpersonal psychological techniques with psychoanalytic psychoeducation and counselling. The mixed open group consisted of 20 members who met weekly for the first year, and bi-monthly in the second year, for one hour. Personal written reflections and focus group interviews informed the impact of group work in the context of multiple systemic traumas. These ranged from intergenerational trauma dating back to apartheid, continuous trauma in the context of violence and poverty on the Cape Flats, and secondary and vicarious trauma as teachers and staff had to deal with the dysfunctional behaviours of maltreated male adolescents, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma, sent by the courts to the centre. The combination of transpersonal psychology practices with psychoanalytic psychoeducation and counselling provided an effective healing space to promote wellness, enabling teachers to process the violent and disruptive behaviour of learners and understand their own responses to multiple systemic challenges. The wellness group aligned with the centre’s organisational shift from punitive to caring approaches for maltreated youth, widening the rift between judicial decisions on the rights of children and youth in South Africa and educational psychological practices for at-risk adolescents.






River Club, First Floor, Landing outside the Congo Room.


The registration desk will open at 12h00 on Friday, 28 October and remain open until the end of the conference.

The registration desk will open at 08h00 on Saturday, 29 October and remain open until the afternoon tea break.


Registration folders, badges, final programme etc. will be available for collection at the registration desk.


Lost & found items – please contact registration desk staff.




Cocktail Reception:

The River Club

Friday, 28 October

17h15 – 19h15

R90.00 per person

Includes light cocktail snacks


Cocktail Tickets: If you have booked for the Cocktail reception your ticket will be in your name badge pouch.


Arrival & mid afternoon tea/coffee will be provided on Friday.

Arrival, mid-morning refreshments, mid-afternoon refreshments and lunches will be provided each day.  Refreshments will be served in Orange Room



Please ensure that you wear your name badge at ALL times, including social functions.



If you need Continuing Professional Development points or an attendance certificate please sign the register twice a day at the registration desk.


Certificates will be sent to you by email after the Congress.




All sessions will be recorded provided permission is granted by the speakers.

Recordings will be made available on request and order forms will be available at the registration desk should you wish to purchase a recording.

Recordings will be made available on both USB and DVD disc at the following prices:


USB – R300.00

DVD Disc – R250.00

Fees include delivery to your chosen address