Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

Brene Brown

My Story

I am a clinical psychologist and my passion is to assist individuals on their journey of empowerment and healing. Change is necessary to develop and heal and all of our experiences are paramount in this process.

My experience with counselling, along with my own goal of individual growth, led me to the decision to continue full time study in order to complete my Master’s degree in clinical psychology at a mature age.  I have worked in various industry sectors and this equipped me with a variety of skills and allowed me to gain experience with life and its challenges. This enhances my own frame of reference and ability to build relationships and function within a variety of cultures and contexts.  I have two adult children and have been married for almost 30 years. I’m creative and enjoy most forms of art and expressions of innermost thoughts and feelings. My love for people and human connection is reflected in my style of socialising and interaction with friends, peers and clients.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard

My Career

I am in full time private practice and work in association with the M-Care Clinic in Durbanville as well as the Vredekloof Psychiatric Clinic and the psychiatrists who admit at these clinics and others. The work  entails seeing both out- and in-patients and previously facilitating daily groups at the Vredekloof Clinic. Previously I worked as a locum at a West Beach Clinic practice and at the Vredekloof Psychiatric Clinic. The work respectively entailed seeing both out- and in-patients and facilitating daily groups at the Vredekloof Clinic for a year. These groups mainly focused on psycho-education on better stress management, assertiveness, boundaries and relationships for a healthier more fulfilled life. Aside from seeing patients I also lectured at the University of the Western Cape on a part time basis.

I completed my clinical psychology community service at the Department of Corrections, (Brandvlei Management Area, predominantly in the Youth Centre). The work involved mostly working with male youth offenders (aged 16 to 27) and included individual therapy, group therapy and psychological risk assessments for the parole board. During this part of my journey, I experienced and toiled at understanding the individuals who perpetrate these various offenses, including economic, substance-, gang-related, violent and sexual crimes.  Better understanding the psyche of criminals and victims gives me the ability to understand both sides of an interaction. Being considerate of the contributing factors that lead to the perpetrating behaviour and the ability to hold extremes (traumas, personality styles and types of crimes) were invaluable.

I completed my internship year at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria. I experienced rotations at neuro-psychology, cardio & health psychology and the acute adult psychiatry ward, also in paediatrics, emergencies, and psychological assessments for medical boards. I facilitated substance abuse- & stop smoking groups and individual psychotherapy with the elderly, adults, adolescents and children populations. My involvement with patients who experienced intense loss and grief was pronounced during the year, allowing me more insight into the deep process of loss and trying to better understand this intense human experience.

The trauma saturated environments of prison, children’s homes (youth, adolescent and child focused) as well as the various abusive contexts of Saartjie Baartman and Tafelsig Community Centre in Mitchell’s Plain, with a focus on adult women and their traumatic experiences, add to my experience of work in trauma laden contexts.

My training

  • MA Clinical Psychology (University of Western Cape 2017), with distinction
  • BPsych (Hons) (Midrand Graduate Institute 2013) with distinction;
  • Diploma Counselling and Communication (SACAP 2010);

I am trained psycho-dynamically with an affinity for object relations and the importance of attachment and trauma in early years of life as a way of conceptualizing and guiding therapy.  I am a strong believer that these early experiences have an undeniable impact on current relationships and in the manner in which we experience life. In the same manner, I believe that the therapeutic relationship is very important in assisting clients in realizing their potential and experiencing a corrective interactional relational connection. Our patterns of behaviour that emerge through our way of interaction in our relationships, most often are the primary reason for our difficulties in life.

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

Sophia Bush

My Practice

My way of conceptualising and guiding therapy is underpinned by the importance of each client’s individuality and the value that a client holds in participating in the therapeutic process. My approach is mainly psycho-dynamic but because of each individual’s uniqueness, incorporating particular aspects of various treatment modalities allows me to tailor the process to their needs.

My professional interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Trauma
  • Dealing with criminal elements self/others (perpetrators and victims)
  • Bereavement and coping with loss
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Interpersonal and relationship difficulties
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Adjustment and major life transitions
  • Developing life skills
  • Coping with health problems
  • Post adoption supportive reuniting of families
  • Couple’s therapy

My services are available in English and Afrikaans.

Publications & Presentations

  • Presentation of honours dissertation
    PSYSSA Conference 2014
    16 – 19 September 2014
  • Article publication – “A comparative study into the coping strategies employed by undergraduate psychology and non-psychology students”
    New Voices in Psychology
    11 January 2015

Additional training

  • Mamela Psychology Union Congress (HPCSA)
  • Abandonment Depression (Masterson Institute South Africa Conference)
  • Money Matters in Psychotherapy (Penny Stopforth)
  • Adolescent sex offenders (SASHA)
  • Starting and Maintaining a Psychology Practice: “What I wished I’d known”
  • Risk assessment for Prevention & Intervention; Work with violent and/or sex offenders
  • Restorative Justice Training Programme
  • Interactive Pattern Analysis Level 1
  • Neuropsychology: Essential Tools for the Practitioner
  • Overview of the theory & treatment of the disorders of the self (Masterson Institute)
  • Mentalization Conference
  • Working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Contact Details 

General/ Appointments

021 976 9549

Sanche Nel

083 447 0224 (Emergency Only)

Accounts (Carina)

084 803 4943


19 Hafele St, Durbanville, Cape Town, 7550
-33.83118, 18.65261

Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.

Unknown author

Bookings & fees

Appointments can be scheduled directly with the practice on 021 976 9549 or

Practice hours from Mon to Thurs 9 – 5 and Friday 9 – 12

Cancellations & changes

If you need to change or cancel an existing appointment, please contact me at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of the appointment. Missed appointments and those not cancelled/moved 24 hours prior will be charged in full and are not covered by medical aid schemes

Sanche Nel Psychology

19 Hafele St,
Cape Town,