About Psychologists South Africa: A go-to site for everything you ever wanted to know about psychology. Up-to-date and accurate information on disorders, relationship and personal difficulties, emotional problems, difficulties in just living in a very complex world. Information on what works in the field of mental health and the practitioners who specialise in treatments.

With all the information available it is surprisingly difficult to find accurate and relevant information on mental illnesses and their treatment. There is a bewildering array of theories, interpretations, views on what mental illness is. Add to that, literally hundreds of approaches to treatment, all of which claim that they have found the approach that works. On this site we hope to bring clarity. We will be drawing on interesting history of psychology, current developments in the field and efficacy of various treatments.

Psychologists who will be listed on this site will represent a range of interests in therapy and counselling.

Elaine Bing

Website: Elaine

Focus on Elaine Bing

How long have you been in practice?
I qualified in 1989. I first worked at the then Department of Manpower (Labour) for a few years. I started a part-time practice in 1992. In 1993 I and Jacqui van Staden started full-time in practice in Sunnyside. I’ve been in practice ever since.

What are your interests in practice?
My main interests through the years has been the impact of adverse childhood experiences on adults. This has led to extensive training and work in helping people manage depression, anxiety and trauma. I have also worked with perpetration, in particular men who have been involved in torture and killing.
Currently, I’m picking up on an interest I had thirty years ago in psychoeducation where we assist people to develop and strengthen skills such as those we need for successful relationships with others and those we need for managing clinical illnesses such as depression and anxiety. We are also, through traecan a company we established, training teachers to recognise and manage psychological and behavioural problems in the classroom.

What has been the most useful training you have done?
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) which is used in dealing with traumatic events was and is extremely useful. It’s an apparently bizarre approach which gives, at times, magical results in confronting and managing trauma. It is now an evidence-based intervention – in other words there is sufficient good research that indicates it is efficacious in dealing with trauma. I also use cognitive behavioural therapy daily. I was also fortunate that I was exposed to psychoeducation in the work Prof Willie Schoeman was doing in the 1980s. Teaching of skills is probably some of the most useful work we do.

How has your work affected you?
I’ve become more accepting that most people are doing the best they can. While doing a doctorate and working with men who had tortured and killed, I realised it was only an accident of birth that separated me from them. Had I been born into their circumstances it could have been me who was guilty of atrocities against others. This knowledge is useful in preventing judgement of others.

Email: Christa

Focus on Christa Visagie

How long have you been in practice?
Nineteen hundred and eighty eight. 1 of June. Long time. Private practice: Since 1997.

What type of work do you focus on?

  • I work with children using well documented and researched therapeutic interventions of play. My passion is including parents in the treatment of their children, being practical and making the science of play relevant and useful to them.
  • People who are experiencing chronic pain and who are craving a higher quality of life. The value-based, action-orientated approach that Contextual Behavioural Science offers, makes it possible for the client and myself to form a team that makes psychological concepts useful in improving the quality of their lives.
  • Overcoming stressful life events and psychological adjustment in the aftermath of stressful events.

Do you have a favourite approach? Play Therapy. Contextual Behaviourism and in general a big dose of Positive Psychology.

How has your work affected you?
It has and it hasn’t. Although it can be highly stressful and the weight of the responsibilities is not light, it is also hugely satisfying. If I could suddenly be a younger version of myself standing before the junction of my career decision I would not chose any other job.

What makes you excited about your job?

The science of psychology in practice. To be part of a fraternity that used to be underdogs of the scientific world and that has a crucial and extraordinary role to play. The resilience and kindness of others. The silent power of empathy and compassion that never fails. The drive toward psychological flexibility and how individuals, families, communities and nations might benefit from that.

You can build, break or mould ...