Psychological Society of South Africa

Harm reduction versus abstinence: experts debate drug laws

By Ian Broughton A protest march during SA Drug Policy Week in Cape Town. (File photo: Ashraf Hendricks) South African drug policy is rooted in racism and class discrimination. This was the view expressed by Dr Ethan Nadelmann at the opening of SA Drug Policy Week in Cape Town earlier this month. Nadelmann is the…

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At age 55 I began to hear voices: My journey into and out of madness

by Greg Shankland It was while living in New York City at age 55 that I suddenly began to hear voices, out of the blue. How did a smart, accomplished businessman succumb to fear and paranoia, to mania and unusual beliefs, so suddenly and so quickly? Importantly, how did I break through it? The first…

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Single vs two-parent families: A Western Cape study of well-being

by Dr Eugene Lee Davids Several theories exist within the field of psychology. These theories act as lenses to make sense of the world we live in and are important in understanding our interactions within the world as human beings. In South Africa, a country rich in diversity, a theoretical framework that I find very…

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How to prevent another Life Esidimeni tragedy – experts speak out

By Suntosh R. Pillay On the surface of the disaster caused by the Gauteng Department of Health, it seems bizarre that vulnerable people were treated with no respect for their human rights, in a country whose Constitution fiercely protects them, supported by explicit legislation on the rights of the mentally ill (the Mental Health Care…

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The resilience of a Somali community in Joburg

By Jennifer Sigamoney Globally, South Africa’s democracy is venerated and remains a symbol of hope for the rest of the continent. Consequently, however, to the initiation of true, representative egalitarianism in 1994, South Africa has attracted more asylum seekers than any other nation. The focus of this article is a small Somali community of political…

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‘Pay up!’ Unmarried fathers’ experiences of fatherhood

Dr. Elmien Lesch Research indicates that absent or uninvolved fathers have a negative impact on the psychosocial well-being of children. This is particularly important for South Africa as it has the second highest rate of father absence in Africa. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the presence of a father in itself…

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Reflections on my life on Robben Island

By Professor Saths Cooper Much has been said and written about apartheid political imprisonment as the triumph of the human spirit under extreme conditions, which it most certainly was. Distance in time and place usually lends a weird enchantment to views and memories that we may have experienced. Our natural tendency is to shy away…

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Self-serving black leaders: why the masses are “forgotten”

By Sebenzile Nkosi Africans have fought long and hard for independence from colonial rule. Leaders of the struggle have been hailed for their self-sacrifice, many of whom have been prepared to pay the ultimate price of death at the hands of their colonisers and allies, for the course. A large part of this struggle, not…

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Eco-psychology: Using bonsai to heal and find meaning

By Dr. Caroll Hermann In a recent episode of Binnelanders, a popular Afrikaans soapie on kykNet, Iva, the psychologist overcame her grief of not being able to have children by planting a tree. Some bonsaiists “make”a tree in remembrance of loved ones who have passed on or as a celebration of the birth of their…

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The psychology of hope and earning a livelihood in South Africa

Dr Gloria Marsay South Africa continues to face an economic-socio-political crisis. The harsh reality of South Africa’s economic crisis suggests one of the highest Gini Coefficients in the world. Unemployment figures continue to rise. The draft policy issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training reveals that 68% of South Africa’s unemployed are in…

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