Psychological Society of South Africa

Reattributing shame as an act of social justice

By Rebecca Helman I remember the first time I gave a talk to a group of strangers about that fact that I had been raped. The shame of it felt like a weight, trying to crush me into the floor as I attempted to stand up tall and look unblinkingly out into the room. In…

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An open statement supporting Caster Semenya’s human rights and dignity

It is with great concern that the Sexuality and Gender Division (SGD) of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) has been following Caster Semenya’s¹ quest to compete in international athletics. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) is proposing a new ruling to set a limit on female athletes’ testosterone levels in certain track…

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The Depo-Testosterone stock out must never repeat itself

By Chris/tine McLachlan It was with great concern that the Sexuality and Gender Division (SGD) of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) became aware of the shortage of Depo Testosterone in South Africa during the period December 2018 till mid-March 2019, resulting in trans masculine persons / trans men being unable to access their…

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Reflections of an intern psychologist burning out in a public hospital

By Jordan du Toit There was a strike at Bara yesterday. Someone from Soweto came to watch and said, “Ask anybody here in Soweto and they will tell you they don’t want to go to Bara because they might come back in a coffin”. I couldn’t go to the protest. I was literally too busy…

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‘Ubuhle bendoda, izinkomozakhe’ and the trouble with paying lobolo

By Refiloe Makama “Men are never ugly”. Nnu Ego makes this statement in Buchi Emecheta’s novel, The Joys of Motherhood, set during the colonial period in Nigeria. In a scene between two friends, the protagonist Nnu Ego had recently lost her first child, and Ato, her childhood friend comes to comfort her. In a memorable moment,…

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Being Cuban and black in post-apartheid South Africa

By Sol Maria Fernandez Knight Growing up, my mother always told me that I was a special child. But then again many parents want their children to feel unique and valuable, to instill a sense of pride in their identity, and to remind them of their heritage. As a child I did not think how being…

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What we’ve learnt from analysing 300 calls to a mental health helpline in South Africa

By Dessy Deysel and Dr. Linda Eskell Blokland We see the toll-free numbers on TV, read about them in magazines and newspapers, hear radio personalities encourage us to reach out. Helplines for depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions are being used daily in our country, where one in three of us will likely experience a…

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Dutch Reformed Church leader misrepresents paedophilic disorder as same-sex sexual orientation: An open statement by PsySSA

Introduction The Psychological Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Sexuality and Gender Division (SGD[1]) welcomed the Dutch Reformed Church Synod’s decision in 2015 to embrace gay and lesbian ministers/reverends, ordain them in their calling as ministers/reverends, and acknowledge and bless gay and lesbian congregants’ unions by conducting and officiating their marriages under the Civil Union Act….

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#TotalShutdown and gender non-conforming people: Will mental health providers be responding?

By Chris/tine McLachlan As a psychologist working in this field I have seen first-hand how rape, sexual assault, hate crimes and other gender-based violence against womxn (GBVAW) completely change a person’s life. I see the re-traumatisation, even as the person goes through the healing process, and how they often experience a profound loss of control….

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Climate change and the long walk back to ourselves

By Garret Barnwell The taps will run dry, fires will rage, new diseases will emerge and the weather will run an increasingly unpredictable gambit. This is what you likely have heard of the future in the era of climate change. But did you know the climate change and environmental destruction has a profound impact on…

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