Psychological Society of South Africa

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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Decolonizing the Self, transforming psychology

Dr Shahieda Jansen Right from the start of my career as a psychologist, I struggled with a sense of alienation, with feelings of resistance to the very idea of “being a psychologist”. After qualifying as a psychologist I self-identified as a researcher in health program development for many years. I finally surrendered and ventured into…

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Inner demons of sports: what happens to players after the soccer world cup ends?

By Dr Kirsten van Heerden ‘What makes one heroic?’ wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. Interesting question. What would your answer be? Nietzsche’s answer was profound in its simplicity: Heroic is to face simultaneously one’s greatest suffering and one’s highest hope. Sport is littered with examples that give life to this definition. Take the current Soccer World Cup…

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Book review: Yalom’s memoir bravely turns the psychoanalytic gaze inwards

  By Suntosh R. Pillay When I read The Gift of Therapy after my internship, I felt liberated. I started my first year of independent practice with a newfound confidence and ease born directly from my first foray into the masterful, soulful, instructive storytelling of Dr. Irvin D. Yalom. I have, over the years, internalized…

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For black women, marriage is not a happily ever after

By Refiloe Makama On the 19th of May 2018 the world watched the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. With over 29 million people watching, the wedding was filled with every detail that marks a ‘true fairy-tale‘. Right here at home, every Sunday on the popular channel Mzanzi…

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The politics of mental health provision in a liberal democracy

By Sipho Dlamini The recent discussion between Eusebius McKaiser and Mazibuko K Jara on the place of liberalism in South Africa sparked an interesting question on mental health provision in a liberal democracy such as ours. In reading these discussions, I was reminded about a simple and yet incisive point about liberalism given by Professor…

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Researching and re-imagining the “Fag Hag”

By Zipho Dolamo We’ve all heard the term “fag hag” – generally defined as a heterosexual woman who primarily associates and maintains friendships with gay men. Bruce Rodgers is one of the authors accredited for coining the concept in his 1972 book The Queen’s Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon. Rodgers(1972, p.78) defines a fag hag as:…

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