Psychological Society of South Africa

Social and emotional skills will improve education and grow our economy

Dr Gloria Marsay People faced with adversities in developing countries struggle to bridge the gap between education and work. A key challenge for 21st century schools involves serving culturally diverse students with appropriate transferable skill domains, i.e. deep human skills and advanced technical skills essential for economic empowerment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (#4IR), as described…

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Working with men towards ending violence and promoting positive masculinities

By Refiloe Makama & Sipho Dlamini Violence has remained a longstanding characteristic of the country. Gender-based violence (or more accurately: violence perpetuated by men against women and children and other male persons) appears to be on the rise, xenophobic attacks spring up all around the country, and other contact crimes saw an increase in the…

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Modern neuroscience-based therapies can help resolve trauma faster than ever

By Terence Watts Contact crime continues to increase in SA, up by 2.6% in 2019. Debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often the aftermath and it can be difficult to understand what’s going on, in order to help the affected person, despite this having to do with the way an ancient part of the brain…

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An open letter to my students: Cat-calling women is not okay

By Kerry Frizelle While I was lecturing, a female student arrived late*. As she made her way to a seat, another student cat-called her (a whistle).  The female student was already conspicuous because she was late and the cat-call drew the entire class’s attention to her.  It took me a while to process what was…

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Can young people really know they are gay?

By Pierre Brouard and Judith Ancer If a young person feels that they are gay, is the priority to work out if they are sure they are gay, or to help them deal with the fears and anxieties of their family and friends? We are two psychologists who work regularly with this dilemma, and recent…

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Do we still need an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia?

By Pierre Brouard Do we still need an International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics? If this year’s events I attended are…

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The first rule of large group awareness trainings…

By John Hunter, Ph.D If you have ever been invited by an enthusiastic family member, friend, or work colleague to attend the graduation of a seminar that “transformed” their life, but they refused to provide details about what actually took place in this seminar, then you were probably being invited to a large group awareness…

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An open critique of the Nieuwoudt et al (2019) study on coloured women

By the Division for Research & Methodology (DRM) The Psychological Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Division for Research and Methodology (DRM) is committed to the teaching, practice and promotion of relevant, appropriate and ethical scientific research in South Africa. We are disturbed by and strongly opposed to the practice of misusing racial classification in scientific…

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Creating space to talk about the politics of shame

By Rebecca Helman and Neziswa Titi In their interview with Elspeth Probyn, Vivienne Bozalek, Tamara Shefer and Ronelle Carolissen argue that “[s]hame has typically been understood as a negative emotion, a view which is prevalent in individualist, psychologising discourses about human experience”. Conversely Probyn argues that shame can be a generative force, one which is…

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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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