Psychologist's office to sublet three afternoons a week and on Saturday mornings in a busy medical centre in Parkwood, Johannesburg. The centre is just two blocks from the Mall of Rosebank, in walking distance from the Gautrain and easily accessible from Jan Smuts Avenue, Oxford Road and the M1. Available from 1 August 2014. For inquiries and further information contact Justine on 083 227 1468 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jonathan on 083 703 5121 or email@example.com.
Healthcare professions often play an integral part in a transgender person's transitioning. This may include aiding the individual in better understanding their gender identity, planning what a transition will mean for that individual, dealing with the adjustments that are inherent to a transition or providing medical care (such as hormones or surgery). Frequently, healthcare professionals also provide a supportive role, such as through check-ups or through counselling and psychotherapy.
In addition to the assistance provided by healthcare professionals the support and resources contributed by other trans people is becoming more and more evident in transitionings. The explosion of the internet and access to the internet has enabled previously isolated individuals to connect with one another. Websites, blogs, online forums, instant messaging and other online platforms allow for rapid sharing of information and support (obviously with caution being necessary with regards to the reliability of information and the nature of privacy. There are certain things for which the opinion and guidance of the healthcare professional cannot be substituted). However, despite the empowering boom in trans resources by trans persons many trans people still find it hard to find and meet with other trans people in safe spaces.
A much-needed support group for trans people by trans people, CtrlAltGender, has recently been started at Wits University in Johannesburg:
"He? She? For some of us, gender is not so simple. For Trans* People by Trans* People. CtrlAltGender is a trans* advocacy, activism and support group. It is based at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg but is by no means limited to Wits students/staff. Its main role is to provide a safe and secure trans* space to provide support and guidance to the trans* community within the local Joburg area. Beyond that the group functions to challenge cissexism within the university and the community at large.
Trans* is an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. There’s a ton of diversity there, but we often group them all together (e.g., when we say “trans* issues). Trans (without the asterisk) is best applied to trans men and trans women, while the asterisk makes special note in an effort to include all non-cisgender gender identities, including transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman."
Any queries about the group can be directed to Jocelyn (firstname.lastname@example.org). The group also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
We have identified a need for more collaboration and support for mental healthcare professionals working with transgender, intersex and gender-variant individuals. We would like to invite interested parties to our upcoming meeting to:
DATE: Wednesday 19 February 2014
VENUE : The Family and Child Therapy Centre, 22 First Avenue, Melville (next door to the Melville Animal Clinic)
TIME: 19h15 for 19h30
RSVP TO: Jonathan Bosworth on email@example.com or 083 703 5121 by Wednesday 12 February
Jonathan Bosworth (Counselling Psychologist),
Claire Jaynes (Counselling Psychologist), and
Fred Walter (Clinical Psychologist)
Trans Student Equality Resources (TSER) have released an important series of infographics on transgender-related topics. Trans persons and significant others, family, friends and allies (SOFFAs) of trans persons may find these particularly helpful in educating themselves and those around them.
Babies have a rich mental life, and just like children and adults they can also experience psychological difficulties. Infants may not be able to convey their distress through language but often express their difficulties through restlessness, aggression, sleep, eating, elimination, relationship and developmental problems.
Babies' foundational way of knowing and experiencing the world is through their primary caregiver/s. The bond between the infant and their primary caregiver/s (commonly referred to as attachment) plays a huge role in an infant's mental and physical health. This bond can be disrupted for various reasons: due to difficulties within the infant (such as medical problems), difficulties within the primary caregiver/s (for example depression or loss) or in the dynamics between infant and caregiver (for instance a baby with a difficult temperament and a mother with low internal resources due to stressful circumstances).
Due to the importance of this bond and the baby not being able to experience psychotherapy by themselves, a strategic intervention for difficulties in infant (and sometimes parental) mental health is parent infant psychotherapy (PIP). In PIP both infant and parent/s are present in the room. The therapist particularly focuses on the relationship between the infant and their caregiver/s to help manage stress and work through psychological tensions in and between the baby and their caregiver/s. The therapist also provides the dyad (or triad) with support and guidance.
Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research describes what parent infant psychotherapy is a different way and provides a useful case example to better understand what PIP may entail.
Parenting teenagers can be very challenging but also really rewarding. Adolescence is an important developmental stage that often has a big impact on our later lives. Both parents and teenagers may approach adolescence with a mix of feelings.
Keeping all of this in mind, I will regularly be writing parenting articles for parents with teenagers for All4Women.co.za. I hope that these articles empower parents to assist themselves as well as their adolescents. Links to my first two articles can be found below:
Building and maintaining a good relationship with your child's school can have various benefits, such as:
- having a better understanding of your child's development
- being involved in preventing educational and behavioural problems
- demonstrating to your child how invested you are in them and their education
- being better able to support your child
- improving your child's attitude towards school and school attendance
- potentially improving your child's academic performance and overall functioning; and
- potentially allowing your child to go further in their education
But how do you build and maintain a good relationship with your child's school?
The article, Building a relationship with your child's school, provides some excellent practical advice on how to build and maintain this relationship. The article thoughtfully takes into account different parents' capacities (working or not working, amount of time available, own strengths etc.) and how to build the relationship at different levels of schooling.
The article is written by the Raising Children Network, an Australian parenting website. The website is a great resource for parents, families and teachers and offers valuable information on topics across your child's development.
Parenting children at any age can be stressful and difficult for parents. Dealing with this stress often impacts on the parents relationship with each other. Adolescence is commonly experienced as one of the more difficult developmental periods to parent. It hence may be more stressful and have a greater impact on the parents relationship. However, it is not just the stress of parenting teenagers that may increase this impact but the very nature of the developmental issues that adolescents are working through.
Psychologist Suzanne Phillips suggests three guiding principals (balance, communication and connection) that specifically assist with your teenager's navigation of their developmental tasks as well help strengthen your relationship with your partner. In Phillips' article (Raising Teens Without Ruining Your Marriage: Three Principles), she provides a useful overview of the difficulties underlying adolescence and how these may guide how teenagers may feel and behave. She relates these developmental challenges to the specific tasks parents of teenagers face and how they can practically address these while strengthening their own relationship. She also emphasise how rewarding and growth-promoting this period may be for you, your relationship and your adolescent:
"Whatever else life offers, raising a teen will probably offer you the greatest moments of joy and the greatest moments of stress. As such it can invite problems that strain your marriage and possibilities that enhance your parenting and partnering."
Twenty-some-things or people in their twenties are often not taken seriously. This period of life is commonly associated as being fun and carefree. In the following Ted Talk psychologist Meg Jay points out how this may be an unhelpful misconception. She thought-provokingly points out how one's twenties can have a major impact on the rest of one's life: in one's career, relationships and beyond. Jay call the twenties the critical developmental period of adulthood. I think this video is not only important for twenty-some-things (and pre-twenty-some-things) but also for older persons contemplating their development, their life-defining-moments and where they are currently.
Can the way we speak about HIV reduce stigma and lower HIV infection rates? This is what the Stigma Project hopes to achieve with their Spring 2013 Campaign:
I use this blog to post links to articles and videos that may relate to some of my services or interests. This content may also be useful for potential clients as well as other people interested in psychology and self development.