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Clinical Psychologist

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Carl Jung

ABOUT ME
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Bakery Owner

About me

I am a clinical psychologist in private practice, consulting from Bergvliet, Cape Town. I offer a safe, empathic space for clients to understand and become attuned to their emotions, equipping them to deal with current and future challenges.

I completed my training at the Child Guidance Clinic at the University of Cape Town (with distinction) and my internship at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital. I conducted my master’s research on the subject of rape and post-traumatic stress disorder through my affiliation with Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust where I was a volunteer counsellor for three years. Through my clinical training year, I had exposure to child and family work (including play therapy for children), autism spectrum disorder and couple’s therapy. During my internship I gained experience in treating the psychotic disorders, offering assessment and psychotherapeutic support to adults living with intellectual disability and treating a wide range of mental health difficulties such as depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders. I also gained experience in medium to long-term psychotherapy for adults and play therapy for children. Through both training years I gained an interest and valuable exposure to psychometric and neuropsychological assessment. My community service year was completed in the department of Correctional Services where I worked with offenders presenting with depression, anxiety and adjustment difficulties.

Fostering emotional connectedness is a core value of mine personally and in my practice. Outside of work, I enjoy connecting with family and friends over meals, walking in the mountain and (when I can find the time) reading a novel.

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SERVICES I OFFER

Services I offer

Individual psychotherapy for adults forms the core of my practice. I take on a limited number of couples for couple's therapy. 

I work with most clinical disorders and my areas of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

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  • Anxiety

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Bereavement

  • Blended family dynamics

  • Cancer care and support

  • Depression

  • Disability

  • Existential challenges

  • Family problems

  • Infertility

  • Integration of faith and mental health

  • Parenting difficulties

  • Personal growth

  • Pregnancy and postpartum difficulties/adjustment

  • Trauma

How I work

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My approach is one of collaboration, empathy and to foster curiosity about your internal world. I endeavour to offer you a comfortable space to explore concerns or difficulties that are keeping you from living your life to the fullest. I hope to work with you to develop better insight, find deeper emotional connection in meaningful relationships, build resilience and discover appropriate coping skills that you can draw on, long after our process has come to an end.

 

Theoretically, I have a keen interest in psychodynamic theory and my training has been primarily in this modality. My work is also influenced by attachment theory especially as it is conceptualised in emotionally focused therapy and mentalization based therapy. I also enjoy working systemically as I believe that interventions with systems can effect change and lead to more fulfilling relationships and improved psychological functioning. The works of Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Donald Winnicott, Frantz Fanon, Urie Bronfenbrenner, Steve Biko, Peter Fonagy, Anthony Bateman and Susan Johnson have greatly shaped my thinking as a clinician working in South Africa.

“Having a positive sense of connection with others is the best, and perhaps the only viable way of helping human beings find a place called ‘safe and sound’.”

Sue Johnson

Carl Jung

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How I work
FAQ'S
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Frequently asked questions

I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THERAPY; HOW DOES IT WORK?

Initially, we will meet for one to three sessions to get to know each other while exploring the reasons that brought you to therapy and what your therapeutic goals are. An important part of this initial assessment phase will include us speaking through some of the significant events of your life and how they have impacted you in the here-and-now. If indicated, I will also do a diagnostic assessment. These sessions allow you to get an idea of how I work and whether you feel comfortable to continue the therapeutic relationship. After the assessment sessions we will discuss my recommendations for treatment and decide on a way forward. 

HOW LONG IS THERAPY?

Sessions are 50 minutes long. For family therapy, longer sessions (80 minutes) may be indicated. It is recommended to meet weekly to gain the necessary momentum in your process. However, we will discuss your needs and decide the best way forward together. The number of sessions required is different for each client based on their therapeutic needs and the length and frequency of the psychotherapy sessions will be determined accordingly. It is important to remember that psychotherapy is not a quick fix option. Thoughts and behaviour patterns that have been established over a lifetime will take time to unpack, explore and change. Ultimately a therapeutic journey is an investment in your long-term well-being.

 

CAN WE MEET ONLINE?

Yes, it is possible for us to conduct our sessions using online platforms. It is preferable for us to meet in person first and to have a clear idea about your therapeutic needs before moving psychotherapy online.

WHAT ARE YOUR FEES AND WHAT IS YOUR PAYMENT POLICY?

 

I charge medical aid rates for clients who can claim from their schemes for psychotherapy. I am contracted into most major medical aids and can claim directly from them. For clients paying cash, all consultations are to be settled on the day, via EFT. Please enquire about my current cash rate.

 

WILL MY MEDICAL AID COVER MY SESSIONS?

 

Medical aids usually cover psychotherapy out of day-to-day benefits or medical savings. A select group of mental health conditions fall under Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs). This means that medical aids are required by law to cover up to 15 sessions of psychotherapy for clients who meet the criteria for these PMB conditions. It is best for members to confirm whether their treatment will be covered by their medical aid by contacting them directly.

DO YOU CHARGE FOR CANCELLED/MISSED APPOINTMENTS?

Appointments that are missed without notice or cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged at the full rate. When this happens, I am not able to use this time for another client. Unfortunately, missed sessions may not be claimed from medical aids.

“A thing which has not been understood inevitably reappears; like an unlaid ghost, it cannot rest until the mystery has been solved and the spell broken."

Sigmund Freud

Succulent Leaves

Contact me

061 509 8379

nicky@nicoladollman.com

Dreyersdal Road, Bergvliet

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