Ashton Robertson

Clinical Psychologist
Bryanston/Sandton, Johannesburg
BA (Rhodes); Hons Psych cum laude (Rhodes); MA Clin Psych cum laude (UJ)
Mobile Number: 074 233 3131
340 on Main Health & Wellness Centre, 340 Main Road, Bryanston, Sandton, South Africa

My services aim to provide the client with a safe and trusting space in order to enable self-exploration, self-understanding and self-growth and to relieve psychological distress.

Additionally I can assist with the diagnosis of mental disorders and provide the client with an appropriate referral to trusted psychiatrists. In the case of a confirmed diagnosis, the optimal treatment plan is for the psychologist and psychiatrist to work hand-in-hand for the benefit of the client.

I am trained to work from an integrative perspective. I therefore tailor each session to my client’s presenting problem and needs. I do believe that the therapeutic relationship enables meaningful change and I place an emphasis on a Rogerian client-centred approach.

I also favour an Interactional Pattern Analysis approach. This enables one to understand ineffective ways of interacting that can be changed and optimised to achieve positive ways of relating with the self and as a consequence, with others. By creating a beneficial change in one’s behaviour and utilising more effective communication, this in turn will enable more gratifying and supportive relationships.

I also see value in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, as well as Solution Focused Therapy and hypnotherapy.

My special interests include:

  • Adolescent psychotherapy
  • Adult psychotherapy
  • Couple’s psychotherapy
  • Equine-assisted psychotherapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Family psychotherapy
  • Parenting and teacher workshops

My Qualifications:

I am a clinical psychologist. I completed my undergraduate degree at Rhodes University. I continued my Psychology Honours degree at Rhodes University and graduated cum laude. I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and graduated cum laude at the University of Johannesburg.

I have an additional qualification in Equine-assisted Psychotherapy, cum laude.

Therapy Services Available:

I can assist with a variety of issues, such as: working toward the resolution of your presenting problems; providing you the client with coping skills; as well as working toward your therapeutic and life goals. I can assist with the following:

  • Adjustment issues
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Assertiveness and boundary setting
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Bereavement
  • Bipolar Mood Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Effective communication skills
  • Family conflict- family therapy
  • Gender issues, including gender transitions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • Relationship problems- couple’s therapy
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Somatic complaints
  • Stress
  • Suicidality
  • Trauma
  • Wanting to understand oneself better and on a deeper level
  • Work-related problems

I am registered with the following boards:

  • The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
  • The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF)
  • The Golden Key International Honour Society

Session and Fee Information:

Session Information:

  • Sessions are 50 minutes long.
  • I can accommodate sessions outside of normal office hours.
  • Treatment duration varies depending upon the individual, their therapeutic needs and goals and the severity and intricacy of the presenting problem.
  • Sessions are tailored to each individual. I prefer to work at a pace that is comfortable for my clients.
  • Psychotherapy sessions commonly range from 5 to 15 sessions per client.

Fee Information:

My fees are charged in accordance with medical aid rates.

Medical aid claims made on the client’s behalf.
I am able to claim directly from your medial aid on your behalf.

Cash payment for non-medical aid members.
A cash discount is available for non-medical aid members. The payable fee is R900 per session.

Equine-assisted psychotherapy
The fees are the same as above for medical aid and non-medical aid clients. However, the horse specialist requires an additional R400 fee which is not covered by medical aids.

What is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?

  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) has been developed by incorporating horses into the therapeutic process.
  • It is a team approach between a psychologist and a horse behaviour specialist, working with clients and horses to address the client’s therapeutic goals.
  • EAP is not a form of riding; interactions with the horse take place on the ground, alongside the horse.
  • Through EAP, clients are able to learn about themselves and their relationships with others, by partaking in activities with the horses.
  • Each EAP session has a planned and specific objective and is tailored to the client’s needs, thus making the therapy insight orientated.
  • The horse essentially mirrors the client’s process during the session which allows for rich therapeutic metaphors.
  • After the activity, the client and the psychologist process the client’s: thoughts; emotions; actions; and patterns of behaviour.
  • This feedback is then related to the client’s life and relationships and more effective patterns and options for change are explored.

Who can be treated with EAP?

EAP is beneficial to most clients (even those who are afraid of horses), including:

  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Groups (team building, including corporate)

What can be treated with EAP?

It is beneficial for a variety of difficulties, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Assertiveness skills
  • Bullying
  • Couple or marital difficulties
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Effective boundary setting skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Effective expression of needs
  • Effective problem solving skills
  • Empowerment, confidence and self-esteem building
  • Family conflict
  • Grief and loss
  • Improving social awareness and skills
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Stress management
  • Team building (including corporate)
  • Trauma

Why does EAP use horses?

  • Therapeutic animals are soothing and offer a less threatening therapeutic environment.
  • They are able to build the bridge between client and therapist interaction in a non-threatening and safe manner.
  • Research proves that working with therapeutic animals has a positive impact on clients. They help decrease depression, alleviate anxiety, and decrease aggressive behaviour in clients.
  • Therapeutic animals also offer positive physiological effects in humans, such as: lowering blood pressure, lowering heart rates, lowering cholesterol levels and decreasing stress responses.
  • It is the horse in particular that can enhance a client’s opportunity for self-exploration, awareness and growth.

What are the expected benefits from EAP sessions?

The benefits of EAP are numerous:

  • EAP’s main benefit is to promote change from dysfunctional patterns, to successful ones that increase insight and flexibility in order to cope with daily life
  • An opportunity to practice new skills for use in everyday life and contexts
  • EAP sessions provide a non-threatening, motivating and learning environment
  • EAP increases self-esteem and offers a sense of empowerment
  • Through working with horses, it is easier to break defence barriers by focusing on activities with the horses in a non-judgemental environment
  • The activities are designed to enhance problem solving skills and effective communication
  • EAP teaches: empathy, unconditional positive regard and patience which can then be used by the client in their own interactional style and in improving their own relationships
  • One learns to build trust in their relationships which subsequently increases insight and awareness into how one impacts upon others.

Where I am based:

My private practice is based at 340 on Main Health & Wellness Centre, 340 Main Road, Bryanston, Sandton.

Equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions take place on a plot in Chartwell at 259 Spencer Avenue, Chartwell North Estates. It is a few minutes down the road from the Broadacres Shopping centre.

HPCSA Number: PS 0130281
Practice Number: PR 0666246