Clinical Psychologist, Leslie Ebben B.A Psych (UJ), B.A. Hons Psych (UJ), M.A Clin Psych (UJ)

Yoav van der Heyden

Clinical Psychologist

There are many reasons for coming to speak to a psychologist. It seems to be about wanting your life to change in some way, and not knowing how to do that, and also it’s about being listened to, and being heard.

There are various theories about how psychotherapy works, and the theory in turn decides how it will happen in practice. Some approaches are more focused on processes of uncovering and learning, whereas others seem to be more focused on techniques and life habits. Most psychologists tend to have a central approach that defines them, although they will often incorporate different techniques and learning into their therapy, depending on the situation.

Most importantly, and many psychologists will agree, it is the relationship between you and your therapist that matters the most. This is because the process of change is a deeply intimate one, in which you might feel vulnerable, and so a trusting relationship will help you along this process.

I trained in psychology at UCT and in Stellenbosch and am registered as a Clinical Psychologist since 2006. My training was primarily in Humanistic, Existential and Self psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, although over the years I have extended my interests and experiences through reading, training and reflective practice. At the moment I would describe my practice as primarily influenced by Attachment theory, Self-psychology and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am particularly excited by ACT as a contextual behavioral approach that incorporates mindfulness amongst other interesting concepts. I also believe that we are always impacted by our socio-economic and political environment and so I acknowledge and reflect on these influences.

It might seem strange to read a psychologist writing the following lines, though it seems important to mention that, I really believe in the psychotherapeutic process, and I love doing it, and if it would be possible, I would recommend it for everyone. On the other hand, I recognize the limitations that we face in being able to afford ongoing therapy are real for many of us, and I don’t think that that should be a barrier to getting the support that one needs.

I have worked successfully with many clients doing brief work over a period of even 4-6 weeks, with some possibly continuing at a later date, and with others in an ongoing relationship over a period of years. Sometimes it has been the presenting issues that have defined the length of our work, though with most it is the intentions that people bring into the process that define how we will proceed. This does not mean that I only work with individuals, some of the most profound and exciting experiences come from working in relationships and with family members.

I begin the process with an introductory session in which we meet and I explain the process and details, and we explore what has brought you to meet with me. We also discuss possible ways of working together and I ask you to go away and reflect on whether you feel that we can work together.

If you think that you might like to work with me, please send me an emial, an sms or call me to make an appointment to meet.

Professional Membership

Health Professionals Council of South Africa
Association of Contextual Behavioral Sciences (


HPCSA Registration Number: PS 0093998
Practice Number: 0860010417637

- 702 Commerce House