Pat Oliver

Clinical Psychologist
Diep River, Cape Town
Telephone: 021 712 6362
Mobile Number: 072 051 7177
Email Address:
23 Edgware Road, Diep River, Cape Town

As a clinical psychologist, a Focusing-Oriented Therapist, and a ‘body awareness’ teacher (of the Alexander Technique), I bring an unusual range and depth of understanding to therapy and to assessment. I have years of experience in the field of education and learning, as well as being a certified Focusing Professional accredited by The Focusing Institute in New York.


I believe that each of us has a natural, ongoing ability and inclination towards maturing and healing, and as a therapist I assist that process by being a respectful, interested listener who also has professional insights into human nature and development. Together, we think about you and your life, to help you discover new ways of understanding and being with your self and those around you.

Typically, this takes the form of ‘talk’ therapy, but words are not our only vehicle towards change and development. Meaning and new discovery are also carried forward through gesture, imagery, physical movement, and even just pausing with mindful awareness.


Psycho-educational-cognitive assessments are requested by parents and/or teachers to help understand learning styles, clarify learning difficulties, plan interventions and make informed, practical and compassionate educational decisions. I am known especially for my in-depth, personalised assessments, which give insight into a variety of educational, emotional and developmental issues ranging from questions about school readiness, to applying for matric, college and university exam concessions. Adults too come for assessment to understand long-standing learning difficulties. The process culminates in a written report and summary, and discussion(s) to explain the findings and point out some ways forward. I write detailed, unique, individual reports rather than template lists and jargon.

I have worked as school psychologist, both at regular schools and at special schools for children with learning disabilities, doing assessments, and giving therapy and counselling to children, parents and teachers. I have also taught courses on Barriers to Learning for final-year Waldorf student teachers.


My Focusing-oriented approach implies that I work with a particular quality of paying attention to ‘inner sensing’ together with an attitude of curiosity, patience, kindness and acceptance. Focusing is a natural human process, which is enhanced by learning to notice and practice some of its discrete steps, such as noticing and symbolising your inner “felt sense”, cultivating helpful attitudes in each moment, and respectful listening (to yourself and others). I teach Focusing individually and in groups (but this explicit learning is not required for you to have a satisfactory therapy process).

Some considerations

My referrals usually come from teachers and therapists, as well as by word of mouth; I am on the referral list of various schools, universities and colleges.

I work from home in an environment that is private, peaceful and comfortable, is LGBTI-friendly, and welcomes all ages and varieties of issues.

My fees are claimable from most medical aid schemes.

Professional affiliations

  • Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
  • Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group (CTPSPG)
  • The Focusing Institute, New York (TFI)
  • South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC)
  • South African Clinical Neuropsychology Association (SACNA)
  • South African Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (SASTAT)

HPCSA Number: PS0010170
Practice Number: 0051462