Background and interests:
Dr Avril Cowlin is a clinical psychologist working in private practice and also in the State hospital mental health system. I enjoy working with both adults and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties resulting from critical life events or milestones, acute or chronic emotional and psychological challenges and behavioural problems. While I am qualified to diagnose and treat all major mental health issues, I have a particular interest in specific conditions:
- Bereavement and loss.
- Women’s mental health
- As well as support for individuals who have either acute or chronic medical problems which are impacting on their ability to engage fully with life and their own physical processes.
Why see a psychologist?
For many people the idea of talking about private and painful issues to a complete stranger is a difficult and foreign concept. Yet the very professional nature of the relationship enables discussion of sensitive, painful or distressing issues safe in the knowledge that there is total confidentiality. The presence and support of an empathetic and trained therapist can assist in viewing a problematic situation in a different way, and so help to move towards a clearer understanding and possible resolution.
What training do psychologists have?
All psychologists in South Africa have a rigorous academic training with a minimum qualification of a Masters degree. There are many theoretical perspectives which psychologists use to understand and treat psychological issues. My theoretical training at Stellenbosch University included psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioural and solution focused perspectives. Since then I have explored other approaches including narrative therapy, attachment theory and mindfulness theory and practice.
The practice of psychology:
However, in addition to appropriate theoretical training, research has shown that the most important factor in therapy is the quality of the relationship between the patient or client and the psychologist or therapist. I work hard to ensure that the encounter is one of mutual respect, in a warm, confidential, responsive and stimulating environment. My own working theoretical perspective would best be described as “eclectic” as I subscribe to the belief that people have specific needs that differ not only from person to person, but also during the course of an individual’s life span and changing circumstances.
Therapy involves considerable effort and investment from both the client and the psychologist. Both need to commit to work hard to facilitate the required engagement, understanding and movement towards change. But with commitment, it is an exciting and rewarding journey.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Practice Number: 086 0010 454710
HPCSA Number: 0112267