Dr Mariska Pienaar - Counselling Psychologist - Bellville

Dr Mariska Pienaar

Counselling Psychologist

Dr Mariska Pienaar - Counselling Psychologist - Bellville

Bellville, Northern Suburbs, Cape Town

BA (Psychology & Philosophy) & Honour's (Psychology) - University of Stellenbosch; Master’s (Counselling Psychology) - University of KwaZulu-Natal; PhD (Psychology) - UWC



16 Keerweder Street, Bellville West A, Cape Town, 7530, South Africa

I have been registered as a Counselling Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for the past 19 years.

My primary aim is to provide that one, unique space where you are able to fully be yourself, be seen for who you are, and have your true self understood, affirmed, and valued. I aim to provide an open, non-judgmental, warm, and empathic environment within which clients can feel safe while navigating their journey of self-exploration.

In terms of personal style, you will simply encounter me as another person being myself, authentically and openly. I do tend to come across as soft-spoken, warm, and reassuring. I do not favour formality in therapy. The therapeutic relationship is unique and sometimes perplexing, and it is a professional one. The encounter itself however remains in its essence a personal one and as such I aim to be myself whilst observing the responsibilities inherent to my position in relation to a client. My perspective is that I cannot expect you to be comfortable being human, open, and vulnerable in what is unfamiliar territory to you if I do not demonstrate that it is safe to do so by being authentic myself. In the role of psychologist, being authentic does not mean that one can simply say anything that pops into one’s mind or discuss one’s personal affairs with clients. I always need to consider what is in the client’s best interest, but I nonetheless do so being as real as possible.

I naturally tend towards a focus on clients’ strengths rather than what they often see as “deficiencies” within themselves. I discuss this orientation at length under the section titled First Things First: The Law of Least Effort on the Therapeutic Approaches page.

Clients can also enter therapy for personal growth and development, self-insight, or for assistance in reaching particular goals they wish to achieve. I am here to help you navigate the unique journey you are embarking on, whether this is across calm or stormy waters.

When your goals for therapy have been established, I will ask you to tell me a bit more about yourself, your life, and the experiences you have had in your life thus far. And then we take things from there.

While this does not represent an exhaustive list, my main treatment focus areas are as follows:

  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Social anxiety and loneliness
  • Stress management
  • Emotion regulation and distress tolerance
  • Tertiary student support
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Goal achievement
  • Personal growth & self-awareness
  • Career guidance
  • Finding and creating meaning

Treatment modalities are carefully considered and selected for each client depending on their presenting issue, personality dynamics, symptoms presentation (if any), etc. The preferred therapeutic modalities I employ are evidence-based and suitable for the management of a broad range of presenting concerns.

I offer therapy in Afrikaans and English.

Sessions can take place in-person or online.


HPCSA Number: PS0093009
Practice Number:

- 16 Keerweder Street, Bellville, 7530