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

Rachael Sheriffs

Counselling Psychologist

During COVID-19:

I am working online via Skype, Zoom or Whatsapp during this time of social distancing. This will be likely to feel different than having therapy in the usual way in a room together, but there can still be real connection and openness, talking and listening, spaces for feelings to arise and be thought about. I offer you my focused attention and my presence with your experiences, even if through the medium of technology. This time of online connections will eventually come to an end when this virus runs its course, and we can move to having therapy in my practice room in Rondebosch if this is practically possible for you, or we can continue online if you live far away.

This is a time of uncertainty and anxiety for many, and often the global shared anxieties bring up very personal anxieties too, which are helpful to understand and talk through. Many clients are also talking about this time as an opportunity to look within, to slow down, and to see what is happening in our hearts and minds without the busyness and distraction of the world out there. I see a gift in this time, the chance to take steps forward in our personal growth and inner journeys. I invite you to do this if the time feels right for you.

I work with adults and mature teens, long-term or short-term. I work with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, bereavement, relationship problems, sexuality, spiritual crisis, psychological support in physical illness and disability, personal development, adjustment to life stressors, and career change.

I see a warm and secure therapeutic relationship as essential in the process of growth and healing, and I aim to provide a safe space in which a client feels able to express himself or herself freely and confidentially in an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.

My theoretical background is eclectic, but largely depth-oriented, including psychodynamic theory, object relations theory, cognitive behavioural theory, and person-centred theory. In lay terms this means I work with present problems through looking at patterns in relationships and behaviour that often have their roots in early experiences. I also look at the link between current thoughts, emotions and behaviours, cultivating mindfulness, and bringing conscious understanding to mental narratives and their effects on a person’s life. I work holistically, looking at all aspects of a person – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – aiming to give each a voice in the therapy journey. I offer energy and body work for those who would like to include it. If clients wish to express their inner process visually, I integrate art into sessions.

As with most therapists, I have come to this work because of my own experience of emotional healing through therapy. I have been on an inner journey since my late teens, and will always be curious to explore and grow in my understanding of how people work, myself included. I go on learning from each and every client that I work with, and I find it an honour to be a witness to people’s life stories. I have observed clients heal through an acknowledgement and full acceptance of the self – the light and the shadow. I offer tools to help develop self-acceptance and self-care. Hopefully, the journey of therapy will lead you to an experience of being more fully yourself, more fully present in your relationships, and able to ride the ups and downs of life in an emotionally balanced way.

Practice Number: 0437816
HPCSA Number: