Cindy van Wyk
Registered Clinical Psychologist
Practice Number: 0582654
My journey in becoming a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in Neuropsychology has been exhilirating and challenging simultaneously. Having been fascinated by both the therapeutic and neuropsychological aspects of psychology, I obtained a Masters degree by dissertation in Research Psychology (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg. My research focused on the effects of methamphetamine (tik) on neurocognition in current and recovering addicts.
I followed this degree with a Masters in Neuropsychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. This programme exposed me to both neuropsychological assessment techniques and rehabilitation, psychometric training and psychotherapeutic skills. In addition to this family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy and a broad understanding of psychiatric disorders and diagnosis were also been covered. As part my M.A. Neuropsychology, I participated in neurology ward rounds at Charlotte Maxkele and Chris Hana Baragwanath Hospitals which facilitated a greater understanding of neuropsychological expression of central nervous system disorders. We also partook in psychiatric ward round rotation at these hospitals, began therapy and assessed patients neuropsychologically under supervision at the Emthonjeni Centre at WITS.
I completed my internship year at Tara Psychiatric Hospital in Wards 6, 8 & 9 and the Outpatient Department. As an intern clinical psychologist my job included providing individual, group, and family therapeutic interventions and psychological services for both adults and children. Working as a therapist in the Children’s Clinic and Ward 9 I was provided the opportunity to perform play therapy, group therapy with children, individual therapy with adolescents, and parental counseling for parents of children who attended the clinic and the ward. I was also provided the opportunity to engage in peer supervision, family therapy, perform numerous psychological and projective assessments for the children who attended the clinic, and run an outreach bereavement group with children at Rembrandt Park School.
Working as a therapist in Ward 6 and Ward 8 Biochemical Wards, and in the Outpatient Department at Tara Hospital my responsibilities included providing psychotherapy for both inpatients and outpatients diagnosed with illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, anxiety disorders and depression. In addition to this I was both the facilitator for, and member of, the reflecting team for inpatient psychotherapy groups in addition to providing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for an outpatient group of individuals. I was also actively involved as a family co-therapist for two families. Utilising my training in Neuropsychology, I was involved in assessing a number of patients in order to help facilitate diagnosis and treatment planning.
My Community Service year was completed in the Primary and Secondary Health Care Community Clinics in the North District of Ekuhuleni. Within this year I was involved in providing psychotherapy, trauma counselling, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, play therapy and couples therapy to a diverse population group. Fundamental to this work was the ability to work adaptively in the community setting where resources are scarce, and to be able to effectively and empathically make contact with people of different cultures and language backgrounds. Additionally the lack of knowledge regarding mental health and the stigma regarding mental illness are hurdles which continue to require sensitive and persistent management. I also partook in multi-disciplinary interactions with Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Audiologists, Nurses, Doctors and Psychiatrists in order to facilitate more effective and comprehensive patient management.
During this time I continued to provide Family Therapy services at Tara Hospital on a bi-monthly basis.
I am passionate about psychology and helping people to understand their own needs and concerns, whilst aiding them in gaining psychological well-being.
B.A. Psychology (RAU - Cum Laude), B.A. Hons Psycho (RAU - Cum Laude), M.A. Psychology R.D. (UJ - Cum Laude), M.A. Neuropsychology (WITS)
My Clinical Experience
Emthojeni Centre - University of the Witwatersrand
January 2012 – December 2012 (1 year)
- Neuropsychological assessment of adults and children
T.A.R.A. Psychiatric Hospital
January 2013 – December 2013 (1 year)
Children’s Ward 9 and Children’s Clinic:
- Individual psychotherapy with adolescents.
- Parental Counselling.
- Play Therapy.
- Scholastic and Neuropsychological Assessments of children ages 7 – 17.
- Case presentations.
- Outreach Bereavement Group – Rembrandt Primary School.
- Family therapy
Biochemical Wards 6 & 8:
- Individual Psychotherapy with inpatients diagnosed with illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, depression, PTSD and other anxiety disorders.
- Group therapy.
- Family therapy.
- Adult neuropsychological assessment.
- Case Presentations
- Individual psychotherapy with adults.
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
- Neuropsychological Assessmnt.
- Outreach group psychotherapy at Sizwe Tropical Diseases (TB) hospital in the XDR (extremely drug resistant) ward.
Department of Health - Ekurhuleni
January 2014 – December 2014 (1 year)
Northern Districts Community Clinics in Ekurhuleni:
- Individual adult and adolescet psychotherapy.
- Play therapy.
- Trauma counselling.
- Bereavement counselling.
- Couples counselling.
- Family Therapy.
Midrand Graduate Institute & T.A.R.A. Hospital
January 2015 – Present
Northern Districts Community Clinics in Ekurhuleni:
- Lecturer for 3rd year BPsych students in the field of Neuropsychology.
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapist.
- Family Therapist.
Aside from their busy schedules, our professional staff are published authors and regularly contribute their research, opinion and expertise through a variety of media platforms. Some of these platforms include the South African Journal of Psychiatry, SAFM Radio, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Sowetan, O! Oprah Magazine, SADAG, SABC Newsroom amongst many others.
Clininical Psychologist, Cindy van Wyk, is one of these published authors and contributors. Cindy's academic background and passion for her work translates into research topics and opinion pieces that reflect her years of experience and special interest. Below are abstracts, summaries and links to some of her published work and opinion pieces.