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Sikander Kalla

Registered Clinical Psychologist

Practice Number: 0775622

Sikander Kalla The CouchMy Story

The Couch Light

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ – Socrates

Coming across the Ancient Greek aphorism ‘know thyself’, my curiosity for acquiring a better understanding of myself along my odyssey into adulthood was ignited. It was around this time that I completed two years of volunteer work with ER24 Emergency Medical Services and the Department of Health. Engaging in such work allowed me to realise that mastering self-knowledge and rendering quality healthcare are intertwined processes and life-long endeavours. This combination of self-curiosity and a passion for healthcare provision motivated me to enrol at the University of Pretoria to start my six-year-long journey towards becoming a HPCSA-registered clinical psychologist.

Whilst studying towards my bachelor’s degree, my interest in subfields such as neuropsychology, sexual health, and personality pathology was sparked. This ultimately steered me in the direction of enrolling for courses that I found particularly stimulating during the fulfilment of my honours degree, more specifically, I promptly selected courses such as Personality and Psychopathology, and Cognitive Neuroscience. My postgraduate coursework was complimented by postgraduate research with a public health focus–specifically revolving around the intersection of psychological variables and reproductive decision making.

Upon successfully completing my master’s degree coursework with thirteen distinctions and fulfilling the degree’s clinical training requirements at Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital, I then began my clinical internship at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital (Gauteng Department of Health). During my clinical internship, I rotated through different clinical units, namely, the Bipolar and Related Disorders Unit; the Forensic Unit; the Anxiety and Depressive Disorders Unit; and the Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders Unit. During this time, alongside fulfilling other clinical responsibilities, I also co-facilitated numerous psychotherapeutic groups, such as a substance rehabilitation group for the dual diagnosis patient population of the hospital; a dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) group for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder; and a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) group for state patients receiving clinical care in the hospital’s forensic unit.

After completing my clinical internship, I continued to work for the Gauteng Department of Health and served my year of public service at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (previously known as Johannesburg General Hospital). During my time at the hospital, I rendered clinical services to in- and out- patients of the Adult Clinical Psychology Department and the Department of Psychiatry, as well as consultation-liaison services to numerous clinical departments, such as neurology, oncology, urology, and gastroenterology. In addition to the aforementioned, I also conducted assessments for the Transplant Unit of the hospital, specifically assessing liver or kidney transplant candidates. My more recent endeavours include finalising my concept paper for PhD candidature at Wits School of Public Health, and I currently hold a consulting position at University of Pretoria’s medical school.

I predominately conceptualise patients within a psychodynamic framework and often ground my treatment plan in either a corresponding psychodynamic approach or a tailored cognitive-behavioural approach. Alongside my clinical endeavours, I also have a passion for leadership and public speaking. In this regard, I have presented numerous talks at initiatives launched by the National Department of Health and hosted by provincial departments of health. My personal interests include artwork (visual, literary, and performing arts), comparative history, and philosophy. As I continue on my life-long odyssey towards better self-knowledge and rendering quality healthcare, I aspire to make this a mutually-rewarding journey for myself, as well as those I come across along the way.

My Qualifications

Sikander Kalla The Couch PsychologyClinical Psychology

B.A. (Psych), B.A. Hons (Psych), M.A. (Clin Psych)

My Clinical Experience

Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital

Bipolar and Related Disorders Unit. (January 2017 – April 2017)
  • Assessment and case formulation of in- and out- patients in the unit.
  • Conducted neuropsychological and personality psychometric assessments.
  • Individual psychotherapeutic intervention of in- and out- patients in the unit.
  • Presented at ward rounds of the unit and provided feedback to other professionals of the MDT.
  • Co-facilitated substance rehabilitation psychotherapeutic groups in the Substance Rehabilitation Unit (SRU) of the hospital.
  • Co-facilitated dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) groups for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Forensic Unit. (May 2017 – August 2017)
  • Conducted risk assessments on state patients in the unit.
  • Assessment and case formulation of state patients in the unit.
  • Individual psychotherapeutic intervention of state patients in the unit.
  • Conducted neuropsychological and personality psychometric assessments.
  • Presented at ward rounds of the unit and provided feedback to other professionals of the MDT.
  • Co-facilitated cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) groups for state patients in the unit.
  • Report writing: wrote up sixteen forensic reports for presentation to the MDT for weekly state patient conferences
Anxiety and Depressive Disorders Unit & Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders Unit (September 2017 – December 2017)
  • Assessment and case formulation of in- and out- patients in the unit.
  • Conducted neuropsychological and personality psychometric assessments.
  • Individual psychotherapeutic intervention of in- and out- patients in the unit.
  • Observation and reflection of weekly psychotherapeutic family intervention.
  • Presented at ward rounds of the unit and provided feedback to other professionals of the MDT.
  • Concluded leadership responsibilities as clinical intern representative of the department.

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

Adult Clinical Psychology Department (January 2018 – December 2018)
  • Assessment and case formulation of in- and out- patients in the department.
  • Individual psychotherapeutic intervention of in- and out- patients in the department.
  • Acted as consultation-liaison professional for other clinical departments in the hospital.
  • Provided feedback to other professionals of the MDT in the Department of Psychiatry.
  • Conducted assessments for the Transplant Unit of the hospital, particularly assessing liver and kidney transplant donor or recipient candidates.

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37 Homestead Road,

Corner 12th Avenue

Block F, Homestead Park

Rivonia, Sandton

060 961 7882

Tel: (011) 234 0741   

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