Alex Louw Clinical Psychology


Frequently Asked Questions

Why see a clinical psychologist?

As different as people are, one thing we all have in common is that our lives will have ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. We all do our best to manage the challenges life throws at us, however sometimes we may become overwhelmed by a problem or simply struggle to figure it out alone. At this point we often seek outside help. For example, I may manage a few colds and flus on my own but if I get very sick and I worry about my physical health I will seek out my doctor.

Similarly, as a clinical psychologist I help people that are either stuck or unsure with what the next step is in terms of looking after their mental health or they may be experiencing a crisis larger than what they are currently able to handle. Clinical psychologists can assist in dealing with mood and anxiety difficulties, managing challenges in relationships, navigating distress within parent-child dynamics, handling stress-related difficulties like burnout, addressing sleep disorders, managing compulsive behaviours, working through trauma and abuse, coping with loss and bereavement or simply assisting with self-development and personal growth.

If any of the above challenges resonate with you or you are simply feeling so overwhelmed that you are not even sure what is causing your distress in terms of your mental health, it is a good idea to see a psychologist. I offer an empathic, safe and private space where we can make sense together of the best way to relieve any distress you are experiencing.

The effectiveness of therapy hinges on two crucial elements: a non-judgmental and supportive environment, coupled with open communication. Openly speaking about what we are thinking and feeling in a nurturing space, allows us to explore various facets of our lives from different perspectives. This exploration leads to a deeper understanding of ourselves, identifying sources of distress, and recognizing thoughts, behaviours, and feelings that may help or hinder our wellbeing. Using this foundation of self-awareness and insight, therapists collaborate with clients to lower their distress, utilizing their training in diverse theoretical models and associated techniques. These techniques often involve the introduction of exercises, alternative perspectives, and insights that promote enhanced coping and emotional well-being.
Each person enters therapy for different reasons which in turn influences the length of input they may need. The severity and nature of concerns can differ greatly and with it how much time it would take to make meaningful changes. Some people’s needs may also change as therapy progresses. This will always be part of the discussion as therapy progresses. For those grappling with a specific issue, a brief and focused intervention, perhaps even a single session, may suffice to discuss and acquire practical tools for coping. Others may benefit from a longer timeframe of possibly 8 to 10 sessions. More challenging difficulties or those seeking deeper self-development and growth can often necessitate a longer-term commitment to therapy.

My practice makes provision for both medical aid claims as well as private payments. If you have medical aid and you wish to use it for your sessions, I will happily assist you with the process and submit claims for you. I would strongly recommend phoning your medical aid to find out if you are covered for psychological services and how. Each medical aid has different requirements and levels of coverage depending on your current challenge, which medical aid you are with and which medical aid plan you are on. In the event that you do not have medical aid or do not wish to utilize your medical aid for session payments, cash payments can be made on the day of the session. Card facilities are available on-site.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for more information regarding my fee structure. 

I am practising in Somerset West at 32 Bright Street as well as Durbanville at 8 Verdi Boulevard. Please click on the contact page to view the map. I am also available for online sessions.

Yes, I offer both sessions online as well as in person. Where my in person sessions occur in Somerset West and Durbanville , my online sessions occur on the secure platform  Google Meets. You need an internet connection and somewhere with some privacy for your sessions. You will simply receive a link to a secure meeting room and therapy occurs over a video call. 

I am often asked if therapy is still effective online. I find it to be effective and I have personally assisted many clients online. People choose this option due to it being flexible, time-saving and not reliant on where in South Africa you may live. If you find it is not for you, then you can also switch to in-person sessions with me at any time. If you live too far from my offices, I am happy to then assist you in finding a therapist in your area.

However please note the following, online therapy is not always indicated, certain challenges require face-to-face intervention. If during either assessment or our sessions, I feel your circumstances are not suited for online work(for example if someone is in crisis or there is clear risk)we will discuss it and can then make a plan to get you to in-person sessions. 

We are open from 10:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday.

In order to make an appointment simply click on contact at the top of this page and it will provide my contact details. Please send me an email with a short overview of what you want assistance with and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note that our practice does not provide emergency services. If you are experiencing a crisis, feel you are in danger or absolutely cannot wait for an appointment with myself and need to be seen today, reporting to your nearest hospital emergency room is best. The bar on the right labelled emergency contains some of the emergency service numbers I have given to others in the past however this is not an exhaustive list .

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you go; they merely determine where you start.”

― Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy
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