Lisa Padfield | Clinical Psychologist
Stellenbosch, South Africa

I think and work psychodynamically.  This means that I take the unconscious seriously. I believe that our behaviour is often influenced by “invisible” factors such as feelings and thoughts outside of our awareness.  Have you ever asked yourself “Why did I just do or say that?” Although we like to think of ourselves as logical, rational beings, the truth is that we often don’t know why we do the things we do.  Or we know that something isn’t good for us and yet we keep doing it. Once we’re able to bring some of those thoughts and feelings into awareness, we have much greater control over what we do. 

My approach is strongly collaborative where the client and I work together as partners on the journey toward well-being. I work with adults and have experience with brief, focused therapy as well as longer-term processes. I consult with other health care professionals, where necessary, to ensure the best possible approach.

Some of my specific areas of clinical interest include but are not limited to:

  • Adjustment issues (coping with life changes such as retirement, retrenchment, a break-up or divorce, a health crisis etc.)
  • Anxiety (including coping with panic attacks)
  • Depression
  • End-of-life issues (aging, death and dying)
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems (although I no longer offer couples therapy or marriage counselling, relationship difficulties are common and this often forms a specific focus within an individual therapy process)

In line with best practice, I carry out a clinical assessment as part of the first few sessions of psychotherapy to:

  • assess someone’s suitability for therapy (therapy may not be appropriate under some circumstances, for example if someone has an undiagnosed or unmanaged serious psychiatric illness, the priority would be stabilization – usually with medication),
  • screen for serious psychological problems (for example depression),
  • assess the need for possible referral to a psychiatrist (for appropriate medication),
  • assess the need for additional or alternative intervention such as couples therapy or referral to a medical doctor (for example, depression may be secondary to diabetes, which would need to be medically managed before embarking on a therapeutic process).

You can read more about my qualifications and what I offer.

I am registered with the Board of Healthcare Funders, so clients can claim from medical aid where they have benefits for psychology.