Category Archives: Psychology

Are you wanting to volunteer or in Intern in Africa ?

There are so many children and adolescents in South Africa in desperate need of psychiatric help. African Sunrise is Cape Town organization that helps place people who wish to volunteer Africa, particularly volunteer in Cape Town. They also assist students looking to complete an internship in South Africa to find an appropriate placement for their specific field of study. For example, if you have studied psychology you will be placed with a project where your studies are best put to use, working with those in need of psychological or psychiatric attention, alongside with other qualified professionals. Likewise, if you majored in Social Work, African Sunrise will place you in an appropriate project where your education can be put to the test, allowing you to earn valuable experience in the field, whilst helping children and adolescents that have been subjected to all manner and form of abuse and trauma.

volunteer in cape town with children

Anna, one of the past interns that was placed by African Sunrise volunteers recently shared her experiences on the website blog. Anna a Swedish citizen joined the African Sunrise intern program earlier this year and spent three months working with the Soup Feeding Kitchen Scheme and also the Aftercare Programme in Salt River, Cape Town. Anna took the time to develop close relationships with the many homeless people of Observatory and Salt River and made a huge impact on their quality of life. In her own words quoted from her blog post Anna says :

“There is a warmth that I can’t describe. A lot of joy even when there is little.I have seen some hard things. The kids that lives on the street, poverty, drugs and other problems. To see the work that people do, people that now is close friends of mine, to help them in need is heartwarming. I was working in a soup kitchen, giving food to the people who lives in the streets or people that just don’t have enough money for food. Everyone is welcome. I have learned a lot about myself, and that I can do a lot for someone just by showing them love and listen to their story. To be a part of the work African Sunrise is doing makes me proud!
I can recommend you to go and make a change for yourself and someone else. Just take the change and go, it will be worth it!”

African Sunrise also works closely with and places volunteers and interns at the School for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are really fortunate to have so many kind and willing young people to volunteer in South Africa. This school uses a variety of modalities and teaching methods to assist children with Autism. Combining applied behavioural analysis, sign language and augmentative communication methods, the school has made some tremendous progress with the children that are fortunate enough to attend. The school’s holistic approach integrates teaching basic life skills to the pupils, preparing them for life after school and how to cope with the stresses of living with autism in our society. Placement at the school has proven to extremely popular with social work students, teachers and psychology students.

African Sunrise insist on a minimum internship placement of a three-month period to allow for the volunteers and interns to firstly adjust to the lifestyle and living condition in South Africa, as well as allow for time for them to really reap the benefits of participating in one the programmes.

Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction

Recent research in the United States showed that the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs costs the state over $700 billion annually in related crime, lost productivity and healthcare. More and more people are travelling from abroad to drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town, like Ixande. Why Cape Town ? Why South Africa you might ask ? Let us not forget that Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town is where the first successful and historic heart transplant was performed on December 3rd 1967 by Dr Christiaan Barnard. South Africa has medical facilities that are on par with some of the finest in the world. The University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University also provide world class training for those entering the medical profession.
In recent years there has been a rise in the number of drug rehabilitation centres in Cape Town. There are several reasons for this. Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It’s flanked by the Indian ocean on the right and the Atlantic ocean on the left, and home to to the majestic Table Mountain. Cape Town is surrounded by mountains teaming with wildlife and a rich diversity of flora and fauna. So from an aesthetic point of view, Cape Town is a beautiful and healthy environment from where one could begin building a cleaner and better life. Cape Town is also home to some the worlds most renowned drug addiction experts that have pioneered certain approaches and treatment methods. Lastly there are the financial considerations to take into account. The costs involved in being admitted into a decent drug rehabilitation centre are quite high. Not all medical aid plans and schemes will cover the costs of treatment for addiction. The debate continues as to whether addiction is a disease or a choice. The medical aid schemes that do allow for such drug rehabilitation treatments will often only cover the costs for a limited period of time. The cost of drug rehabilitation in Cape Town and South Africa in general are already much lower than in other first world countries like the United Kingdom and Holland. The currency exchange rates between these countries make the costs of being admitted into one these drug rehabs far more affordable and as a result many of the clients that are attended to by Ixande and other drug rehabilitation centres are from the United Kingdom, Holland and the USA. Research has also shown that by removing the person suffering from addiction from the toxic environment in which they have learned to thrive on drugs, and relocating them somewhere completely removed from that environment is beneficial in jump starting their recovery process.
Ixande drug addiction rehabilitation centre in Cape Town has an excellent track record in assisting both local clients and clients from abroad in learning to manage and recover from their addiction. Ixande deals with clients suffering from cocaine addiction, crack addiction, marijuana or weed addiction, heroin addiction, prescription medications, tik or crystal meth addiction and GHB addiction. There are many other legal and illegal drugs that people with addictive tendencies can become addicted to, but the therapeutic approach to helping these people is quite similar. Ixande has a team of respected and experienced medical professionals with a history in addiction treatment. Ixande also assist their clients with integration into a 12 Step Fellowship like Narcotics anonymous which has proven to be tremendously successful worldwide in providing recovering addicts with a support system.

Struggling to find a decent Southern Suburbs Psychologist for your child?

The process of finding the best and most suited psychologist to treat children and adolescents is not always easy. Anita Prag, psychologist Southern Suburbs, Cape Town, comes highly recommended by several respected delegates of IACAPAP 2014. It’s a great honor to be recommended by your colleagues in the same field, especially those who attend the IACAPAP conferences. Anita has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and Community counselling from the Univeristy of Stellenbosch where she graduated. Anita went on to spend several years in the post of senior Clinical Psychologist in the South African Military Services.  Having been deployed in the war torn Burundi for some time, Anita gained unique first hand experience of the extreme duress that conflict can cause on the human psyche and developed workshops to help local families cope with the horrific stresses that they had endured.

Eventually Anita Prag returned to Cape Town where she set up a practice as a psychologist in the southern suburbs area of Bergvliet. Anita uses the valuable and unique experiences and insights into the human condition that she gained whilst working in Burundi to help her provide her child and adolescent patients with the best psychological treatment they could expect. Sure, the impact of a violent war on adolescents and children might be far greater than the effects of domestic abuse between parents, but the insights gained in Burundi into just how extremely children and adolescents can be affected are something that really sets Anita aside from many of her colleagues. Most of Anita Prag’s credentials and details concerning her practice can be found on her website.

There are a few things she does make clear concerning how she approaches each different child or adolescent patient she treats. Anita will spend a great deal of time doing a thorough intake with the child, asking all the relevant questions concerning the child’s current psychological and emotional state and their history. In most cases Anita will request to meet up with the primary figures in the child’s life, teachers, parents, grandparent, anyone of importance that can provide additional insights into the child’s background and current emotional difficulties.  Our children are the most important things to us and when they suffer, we suffer. Choosing the best person to nurse your child through turbulent times is not easy but Anita Prag is one southern suburbs psychologist that is well worth your time and effort in meeting with.