Tag Archives: Adolescents

IACAPAP : Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists in South Africa

The South African Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (SAACAPAP) was proud to host the first IACAPAP World Congress to be held on the African continent, and doubly proud to have done so during the term of office of the first African President of IACAPAP, Olayinka Omigbodun, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The International Convention Centre in Durban is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world. Durban, capital of the province of KwaZulu Natal, is South Africa’s premier holiday destination. The subtropical climate and warm Indian Ocean mean all-year-round swimming and outdoor activities. Several game parks are only a few hours’ drive to the north, and the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, with its holiday hotels and scenic hikes, is only a few hours’ drive to the west.

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Let’s begin by clearing up the misconceptions that exist for many people about the differences between a psychiatrist and a psychologist.  It’s not uncommon for people to be confused between these two professions. A psychologist has a degree in In the study of the human mind and behavior, whereas psychiatrists have graduated as doctors from medical school and have completed their internship and residency. Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication for their patients whereas psychologists are not. The two both work in the same areas of treatment and often refer patients to each other.

Poverty, unemployment and a history of violence and discrimination in the country are all factors that contribute to an unstable environment for children and youth to flourish mentally and emotionally in South Africa.  In poor communities, it is not uncommon for children to neglected and abused by their caregivers.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s hospital in Cape Town is the only medical institution  in South Africa which is entirely dedicated to the physical and psychological well being of children.

Child Psychiatry

Early in 1964, psychiatrist, Dr Vera Buhrmann, founded the Child and Adolescent outpatient unit at the Red Cross hospital, meeting an urgent need for psychiatric care for children and adolescents in the community. The unit was permanently busy and grew from strength to strength and just over ten years later a dedicated facility was established in a converted residential premises nearby. The new facility comprised a much larger staff, including three child psychiatrists catering for seriously damaged children by means of their out patient program. In late 1978, DCAP, or the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found its home at the Sawkins Rd establishment in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
DCAP has helped tens of thousands of children and adolescents since its inception and humble beginnings. With the help of government grants and generous donations from generous sponsors, the facility has become the country’s leading specialist center for psychologically disturbed children and adolescents.

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.

The Right Psychology for Recovering Addicts

Dealing children and adolescents and their psychiatric problems, we can make progress with regular contact with our patients, developing trust between ourselves and the youngsters and allowing them to feel unashamedly honest. We gradually make progress with these kids, identifying issues as the therapeutic process moves forward. It is common to identify some patients who exhibit bipolar or borderline personality disorders.

psychiatric treatment

Unfortunately once these youngster grow up, many of them are tempted by pier groups and society to try alcohol and substances. In fact it is well know that many people who suffer from substance addiction are in fact undiagnosed bipolar, adhd or borderline personalities that have been trying find relief through self medicating themselves with narcotics or prescription drugs. Without intervention these youths will continue with their use of substances as means of trying to feel better. What many of the youngsters fail to understand is the risk they are taking by using illegal street drugs if they are already taking some form of prescription medication for a psychiatric disorder. The combination of the two will either make the psychiatric symptoms worse, or nullify the effects of the prescribed medication. Invariably these youngster, if they are lucky, will end up in a rehabiliation centre to help them get a better understanding of why they are drawn to escapism of drug or alcohol abuse. Most medical aid schemes will only cover the basic twenty eight day treatment program that just touches the surface of begining a new life in recovery, free of the urge to self medicate. The first few weeks after a patients leaves a drug rehabilitation centre or psychiatric centre are critical to the success of that patients recovery. Many patients have no choice to return to abusive homes with alcoholic parents, siblings who use drugs at home in neighbourhoods that overlook this behaviour. There are a few other options. Over the past few years, more and more “sober houses” have been started. A sober living house, is a safe house where someone who is comitted to staying abstinent and maintaing their recovery can go an live for a period of time until they are well adjusted to sober live. Scotswood Sober House Cape Town is one such sober house in Cape Town. The facility was recently set up to cater for people leaving treatment centres that require a safe and substance free environment that will encourage and motivate them to continue forward on their recovery path. Typically, a sober house will have a communal kitchen, weekly meetings of the residents, an on site counsellor, cooked meals and a healthy routine that encourages participation of the residents. Scotswood offers all of this and more. It has WiFi, beautiful gardens, the house is serviced three times a week and there is also a lovely swimming pool and safe off street parking for residents. It might be new, but Scotswood is certainly one of the nicest sober houses in Cape Town. It is strongly urged that if you are leaving a treatment facility or psychiatric facility and are concerned about the home environment that you are returning to, that you consider a sober house in Cape Town, and put your recovery first.