Juliana Mendonça & Associates
067 815 0002 / 084 724 7247 (Whatsapp) info@yourpsychologist.co.za


Play Therapy

“It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self”
D.W. Winnicott.

Play is perhaps the most developmentally appropriate and powerful medium for young children
to build adult-child relationships, develop cause-effect thinking critical to impulse control, process stressful experiences, and learn social skills. Play can provide a child the sense of power and control that comes from solving problems and mastering new experiences, ideas, and concerns.
As a result, it can help build feelings of confidence and accomplishment. Through play and play-based interventions children can communicate nonverbally, symbolically, and in an action-oriented manner.

Play Therapy is beneficial to a child who is experiencing difficulties in the home, school or community. It is a therapeutic approach that “provides an opportunity for the child to ‘play out’ his or her feelings and problems just as, in certain adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ his or her difficulties” (Virginia Axline). A child’s self-understanding is one of the goals in this approach

  • Play therapy involves the use of play in the interaction between the therapist and child.
  • Through the play the child is able to address and process difficult emotions in a non-threatening environment.
  • Play allows children a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows for the expression of true thoughts in a way which best suits their developmental level.
  • Play therapy helps children with a wide variety of emotional, behavioural, social and developmental problems.
  • Play therapy also helps children deal with stress caused by divorce, grief, loss, trauma etc.

Art therapy

Art therapy allows for the expression of feelings and thoughts in a way that can be less threatening than strictly verbal means. In art therapy there is a level of comfort and a sense of safety that is sometimes not found through traditional therapy alone. Clients’ feelings and experiences can be transformed into concrete and tangible images, painting and sculptures, which allow both the client and the psychologist to obtain a fresh view of problems, conflicts, potentials, and directions.

  • Art therapy provides clients with a safe and contained space where they can express and explore their thoughts and feelings through a variety of art materials.
  • The work created often reflects the unconscious forces and experiences that shape a person’s life.
  • This can be in a group or individual setting.
  • Art therapy can be used by individuals of all ages.

Individual Psychotherapy

  • One-on-one weekly sessions for older individuals wanting to come to terms with things in their lives which are holding them back, or to make changes in their lives or relationships.
  • This can be done at any age depending on the individual’s developmental stage.

Common issues that are treatable:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anger management
  • Communication difficulties
  • Grieving
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship difficulties

Parent-Infant Psychotherapy

Parent-Infant Psychotherapy focuses on the relationship between parents and their infant. The goal of parent-infant psychotherapy is to develop and sustain healthy attachment between parent and infant. This is done by the therapist providing the parent(s) with a safe space to explore their feelings about parenthood, thoughts on how they were parented and concerns about their relationships with each other and their infant. Another goal of parent-infant psychotherapy is helping parents keep their babies “in mind” physically, emotionally, and developmentally.

Parent-Infant Psychotherapy allows parents to explore and to try to understand the meaning of their babies communications and their responses to these. In doing this, parents capacity for reflection increases and consequently their knowledge and sensitivity to their babies needs increases too.

Parent-infant psychotherapy assists:

  • Mothers suffering from Post Natal Depression
  • Mothers suffering from persistent feelings of stress and anxiety following a traumatic birth
  • Parents experiencing feelings of low mood, anxiety or difficulty in adjusting to parenthood
  • Previous experiences of difficult pregnancies
  • Parents who feel exhausted, depressed, anxious, angry or unable to cope
  • Parents experiencing tension and conflict resulting from relationship difficulties
  • Parents who are lacking confidence in baby care or parenting abilities.

When a parent is concerned that their baby:

  • Is not eating or growing as expected
  • Is experiencing sleep problems
  • Cries excessively and isn’t easily comforted
  • Is having difficulties separating

Family Therapy

  • Family therapy focuses on the needs of a family as a unit.
  • The family is treated as a system where relationships are addressed and explored.
  • The therapist works with the family as a whole so as to facilitate relevant changes and growth.
  • Communications between family members are explored and challenged by the therapist.

Group Therapy

Group therapy can be arranged for people who would prefer working therapeutically
in a group setting. Groups would consist of 6-10 individuals.

Groups can consist of:

  • Activity groups
  • Support groups
  • Problem solving and Psychoeducational Groups
  • Psychodynamic groups

These can be themed according to the needs of the clients

  • Groups can run weekly
  • Groups allow children to bond and find similarities with each other which allow them to feel more ‘normal’ and understood.
  • After school groups that give children time to express their emotions and be active in a contained setting

The following kind of groups can be run:

  • Bereavement groups
  • Art therapy groups
  • Self esteem groups
  • Persona doll groups – emotional expression and understanding
  • Bullying groups
  • Any issue that may be relevant to children and their development
  • Parenting groups