Dr Derine Louw (BSc, Hons BSc, MDIAC, MSc, PhD) started her private practice in 2020, after working as a senior psychologist at Stikland Psychiatric Hospital in Bellville, Cape Town since 2010. Her focus is on therapeutic interventions in child, adolescent and adult mental health with a special interest in mood and anxiety disorders, body-focused repetitive behaviours (hair-pulling, skin picking), as well as working with siblings and care givers of children with special needs. Intervention modalities include Gestalt Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and BrainWorking Recursive Therapy. Both individual and group sessions form part of her service.
The bulk of Derine’s experience was gained in the Western Cape Department of Health in secondary/tertiary level psychiatric care – in the Psychogeriatric Unit, Out-patient Department and Therapeutic Unit (Intlalo Clinic). She was jointly appointed as a lecturer at Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg Campus. Her work opportunities have allowed her to develop skills in a range of areas, including psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, working closely within multi-disciplinary teams, in- and out-patient individual and group psychotherapy, psychometric and neuropsychological assessment and report writing, student and colleague supervision and training, as well as lecturing, research and coordination of academic programmes.
Derine obtained her PhD in 2019, which focused on cognitive training as an intervention for patients with hair-pulling disorder. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed, as she believes that the patient’s experience of mental illness – their story, is just as important as the statistical information gathered during research. This study paved the way for her interest in Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (hair-pulling, skin-picking, nail-biting etc).
Before qualifying as a clinical psychologist, Derine worked as a tutor for children with autism while completing her play therapy masters. She experienced the impact that managing a child with autism had on families first-hand and in her research investigated the experience of siblings of children with autism. This gave her a view of a world, in which siblings often step back to accommodate the management of the family member with special needs. Years later, she herself would become a sibling of a younger brother on the autism spectrum. Her engagement with families with special needs children, is thus a passion on both a professional and a personal level.
Intervention modalities include Gestalt Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Both individual and group sessions form part of her service.