What is Psychology (what is it about)?
Psychology is essentially about talking to people to help them to feel and function better. This is achieved through a process of planned, directed and controlled communication called psychotherapy. The psychotherapeutic process takes place within the context of a relationship (patient-therapist) and is beneficial to the patient in that the therapist creates a safe, objective and accepting environment where the patient can talk about his/her feelings, gain insight and resolve inner conflicts and problems effectively. The purpose is for the patient to eventually function effectively and independently, to be adequately in control of his/her life.
What are its specialised services (what does the unit offer)?
In both Klerksdorp and Tshepong Hospitals the unit offers diagnostic services, as well as individual and group psychotherapeutic services to children and adults on in- and outpatient level. Psychologists also attend the psychiatric ward round (Tshepong) and the children’s ward round (Klerksdorp), where they assist the consulting psychiatrist as part of a multi-disciplinary team. The unit is a registered training institution for intern psychologists and at present trains and supervises four intern psychologists. We also train psychology students from several universities.
How long has the unit been active?
The unit was started in December 2004, with only one registered clinical psychologist and one community service psychologist at the time. Currently we are three registered clinical psychologists, one community service psychologist and four intern psychologists.
How does one get access to the unit (through grooming or straight)?
Patients are consulted by appointment. Patients are generally referred through the community based clinics (outpatients), as well as referrals through health staff in hospital such as medical officers and nursing staff (in- and outpatients). Patients may make appointments themselves by contacting the psychology office by telephone or in person. Generally only patients from the Matlosana area (KOSH and Wolmaranstad/Ottosdal areas) are consulted.
Could you please explain the steps followed to access the services?
Please contact the Psychology Department at Tshepong Hospital (018 4063234/3262/3328) or Klerksdorp Hospital (018 4064438) to make an appointment.
What type of diagnosis do you admit at your unit?
Generally speaking all the DSM IV Mental Health Disorders are seen and treated at the unit. The most common diagnoses are Major Depressive Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (children and adults), Substance Abuse, Psychosis (various types) and medical related psychiatric conditions.
Are there any competent skilled nurses or doctors working specially for the unit?
No, but we work in conjunction with medical doctors and nurses in specialised units like the Psychiatric Ward, Burns unit and the Psychiatric Outpatient unit. We also have a Specialist Psychiatrist visiting our departments at both Klerksdorp – and Tshepong Hospitals once weekly to do consultation work and training.
How many are they and what do they specialise with?
What machines do you use at the unit?
Only computers to assist in report writing, processing psychometric tests and general administrative work.