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The Division of Psychotherapy started with a focus on the development of a Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy. A psychotherapy reading group, consisting of clinicians (psychologists and psychiatrists) interested in psychotherapy teaching and training contributed to the development of the curricula for the PGDip in Psychotherapy. Louise Frenkel, Ereshia Benjamin and Dr. Adele Marais were all founding members of the Division, and remain active in the teaching and research agenda of the Division. In 2016 the division registered an Mphil in psychotherapy services research, providing the opportunity to clinicians to expand their exposure to clinical services and psychotherapy.



The Division of Psychotherapy provides professional integrated clinical services, training opportunities and resources aimed at enhancing the quality of life and wellness of the  appropriate referrals.  Services are provided for a diverse population (including children and adults), and in a range of setting (general psychiatry, intellectual disability, forensic and general medical settings).

Psychotherapy services:  Different psychotherapy modalities are required in different settings:  we prioritise an initial assessment of each person, so that the appropriate intervention is found for that individual.  In the acute services, this is predominantly short-term supportive therapy for the patient (combining elements of CBT, psychodynamic concepts, dialectical behaviour therapy and the recovery approaches).  Family sessions are also provided which deal with the structural and emotional impact of the illness on the family, and psycho-educational input.

In other wards (for example Forensic and Intellectual Disability Services), and therapeutic services,  which deal with longer staying patients, services range from crisis intervention to medium and longer term therapies premised on all the models mentioned above.  

Group work is also a feature of the services we as a Division offer:

Psychoeducational groups are offered in all settings and are facilitated by psychologists and intern psychologists, at times co-facilitated with other members of the multidisciplinary team. 

In-patient  and out-patient Group psychotherapy (based on Yalom’s model , and the recovery approach) are offered in all wards.  There are also specific skills based groups which are based on the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy model. 

Couple, family and group therapy services are provided as an adjunct to the individual patient’s recovery programme in the acute, forensic and intellectual disability services as well as the Consultation-Liaison service/ward , and the Therapeutic programme ward. 

Psychometric assessments and specialized neuropsychological assessments are conducted to inform comprehensive diagnostic assessment and treatment planning where indicated.

The Department serves as an accredited internship training site registered with the HPCSA for the professional training of intern clinical psychologists, and it is the Division of Psychotherapy which co-ordinates and manages the training and provides placement and supervision for these clinical interns.



The Division supports and provides psychology and psychotherapy teaching and training opportunities in the following areas:


Undergraduate teaching

Our involvement with the undergraduate medical teaching programme in the Faculty of Health Sciences includes teaching to the 4th and 6th year medical students.  The core outcomes include clinically appropriate and relevant psychological knowledge and exposure to communication and counselling skills-based learning, and provision of support and supervision to students.  Clinical supervision and case discussion are utilised to illustrate clinical skills.



Registrar training and supervision

The Division is involved with the registrar pre-part 1 psychology teaching.

In the 2nd and 3rd year psychotherapy cases are supervised by psychologists.

At Lentegeur Hospital, group psychotherapy supervision/in service training is provided for Registrars at Pathways (Ward 15)


The Division is based at both Lentegeur and Valkenberg Hospitals.




Waseem Hawa


Lameze Abrahams

Qualifications:  BA (UWC), BA: Honours (UWC), M.Psych (Clinical Psychology) UWC

Employment: Joint staff on WCG conditions: Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital and UCT
Position: Principal Psychologist and Senior Lecturer
Research interests: Mindfulness, Co-occurring Disorders

Toni Abrahams

Qualification/s: (BA Health Sciences and Social Services) UNISA, BA (Honours) UWC, M.Psych (Clinical Psychology) UWC
Employment: Joint staff on WCG conditions: Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital and UCT Position at employment: Senior Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer 
Research interests: Respite for persons with ID, caregiver support, psychotherapy for children and adolescents with ID

Zareena Parker

Qualification/s: MA Research Psychology (UCT- 1999); MPSYCH (Clinical Psychology) (UWC - 2002)
Employment: Joint staff on WCG conditions: Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital and UCT Position at employment:
Senior Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer Research interests: group psychotherapy, trauma, mental health and recovery
Email: ;

ISMAIL, Fatima
JULIUS, Hayley
KNIGHT, Bradley

LALKHEN, Nuruneesa
MARAIS,  Adele
MOKOA, Nasera
PARKER,  Naeema


Professor Gail Wyatt

Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Director, UCLA Sexual Health Program
Director, Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities
Associate Director, UCLA AIDS Institute


Professor Norweeta Milburn

Director of Research and Evaluation, Nathanson Family Resilience Center, UCLA

Professor-in-Residence, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA


Dr. Rehana Kader

Ph.D., University of Stellenbosch

M.Psych, University of the Western Cape

HDE, University of the Western Cape     

BA. Honours, University of the Western Cape

BA, University of the Western Cape


OTHER PROJECTS            


  1. The Division is collaborating on various projects, with partners from UCLA and the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR).