I hold the degrees of Bachelor’s Degree (Psychology & Criminology) (SA), B.Psych Honours Degree (SA) and Master of Science Degree (Forensic Psychology & Criminal Investigation) (UK). My Master of Science degree in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation was obtained in the United Kingdom (University of Liverpool) and provides me with globally recognised expert knowledge in this field. This Master of Science degree is wholly focused on the psychology of crime, including sexual and violent crimes perpetrated both against and by children and adults, interviewing distressed children and adults, psychology of the courts, eyewitnesses and testimony, victim experiences, police command and controlled decision-making, risk assessment of offenders and treatment development, psychopathology of the offender, false confessions and profiling offenders.
As a mental health professional, I am registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). As the HPCSA has to date not promulgated a category registration for “Forensic Psychologist” which was first considered by the HPCSA in 2009, I hold my ethical registration with the HPCSA through my 2nd degree, Bachelor of Psychology. I am an accredited family mediator with the South African Association of Mediators and a member of their executive committee, and am a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. I am accredited with the National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators (NABFAM) as a parenting coordinator.
Since 2003, I have immersed myself in work within the South African justice system which began at the Teddy Bear Clinic (forensic clinic for abused children) in Johannesburg for seven years, as well as for the duration of 2009 fulfilling an internship at Leeukop Prison (incarcerated juvenile and adult offenders) and Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital (children’s ward). From 2009 to 2018, I worked part-time with the South African Police Services victim empowerment units (counselling and assessing child and adult victims of serious crime and later supervising postgraduate psychology students during their internships) and lectured undergraduate psychology students. My work extended to my private practice, where I assist clients who in some way, reluctantly, need to interact with the justice system. I have recently recommenced consulting part-time to the Teddy Bear Clinic as a forensic assessor of child victims of crime and their families.
I work extensively with traumatised adults and children. I am trained in forensic interviewing of people in distress, where I gently facilitate participation using empirically researched and globally recognised protocols that stimulate conversation. The context may be a child who witnesses or is a victim of crime, a child with problem behaviour or a family interacting with the justice system. During forensic interviews, I support the person or family in providing descriptions of their life, their experiences, their views and wishes. My masters level training also included the psychology of sexual and violent criminal behaviour (victims and offenders), psychology of the courts, risk assessment, victim experiences and eye witnesses, commanding police critical incidents, expert testimony and behavioural case linkage.