Merle Woudstra

I obtained my degree in Social Work at the University of Johannesburg in 1997. I then obtained my Honours in Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch in 1998.

I started my career off at the Perspective Counseling Clinic and Mid City Trauma Therapy Center. I did individual therapy and group work with children who were traumatised. The cases consisted of problems related to: low self-esteem, bereavement, divorce and separation, fear, relational problems, anger and aggression issues. A lot of the children were subject to sexual, emotional, physical and verbal abuse, and physical and emotional neglect. I also provided parental guidance on developmental needs of children, discipline, boundaries, nurturing, attachment, communication styles, communication of emotions, problem solving, encouragement and family strengths. Over the years, I attended numerous courses regarding child development, trauma and play therapy.

 In 2004, I was registered as a Social Worker in Private Practice where I continued my work with traumatised children in my own practice. I specialised in play therapy and provided parental guidance.

In 2007, I moved to the UK and worked there as a social worker for three and a half years. I worked in a team that focused mainly on crisis intervention and child protection matters, i.e. statutory intervention, neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, fabricating illness, mental health, asylum issues, child trafficking, HIV/AIDS, alcohol and drug dependency. I then moved on to a specialist team working with adoption. I placed children (including relinquished children) who were in foster care with adopters ensuring that their cultural, educational, social and health needs were met before and after placement with their adopters.

In January 2012 she started her own private practice with her colleague, Carla Winter, in Lyttleton, Centurion. We work with children from 2-18 years and specialise in play therapy for divorce, post traumatic stress symptoms, ADHD, self-image strengthening, anxiety, depression, bipolar depression and social and emotional skills especially in children with ADD/ADHD and gifted children.

Specialist: Play Therapy

Cell    : 082 975 7830

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