Welcome Chantal da Cruz, Clinical Psychologist and Hypnotherapist to the PsychMatters® family.
Chantal da Cruz is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a clinical psychologist. She obtained a BA (Psychology and Communications) and BA Honours (Psychology) from the University of Johannesburg. She completed her Master’s Degree (MSc Clin Psych) at the University of Limpopo and as part of her degree completed her Thesis on “Trauma Debriefing through Teddy Bear Therapy”. She is also trained in meditation and is also an Internationally Certified Hypnotherapist (CH) and is registered with the National Guild of Hypnotists.
Following the completion of her Master’s degree, Chantal completed a one year internship (2007) at SANCA (Johannesburg Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre) and Doctor George Mukhari Academic Hospital. She completed her Community Service year at Weskoppies Hospital working mainly with inpatient psychiatric state patients. She worked at a Tertiary Academic Hospital (Dr George Mukhari Hospital) for five years following being qualified as a clinical psychologist in which she worked in various medical and psychiatric contexts with children, adolescents and adults. She also lectured at the University of Limpopo and supervised intern clinical psychologists.
Chantal is currently in full time private practice. She is passionate about helping people heal and move towards self-actualization and fulfilling lives. She believes that if people heal and are on their path to self-actualization, they feel happy, motivated, energized, mobilized and satisfied. When they are not on their path to self-actualization, they feel depressed, anxious, tired, frustrated, lost, and angry and may even experience problems in relationships, with money and substances. She works from an integrative interactional approach and utilizes various therapeutic techniques tailored around each client’s needs. Depending on the presenting complaint, communication style, and goals set in therapy, she may use a combination of the following forms of psychotherapy:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Brief Solution-Focused Therapy
- Couples therapy
- Person-Centered Therapy
- Teddy Bear Therapy
- Play Therapy
- Sex Therapy
- Communication Training
- Trauma Therapy
- Progressive Relaxation Training
- Assertiveness Training
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Grief Therapy
She has a special interest in working with children especially in the medical context in which she utilizes her hypnotherapy skills to assist patients with pain management and aligning their subconscious mind to achieve therapeutic goals that are helpful in healing the body (mind-body connection). She also utilizes Teddy Bear Therapy in working with children both in and out of the hospital context.
There are many misconceptions and misperceptions about hypnotherapy, which is actually a very effective therapeutic tool that can be used to treat a variety of presenting complaints.
Hypnotherapy is essentially a form of guided relaxation that can assist a person to make changes to behavioural patterns and beliefs. Together with the psychotherapist the person beforehand discusses which therapeutic goals they would like to achieve and through post-hypnotic suggestions the sub-conscious mind assists the conscious mind in achieving behavioural changes much easier. Contrary to popular belief the therapist is not in control of the client during hypnotherapy, rather the therapist guides the process that the client has full control over.
Hypnotherapy can be effectively used to treat:
- Low self-esteem
- Weight gain issues
Teddy Bear Therapy
Teddy Bear Therapy (TBT) is a specialized form of play therapy that can be used to treat children aged 3-12 years.
TBT uses story telling as a way to address difficulties a child may be facing. The child choses a teddy bear to be the “star” of the story. The child therapist and child co-create the story, which gives the child the opportunity to address any difficulties, traumas or fears they might be experiencing in a non-threatening way and empowers the child in identifying the problem. The child is then encouraged through the use of the story to assist the teddy bear with the problem and with the therapist’s assistance the child is empowered to resolve whatever difficulty he/she (or the teddy bear) is facing.
TBT can be used to treat among others:
- Eating disorders
- Behavioural problems
- Preparing for operations
- Medical conditions