What is a psychiatrist?2022-10-06T07:18:26+02:00

A psychiatrist is a medical specialist. To become a psychiatrist, you must first be a medical doctor and then complete a formal four year university specialization in mental illness. This training is in hospitals and clinics and covers neuropsychiatry, old age psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, general adult psychiatry and psychotherapy. Psychiatric training includes training in the use of biological treatments (medication, electroconvulsive therapy and others) and psychotherapy. A qualified psychiatrist in South Africa has completed the examinations process through their university and the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa and must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

When should you consider seeing a psychiatrist?2022-10-06T07:18:19+02:00

You should see a psychiatrist if you:

  • are unsure what is troubling you and want to know whether you have a mental illness that may require medication;
  • are not clear whether your health concerns are physical or mental;
  • think you might benefit from medication to help you to feel better emotionally;
  • have been started on a psychiatric medication by your doctor and would like this reviewed by a specialist;
  • think you may need admission to hospital as you are emotionally exhausted and not functioning in your daily life;
  • have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness that requires psychiatric medication and cannot be adequately helped by therapy alone;
  • have been attending therapy sessions with your psychologist, and they have recommended medication to help you further;
  • have been diagnosed with a mental disorder and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist?2022-10-06T07:18:11+02:00

Many people call themselves counsellors. Be sure to check what their qualifications are. A clinical psychologist has a masters degree in psychology and an internship at a hospital where they are trained in mental illness. They are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medication. Dr Roos works together closely with psychologists and other health care professionals in order to meet the needs of her patients.

What happens at a first psychiatric consultation?2022-10-06T07:18:04+02:00

I will take a history from you of what is troubling you now and of your past medical, personal and family history. If needed, we may order blood tests, brain imaging and do brief rating scales. Many people are nervous to come to see a psychiatrist and have taken a long time before deciding to do so, I understand this and most of my patients find this first consultation is a huge relief. Evaluations often require 1-4 sessions and in this time we will decide if I am the right person to help you reach your treatment goals. It will help to make a list of your previous and current medical and psychiatric treatments and bring it with you. Many people forget the names of the medications they are taking; bringing the packaging can be useful.

What is mindfulness?2023-10-13T10:53:58+02:00

Jon Kabat-Zinn the father of western mindfulness training, defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally.” When faced with change and uncertainty, we can only come back to ourselves. We need a safe haven within to feel grounded and contained when life continues to challenge all our inner resources. Mindfulness is a practical skill anyone can learn that allows us to gain perspective, to step back from the intensity of our feelings and to see what is really going on. With this perspective, we can act with more wisdom and clarity in order to live the lives we want to. We can enjoy our lives more fully when we are truly present and discard the layers of stress we add through trying to control the uncontrollable. Mindfulness is a secular skill suitable for those of all religious and spiritual beliefs. I have taught MBSR and adapted mindfulness programs in a range of contexts and am passionate about sharing this skill for the benefit of others. I teach the internationally recognized group mindfulness programs of Mindfulness Based stress reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive therapy (MBCT).

What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction? (MBSR)2023-10-13T10:55:08+02:00

MBSR is an 8 week course with weekly sessions plus a full day retreat. It was started by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. You will be introduced to different forms of mindfulness practice which include sitting meditation, walking meditation, body scan and mindful movement. Through teaching and discussion you will develop an understanding of your patterns and reactions to stress and how to manage these more skillfully. This course teaches secular mindfulness which is suitable to those of all faiths and spiritual belief systems.

What is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?2023-10-13T10:56:27+02:00

MBCT was developed by psychologists at Oxford University and is an 8-week mindfulness program focused on patients with recurrent depression and bouts of unhappiness. It expertly incorporates cognitive therapy and meditation in a group learning environment. MBCT is part of the United Kingdom NICE guidelines for treatment and prevention of recurrent depression and has been shown to reduce rates of relapse.

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