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Hi, I am Michelle Nortje


Clinical Psychologist


PS 0122955    PR 0586868

Journey to becoming a psychologist

I completed my undergraduate BA and Psychology honours degrees at the University of Pretoria (with distinction). I then continued my journey in psychology by completing my Masters degree in clinical psychology at the University of Johannesburg (with distinction). As a psychologist I strive to create a safe and containing space with my clients where together we can begin to understand their experiences, behaviours and emotional states in a more coherent and meaningful way. Although I work from a predominantly psychodynamic approach, I also draw on other orientations to best address the needs of the client.

Clinical experience

I have had multiple and wide experiences in my clinical work. This has allowed me to feel comfortable in working with a diversity of difficulties, ages and population groups. I completed my internship at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital’s child adolescent and family unit, and at Helen Joseph Hospital. I then completed my community service year at the Far East Rand Hospital. Since completing my training, I have continued to learn and grow in my community-based work at Ububele (an NGO specialising in infant and child mental health) and the Johannesburg Metro Community Clinics. 

I enjoy being able to work with patients of all ages; infants, children, adolescents, adults, families and groups. In particular, I have developed an interest in infant mental health. I have completed a two-year infant observation course as well as the parent-infant psychotherapy (PIP) and Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) training. I believe that working with infants and their parents is a critical period to facilitate secure bonding and a healthy start to understanding the self and others.

Therapeutic interests

·         Depression

·         Anxiety

·         Attachment

·         Parent-infant psychotherapy 

·         Newborn behavioural observation 

·         Play therapy

·         Post-natal depression

·         Parental counselling

·         Trauma

·         Bereavement

·         Somatic disorders

·         Dreams and sleep

·         Personality disorders

·         Identity issues

·         Mindfulness

·         Dialectical behaviour therapy 

"It is in playing and only playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in the creative that the individual discovers the self." Donald Winnicott