Resilience in the most trying of times!

The latest buzz everywhere is:
Stock up on vitamins, eat healthy real food, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly - All to build and maintain a good immune system.

But what about your mental health? - What are you doing to build your psychological Resilience? Resilience is your capacity to adapt and deal with adverse, stressful, and threatening circumstances and events. It is the ability to bounce back from such events.

So, how do I build and maintain my resilience during this extreme Covid-19 lock-down times?

  1. Set yourself a meaningful goal. What is your purpose for doing certain things and getting involved in certain activities? What gives your life meaning?
  2. Challenge your own, and other people's assumptions. Think creatively. Be flexible in the way you look at what is happening around you, and the reactions of people close to you. Don't be afraid to change your perspective on areas of your life.
  3. Cognitive flexibility and the strength to accept the ever-changing reality of this lock-down period is important. Being in denial about the extreme situation, will not make it go away. Accept and deal with the fact that you can't do certain things at this stage.
  4. Allow yourself to feel the weight of the circumstances and do not be afraid to meet with these challenges head-on. A well-known saying is: what does not kill you, makes you stronger.
  5. Be brave, act despite your fear. This is courage that allows you to overcome difficult situations.
  6. Think about what you are thinking about. Stop negative thought patterns. Put your mind to it and push every negative notion out of your mind, replacing it with positive thoughts, images, sounds, and actions.
  7. Consider yourself as an individual, what makes you unique? You can act independently, and your actions and reactions can be different from others, as you probably know yourself better than others, and you would know what is good for you.
  8. Seek the support of your friends and family, keep the social network open, while consciously controlling the amount of social media interaction, as being on your phone or tablet constantly, may add to the feeling of anxiousness, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the circumstances.
  9. Alone-time is normally good, but try not to isolate yourself from others. Feeling lonely and detached are feelings you need to be aware of.
  10. Try and do something you really enjoy at least once a day.

Take care of yourself. Stay safe, Stay healthy, and Stay calm - wherever you are.


Find help now. - CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) - Hypno-therapy - EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) - Specific Psycho-Therapy
  • About +


    Jacob Oostenbrink, MA (Clinical psychology) has been in private practice since 1998. He started his practice in Brackenfell and then relocated to Rustenburg where he practiced for 11 years. His practice focused mainly on clinical work but he was often requested to do consulting work in the Mining Industry (which included the selection of employees, treatment of their substance abusers, assisting them with trauma counseling and addressing employees’ emotional well-being).

    In 2012 he relocated back to the Western Cape and opened his Clinical practice in Strand. Although he is registered as a clinical psychologist, he has completed both his internships in consulting and clinical psychology and finds himself comfortable in both areas. Prior to completing his MA degree, he was employed in the business environment for 12 years which has given him extensive experience in the Human Resources field.

    He practices as a clinical psychologist, rendering a variety of services to high school learners (adolescents), adults, couples and business environment. 

  • What is a clinical psychologist? +

    What is a clinical psychologist?

    A clinical psychologist is a person who holds an MA degree in clinical psychology and is registered with the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA). This profession specialty is mainly concerned with diagnosing more serious mental, emotional and behavioral disturbances.

    Clinical psychologists tend to view emotional well-being in an integrated way by taking into consideration the related aspects of the environment, body, brain and the mind.

  • Why do people visit a clinical psychologist? +

    Why do people visit a clinical psychologist?

    Individuals visit a clinical psychologist because they are troubled with problems, traumas or issues that they are not able to effectively deal with. These problems mostly have a significant negative impact on various areas of their life and may include school-, work-, home or their relational/marital life.

  • How are appointments made? +

    How are appointments made?

    Clients often make appointments for themselves when they have the need to, but are mostly being referred to psychologists by their General Practitioner (GP’s), certain Specialists, Pastors of their congregation, their schools or even by their employers.

  • What types of problems does a psychologist treat? +

    What types of problems does a psychologist treat?

    Individuals seeking help from a clinical psychologist usually require assistance with both assessment and/or treatment of problems or certain conditions. Clients may present with various problems or symptoms for example:

    • Attention-Deficit and Disrupted Behaviour Disorder (including ADHD)
    • Substance-Related Disorders (Including Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drugs)
    • Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders
    • Mood Disorder (Including Depressive Disorders and Bipolar Disorders)
    • Anxiety Disorders (Including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic attacks, Phobias and Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
    • Personality Disorder (Including Antisocial-, Narcissistic-, Avoidant- and Borderline personality disorder)
  • How can we help you? +

    How can we help you?

    Jacob Oostenbrink has thorough experience in the fields of clinical-, counseling and industrial psychology, and does various types of assessments on adolescents and adults for diagnostic, guidance and treatment purposes.

    His experience and interests are in the following areas

    • Mood disorders (such as major depression and bipolar mood disorders)
    • Anxiety disorders (such as panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder)
    • Substance related disorder (such as alcohol and Nicotine dependency)
    • Personality disorders (assessment and support)
    • Marital- and relational therapy (Imago therapy)
    • Subject- and career guidance
    • Trauma counseling (such as assistance after the death of a loved one, brutal attacks, serious accidents and other life threatening events)
    • Selection/psychometric assessment of personnel (by making use of various psychometric tests)
  • Therapeutic Approach +

    Therapeutic Approach

    Jacob Oostenbrink believes in a holistic treatment approach. It is therefore important to assess clients and their presenting problems in the context of their psychological history (including childhood wounding and other significant traumatic experiences) as well as present life circumstances that are integral to the individual’s well-being. The client needs to be made aware of why his life is disruptive and how he needs to change in order to achieve a state of emotional well-being. Therapy is an active process and personal responsibility is essential. Because no two clients are the same, therapeutic techniques may differ but it will always have the client’s best interest in mind. Compliance with medication, if it was suggested, is important and is used in collaboration with therapy.  

    Jacob Oostenbrink prefers using the following therapeutic techniques

    • Hypnosis/Relaxation Therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    • Imago Relational Therapy

    “Probably the biggest that happiness is not just a place, but a process...Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges, takes the right attitudes and activities to continue to be happy”.
    -Ed Diener

  • Oostenbrink Clinical Psychologist +
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