The Oostenbrink Clinical Psychologist Blog is to inform and educate our community and to work towards a society with good mental health.

Surviving the Mental Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis

For most people in South Africa, the last two months have been very tough. We’ve been consumed by the additional admin involved in trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis and for some this has been more of a challenge than others. It has taken up time, energy and resources – some of which were already in scarce supply for many.

For those fortunate enough to continue working through the crisis, many changes had to be implemented. Re-organising working conditions and businesses have been cumbersome. Some people have been trying to do their full-time jobs from home while also homeschooling children, and taking care of household duties that might previously have been outsourced. Some might have had no support, or have partners working in essential services who are not at home to help carry the load.

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?


Prevalent in a stress-ridden society

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.

Kinders met stres en depressie – ken die simptome

Dis amper skoolvakansie en die meeste kinders kry dan eers kans om te rus, te ontspan en sommer net weer kind te wees! Maar lyk jou kind se gedrag anders? Voel jy bekommerd oor hom of haar? Só lyk die simptome van stres en depressie by kinders. 

SARIE het in die verlede al by talle kenners gaan aanklop oor hoe jy jou kind kan help en simptome van depressie en afknouery kan raaksien.

Uit SARIE Mei 2014 “Ma, jy stres my!” deur Delia du Toit

Hantering van Angsversteurings

Ofskoon medikering van pasiënte nie onderspeel moet word nie, toon navorsing dat terapie in meeste gevalle die beste vorm van behandeling is aangesien dit meer as die simptome aanspreek. Tydens terapie word kliënte bygestaan om onderliggende oorsake vir hulle angste en vrese te ondersoek, te leer hoe om te ontspan, hoe om op nuwe maniere na hul uitdagings te kyk en aanpassende probleemoplossende vaardighede te ontwikkel.

Anxiety & Panic Disorder

Are you feeling anxious this morning? Why or why not? What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety and stress are a normal phenomenon and is required to propel us to drive us towards our goals. This “propelled energy” is often characterized by fear of failure or perception of not being able to cope with everyday life stressors. This fear prime our bodies with hormones, sending an instant state of red alert/fight or flight message to our bodily functions to function, in an attempt to successfully deal with the challenge at hand.

Trauma Management in the Workplace

Work related trauma such as being involved in, or witnessing a life-threatening situation, for example, a colleague dying, seriously getting hurt or losing one's work, can significantly impact an individual’s and fellow employees' work effectiveness. Failure to do the necessary trauma counseling can seriously hinder successful healing and has a negative impact on work performance.


Maak só jou kind weerbaar
  • Leer jou kind van jongs af om te vra vir hulp as hy dit nodig het.
  • Help jou kind om ’n manier te kry om van opgeboude stres ontslae te raak, soos om in ’n kussing te skree, te stap of draf, of ’n slaansak te slaan.
  • Moedig hom aan om dinge met jou te deel. Kinders weet dikwels nie hoe om hulself uit te druk nie. Begin met iets soos: “Ek kan sien jy’s bekommerd oor jou toets.”


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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