Wendy Nunn

Clinical Psychologist Port Elizabeth

Located in Sherlock Street, Richmond Hill Port Elizabeth.

Wendy Nunn is a Clinical Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

She has been practising in Port Elizabeth since 1987 after completing her studies at Rhodes University.

Her areas of expertise include adult and adolescent psychotherapy, couples counselling and play therapy.

She also has extensive experience in Custody Evaluations, having worked at the Port Elizabeth Family Advocates Office as a consultant for more than 15 years.

Wendy also acts as an expert witness in Medico-legal and Forensic Evaluations.

 

Psychology Practice Areas

In psychoanalytic psychotherapy there is less emphasis on advising people on how to better manage their lives and relationships, but instead there is a greater emphasis on seeking understanding for why people do what they do and experience the negative feelings that sometimes go with poorly adapted behaviour.

This is a flexible and non-prescriptive approach and by working with a client’s distressing life situations and exploring and understanding the client’s early history there is insight into where they became stuck in their psychological development.

This enables the client to make decisions and choices which weren’t possible before.

This is an empowering experience when the client comes to realise that there are reasons for their behaviour and emotions, and knowing the reason, they are better able to deal with their issues.

Many of life’s problems centre on difficulties with interpersonal relationships.  These can create feelings of emptiness, despair, anxiety or depression and also addictive behaviour or even suicidal thoughts.

There is a sense of not knowing who I really am, and I feel hopeless and out of control of my life.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy enables clients to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, and how early interaction patterns with significant people are often unconsciously repeated in the present.

Once a client is able to understand how past relationships unconsciously affect the way they view themselves and others, there is growth and change and their lives are enriched as they live more fully and effectively.

There is renewed hope that there will be improved relationships with the self and others, deeper self-knowledge and insight, all of which aims to bring about behavioural change and symptom relief and to create meaning when life previously seemed barren and empty.

I have a long association as a consultant psychologist with the Offices of the Family Advocate in Port Elizabeth, Graaff-Reinet and East London.

My work centres mainly on custody and contact evaluations, or rather, primary residence and contact as it is known in the new Children’s Act, as well as helping couples draw up a Parenting Plan.

Disputes regarding which parent should have primary residence of the minor children and what type of contact the absent parent should have, are major areas of concern for parents as they start the process of divorce.

Some of these issues may be dealt with through the process of mediation by the Family Advocate, but it is often the case that an in-depth psychological evaluation is needed for the Family Advocate to make a fully informed recommendation to court.

An evaluation of this nature always focuses on the best interests of the children, which involves extensive interviews with the parents, often including personality testing.

The children are also sensitively interviewed and assessed and my approach always includes an observation of the interaction between the child or children and each parent.

Collateral sources are also consulted.

It is important to stress that whatever recommendations are made, each of the parties always has a final recourse to the courts.

Adolescents are usually faced with the challenges of forming a sense of identity, and a clearer picture of who they really are (and are becoming) is often a central focus of therapy.

More formal assessment is useful when assessing adolescents and in this regard I make use of personality questionnaires that are scored and which provide a profile which can be discussed with adolescents and their parents.

These profiles provide a useful road-map for issues that need to be dealt with, especially learning to cope with emotions such as anxiety, depression, and feelings of inadequacy in academic and social situations.

Adolescents also respond well to the informal and unstructured sandplay assessment method and usually provide worlds which comprise deeper symbolic content and clearly show the degree to which the young person is able to engage creatively and let go of inhibitions.

Discussions about the sandtray construction create a space in which elements of their world are analysed and links are made with the adolescent’s presenting problems.

This non-threatening and non-judgmental approach provides both the adolescent and me a starting point for therapy and also becomes a symbolic creation that is continually referred to.

Assessments for child therapy provide information on what issues the child is struggling with and how best to focus on those areas.

The simplest and most child-friendly assessment that I like to use is the sandplay method of assessment which involves asking the child to construct “My World” in the sandtray using a wide variety of miniature toys.

This is a nonverbal form of assessment and cuts across language and cultural barriers, providing the child with the means of communicating about his or her inner and outer experiences of their world and offers information on how the child is dealing with issues which can be expressed in a safe, contained and non-threatening way.

The child is asked to talk about the world they created and encouraged to talk about the different elements of their creation. The child gives a title to the scene and I invite them to take me on a tour of their world.

We explore emotions and the child encouraged to talk about what the different people/animals are doing and thinking and what outcomes are expected. A photograph is also taken of the child and their world.

In this way I can find a way of understanding how the child is interpreting their world and the way in which they are reacting to the events they experience and the emotions that are evoked.

This provides a starting point for therapy, which usually incorporates further sandplay.

Articles

[Title]

Couples therapy with a Port Elizabeth psychologist

Couples come for therapy for many different reasons, ranging from being on the brink of divorce to a need for mutual growth during a specific phase of marital life.  

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Posted by Wendy Nunn on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Views: 500

 

Psychologist Contact Details

082 457 7254
041 585 2769

[email protected]

40 Sherlock Road
Richmond Hill
Port Elizabeth, 6001

Practice Number: 8612153

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