About meDiane Nelson Clinical Psychologist

I started my career as an attorney having attained my BA LLB at the University of Cape Town. I later completed my formal academic training as a clinical psychologist through the University of Cape Town where I obtained my BSoc Sci (Honours) in Psychology cum laude and thereafter my Masters in Clinical Psychology at Stellenbosch University.  

My clinical internship was completed through the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. This included clinical psychology services in the acute female admission and forensic units at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital, as well as psychotherapy services in G22 at Groote Schuur Hospital. I completed my community service at the Department of Correctional Services facilitating individual and group psychotherapy. 

I currently consult from rooms at Crescent Clinic, 269 Main Road, Claremont.


Psychotherapy approach

The decision to start therapy is often very difficult and anxiety-provoking. As therapy demands commitment, time, money, and energy, it is important to choose a therapist that is right for you. I encourage all new clients to commit to at least a two-session assessment. This allows time to gather enough information in order to recommend treatment options. It also allows the client enough time to decide whether the therapist/therapy is the right fit. The assessment process can in itself prove very therapeutic. If I am unable to help, I will do my best to direct you to someone who can. 

I work predominantly within an integrative psychodynamic framework with particular emphasis on the therapeutic relationship itself. This entails the exploration of those aspects of self that are not fully known, especially as they are manifested and potentially influenced in the therapy relationship. Together we try to identify and work with the underlying thoughts, feelings and behaviours that contribute to the personal difficulties or psychological distress in question. I focus on providing a safe, non-judgemental and empathic environment in which to explore and confront these challenges. Every therapy session is a unique encounter and as such therapy is tailored to suit the needs and resources of each individual.

The therapeutic journey also differs for every individual. Depending on the reason for entering therapy, some may need long-term therapy to achieve a stronger sense of self in order to manage their particular symptoms. Others may find that short-term therapy is sufficient to continue their journey alone. The number of sessions we agree to is therefore very flexible and will naturally also depend on individual time and/or financial constraints. 

The success of therapy will depend on many factors such as the fit between the client and the therapist, the client’s motivation and ability to invest openly and emotionally, the therapists experience and skill, as well as external factors such as time, resources, and support.  Ultimately the aim of therapy, beyond symptom remission, is to foster inner resources and capacities that allow richer, freer, and more fulfilling lives. 

Registrations and Affiliations

Registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)                                                      
Registered with the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF)                                                      

Member of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA)                                                                                                                                            
Member of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group (CTPSPG)               

Member of The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG)                          

Member of thPost-Natal Depression Support Association (PNDSA)                                  

Member of the Family Mediators' Association of the Cape (FAMAC)