Dr Johan Hattingh has been registered as a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist for the past 20 years. His interests include mood and anxiety disorders, stress related issues as well as trauma work. He worked in Australia where he gained more intensive experience in bereavement. He conducted several workshops nationally and abroad on the theme ‘Traumatic Bereavement’. He has the following philosophy: ‘Having a hole in the head does not necessarily indicate an open mind’.
What are your working hours?
Because I am in private practice at a private hospital I work from 7:00 until 20:00. Hours can vary depending on your working environment (e.g. private practice, hospital or organisation). Normal (excuse the pun) hours are from 8:00 – 17:00.
What does your job entail?
I specialise in mood disorders like depression and anxiety. I see patients individually and sometimes run groups as well. Training is part of the therapeutic process and you sometimes have to do individual assessments. Part-time lecturing and talks also form part of the job.
Are there any ‘glamorous’ aspects in your job?
You may be in contact with famous people and make public appearances on TV and radio.
What are the mundane aspects?
Administration and report writing.
What are some of the skills required in your job?
- Empathy and sympathy – this is your pain in MY heart
- Emotional flexibility
Where and what did you study for this career?
I obtained a PhD in Psychology at the University of the Free State. I did a counseling internship in Bloemfontein followed by a clinical internship in Potchefstroom.
What is the qualification I will achieve?
A Masters degree in Psychology (either in Clinical, Counseling or Educational).There are also categories like Research and Industrial.
You can be a counselor with a four-year degree, but to qualify as a psychologist you have to obtain a 6-year Masters degree (BA, Honours and then Masters).
Break-down of the subjects I can expect to learn / study:
- You have a choice of different fields within Psychology:
- Research methodology and Psychological Assessment
- Community and Health
What can I expect to earn in this career?
Depending on how hard you want to work up to R150 000 per month.
What is the market like in terms of jobs and competition?
There will always be a demand for psychologists, since trauma, grief and heartache are a universal crisis. You can also do training, assessments and group counseling.
Any other information you feel teens should know about this career?
Some anecdotes that describe the job well:
- Some people are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
- I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
- Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
- Life is sometimes a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel.