Since graduating from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1996, Claire has been involved in developing, managing and facilitating occupational therapy programs for the treatment of mood, anxiety, personality and addiction disorders in both adults and adolescents. In addition, she has remained involved at UCT, lecturing occasionally and supervising students in psychiatry.
Claire has been part of the Occupational Therapy Programme at Palm Tree Clinic since 2012, and continues to be instrumental in the ongoing success of the facility's treatment program.
BSc Occ. Therapy (2016)
Gillian qualified with a BSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of the Western Cape in 2016. She is currently undergoing Sensory Integration training and completing a Master’s degree in compassion fatigue.
Gillian has gained experience inter-culturally by working in various hospital, clinic and community-based settings. In Gillian’s community service year, she was placed at Mseleni Hospital in rural KZN where she was responsible for running the psychiatric services for people with mental health concerns and addictions. The team conducted baseline assessments, home visits with community-based nurses and partook in family counseling. She volunteered as an OT to run support groups for mothers who have children with severe physical and mental disabilities and maintained the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children in Mongu, Zambia.
It was through her work at Khayelitsha District Hospital and the Private Tyger Valley Mental Health Clinic in Cape Town that her passion for neurology and psychiatry rehabilitation grew. Gillian focuses on creating a safe and welcoming space for people from all different walks of life to share their unique stories.
Using her work experience thus far, Gillian has developed an innovative and patient-focused approach to mental healthcare. Although a recent addition to the Palm Tree Clinic team, Gillian has already brought added value to the treatment program and is sure to continue to do so in the future.
BOcc. Therapy (2012), Dip. VocRehab (2014)
Mariaan graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2012, and completed a post graduate diploma in Vocational Rehabilitation in 2014. She has worked in a variety of settings including forensic mental health, injury on duty and return to work intervention, substance abuse rehabilitation and private psychiatric clinics.
She uses compassion-based, goal-directed behavioral approaches in individual therapy; facilitates group therapy using the dialectical behavior therapy approach; and conducts functional and work capacity assessments for individual and insurance purposes. She is passionate about adult and adolescent mental health, and supporting individuals in creating lives that are personally fulfilling and meaningful, and continues on changing lives for the better with her work at Palm Tree Clinic.
What role does occupational therapy play in my management at Palm Tree Clinic?
Occupational therapy forms one component of mental illness treatment, and encompasses both group and individual therapy.
Using therapy sessions, occupational therapy aims to explore various skills in an attempt to do the following:
Enhance self-esteem and self-image
Encourage personality development
Optimize one’s functionality
Assist with stress and anxiety management
Build healthy relationships and manage toxic ones
Occupational therapy aims to facilitate a process of growth and healing by encouraging patients to reflect on their behaviors that are not serving them well. By exposing patients to these behaviors, occupational therapy allows one to learn new skills. Additionally, it gives patients an opportunity to ‘practice’ skills they have learned in a safe and comfortable environment.