I am Sophia Combrink, registered Clinical Psychologist with the Health Professional Council of SA (HPCSA).

I have been in private practice for more than 10 years. My practice is located in Fourways, Johannesburg.

My career has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in many different mental health and clinical contexts. Soon after I qualified, I moved to the UK where I worked in the National Health System (NHS) for 8 years. I thoroughly appreciated my professional experience in the UK where I gained continued training in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), systemic theory and psychodynamic approaches. Whilst working in the NHS I developed a particular interest in eating disorders, personality disorders and complex trauma. I was a sessional lecturer at the University of Newcastle and supervised doctorate psychology students on placement.

I started my private practice in 2005 when I moved back to South Africa. Apart from working in my own practice, I also enjoy being involved in many other mental health contexts and settings when I have the opportunity. These include:

  • Lecturing and supervision of post-graduate psychology students. I find it a privilege to work with young adults who are learning about psychology and to support them in their journey to become confident, skilled, ethical and compassionate young professionals.
  • Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s). I managed a team of psychologists and social workers at The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR). I worked on various internationally funded projects to support people who have been significantly affected by political violence and complex trauma. I managed a project to develop a family treatment model for people exposed to torture in the African context. I delivered presentations at various national and international conferences, including a presentation on The Psychological Impact of Torture at a United Nations Conference in Geneva.
  • In-patient rehabilitation for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries. In the context of working with people who have significant physical limitations, I have learned to fully appreciate the potential in each person to survive, and to even thrive, amidst extremely trying circumstances.

I have been interested in the field of Mindfulness for several years. Living our lives on a more mindful way releases us from the conditioning that governs and limits our lives. This results in the flourishing of our human potential to make choices about how we live in connection to ourselves and our world. Through mindfulness we learn to be more present, to see our habitual patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours and to respond with more compassion. I am currently doing a post-graduate diploma in Mindfulness through The Institute of Mindfulness South Africa (www.mindfulness.org.za) and Stellenbosch University.

It is important to me to treat each and every person in my practice with respect, consideration, kindness and compassion. There is a firm set of values that underpin my work and I subscribe to high ethical standards. Apart from ensuring the necessary confidentiality to my clients, I also believe that each person is unique and should be treated as such.

“To understand is to forgive, even oneself.”
Alexander Chase