ANNETTE NEL

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EXPERIENCE

In 2013 I did my community service year in the Lejweleputswa distract in Welkom where I serviced five clinics. I mostly treated children with cerebral palsy and led parent groups on how to care for these children. It was during this time I came to view patients through a holistic lens. I learnt to see the patient as a whole, not only taking their illness into consideration but also their background, socio-economic status, culture and what gives meaning to them as a person. It also taught me creative problem-solving skills using the limited resources available.

I kicked off my occupational therapy career in mental health at Witrand Psychiatric Hospital in Potchefstroom. There I received clinical exposure to various diagnoses ranging from mood and substance disorders, psychotic disorders and intellectual disability.  

During my time in Potchefstoom I volunteered at Thakaneng, a home for street children and the Abraham Kriel Children’s Home. At the former I focused on resilience training, through games the boys learnt about team work and trusting others and themselves. In 2017 I led a support group for teens at Abraham Kriel concentrating on identity and self-esteem.

In 2018 I gained clinical experience working with adolescents at a private psychiatric hospital, Life Poortview in Roodepoort.

During my sabbatical in 2019 I volunteered at a day care for children with disabilities, Alana's Love, and assisted with program development.

With this mixed bag of experience I embarked on my current journey at Optima Rustenvrede in 2020, a hospital with a vision that aligned with mine.

EDUCATION

B. Occupational Therapy (University of the Free State) 2012

The following courses have contributed to my toolkit as a therapist:

Experiential group therapy; Projective techniques for groups; Using a psycho-spiritual approach; Psychodrama principles and techniques, Dealing with shame.

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)

Sensory intelligence

Attachment in Adults

Drumming

Alert program

Bully Busters

APPROACH TO THERAPY

My passion is seeing patients live whole-hearted, fulfilling and healthy lives. I am constantly in pursuit of new and fresh ideas to help each patient holistically to find that sweet spot in life where, even though life is challenging, you have the skills to cope.

I am constantly developing my knowledge on human behaviour and how to optimise our functioning through implementing routines and habits that support our highest values.

To help patients find meaningful and purposeful activities to facilitate the healing process is greatly rewarding to me. It is through activities that we live, create, function, express and be ourselves in the world.

 

I use different creative mediums such as drawing, painting, movement and activities in nature to help patients express themselves.

I have found that group work is a very powerful tool to help people reach a deeper level of self-awareness and self-acceptance. It is when we learn to share and listen to others that we realise we are not alone, and in these moments, we very often gain wisdom and perspective.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

I love reading, spending time in nature and connecting with friends and family.

In the beginning of 2019 my husband and I took a big leap of faith and resigned from our jobs to embark on a 14-month sabbatical. We toured three continents, exploring a total of twenty-two countries. For me highlights include: climbing an active volcano, a sleepover in the Amazon jungle and skiing in the French Alps. All the Instagramable moments notwithstanding, my biggest adventure was the act of getting out of my comfort zone which led to deep personal discoveries.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

annette@nelot.co.za