Sinmarie PieterseSinmarie Pieterse
Sinmarie Pieterse holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology (University of Pretoria) and is a registered Educational Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (PS 0040223). She has eighteen years of experience in the field of child psychology, assessment (educational and emotional), psychotherapy, parental guidance and career guidance.
Sinmarie started her career at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for Child and Parental Guidance in 1993. Psychological assessments, career guidance, psychotherapy, counselling and parental guidance were part of the services offered to parents and their children. Thereafter, she worked at Gauteng’s Educational Aid Centres, Ermelo, Benoni, Kempton Park as an educational specialist, dealing mainly with didactic assessments, such as:
- Remedial class placements,
- Placement of learners with special needs in schools for learners with special needs,
- Placement of cognitive borderline functioning learners in schools where they could be taught specific skills such as panel beating and woodwork,
- Assisted teachers with the everyday problems of learners with ADHD in the classroom situation by workshops that were developed and presented.
In 1997 she worked as a school psychologist at Sonitus School for the Hard of Hearing. The needs of the physically handicapped child were addressed in a multi disciplinary team approach consisting of speech therapists, occupational therapists, a nurse and a social worker. She locumed at Procare, an organization for social workers and psychologists in private practice, where she mainly worked therapeutically with:
- girls who were sexually abused;
- children whose parents went through a divorce
- hypnotherapy with teenagers and adults.
In 2006, Sinmarie decided to relocate to the Cape and started to work at the Centre for Student Counselling and Development, Stellenbosch University. Among the problems she had to address were:
- academic problems of students,
- emotional adjustment issues, especially for first year students
From 2007 she worked at the Centre for Prospective Students (Stellenbosch University) where she focused mainly on career and subject choice assessment and counselling. She worked in schools throughout the Western Cape (such as Jan van Riebeeck Boys High and Edgemead) offering these services in group context to learners and their parents. Over a period of 6 years many learners were assessed and important recommendations and decisions were made concerning their future career possibilities.
Throughout her career, Sinmarie has grown increasingly interested in the field of hypnotherapy. She is, therefore, able to help clients therapeutically through hypnosis, and has further completed training in ego state Eriksonian therapy and medical hypnotherapy. Sinmarie believes that the ways that people can use hypnosis to improve their lives are unlimited.
According to theories of hypnotherapy, the mind has the power within it to create healing and wellness. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, a state of mind where the body is relaxed and the mind is super-concentrated and more open to receive and accept suggestions. Through hypnosis, Sinmarie is able to help her clients with:
- Fears, Anxiety, and Post-trauma anxiety,
- Grief and Loss
- Depression, Anger, Stress, Sleep Disorders
- Business (Increase productivity, Confidence, Enhance sales ability, Public speaking, Assertiveness etc.)
- Personal Issues (Studying, Self improvement, Motivation, Attaining goals, Increasing confidence, Building a positive mental attitude, and Relationship issues)
Testimonials from clients:
“My healing journey with the help of Sinmarie –
Sinmarie would play soft background effects (either nature or music) whilst gently putting me completely at ease in a trusting/relaxing mode, gently talking through what we are about to do. I would slumber off so that she can tap into my subconscious mind, bringing to the fore a problem, breaking down the barrier of unwanted negativity and old habits and way of thinking and give rise to hope for the future through asking questions where I find the solutions within and she guided me through the various processes; what kind of choices I have in order to bring about positive changes for the future.
The relaxation was pleasant and we were able to clarify and move forward through my journey of recovery by firstly looking at why I needed healing, what my goal for therapy was: To converse with men in an open, friendly and safe way.
The homework I received was to prepare for the next session, but also to help me through my journey while I work on my own at home through “The Courage to Heal & Workbook” by Laura Davis and Ellen Bass which I purchased.
We looked at my life from birth, whether my mom and I bonded; growing up in a dysfunctional family; what gives me hope; when the abuse started; my relationships thereafter with men in general; those in authority; and ultimately, my failed marriage.
We delved into what will ultimately make me happy; starting of the actual healing itself and managing my life in this period; taking care of myself; discarding coping mechanisms not needed any longer, and looking at new and positive ways in living my life.
We spent a number of sessions on anger and releasing it. Then sadness washed over me and I find myself being a little girl again – confused and scared. Sinmarie was an enormous support through her kindness and compassion. I shared with her a dream I had of 3 little girls, also being abused by a male female member and how I stood up for them. I realised that I had my voice back. Nobody was ever going to hurt me again. Sinmarie indicated that she is not surprised by my body’s reaction to my rage, but when we deal with Forgiveness and Letting Go, my Frozen Shoulder will start to become functioning again.
It was not the actual sexual act that was painful, it was the fact that the adults whom I trusted and who were supposed to nurture, protect and care for me, had exploited me for their own gratification, power and control.
I have learnt that I can safely let some people exit my life, in order to allow new people in so that I can grow more confidence.
We looked at my talents; what healthy relationships look like; what I can do to protect myself; and what I would like to do in the future.
The journey is coming to its end and an important factor was the Releasing, Forgiving and Letting Go of the people who inflicted pain in the past. I struggled with this part and felt it needed another session. I can easily do this during yoga sessions and when I do my final releasing rituals. So, this journey isn’t finished yet, but it will be soon.
Lastly, Sinmarie eased me into deep relaxation where we came full circle where we started: what was my goal for therapy? I’ve joined an online dating site where I chat with and meet men on a daily basis. Even though I find it overwhelming, I’m enjoying every moment of it. I can easily discern which of them are safe to converse with longer term, others I disconnect from very fast.
I would like to add though, not everything that happened to me in my childhood was bad. Sinmarie has helped me to set firm boundaries, making choices, using my voice and ensuring that I’m being heard. I will not give myself the pleasure of ever becoming a prisoner of my own feelings.
Sinmarie, I am immensely grateful to you for leading me on this path of my journey, for pushing me gently and awakening the healer within. I trust that others would find hypnotherapy as encouraging as I had. It really is an amazing tool to help people heal and recover fully.
I’m a survivor!!” SDC
“If I knew about this sort of “treatment” and that my daughter’s lack of confidence in herself is treatable, I would have taken her for hypnotherapy around Grade 10 and not only in Grade 12. I was nervous and worried at first .... but I made the appointment and after our first interview, I immediately knew you were going to be able to help my daughter overcome her fear of not believing in herself! What we have come to see after her few sessions, is that she has immediately become more outspoken. Please note: it is not that she was a quiet little girl sitting in a corner not uttering a word, it was just a normal girl being scared of failing when she starts something. She has more confidence in herself and with confidence comes inner strength and she automatically “speaks” with a louder voice! Thank you for being such a wonderful therapist” BF
“I cannot believe the change in my son. Since we picked him up on Saturday, he has been laughing and chatting non stop. Yesterday got off to a bad start because I was angry with him for not preparing an oral (his worst) that he had two weeks to prepare and as usual had left it to the last minute. He is so shy to stand up in front of the class. Well, he did surprise me. I was greeted at the door last night – him with a certificate he had received for sport and he proceeded to talk and tell me about his day at school. He had said his oral – surprised me because he repeated the oral to me and I couldn’t believe he had actually spoken on how a cricket ball is made and had actually had stuff to say....The school must surely notice the difference...the teacher was so negative about hypnotherapy, I guess they will be sending the whole school now, if they notice the changes.” SV
“Hi Sinmarie, just to say I had a good flight! Was nervous before, but it went well, luckily very smooth flight too! Thank you!!!” LA
“Thank you for all the support you have given me and my family. We are indeed on a road of recovery, the entire family. Thank you for your input, it was of great help” VM
Apart from hypnotherapy, her fields of expertise are play therapy, career guidance, psycho-educational assessment, couples and marriage counselling, and post divorce counselling.