Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy refers to a variety of techniques and methods used to help children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions or behaviour. Psychotherapy is a form of psychological treatment that involves therapeutic conversations and interactions between a therapist and a child or family. It can help children and families understand and resolve problems, modify behaviour, and make positive changes in their lives.

Psychotherapy serves to benefit clients through:

  • Regaining a sense of control and happiness in life
  • Improving sense of well-being
  • Developing insight
  • Personal growth and maturation
  • Minimise or eliminate distressing symptoms
  • Improvement in relationships

Attachment Therapy

Attachment therapy is a brief, process-oriented form of psychological counselling. It is a psychological model that attempts to describe the dynamics of long-term and short-term interpersonal relationships between humans. An attachment-based approach to therapy looks at the connection between an infant’s early attachment experiences with primary caregivers.  Attachment-based therapy aims to build or rebuild a trusting, supportive relationship with caregivers and significant others that will help prevent or treat anxiety in children.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) helps:

Improve a child’s moods, anxiety, and behaviour by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking.
Dr Fourie uses CBT to teach children that thoughts cause feelings and moods which can influence their behaviour. During CBT, a child learns to identify harmful thought patterns. The therapist then helps the child replace this thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviours. Research shows that CBT can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including anxiety and social pressure. Specialised forms of CBT have also been developed to help children coping with traumatic experiences. Dr Fourie follows the ‘Coping Cat’ CBT process, developed by Dr. P.C Kendall.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education.  Family therapy can be particularly effective in a number of circumstances, including:

  • When families have difficulty communicating feelings and ideas to each other in a constructive manner
  • When families are anticipating or have experienced major transitions
  • When new members, such as stepparents, stepsiblings, and adoptive children enter the family
  • When families are adjusting to losses such as a family member’s death or a parental separation and divorce
  • When roles within families are particularly unclear, such as when children frequently disobey limits or adults assume dependent roles
  • When families lack cohesion or a sense of shared purpose

Dr Fourie views the family as a “whole system”, and address all of its component “parts” in the process of therapy. She works with parents to establish an environment of respect and affection. She supports children in their efforts to develop themselves within the family environment.

Gestalt therapy

Gestalt therapy is an existential/experimental form of psychotherapy that emphasises personal responsibility, and that focuses upon:

  • The individual’s experience in the present moment
  • The therapist-client relationship
  • The environmental and social contexts of a person’s life
  • As well as self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation

Dr Fourie’s PHD research is focused on gestalt therapy theory as a foundation of the development of extensive family play therapy intervention with children and their families.

Group Therapy

Group Therapy is a form of psychotherapy where there are multiple patients led by one or more therapists. It uses the power of group dynamics and peer interactions to increase understanding of problems and/or improve social skills.

Dr Fourie runs different types of psycho educational groups at various schools in Cape Town, focusing on social skill development, behaviour modification and trauma experienced by children.

Play Therapy

Play Therapy involves the use of drawings and activities to help the child recognise, identify, and verbalise feelings. Dr Fourie observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child’s problems. Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their feelings and emotions.

Play is the primary language through which children express themselves. Children are not always able to vocalise their concerns; therefore, a play therapy process allows a child to express emotions and difficulties through a non-threatening medium.

Psychotherapy referrals

Children may benefit from child-orientated psychotherapy if they experience one or more of the following:

  • Strong emotions such as anxiety, anger or sadness
  • Seperation difficulties
  • Loss & Bereavement
  • Behavioural challenges
  • Bullying
  • Adjusting to changes such as coping with the birth of sibling, parents’ divorce or going to a new school


Dr Fourie provide services to children and parents who recently have been separated or divorced.

Dr. Arina Fourie offers nationwide expert advice and assistance in all aspects of divorce, separation and family divorce matters.

These services include:

  • Mediation and post-divorce dispute resolution;
  • Dr Fourie assists parents in the drafting of parenting plans and undertakes contact and care assessments.
  • Individual psycho -therapy for children as part of the divorce process;
  • Care and Contact assessments.


Family mediation is a peaceful,  logical, effective and responsible alternative to divorce litigation. It is the modern, intelligent “way to go”, and the benefits are plain for all to see. It is a form of dispute resolution and a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties.

Mediation is a process – a voluntary, non-adversarial, process involving a trained, impartial third party. The parties, not the mediator, make the decision. The mediator has no power to render a decision or to force the parties to accept a settlement. Because the voluntary settlement that the parties reach is designed by the parties themselves, it is more likely to be carried out without the need for external enforcement or further litigation.

Family Mediation, on the other hand, has the clients meet face-to-face, usually in the absence of their lawyers, with a trained family mediator present. Of course, this only happens after some pre-mediation screening has been done by the family mediator to make sure that the couple are suitable for mediation and that neither party is put in danger by such a face-to-face meeting.

Constant fighting, arguing and blaming in a marriage or similarly committed relationship generally leads to more of the same while dissolving it. Unfortunately, the consequences of continuing this behaviour can be dramatic, including protracted litigation, escalating costs, and significant damage to the parties’ children’s emotional well-being. By the time the parties are in their lawyers’ offices, they usually dislike each other, are very poor communicators, are highly distrustful, and are fearful of being hurt again.

But it does not have to be this way. People do have a choice about how to manage the divorce process. Solving disputes through negotiation is a part of everyday life. However, Family Mediation is more than just bringing in a neutral third person, ie. a mediator, to help the parties reach a settlement.

The benefits of mediation are:

Cost—The mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through standard legal channels.

Confidentiality—While court hearings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential.

Control—Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution.

Group Work Programme

– Dr Fourie delivers group work and training sessions relating to all aspects of divorce and separation.

These include workshops on co-parenting after divorce, what to expect when you’re getting divorced and social groups for children of divorce.

Additional Group work for children in need of:

  1. Social skills development;
  2. Anger management;
  3. Managing anxiety;

Group work for parents:

  1. Effective parenting styles;
  2. parenting tips;
  3. how deal with your any child;
  4. how to deal with your anxious child