“Every time we ask a question,
we’re generating a possible version of a life.”
— D. Epston
Rietjie is the CEO, director and founding member at Simcha NPC. She has a great heart for people, which makes her believe in love and hope. Rietjie prefers to see people as people instead of as problems, particularly in the field of addiction recovery, where the stigma associated with addiction often prevents people from seeking help. Rietjie initiated a community-based recovery program in Pretoria for substance, alcohol, sex and porn addiction at a rehabilitation centre. Simcha NPC acts as an extension to residential recovery treatment. Coram Deo, the Narrative Therapy Pastoral Centre in Pretoria, graciously availed space for this essential program.
She brings with her a life long dedication to healing, specializing in Clinical Psychiatric Nursing. The Narrative Approach to Therapy captured her interest and led to a PhD. Dr Jo is a director at Simcha, responsible for individual and group therapy, education in Narrative Therapy, supervision and marketing. As a life long learner, she completed the Advanced Apprenticeship in the Art of Narrative Therapy with David Epston, Tom Carlson and Kay Ingamells. She brings cutting edge narrative therapy practices to the table while sharing an enthusiasm for the development of prefered stories in peoples lives. Dr Jo believes healing IS possible.
Hannetjie assisted Dr Sean Zeelie and Gert van Rensburg with a 0group of teenagers struggling with addiction. She completed her training as an Advanced Narrative Therapist at Coram Deo, accredited by the University of Pretoria. On completion of the Practical Narrative Therapy Certificate, Hannetjie became involved with Simcha NPC. She created a program for family members whose loved ones are trapped in addiction, known as Simcha Family Care. Families are just as affected as people in active addiction. In this program, they learn to create a joyful life journey while at the same time the problems their loved ones are struggling with.
Irma completed a course in Advanced Narrative Therapy at Coram Deo, accredited by the University of Pretoria, because she believes that people can unpack problem stories. On completion of her Advanced Practical Narrative Therapy, she became involved with Simcha NPC. Irma is active in the Simcha Family Care group, where she focuses on the need of family members struggling with the addiction of loved ones. She is also involved in Individual Therapy and Group therapy. She enjoys reading, camping, baking and spending time with her family and friends.
Tessa started her studies in 2009, and she gained a Bachelors in Theology. Following this was her Master’s degree in Religious studies, her thesis titled: The Theologies of Religion and interreligious dialogue. Tessa was a minister but soon decided that further study in Narrative Therapy was needed as she encounters many people in need of professional counselling. She completed training in Advanced Narrative Therapy at Coram Deo, accredited by the University of Pretoria. Tessa joined Simcha in 2018, and addiction recovery soon became a passion. She is talkative and has a passion for people from all walks of life. She has a great sense of humour and is always curious about the stories that make people who they are. Tessa is happily married to her best friend. Tessa in a nutshell: “Be silly, be honest, be kind” – RW Emerson.
I’m Nonka, a recovering psychologist. My conversion to narrative practice started in 2018 and is an ongoing journey. My current virtual pitstop is at the Dulwich Centre in Adelaide, where I’m mastering the art of narrative therapy and community work with other practitioners from all over the world. If you Fear change or have Self Doubt as a constant companion, you’re in good company! I too received a pathologizing diagnosis in 2010 and have since distanced myself from those descriptors and symptoms to live a life free from the burden of being the problem. Having been labelled myself in more ways than one, I believe with my whole being that the problem is the problem and that it is possible for every person (yes, you too!) to extract yourself from those problems that relentlessly try to dominate your life and instead let these problems walk beside you. I hold a special place in my heart for fellow travellers on the LGBTQA+ journey and respect all people as the experts of their own lives. I view myself as a spiritual being who holds a safe space for every individual that crosses my path (or whose path I cross). I invite you to become more aware of your own inherent skills and knowledges and to share these in conversation with me and those like you who, in every new day, are finding new ways of relating to their problems, themselves and others. Your story matters! Please reach out.
After having journeyed with Simcha for a year and a bit, I started my Pastoral Narrative Therapy studies in 2018. This enriched my life in many ways and made me aware of how important it is to listen, really listen to the stories people tell. Realizing that every person is the expert on their own lives, giving them a safe space, time and attention, with no judgement, has resulted in many alive to be changed and hope lived in hopeless situations. Simcha and narrative therapy has given me a voice after having experienced an abusive relationship and losing everything. Giving a voice to the person and not the problem! Being involved with Simcha Recovery and Warrior Woman enables me to give back from my own experience, and Narrative therapy has given me this opportunity.