BYRON SCHWARTZ

Like many young people, I started my university studies out of touch with myself and unaware of what really mattered to me. I thought that a career in Law would provide job security, bring status, and please my family, and so after finishing a Bachelor of Commerce in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 2011 at the University of Cape Town, I began studying an LLB as a postgraduate student. A personal crisis and period of disillusionment sent me into therapy, launched a personal growth journey, and inspired me to leave Law and pursue a career in Psychology instead.

Following two years of part-time undergraduate study, I completed an Honours degree in Psychology at UCT in 2015, and was accepted into the Clinical Psychology Masters programme the next year. My training at UCT involved exposure to a range of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), but was largely focused on family and psychodynamic interventions.
I went on to complete an internship at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital in 2018, where I provided individual and group therapy to adolescents (at the Child and Family Unity) and adults (at the Outpatient Department and Vanguard Community Medical Centre) with depression, anxiety and psychotic illnesses. I also conducted psychometric and neuropsychological assessments for various wards and facilitated support groups for patients’ families, including parents of intellectually disabled patients.  

In 2020 I finished my public service, working at the male and female correctional centres in Worcester, Western Cape. I provided individual therapy to offenders, cinematherapy to groups, and gave workshops on substance abuse, intimate-partner violence, and coping with stress in prison. My job also involved conducting assessment reports for the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board on the risk posed by offenders of re-offending.

After completing my service with the Department of Correctional Services, I decided to focus on private practice work in Cape Town. I find meaning in working therapeutically on a range of psychological issues, but am particularly drawn to helping trauma survivors of all ages and genders, adolescents in distress, and young adults grappling with mental health challenges.