B.A. (1968), distinction, (University of Pretoria)
B.A. Hons. Psychology (1969), cum laude, (University of Pretoria)
M.A. Clinical Psychology (1971) (University of Pretoria)

Gerrit van Wyk was born in Mokopane, Limpopo in 1948. This is where he would spend most of his early childhood until his family relocated to the Gauteng province. He attended both high school and university in the city of Pretoria, where would then graduate as a clinical psychologist in 1971.

In 1972, van Wyk emigrated to the Netherlands, where he became the co-founder and director of the first successful treatment programme for substance abuse addicts in Europe – this was known as the Emiliehoeve Therapeutic Community for Drug Addicts.

After two years of practice, van Wyk then returned to his native country of South Africa, where he worked as a senior lecturer at University of Cape Town’s Department of Psychiatry until 1979. It was during this time that he also become the founder and director of the Centrum Therapeutic Community at Valkenburg Psychiatric Hospital. 

Shortly afterwards, he left the government domain and moved into private practice where he spent numerous years providing individual psychological support.

However, he soon became disillusioned with private practice and wanted to contribute more to society. He therefore moved his focus to the growing issues concerning traumatic stress and its alarming effects on the South African population – aiding those who were of a higher risk of developing trauma-induced psychopathologies.

As a result, the TraumaClinic Emergency Counselling Network was born in 1999, with a focus on early intervention. His interests then branched into continuous trauma and community psychology. As of this moment in time, van Wyk still overlooks the clinic’s procedures, as well as providing clinical supervision to individuals completing the TraumaClinic’s internship programme.

Interview by Kate Solomons November 2018
(Gerrit van Wyk HPCSA Practice Number: PS0001201)


Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Psychology – South African Society for Clinical Psychology (1991)

Listed in Stanford University’s ‘Whose Who Black Book’ (2012)


•  Divorce in South Africa. (1988) With La Cock, A. Cape Town: Timmins.
•  Trauma in the Workplace: Turning a Bad Experience into Good. (2003). Cape Town: TraumaClinic).
•  Van Wyk, G., & Edwards, D. (2005). From trauma debriefing to trauma support: A South African experience of responding to individuals and communities in the aftermath of traumatising events. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 15(2), 135-142.
•  Van Wyk G., Edwards, D., & Sakasa, P. (2005). Trauma, resilience and vulnerability to PTSD: A review and clinical case analysis. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 15(2), 143-153.
•  Van Wyk, G. (2010). Psychological Trauma. In A. Nicol & E. Steyn (Authors), Handbook of Trauma (pp. 135-142). Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
•  Van Wyk, G. V. (2012) The Challenge for Effective Interventions in a Violent Society: Boundaries and Crossovers between Workplace and Community. With Friedman, M. In Hughes,R., Kinder, A. & Cooper, C.L., (Authors), International Handbook of Workplace Trauma Support. London: Wiley & Sons.

Professional Affiliations

•  Registered as Clinical Psychologist with the South African Health Professions Council.
•  Past member and executive member of South African Society for Clinical Psychology
•  Past member of Psychological Association of South Africa.
•  Past associate member of American Psychological Association.
•  Full member of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
•  Founder, member and convenor of African Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
•  Affiliate representative member of the Board of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

South African and International Internships details here

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Rachel Naomi Remen

TraumaClinic Counselling Cape Town, South Africa, 1 Hiddingh Avenue, Gardens 8001

Trauma Clinic Counselling, Cape Town, South Africa