Inner city schools, Cape Town RSA

Early trauma support

TraumaClinic has provided early trauma support:
•  To thousands of individuals and families;
•  on contract to a number of large consumer groups in South Africa with a total membership of more than 8 million individuals;
•  as a preferred provider for Discovery Health, ER24, Netcare911 and ADT
•  to a large number of organisations following work related traumatic events
•  in the petroleum industry, retail industry, media industry, medical emergency industry, security industry, construction, banking and financial industry, and the manufacturing sector;
•  to aid organisations.

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Disasters and large scale emergencies

TraumaClinic staff were involved in providing trauma support and setting up support systems at:

• St.James’ Church massacre, 1995
• Grassy Park petrol station massacre, 1999
• Planet Hollywood bombing 1999
• New York Bagel bombing 1999
• Lavender Hill gang wars, 2002
• Sizzlers massacre 2004

• Asian Tsunami, 2005
• Freshfarm transport accident, Malmesbury (45 employees injured, 4 deceased), 2007
• Zenophobic attacks, 2008
• Gaza war, 2009
• Haiti earthquake, 2010

Community development

TraumaClinic has been actively involved in programmes to develop resilience in under-resourced communities with high levels of continuous trauma, in:
•  CASE (Community Action for a Safer Environment) Hanover Park, Cape Town;
•  Lavender Hill, Cape Town;
•  Grassy Park, Cape Town;
•  Kapteinskloof community of farm workers, Piketberg
•  2010 ongoing: The TraumaClinic Foundation. Development of a Model for Trauma Intervention and Support in Under Resourced Schools in Cape Town


TraumaClinic has been involved in various training projects:
• Western Cape Education Department – training service providers in all the Education Management Development Centres, on dealing with large scale trauma;
• ADT Security – developing a peer support system for trauma in all branches;
• Standard Bank – training of line management in dealing with traumatic effects of robberies;
• Shell Petroleum – training line management in trauma support;
• Naspers – training of security personnel in dealing with trauma;
• Training occupational health practitioners in Cape Town in dealing with traumatic stress;
• Eastern Cape Department of Health – training of nursing personnel and social workers in dealing with HIV related trauma;
• Training of professionals on an ongoing basis;
• Creating an international online source for training material in trauma;
• Ongoing internships in trauma counselling.



Our founder, Gerrit van Wyk, is recipient of the Merit Award of the SA Society for Clinical Psychology, for outstanding service to the profession of Clinical Psychology, 1991.

He has served on the Board of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies as well as various local professional bodies. He is one of the founding members of the Continuous Trauma Interest Group in South Africa, and served on the board of CASE (Community Action for a Safer Environment).


• International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
• European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
• South African Institute for Traumatic Stress
• Continuous Trauma Interest Group
• African Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

International conference papers:

•  1st Regional Congress of World Association of Social Psychiatry, Johannesburg, March 2004: Managing work related trauma.
•  2nd International Conference on Psychic Trauma and Stress, Buenos Aires, June 2004: Trauma debriefing debunked: A new model for early intervention in trauma.
•  6th European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Stockholm, June 2005: Lessons from the Tsunami: Experience with South African survivors.
•  4th World Conference on Traumatic Stress, Buenos Aires, June 2006: A business model for delivering trauma services to large populations.
•  7th European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Opatija, Croatia, June 2007: The problems of work related trauma.
• 1st International Conference on Trans-cultural Psychiatry, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2010: A model for dealing with continuous trauma: the development of a community project in Cape Town, South Africa.
• World Mental Health Conference, Cape Town 2011, Symposium: Continuous Trauma; Workshop: Applications of Conservation of Resources Theory, and Workshop: Idioms of Distress.
• Engaging the Other Conference on Inter-Generational Trauma, Bloemfontein, 2012, paper ‘The Problem of Continuous Trauma in Post-Apartheid Communities’.
• European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Bologna, June 2013, paper ‘Issues of Continuous Trauma in Impoverished Communities’.
• International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Durban, 2014, Symposium: Continuous Trauma: Towards a Theory and Applications.


•  Van Wyk, G., & Friedman, M (2012). The Challange of Effective Interventions in a Violent Society. In Hughes R., Kinder A., and Cooper C.L., International Handbook of Workplace Trauma Support, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex.
•  Van Wyk, G. (2010). Management of Psychological Trauma. In Steyn E., ed. Oxford Trauma Surgery Handbook, Cape Town: Oxford
•  Van Wyk, G (2003) Trauma in the Workplace: Turning a Bad Experience into Good, TraumaClinic, Cape Town.
•  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, 135-153. 
•  Edwards, D. J. A., Sakasa, P., and Van Wyk, G. (2005). Trauma, resilience and vulnerability to PTSD: A review and clinical case analysis. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 15, 143-153
•  Van Wyk, G. & De Jong, J. (in press). Dealing with Trauma in a Cultural Context. Wiley and Blackwell: London
•  Van Wyk, G. (in press). Trauma Support and Counselling in South Africa. TraumaClinic: Cape Town.

South African and International Internships details here

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. Carl Jung

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

Trauma Clinic Counselling, Cape Town, South Africa