I am Deon van der Merwe, a registered clinical psychologist in private practice. I am also contracted by Hospice Centurion, where I do support groups, and will be conducting training for most of the Vitanova students as from 15 March 2022.

Some students are going to do a practical internship at Hospice, as part of their training, but a bigger group including the interns, will receive training in WELLNESS Group Counselling from me.

I had the pleasure of taking part in an initiation program at Hospice where 11 students were present. They all have formal training in Psychology, most having their Honours degrees in Psychology. I had also met some Vitanova students during their term of doing practical work at Hospice last year.

The students impressed me firstly, because of their absolute passion for becoming counsellors. I observed their eagerness to learn and grow as counsellors and individuals, which are strong traits. They all act in a professional manner and have impressionable interpersonal skills. They are well groomed and respectful. I was also impressed by their punctuality. They are active in discussions which stimulates and eases communication.

The mentor at Vita Nova , Anri van den Berg and I, have been conferring in person as well as on social media. Anri is a very dynamic, astute, and interpersonally warm person with commendable integrity. She seems to take the academic training and wellbeing of her students to heart and controls `the process with great efficiency.

Vita Nova is a well organised and administratively sound counselling and training centre. Anri is open to suggestions and handles challenges with empathy and open mindedness. It is a pleasure working in such an open, direct, and mindful context.

The students that are successful after completing the counselling course at Vita Nova, will register at the Association for Supportive Counsellors and Holistic Practitioners. Their training at Vita Nova contains wide, but also specific theory and practice principals, for counselling individuals and groups concerning abuse, crises management, trauma, grief, and general wellbeing. The course also focuses on Abnormal Psychology, as a counsellor needs to know when to refer clients with a certain psychopathology to a relevant specialist.

I hope the above can provide a general picture of my experience and impressions of Vita Nova.