“We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know”. Carl Rogers

About me

My qualifications

My name is Ashton Hayley Robertson and I am a clinical psychologist. I completed my undergraduate degree at Rhodes University. I continued with my Psychology Honours degree at Rhodes University and graduated cum laude. I completed my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and graduated cum laude at the University of Johannesburg. I have an additional qualification in Equine-assisted Psychotherapy, cum laude.

I am registered with the following boards:

  • The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
  • The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF)
  • The Golden Key International Honour Society

My consulting context

I am working in private practice and I am affiliated as an on call psychologist to Fourways Life Hospital and Life Riverfield Lodge.

Where I am based

340 on Main Health and Wellness Centre.
At 340 Main Road,
Bryanston,
Sandton

Please see my “contact me” page for a map.

Equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions take place on a plot in Chartwell at 259 Spencer Avenue, Chartwell North Estates. It is a few minutes down the road from the Broadacres Shopping centre.

My therapeutic approach

I provide the client with a safe and trusting space in order to enable self-exploration, self-understanding, self-growth, and to relieve psychological distress.

In addition I can assist with the diagnosis of mental disorders and I can provide the client with an appropriate referral to trusted psychiatrists. In the case of a confirmed diagnosis, the optimal treatment plan is for the psychologist and psychiatrist to work hand-in-hand for the benefit of the client.

I am trained to work from an integrative perspective. I therefore tailor each session to my client’s presenting problem and needs. I believe the therapeutic relationship enables meaningful change and I place emphasis on a Rogerian client-centred approach. I also favour an Interactional Pattern Analysis approach. This enables one to understand ineffective ways of interacting that can then be changed and optimised to achieve positive ways of relating with the self, and as a consequence, with others. By creating a beneficial change in one’s behaviour and utilising more effective communication, this in turn will enable more gratifying and supportive relationships. I value Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, as well as Solution Focused Therapy. I have a special interest in hypnotherapy and equine-assisted psychotherapy.

My journey and experience

From my early teenage years I set my heart on becoming a psychologist. A passion that has not changed. I value working in a helping profession that strives to aid those who are feeling lost or overwhelmed. I believe that my clients can empower themselves with the correct supportive guidance.

Some of my experiences include working at:

  • Fort England Psychiatric Hospital in Grahamstown
  • Grahamstown Child Welfare Clinic, Adrinka, Foster Mentor programme
  • Psychological services on board the Phelophepa Healthcare Train
  • Psychological services for the University of Johannesburg Sports Bureau
  • Psychological services at Melpark Primary School
  • Psychological services at the Nkosis’ Haven Orphanage
  • Working at the Psychology Department at Helen Joseph Hospital

I completed my internship year at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital. I worked primarily in 3 rotations, including: the mood disorder unit; the adolescent unit (all psychiatric disorders); and the children’s unit (all psychiatric disorders). My duties included attending and presenting in ward rounds, writing comprehensive psychological reports and individual and group therapy sessions. Furthermore I conducted family therapy sessions, as well as substance rehabilitation groups, and facilitated 3 parent-child workshops.

My community service year was spent working at Boksburg Correctional Services. This included individual therapy with adult and juvenile offenders, group therapy for adult offenders, and the assessment and report writing of parole reports. I also referred offenders when appropriate to psychiatric services.

I have experience in assessing, scoring, interpreting and compiling various psychological assessment reports.

My Honours research dissertation was conducted on Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy. My thesis was entitled, “They truly become one of us and a part of the family: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the human and animal relationship“.

My Master’s research dissertation focused primarily on children and the role of counter transference. This was entitled, “Reflections on counter transference: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of therapists’ experiences of their work with bereaved children“.

My passion for psychology and animals overlapped when I was introduced to Equine-assisted Psychotherapy. For more information on how horses can assist to heal humans, please click on the Equine-assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) page.

I have co-authored a chapter in a popular psychology tertiary textbook entitled “Psychology- Themes and Variations” the South African 2nd Edition.