~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We, Björn and Ancois Opper, would like to welcome you to our private practice, Opper & Opper Psychologists, which is based in Midstream Estate (Centurion/Midrand), Pretoria. This website will provide you with a better understanding of who we are and what our work as educational psychologists entails. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information by using the contact details provided.
To qualify as Educational Psychologists, we received specialised training in both the psychological and educational fields. We apply our integrated skills to assist educators, parents, children, teens and young adults, as well as other health care professionals, through collaboration, facilitation and support when working with pre-school, primary and high school children as well as tertiary students.
Our role expands to include various aspects of development, including social, cognitive, educational and emotional aspects. We aim to develop effective supportive techniques by means of assessment, collaboration and therapeutic interventions.
Within the school context, we are concerned with enhancing the effectiveness of procedures and structures relating to educational and learner support. We therefore act as advocates for children and teens and the school community.
As members of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, we are committed to providing a professional service by adhering to the following ethical principles:
Dr Björn Opper
Practice number: 0249319
HPCSA number: PS 0097632
Dr Ancois Opper
Practice number: 0214078
HPCSA number: PS 0094447
What do our assessments involve?
Assessments are aimed at generating an understanding of learners’ needs, as well as their assets, in order to determine the type of support that is needed. We use a variety of techniques at an individual, group or family level to assess the various areas of functioning.
These techniques are usually enjoyable and assessments are conducted in a quiet and encouraging atmosphere. Assessment practices, which involve the use of mainly standardised media and include observation and personal accounts, are aimed at obtaining a holistic image of the learner.
Assessment provides us with a better idea of the needs of children and teens with regard to the following:
Therapy and support
When children and teens experience difficulties, determining the best way to help them can be challenging. This problem can be solved through the use of psychotherapy, which enables them to discover a safe place where they can explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
In addition to providing therapeutic, emotional and learning support to individuals who are struggling with a variety of difficulties, we also provide parent guidance.
The problems experienced can range from depression, trauma, dealing with loss/divorce, challenging behaviour, bullying, self-esteem, social/emotional, stress and anxiety to developmental delays, physical impairments, learning difficulties (reading/spelling/writing) and lack of concentration.
Most frequently used therapy techniques include:
is an experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasises personal responsibility. The therapist's approach is to help children to increase or deepen their awareness of themselves and aspects of themselves and their relationships with others by attending to and engaging with them to explore their experiences and to describe what is.
The techniques used within the therapeutic relationship include the empty-chair technique, drawings, making things, puppet shows and storytelling, and are designed to help children to work through and move beyond painful emotional blocks. This is an ongoing process that allows them to explore new behaviour – initially in the context of the therapeutic relationship and later, as and when appropriate, in the outside world.
is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and help children (generally aged between 3 and 11) to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. It provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided and self-healing process.
As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. This is believed to help them towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation and trauma resolution.
is an enjoyable, interactive form of therapy that involves training children to control physiological processes such as muscle tension and heart rate. By using an ear sensor that plugs into the USB port on the computer, they can watch in real time how their thoughts and emotions affect their heart rates.
Their heartbeat patterns tell them about the emotions they are experiencing, be it fear, anger, appreciation or happiness. These patterns are like mirror images of their emotions and this real-time feedback enables them to more effectively manage their levels of stress/anxiety and negative emotions. They are taught how to breathe, relax and do simple visualisation exercises, which will enable them to intentionally shift to a positive emotional state when faced with feelings of anxiety or stress.
refers to the use of hypnosis for the treatment and alleviation of a number of somatic, psychosomatic and psychological conditions.
Hypnosis is a state of physical and mental relaxation – an altered state of consciousness into which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the subconscious mind, emphasising new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings.
Solution-focused (Brief) Therapy
is based on short-term counselling and, as the name indicates, the focus is on solutions rather than on the problems.
It also emphasises behaviour change. It is very goal directed and uses children’s strengths as a foundation on which to build their confidence in their ability to make positive changes in their lives.
This form of therapy thus involves developing a vision of the future, determining what skills, resources and abilities children already possess, and then enhancing those in order to attain the desired outcome.
Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT)
can help children/teens to manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.
It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can also be useful for the treatment of other psycho-social problems. While CBT cannot remove problems, it can help children/teens to deal with them in a more positive way. It is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap a person in a vicious cycle. By applying CBT we aim to help children/teens to crack this cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing them how to change negative patterns to improve the way they feel.
Rational emotive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Although we are trained in various therapeutic techniques, we follow a client-fit approach. We always aim to remain sensitive to your child’s individual abilities and needs and to facilitate the therapeutic process with understanding, warmth, acceptance and encouragement.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
can help children to manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can also be useful for the treatment of other psycho-social problems. While CBT cannot remove problems, it can help children to deal with them in a more positive way. It is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap a person in a vicious cycle. By applying CBT we aim to help children to crack this cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing them how to change negative patterns to improve the way they feel.
Learning support/interventions include:
It has been established that collaborative efforts contribute to higher levels of support, cooperation and trust. Parent involvement is strongly encouraged and an effort will be made to regularly invite parents to discuss their children’s progress during the intervention process.
When and how do parents become involved?
Back to Top