Kent Psychologist


Kent Psychologist - Tonbridge

Deon van Zyl

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Deon completed his training at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1989 and subsequently obtained a Statement of Equivalence from the British Psychological Society (BPS). He is registered as Chartered Psychologist with the BPS and Health Professions Council and is a member of the BPS Divisions of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology (Full Practitioner).

He is Co-Director and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Kent Psychologist. He has worked in a variety of settings overseas and in the UK, including the NHS and the Priory Group. He has had wide clinical experience in the fields of adult and child mental health and is trained in various psychotherapeutic modalities. He currently specialises in transference focused therapy (TFP).

Kent Psychologist - Autism Assessments

Dr Sirja van Zyl

Clinical Psychologist

Sirja (pronounced like the country Syria) originally comes from Germany, but has lived in the UK all her adult life. She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist who has been working with children and young people for over twenty years. She gained an undergraduate degree (BSc Hons) in Psychology at the University of Leeds and then trained as a Clinical Psychologist at University College London, where she obtained her doctorate (DClinPsy) in 2004. Sirja has worked in a range of private and NHS settings with children and young people. She has previously held the position of Pathway Lead in an NHS neurodevelopmental service and is now the joint director of Kent Psychologist and the Clinical Lead for the Autism and ADHD assessment team within the service. Sirja is a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 

Sirja is passionate about enabling young people to live meaningful and fulfilled lives. She has a special interest in the assessment and support of young people with neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as Autism, ADHD and tics and Tourette Syndrome. Sirja also has extensive experience in working with children and young people affected by a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties, including trauma, difficulties at school, within the family and friendship issues as well as anxiety and low mood. She is trained in a range of therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) and Comprehensive Behaviour Intervention for Tics.

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

When looking for therapeutic support it can be difficult to know the difference between the various professions involved and who would suit your needs best. There are many titles to describe people offering mental health interventions. These include counsellor, therapist, psychotherapist, psychologist and psychiatrist. In terms of training, clinical psychologists complete an undergraduate degree, followed by several years of relevant work or research experience and a three year doctoral training. They are qualified to undertake diagnosis and offer a diverse range of therapeutic interventions to people across the life-span who present with a range of cognitive, mental and physical health difficulties. Many undertake additional training and choose to specialise in a particular areas, for example autism, head injury, or posttraumatic stress (PTSD).

Clinical psychologists register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and have to adhere to strict professional guidelines to maintain their registration. The title ‘Clinical Psychologist’ is a protected title that can only be used by those who have completed the above training and adhere to these guidelines. Currently, not all titles related to therapy and counselling are regulated or protected. It is therefore important to ensure relevant qualifications and registration with a regulatory body when seeking private therapy to ensure the highest standard of practice.

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