Dr Ingrid Artus

I am the director of Artus and Associates Inc, trading as Westpsych and a counselling psychologist registered with the HPCSA, Psychological Society of South Africa, the South African Clinical Neuropsychological Association and The Terence Watts BWRT Institute . I have gratefully travelled to various destinations - but the most enjoyable and interesting journeys are those shared alongside my clients who have bravely faced their own deep life-stories.

After backpacking through Europe, I started my studies at the University of Johannesburg. I obtained a BA (Humanities) in 1997 and completed an Honours (Psychology) degree a year later. During my MA (Community Psych) training, I worked with psychiatric outpatients in the Orange Farm Clinic. This interaction prompted me to do research on the healing that I witnessed in this little community. The dissertation “Co-creating community with chronic psychiatric patients: The evolution of texts of identity” was the result of hours of group work, interviews and creative activity. During this time I was also involved in development projects with children and adults in Soweto and Mamelodi.

After completing my master’s, I continued with a doctoral degree whilst working as a student counsellor at the University of Johannesburg. Here I developed a particular interest in the issues of life facing young adults and adolescents. These include career and subject guidance, relationship and family issues, working with survivors of rape and abuse, assisting clients with personal growth as well as coping with life-stage developmental challenges.

In 2004 I obtained my D. Litt et Phil (Psych) degree. My doctoral thesis entitled “Women in prison: The communal (re) construction of crisis and the (trans) formation of healing identities” was the result of a two-year relationship with a core group of women in the Johannesburg Female Prison. The formation of identity, the importance of healing communities and the possibility perspective of crisis were core features of this work. During 2007 I was awarded a fellowship with PEPFAR (The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief). Consequently I gained much experience in the field of HIV/AIDS care whilst working within community HIV clinics where many individuals and families were trained and counselled around issues of psychological and physical health. This experience inspired me to develop HIV counselling toolkits to assist healthcare workers to prepare patients for ARV treatment.

Besides psychotherapy and psychometric testing, I am also interested in assisting people to obtain optimum health. In 2008 I founded a wellness company together with a professional nurse. Rubyfish Health Risk Solutions was born in order to promote primary prevention, early disease detection and maintenance of optimal health through education and medical testing in companies.

Using evidence-based therapeutic interventions in practice is important in order to make a meaningful difference in client's lives. As such I have completed international training in Rational Emotive Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) through the Albert Ellis Institute. Neuro-psychological research has also advanced rapidly over the past few years, especially with the use of MRI-scan technology in understanding brain function. Terence Watts developed a cutting edge brain-based intervention called BrainWorking Recursive Therapy®that is highly effective in treating a variety of problems. As a certified BWRT® practitioner member I can assist clients with the following problems using BWRT: sexual abuse, complicated grief, suicidal ideation, self esteem issues, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder and trauma, generalised anxiety, fear of medical treatments and phobias. I am a level 2 registered accredited member of The Terence Watts BWRT Institute and presented the topic Using BWRT® of as a healing intervention after the trauma of infidelity at the 2018 BWRT World Congress in London. I am also an international BWRT mentor/supervisor.

The therapy applied when working with couples is called Gottman Method Couples Therapy. This is a research and evidence-based approach to teach couples how to communicate optimally and to heal from a variety of co-morbidities such as affairs and addictions. Thorough assessments form part of the intervention in order to gather as much information as possible to identify the areas that need work. In 2018 I attended the level 3 Gottman Method Couples Therapy practicum in Seattle which was presented by John and Julie Gottman. I am also a Gottman Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work Workshop leader.

My professional journey also provided the opportunity to train healthcare professionals at the 2011 and 2012 Healthcare and Hospital Management Conferences. The topic “The crisis of loss and practical grief management in the healthcare setting” seemed an appropriate response in a context where healthcare workers are overwhelmed and grieving family members are often overlooked.

In March 2014, I was invited as a guest on the Oscar Pistorius Trial Channel to discuss the dynamics of loss and grieving and how it relates to this matter. Anxiety and the fear of losing control was also explored during the interview.

As a Christian psychologist, Radio Pulpit has invited me on various occasions to do interviews on current topics. Some of them include:

  • Aging gracefully

  • Confidence versus arrogance

  • Women abuse

  • Child molestation

  • Eating disorders

  • Depression and suicide

  • Memory loss

Another interview (October 2014) on Capricorn FM involved a discussion about the impact of separation on children and how to consider the child's best interest in this regard.

Talk Radio 702's Sebenzile Nkambule interviewed me in October 2015 on the topic of remarriage after divorce. I also contribute to numerous Sunday Times articles that explore topics relating to human behaviour.

I am passionate about assisting my clients to live their lives to the fullest potential. My vision is to positively impact our society by focusing on hope, forgiveness and possibility.

My core values are to treat all people with dignity, respect and potential. I have learnt that the journey of life is filled with many teachers – the only thing is, we often cannot identify them as such since they may enter our lives in the most unsuspecting guises. I have learnt the greatest lessons from the poor, the imprisoned and the psychiatric patient. My hope is that you too may be challenged to experience this journey called Life as a pathway of developmental possibilities!