Helène Smit, one of the registered trauma counsellors at Stellenbosch’s Good Hope Psychological Service, is known for her loving and considerate nature; characteristics that are a great asset in this institution where there is so much trauma and brokenness.

Helène was born in Barrydale from where their family moved to Wolseley in her ninth year. For the last year and a half of her schooling, she was in Durbanville, but she definitely considers herself a “rural girl”!

She obtained her BSc degree from Stellenbosch University and her honours in psychology at UNISA.

Helène has been working as a programmer at DataVoice in Technopark for many years and from 2012 she also works as a trauma counselor one day a week at Good Hope Psychological Service.

Her work as a counsellor involves one-on-one therapy sessions or group therapy, which she usually facilitates at Cloetesville Primary. “It is a great privilege for me to stand next to children in moments that are too heavy for them to bear on their own. I especially like to work with children who have had one-off traumatic experiences,” says Heléne.

It is quite a challenge for her to work with older children (9 years and older) with behavioural problems (referred to her). “At this age, these children have usually experienced so much trauma and received so much negative feedback from the people closest to them that their negative behaviour has already formed a large part of their identity. It is very difficult to get them to understand then that there are other options for the road ahead. ”

Helène lives in Stellenbosch and is an avid trail runner, mountaineer and bird watcher.

Contact Helène Smit at [email protected].