The Development of Resiliency

There has been much in the global media lately about the need to protect children from psychological and emotional stressors, whether this be from sexual predators, harsh discipline measures, emotional abuse, or other harmful practices that can have lasting impact on the child’s development and sense of self-worth. To protect children is clearly and unarguably a responsible and ethical approach needed by caretakers and professionals who have direct involvement with children. The questions is, however, what does it take to do this and how far should we go in doing so? Is it possible to ‘over-protect’ children and in the process how could that impact child development?

One of the areas of debate that is less simple to tackle, are the questions around what is safe for children to be exposed to in literature or the media? The removal of violence, disparaging descriptive words, addressing issues seen as sexism, for even much to do with sex or gender, and many other issues which are deemed to be harmful, are being targeted by publishers. Traditional fairytales, nursery rhymes, songs etc, are being rewritten.

An important question arises – what does this do to the development of resilience in our children?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after challenges and tough times. Resilient children can recover from setbacks and continue with their lives. As such, resilience is a key skill for children to develop in order to be able to cope with life’s challenges and participate in the world as healthy adults. Resilience builds self-esteem and the belief in our ability to deal with problems. It enables people to deal with stress which is an inevitable part of all our lives. It can therefore enhance the ability to manage anxiety and stress related disorders in the future.

The project to minimise what is seen as a source of external stress by managing children’s exposure to certain literature, cleansing literature of ideas thought to trigger stress, occurs in a world where children are placed, possibly more than ever, under pressure to achieve, academically and in other areas such as sport. How do we teach children to OK with making mistakes and to engage in activities for the sheer enjoyment of doing so? How do we allow children to learn from their own challenging experiences? It has also been suggested that strong relationships are the foundation of children’s resilience.
Of course, children will differ in their ability to manage challenges and change that occurs in their lives. This is the role of adults to support and guide them through the challenges, not always to remove them.

Nonetheless, there are situations which we clearly need to protect children from where we can, such as abuse, predators and bullying, for example. Some events in life we would like to protect them from and we cannot always, such as broken homes, death of loved ones, and loss. Here, adults can support them through these issues, often when adults need such support themselves, as well.

Interestingly, children enjoy a certain amount of “violence” in context. They may relish to hear about the powerful abilities of wild animals, young adolescents find ways of watching media presentations of all kinds of interpersonal “violence” on their phones, the words of pop songs are often littered with language and descriptions of such incidents and ideas. How do adults prepare them for this?


In March we had a much informative presentation from Dr Kobus Roux of PsychMG. He shared his expertise and wealth of knowledge and wisdom with us and our guests on the Saturday webinar, on the topic of alternative medications for psychiatric treatment. This is something that is discussed much in psychiatric and clinical psychology circles these days.  Some interesting research is being done in this field presently. He also informed us of drugs currently being used and under what safety parameters this is being done under. The pros and cons of such approaches to treatment was clearly laid out for us to think about.

In June, we are hosting Dr Gerard Labuschagne, clinical psychologist and advocate who will share his experiences of the court room in terms of pitfalls and mishaps when providing expert witness testimony.  This will take place on Saturday 3rd June at 09h00 until 11h00. Registration is free for members with a fee of R200.00 for non-members, students R50.

CPD points are available.  Registration can be made via the CPF website or Whats App group.


Council for Medical Schemes

The CMS have opened the discussion on PMBs as they currently stand. This is a most welcome development after long debates and numerous times of reaching out.

“The CMS is preparing a discussion document to revise these previously published mental health benefit guidelines. The process to be outlined is as follows below in Figure 1. The CMS, therefore, calls for submissions to revise the current mental health benefit guidelines for consideration by 23 June 2023.”

Members are requested to submit concerns and recommendations to the CPF on the PMB matters. Please address these on the website or to the current chair:

Document: CMS Circular

HPCSA Professional Board of Psychology

The HPCSA is requesting nominations for extra persons to the Board for Psychology:

(d) The Professional Board for Psychology:

One Clinical Psychologist. Preferably white male:

HPCSA gazette Vol. 695 18 May, Mei 2023 No. 48629.

We ask members to consider nominations in accordance with the requirements. If you are willing to be nominated CPF can also support you.


Stay warm this winter.

CPF Executive