About Joy Clarke

Welcome to my website! I am so glad you have found me. Here you will learn more about me, my experiences and how I will be able to assist you with various healing processes.

As a child I began to wander about “what people do and why they do it”. I even remember the words and the place– I was on my sister’s farm in Beatrice, Zimbabwe, having a tractor drive, just watching the people, making sense of the dynamics, noticing the variations of individuals and relationships. In my family, there are always LOTS of people and of course a multitude of dynamics! I didn’t know then about counselling or psychology. It was a long and winding road into my very fulfilling private practice.

Working with individuals, couples, families or groups to find their own inner best and outer rest, in company or alone, has been invigorating and a continual journey of growth for me.

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I began to be very interested in couples and relationships as a teenager: school, a busy youth group, and many elder siblings, gave a rich overview. Then I fell in love. I lost my head and followed my heart and am so grateful for my young wisdom. Of course, then, I thought that was that. We married, and I read theology, took on modern dancing, became a volunteer counsellor, taught guitar lessons, and grew gardens while our children were young. Then I needed to qualify and earn some money in my area of greatest interest, so went full time to Wits. Everything came together in my professional life. And the power struggles came, wave after wave. Still do! Some tidal waves even threatened our very foundations.

The difference now is that we have learnt (almost) to welcome them, and certainly to take the rough times as invitations to be more open to each other and our own growth. We learnt that we could continually re-build our foundation, that it isn’t static. We learnt that age can bring grace or stagnation, and we want dynamic aliveness! We learnt that our marriage can grow as we grow. We learnt that being real is more important than looking good, and the best thing we can do for our children is be in love with each other.

I also have a relationship with my private practice, which I began in 1998. I try to remember what kind of tea each person likes, I do remember what touched them, what I honour in them, and the ways they’ve grown, as well as what I learn from them.  Each person or couple or therapist who comes through my office is unique and very precious to me. Each one is a gift to me, as I hope I am to them.

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At this stage I work mostly in the Cape, and travel to Johannesburg for a week every month to see my people there. Skype and Face time are also useful mediums for connecting and working with people around the country and around the world.

Subsequently, I have been very fortunate to train specifically in supervision and therapist consultation through Jette Simon in Copenhagen.

Kobus van der Merwe and I have a precious working relationship. I sit in on his training whenever and wherever I can. He is gifted in his training, and happily passes trainees on to me for deeper growth in the work as evolving Imago therapists.

I think I am likewise very proud to know Kobus; he has an impact on the International Imago community, and takes gifts from South Africa, and his hard work and amazing love and wisdom, to the world wide community.

Professional membership:

  • Imago Africa
  • Imago relationships International
  • Stanford Who’s Who

Personal Connections:

  • BBC Global Minds
  • Charter for Compassion
  • Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
  • Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation
  • Compassionate friends

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