“In 2005, I completed my Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Pretoria.
There after I had my own Nursery school in Pretoria East for two years, which I enjoyed very much, but closed down after the birth of my daughter in 2007. I successfully completed the Helios course for Counsellors and am currently registered with the Council for Counsellors.
I started Vita Nova in November of 2011; ran it from my living room at home; dropping my kids off at family members whenever I had sessions booked.
I had a very clear vision of growing Vita Nova from a one woman show to a full-blown family counselling centre and training facility and with a lot of grace, blessings and buckets full of patience; managed just that.
Fast forward a mere 3 years and a couple of months and Vita Nova had managed to acquire the facilities needed to house a multi-disciplinary team of 6 professionals; including a Play Therapist, Forensic Social Worker, Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Family Therapist and myself. I was very definitely well on my way to achieving exactly what I envisioned for Vita Nova. Although the centre was ticking most of the boxes om my vision list, it wasn’t working for me; so I had to take a step back, reassess the situation, look at and understand all the available options, and I had to change my route. It was very tough for me to make the decision to change my course. My vision was an actual reality…but the business model that we were using didn’t make it a profitable one and the strain that managing 5 other people’s admin and client bases took on me was just not expected and therefore not accounted for.
Not for one moment am I regretting the multi-disciplinary-team-route I took – it has resulted in immense personal growth and the lessons I learnt, will benefit me forever.
Up until February 2018, I was the only counsellor in the centre; renting out the additional office space I have, and for me, this was and is working well. In February I approached Heske Sangster, a social worker; and she is currently working as Vita Nova’s child therapist, specializing in forensics. In November 2018 I approached Anschel Pieterson, another social worker, and she happily joined our team as Vita Nova's play therapist. Our team might be small, but we are hugely passionate about the work that we are doing and the live we are touching. Meanwhile, I am using the extra time on my hands to really do some soul searching, planning and personal professional development.
Throughout the last 7 years, I have had multiple TV interviews, regular radio slots and am often asked to contribute articles to various magazines and newspapers, such as Vrouekeur, The Oprah Magazine, Sarie, The Times, Intiem, Baba en Kleuter, Bella and many more. I have been invited on several occasions to come and talk on various topics at business functions and or charity events.
Vita Nova has become one of the primary counselling presences on line through-out its now; very nearly 8 years of existence; even converting clients as far as 400km away.
I understand what it entails to start a business from the ground up, I have experienced the absolute despair when things don’t go as planned and I have had to make very difficult decisions in order to make my practice a successful one. But more importantly I have learnt how to convert clients through emails and phone conversations, how to perform the day to day administrative duties, and to keep head above water through it all.
Thus far this has been a journey filled with challenges and setbacks, but through God’s grace and a lot of hard work we were able to persevere and utilize all the lessons learnt through out.
This course is therefore also aimed at helping you to avoid some of the pitfalls and get some helpful and practical advice and information which will enable you to start your practice off with the best possible chances of success.
"May your practice be a source of hope and inspiration to everyone who walks through your door.”
Anri van den Berg - owner and founder of the Vita Nova Counselling Centre
Present yourself and your practice confidently and professionally from day one.