Judy Plaatjes

Judy Plaatjes

This page serves to verify that the person is a practitioner member of Signo Professional in good standing. Any feedback is welcomed as we promote and support practitioner growth, development, accountability and ethics. In this regard practitioner members must sign a skilled-helping code-of-ethics irrespective of whether they are counsellors, coaches, facilitators, mediators or other professional-, or practitioner skilled helpers.

I have a heart for teenagers and young adults. Part of my calling is to journey with clients through this exciting and often difficult phase in their lives. I am a mother of two young adult sons who are my pride and joy. I value my family, people and view their life stories as a sacred space that I enter into with respect and reverence. I was a primary school teacher for 15 years of which five years was as a remedial therapist.

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While studying fulltime for a degree in theology at the University of Pretoria, my passion and calling for pastoral care and counselling was confirmed. I continued to complete a Masters degree in Theology (Practical Theology). The title of my dissertation is: Early childhood attachment behaviour and high school bullying: A pastoral perspective. The title of my BTh Honours Degree mini-dissertation is: School bullying with the focus on the bully: A pastoral perspective. The topic of bullying for both my Honours and Masters research is relevant to what teenagers face on a daily basis. The research focused on pastoral engagement with the perpetrators of bullying. In order to break the vicious cycle of bullying both the victims and the perpetrators of bullying must be given a safe space to share their story. For this reason, I enrolled and completed the Pastoral Narrative Therapy course at Coram Deo. 

People give meaning to their lives and relationships through the telling of stories. In narrative therapy, the problem is seen as separate from the person. Narrative therapy provides a safe space where people are given a voice to share their story. This technique of externalisation allows the person, to see the problem as the problem, and not the person as the problem. Through externalisation, they are able to change how they relate to the problem. They come to the realisation that their story matters and that they have the power to re-author their story and create new identities.

One of my favourite quotes is from the book and movie, The Blind side:

“You are a unique person created for a specific purpose.

Your gifts matter.

Your story matters.

Your dreams matter.

You matter”

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