Denise Grobbelaar:

About Me

Jungian Analyst, Psychotherapist & Clinical Psychologist.

As an Enneagram Type 5 I thrive on the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. I love learning. My insatiable curiosity drives me to explore the depths of various subjects, from psychological theories, philosophy and the deep existential questions to mystical traditions, animism, and shamanism. I am naturally drawn to wisdom traditions from across the world and am particularly interested in the indigenous worldviews and their close relationship with Nature. I love playing with complex ideas. I believe that knowledge empowers us to make informed decisions and navigate life's challenges, and I'm here to share my insights and discoveries with you in your journey to know yourself. Welcome to my world of endless exploration and thoughtful reflection!

Being an Enneagram 5 I have been inspired to seek out multiple courses and trainings over several decades… too many to mention. Some really steered my path towards embodied consciousness and guide the way I work. These included training/courses on Mindfulness Meditation, Focussing, Dreamwork, Enneagram, Shamanism, and multiple courses on Trauma. Becoming a Jungian Analyst was the most rewarding learning experience I engaged in. This 4-year post-graduate training afforded me the opportunity to engage in-depth with all the topics that have interested me over the years, such as dreams, mythology, and archetypes; it also included intensive trauma training and the most updated research in neuroscience. In January 2023, I trained as a breathwork teacher during a 3-week intensive and deeply transformational process in the Cederberg.

In order to become a public speaker, I challenged myself to overcome a severe speech anxiety that plagued me since childhood - from my first presentation at the World Federation for Mental Health International conference in 2010 to annual presentations for the South African Association for Jungian Analysts’ (SAAJA) public lectures since 2018 and multiple other public speaker events. Since 2020 I have presented on-line courses. I am currently on the teaching staff for SAAJA’s certificate course and a member of the Public Programme Committee. 

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Although I love reading and doing research on topics that interest me, I am also an adventurer. That is where the Enneagram 7 (connecting line) in me surfaces. I love having experiences and seeking fun, joyful, and meaningful experiences to nourish my Soul and to spend quality time with family and friends. From hiking in the mountains and forests of Cape Town Table Mountain range, to taking a refreshing dip in the icy sea, to attending Africa Burn in the Tankwa Karoo region of South Africa. I believe that the outer adventure reflects the inner adventure; it's about the profound moments of self-discovery that these adventures bring. I seek solitude and silence in self-retreats to Platbos Forest and Gecko Creek, my favourite spaces for Vision quests in Nature. I am a psychonaut. 

I have a profound sense of reverence for Nature. During May 2018 I was privileged  to soul-walk the Imfolozi Wilderness trail with Dr Ian McCallum, mentor, inspirational ecologist, psychiatrist and Jungian analyst with a deep love and passion for Nature and the Wilderness. Ian McCallum (2005) in his book Ecological Intelligence talks about a brain-environment link and sees our environment as a dynamic extension of the psyche which engenders a deep sense of belonging in our species.

I have tracked my own dreams for 30+ years and have participated in numerous ‘Dream Appreciation’ groups since 2013. During these meetings we discuss possible meanings of our personal dreams in terms of communications from the Psyche and the (personal and collective) Unconscious or Archetypal structures.

During May 2016 and March 2018, I had the privilege of attending Dream Appreciation retreats at the Global White Lion Protection Trust in the Timbivati under the guidance of my mentor, Graham Saayman, author of Hunting with the Heart: A Vision Quest to Spiritual Emergence (2007). Graham's approach of being in the Wilderness and engaging with Nature is akin to that of entering the mythological Dream Time where each visit to the Lions was approached as a waking dream. Deciphering possible symbolic meanings for our personal and collective Psyche in this manner reflects the Shamanic approach of viewing all animal encounters as sign or communication from the Spirit world. In 2021 I led a Dream appreciation retreat in the Timbivati. The white lion has become a profound symbol in my psyche. 

My paper “The White Lion as Symbol of the Archetype of the Self and the Cannibalization of the Self in Canned Hunting” was published in the 2020 Spring Issue of the Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche. In 2023 it was reprinted in the book The Spectre of the Other in Jungian Psychoanalysis Political, Psychological, and Sociological Perspectives.

I have been in private practise since November 2011. Prior to starting private practise, I gained eight years’ experience working in the field of adult mental health. This includes having worked at state facilities such as Groote Schuur and Valkenberg hospitals as well as managing a centre for people with disabling mental illnesses called Fountain House, a programme of Cape Mental Health Society

I completed my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Cape Town (2010) and my Bachelors of Arts and Honours through UNISA. I am registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (PS 0111589) and with the Board of Health Care Providers (Practise number 0437050I am a member of South African Association for Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) and the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP). I am also a member of the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC)