Kirsten Barnardt and Karen Fleming are Cape Town based clinical psychologists specializing in therapy for those with depression. We provide evidence-based treatments for adults and teenagers.


We all go through challenging times when we might feel emotionally drained or ‘down’. However, if you are depressed, you may constantly feel ‘down’ in a way that starts to negatively interfere with your ability to maintain relationships and work or study responsibilities. There are many factors that can contribute towards the onset of depression such as stressful life events, genetics and biochemical factors. What’s important to remember is that depression is treatable. Getting support can be an important step towards wellness and regaining a sense of empowerment in your life. Through effective therapy processes you can gain more insight and gain tools to help you cope.


If you are feeling depressed, it is important to have an assessment with a mental health professional. An indication that an assessment might be helpful is if you have been experiencing some of these symptoms for at least two weeks:


Anxious Hopeless
Empty inside


Ruminating/dwelling on the past or on how bad you feel
Thoughts that are predominantly negative/pessimistic
Suicidal thoughts
Difficulty concentrating/remembering
Difficulty making decisions
Self criticism and low self esteem


Low energy/fatigue
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Changes in appetite
Low libido
Psychomotor changes i.e. feeling as though your movements are slower or more agitated than usual.


Lack of motivation
Difficulty finding pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Social withdrawal

Therapy for Depression

Fortunately, depression is treatable.  Two evidence-based therapy approaches are:  

Metacognitive Therapy (MCT)

Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) was developed by Adrian Wells and is a relatively new therapy approach whose efficacy has been demonstrated in a growing number of studies. MCT therapy essentially looks at different factors that keep depression stuck.  These include:

Thinking patterns that are:

  • Difficult to control
  • Disproportionately self-focused on negative thoughts and feelings
  • Ruminative and tend to be repetitive

Behaviours such as:

  • Reducing activity levels
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Avoiding getting on with work
  • A tendency to rest or sleep when feeling low

Beliefs such as:

  •  “I cannot control my depressive thoughts (rumination).”
  •   “Ruminating helps me cope”
  •  “If I analyse why I feel this way, I’ll find answers.”

During the therapy process you will learn practical tools that promote more constructive thinking patterns and more helpful ways of coping. Typically, MCT for depression takes around 12 sessions. You can find out more information about MCT and more recent research findings at

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on how interpersonal relationships impact on mood. A number of studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in the treatment of depression. The main areas looked at are:

  • Complicated bereavement
  • Role transitions
  • Role dispute
  • Interpersonal deficit

In IPT helpful changes are brought about by:

  • Improving social support
  • Facilitating emotional processing
  • Reducing interpersonal stress
  • Facilitating emotional processing
  • Facilitating the processing of grief or loss
  • Developing problem-solving and communication skills

The goal of IPT is to reduce or eliminate depressive symptoms and improve interpersonal functioning.  Typically, IPT takes around 12-16 sessions.

cape town based clinical psychologists

Providing Focused Therapeutic Support for those with Depression. Call: 071 385 2861.

Kirsten Barnardt

Registered with:
Health Professions Council
of South Africa,
Board of Healthcare Funders,
Psychological Society of South Africa.

Karen Fleming

Registered with:
Health Professions Council
of South Africa,
Board of Healthcare Funders,
Psychological Society of South Africa.

How do I get the help I need?

Commonly asked Questions and Answers

To book an appointment call 071 385 2861. Alternatively, contact Kirsten Barnardt at or Karen Fleming at From there we will book an initial consultation time. General enquiries can be sent to To book an appointment, you do not need to have a referral through another health practitioner. Self referrals are welcome. 

To help you most effectively, the first three to four sessions will be focused on gathering information so that I can better understand your concerns in context. We refer to this as the clinical assessment. When you arrive for your first session, you will initially be asked to complete a general admin form with your contact details etc. During the session we will mostly discuss your presenting issue or reasons for seeking therapy. Over the second and third sessions, you will also be asked to answer questions relating to your early experiences, your social, work, education and medical history. During the initial assessment phase you might also be asked to complete some general screening measures to help us gain further clarity on goals for therapy. We will also spend some time highlighting personal strengths and how these can be harnessed to your benefit.

After the initial assessment phase, which usually takes three to four sessions, we will discuss a therapy plan and the number of anticipated sessions moving forward. The length of therapy varies, depending on the presenting problem and the goals of therapy. Medium-term therapy typically lasts around 12-15 sessions.

Sessions are typically once a week.

Each session is 50 minutes long.

Some people experience some apprehension or anxiety before their first session. This is perfectly normal and when you get more used to your therapist and more comfortable in the space, you will likely find that the pre-session anxiety resolves. Remember you are free to ask questions or share any thoughts and feelings you may be having with your therapist.  Although therapy can be hard work, the purpose is to ultimately assist you in working through difficulties you may be experiencing and your therapist is there to facilitate this process in as safe and supportive a way as possible.

The current 2017 fee per session is R750. Consultations are to be paid at the end of each session by EFT or cash.

Kirsten Barnardt and Karen Fleming are both registered with the Board of Health Care Funders and as such, clients attending individual or group therapy may be able to claim full or partial reimbursement from their medical aid if these psychological services are included in their benefits. It is recommended that you contact your medical aid in advance to determine what benefits you have available. Accounts to be be settled directly with Kirsten Barnardt or Karen Fleming following each session. It is the responsibility of the client to submit their invoice to Medical Aid for reimbursement thereafter.

Office hours are 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. Therapy sessions take place within those hours. No walk-ins allowed. All sessions are booked in advance.

Barnardt and Fleming Private Practice is located at the end of Sea Point, just before Bantry Bay, at 94 Regent Road. We are on the second floor of the Piazza da Luz centre, the same building in which Spar is located. When you arrive at Piazza Da Luz, you can park in the underground parking. The entrance is on Solomons Road. Parking fees apply. Alternatively, if you make use of the MyCiTi Bus services, there is a bus stop one block away from the Piazza Da Luz.

The Practice

Situated in Sea Point, 10 minutes from the CBD.

Conveniently situated in Cape Town’s CBD at The White Lotus Wellness Center
Contact Karen Fleming:
Office Hours: 8am-6pm, Mon-Fri
Contact Kirsten Barnardt:

Contact Us

  • 94 Regent Road, Suite 7, 2nd Floor, Piazza da Luz, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8005
  • 071 385 2861