Full Circle Health Care

Full Circle Health Care is a psychiatric, out-patient treatment approach for adults needing support with mental health difficulties, emotion regulation problems including addiction and eating disorders, personality disorders and trauma. This is a stage-approach to health, focusing on body, mind, meaning and relationships. Full Circle Health Care is based in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa.

About Us

Robert Whittaker (Clinical Psychologist) and Melissa McWalter (HPCSA registered Arts Therapist & Trauma-Informed Yoga Practitioner) offer a unique integrative and individualised approach to mental healthcare in Cape Town, South Africa. Bringing their respective approaches to bear, Robert and Melissa expertly care for the biopsychosocial health of each individual they have the privilege of working with.

Robert Whittaker – Clinical Psychologist (Wits), DBT and, EMDR practitioner,
Melissa McWalter – Registered Arts Therapist (University of Pretoria), Chairperson of the South African Music Therapy Association, Research Supervisor (University of Pretoria), Yoga Alliance Accredited Instructor.

What We Do

Robert and Melissa support a wide range of individuals, including those who struggle with mental health difficulties, addiction problems, personality disorder, chronic pain and/or trauma. Their approach is effective for individuals wanting to improve health and well-being through holistic, evidence-based methods addressing body, mind, meaning and relationships. Essential aspects of the therapeutic approach are:

1) In-depth biopsychosocial assessment including medical, psychiatric, psychological, lifestyle and family assessments.

2) Body-mind regulation: building a relationship with the body through trauma-informed yoga, attachment-based psychotherapy, DBT skills and mindfulness, and lifestyle construction and monitoring (including sleep, substance use, medication, stress and nutrition monitoring), meaning-making and creative processes.

3) Self-determination and Integration: accessing self-determination through maintenance of lifestyle, physical health and well-being, trauma-informed yoga, creative processing, meaning-making processes (including journaling), family therapy, mindfulness, case management, continuity of care and intensive multidisciplinary integration.

4) Improving relationships and community through group process, family therapy, community involvement and continuation of psychotherapy, lifestyle, mindfulness, creative and meaning-based work.

5) Independence and Direction: actualising the ability to balance body, mind, meaning and relationships.

About Rob and Melissa

Robert Whittaker

Clinical Psychologist; EMDR Practitioner

Robert began his study of psychology with the expressed desire of one day designing an effective treatment program for mental health and addiction. His research into ”the assessment, formulation, and treatment of substance use and PTSD” is one of the only studies in the South African context to date in this area. Through extensive interviews with clinical psychologists in SA, he found that trauma was not seen as a significant factor in shaping substance use disorders in SA. Robert, like many other clinicians, believes that trauma takes many forms and is at the heart of most mental health and addiction difficulties. After he developed and ran one of the the first non-12 step inpatient treatment programs in South Africa, Robert soon realised the greatest need lay in outpatient treatment after 3 week inpatient stays. As such, he developed a unique outpatient program called ”DBT for dual diagnosis,” which he launched in conjunction with Julia Halstead-Cleak (founder of the Day Clinic, Johannesburg) under Oxford Healthcare clinic, Cape Town.

Melissa McWalter

Registered Arts Therapist; Yoga Alliance Accredited Instructor

Melissa McWalter is a registered arts therapist and Trauma-Informed Yoga instructor who has worked at a number of psychiatric hospitals in Cape Town, including Valkenberg, Lentegeur and Groote Schuur ward G22. She holds the position of chairperson of the South African Music Therapy Association. Melissa weaves together psychotherapeutic creative arts processes, music therapy, Trauma-Informed Yoga and mindfulness in a highly specialised, integrative therapeutic approach. This approach complements verbal psychotherapy by drawing on non-verbal, creative and body-based techniques.

Melissa also works with individuals in lifestyle construction as they become more aware of – and responsive to – their body and it’s needs. She has developed a mindfulness program and a journaling program that assist individuals in their journey toward self-awareness.

Full Circle Health Care Program

Each program is tailored to the individual. A personal assessment is required for an accurate and individualised quote for the best-suited program. The following serves as a general model of our programs and as pricing guide. The length of each phase is highly individualised, and the estimates below are guidelines only.

Out-patient: Assessment phase (point 3) will differ according to circumstances and individual.

  1. Complete referral form*
  2. Introductory consultation
    1. Program outline*
    2. Cost of individualised program*
    3. Assessment for readiness to undertake program
    4. Informed consent form*
  3. Assessment phase (1-3 weeks)
    1. Medical, psychiatric, lifestyle, nutritional, psychological assessments
    2. Regular meetings with clinical psychologist in person or via zoom.
    3. Regular meetings with integrative therapist in person or via zoom (lifestyle construction, creative process work).
    4. Trauma-informed yoga (covid dependant)
  4. Body-mind regulation (2 months)
    1. Regular meetings with clinical psychologist
      1. attachment and body-mind based psychotherapy
    2. Regular meetings with integrative therapist
      1. trauma-informed yoga – individual session
      2. lifestyle construction and monitoring (structure, nutrition, sleep, stress, substance-use)
      3. creative process work
    3. Consultation with psychiatrist and/or medical doctor/specialist as necessary.
    4. Trauma-informed semi-private group yoga – 3x per week
    5. Nature immersion, mindfulness, breath work and cold water therapy
    6. Body work (including massage therapy)
    7. Journaling Module – daily writing tasks
    8. Mindfulness Module – learning about and practicing mindfulness
    9. Daily online check-ins
  5. Self-determination and Integration (2-3 months)
    1. Regular meetings with clinical psychologist
      1. Psychodynamic exploration
      2. Family systems
      3. EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing
      4. Self-determination and ownership of process
    2. Regular meetings with integrative therapist
      1. creative process work and meaning-based psychotherapeutic process work
      2. lifestyle: making decisions about, developing and putting into practice routine, structure, exercise, eating plan, goals, work/studies (if applicable).
    3. Trauma-informed semi-private group yoga – 3x per week
    4. Nature immersion, mindfulness, breath work and cold water therapy
    5. Family therapy
    6. Journaling
    7. Trauma-informed yoga – individual session (optional)
    8. Volunteering
    9. Career coaching (optional)
    10. Access to community (based on self-determination and lifestyle)
  6. Relationships and Community (1-2 months)
    1. Regular meetings with clinical psychologist
    2. Regular meetings with integrative therapist
    3. Family therapy
    4. Trauma-informed yoga semi-private group – 3x per week
  7. Independence and Direction
    1. Regular meetings with clinical psychologist and/or integrative therapist
    2. Trauma-informed yoga – group or private.
    3. Community involvement.

Estimate cost for SA residents: R15 550 – R24 450 per month.

Estimate cost for international guests: R21 850 – R29 450 per month.

Location and Accommodation

3 Belsay Rd, Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa

You can come in to the Integrative Program from your home or a nearby guesthouse, depending on assessment. For individuals transitioning from treatment centers, we utilise medical-aid registered accommodation in Kenilworth, which offers accommodation at various levels of support and containment. These facilities are in walking distance from Full Circle at Belsay.

Accommodation and living costs are separate to the Integrative Program fee.

What sets us apart

At the Full Circle Health Care, Rob and Melissa work as close-knit co-therapists, using their respective approaches in an in-depth and complimentary way. This is a rare and sought-after style of psychotherapy, vitally impactful for meaningful and effective therapeutic work. Individuals find that their process and recovery is deepened and accelerated by working through and processing material through psychotherapy, creative arts therapy, symbol work, yoga therapy and other therapeutic modalities.

However, the key to the success of this co-therapist approach is in the in-depth and rich collaboration between practitioners. Hours are set aside each week wherein a client’s process is personally and thoughtfully engaged with between practitioners, problems are critically addressed and direction is sought. This allows the therapists to remain completely aligned in the therapeutic process and facilitates nuanced psychotherapeutic work in complex situations.

The Integration Program is the foundation for the highly individualised care and attention each person receives. These essential integrative conversations constitute our core approach to effectively and compassionately integrate mind, body, spirit and community. Because of this, the Full Circle only takes 10 individuals into the Integrative Program at a time.


Full circle HEALTH CARE


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3 Belsay Road, Kenilworth
Cape Town, South Africa


+27 83 412 9768