When The Music Stops…

When the music stops……………….

When the music stops……………….

Deon van der Merwe is best known as one of South Africa’s best guitarists, but there is so much more to the man.

“When I finished my studies, there were only 40 recognized psychiatric diagnoses. Today, there is around 400. Some diagnoses were scrapped, others added to the list. Homosexuality, for example, was once classified as a psychiatric illness….”
“Really.”
And then, Deon van der Merwe launches into a Skinner versus Oprah Winfrey discussion. Behavioral therapy versus motivational speaking.
In fact, he is sopassionate about these topics that he disregards his cup of coffee…
Believe it or not, this celebrated guitarist, singer and founder of the well-known Afrikaans Is hulle Afrikaans Touch of Class, has once again embarked on his career as clinical psychologists.
But before Deon, who holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology, can don the title psychologist again, he must pass the board examination – at the mature age of 60. “It is tough to study again. Psychology has changed since my graduation. And in order to behave ethically; I am not allowed to call myself a counsellor or therapist. You have to be registered at the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to even practise as a life coach.”
“In a way”, he picks up his cup of coffee again and takes a sip with practiced dexterity, “Centurion Hospice aided me in fulfilling the role that I was born into… that of psychologist.”
Deon’s path crossed with Centurion Hospice when he almost had an emotional breakdown.
Before Covid-19 hit the music industry, he had everything. Money and fame. Shows from Cape Town and Windhoek. A hit-parade king. Then: shows, gone. Livelihood, gone
“I met Annette Reed, the general manager of Centurion Hospice, and she told me about the bi-weekly podcasts that they were planning to produce. I always wanted to get involved with the hospice. Yes, we could have offered to help them with fundraising, but that would have been a once-off occurrence. I offered my recording studio instead.”
When Annette realised that Deon used to work as a clinical psychologist, she asked him to be a key speaker at The Remembrance Day 2021 at Centurion Hospice.
One thing escalated into another, and now Deon is involved with the support groups that assists people in the bereavement process when a loved one has passed.
A motivational speaker – that is what Deon calls himself.
A man who has gone through the process of grief himself; who has experienced loss, is now giving from the bottom of his very big heart.

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