Reflecting on the 27th Annual Psychology Congress: Volunteers Share Their Experiences

The students’ reflections on the PsySSA Congress collectively convey a sense of profound personal and professional growth. They express their aspirations to engage with psychologists and academics, highlighting the conference as a means to actualize these dreams. Volunteering experiences were described as eye-opening, facilitating self-discovery and the challenge of holding spaces with admired professionals. The Congress provided a platform for diverse learning, covering topics such as sexuality, the National Senior Certificate, and psychology’s various facets, fostering intrigue and a commitment to continuous learning. Networking with seasoned professionals and fellow enthusiasts opened doors for mentorship and future collaborations, solidifying their passion for psychology. The well-organized and inclusive nature of the event, coupled with its emphasis on respectful dialogue, contributed to a welcoming atmosphere where knowledge was freely shared. The students look forward to future engagements, including volunteering, and express gratitude for the enriching experience, inspiring them to pursue their psychology journeys with confidence and enthusiasm.

In the words of the  volunteers

Muhammad Coovadia: I’ve always dreamt of sitting in a room of psychologists and engaging with academics in the field. The PsySSA conference allowed me to actualise this dream, a facet I am extremely grateful for. I look forward to future engagements and encourage fellow students to volunteer.

Makungu Murhombo: I would say my volunteering experience  has been  eye-opening. I’m learning more about myself. It’s exceptionally challenging to help hold a space with many people I admire in the profession.

Vuyokazi January: My reflection on the 27th PsySSA Congress includes a learning curve particularly, in sessions like Sex and Sexualities in Bodies with Different Abilities and National Senior Certificate Results: Fact or Deception. Furthermore, I was intrigued by interacting with various psychological professionals and working in a group setting. In addition, the Congress was well-planned and organized. Finally, this was a nice experience for me, and I look forward to learning more.

Naledi Ndiweni: I feel extremely privileged to have been a part of the PsySSA Congress Volunteers this year. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet and network with psychologists and professionals in the field I want to go into, but I’ve also been part of an amazing team that worked hard to put the event together.

Tanya Meyer: One highlight for me was attending presentations based on journal articles by the authors themselves. The thought-provoking questions asked during these sessions made me appreciate the expertise of those in the field. Witnessing the depth of knowledge and experience among the attendees was eye-opening. I also realized that while some concepts may seem promising on paper, their practical application is not always straightforward.

Alexia Houndalas: Volunteering at the 27th Annual PsySSA Congress was an incredibly insightful experience that enhanced my personal and professional development. I look forward to attending the conference next year as a volunteer and delegate; with the hope of publishing and presenting my research.

Nobanzi Dlamini: This year’s theme was very educational, insightful and informative. Meeting the many different Professionals and Academics and further listening to the various topics presented in the field of Psychology has been such an invaluable experience. I am extremely grateful to have been part of this great Congress and look forward to many more to come. Thank you to PsySSA for this wonderful event.

Ané Van Zyl: I had yet another great experience at the congress and will come back next year! I loved how the session’s topics were insightful and even sparked interest within me that I had been unsure of. I had many meaningful interactions with delegates, and networking opportunities were prevalent during the conference. I had a wonderful experience working with the other PsySSA volunteers and would love to get this opportunity next year!

Shazia Mia: Attending the PSYSSA Annual Congress as a volunteer was an invaluable experience for me as an Honours Student in Psychology. It provided a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the professional world, engaging with experts and fellow enthusiasts. Assisting in various aspects of the event allowed me to witness firsthand the inner workings of such gatherings, enhancing my understanding of the field. Moreover, networking with established professionals opened doors for potential mentorship and future collaborations. Overall, this experience has fortified my passion for psychology and bolstered my confidence in pursuing further studies and a career in this dynamic field.

Jordan Masters: We were allocated venues and knew exactly what we needed to do so that everything ran smoothly. It was awesome to be able to listen in on some of the presentations and discussions. I was even able to chat with some delegates and they emailed me their dissertations! It was overall an amazing experience.

Boitumelo Motaung: Working with PsySSA was a great experience as I got to network with people I see myself being one day. Learning about different sections of psychology was also interesting as I was informed about only one scope. The experience was great, and that’s why I want to volunteer again next year.

Jordan Spence: The Congress was well-organised, which made my role as a volunteer enjoyable. The attention to detail, from registration to session management, was smooth and contributed to the overall success of the event. I was particularly impressed by the quality and diversity of the sessions and presentations. The wide range of topics covered was not only informative but also engaging. It was clear that the organisers put a lot of effort into curating a programme that catered to the diverse interests of delegates. Furthermore, the emphasis on inclusivity and respectful dialogue created a welcoming atmosphere for all participants. This focus on fostering an environment where ideas could be freely shared and discussed was one of the highlights of the congress. The networking opportunities were also a significant highlight for me. Connecting with professionals and peers in the field was invaluable, and I gained valuable insights and contacts that will undoubtedly benefit my future involvement in the field. I want to express my gratitude for allowing me to be a part of this event. It was a genuinely enriching experience, and I’m eager to continue supporting PsySSA’s endeavours in any way I can. Thank you once again, and I look forward to the possibility of volunteering in the future.

Tarika Rajcoomar: I had an overall positive experience volunteering at the PsySSA Congress. It was a great learning experience. I was able to attend round tables and symposiums about topics that greatly interest me. I was also able to meet some of the people generating massive change in the understanding of gender and sexuality (both of which are topics that I’m very passionate about).

Zenzele Murhombo: PsySSA was an emotional experience for me. Being around so many people I aspire to be like was overwhelming and a blessing at the same time. I got an opportunity to approach my role models and receive guidance moving forward in my journey to becoming a registered counsellor. When feeling lost in your Psychology journey, PsySSA is the key to doors you never knew existed.

Olivia Brandao: As a first-time volunteer at the PsySSA Congress, I am grateful to have been allowed to network with and meet so many diverse, intelligent, and interesting professionals in the mental health field. It was an eye-opening, educative experience listening to each of the presentations and learning about the work being done in the field. I felt incredibly motivated and inspired over these past few days of Congress to continue pursuing my passion for psychology and the social sciences. The Society and its events are definitely something that I am proud to have been and be a part of

Lorraine Nkwinika:  I am grateful for the experience and exposure PsySSA has given me. The whole experience has been so challenging yet worth learning and positivity as a student to be inspired that you can make it, as being surrounded by all the delegates of different statuses really inspired me.


Maryam Gangat: Reflecting on an amazing experience as the Volunteer Coordinator at PsySSA 2023 Congress. Collaborating with such dedicated volunteers and the passionate PsySSA community was truly inspiring. Teamwork truly makes a difference! Excited to announce that I’ll be coordinating volunteers again for PsySSA’s monumental 30th Congress next year!


A big 'thank you' from all at PsySSA

International Volunteer Day: Solidarity Through Volunteering

International Volunteer Day: Solidarity Through Volunteering

“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson

Written by Maryam Gangat [1]

International Volunteer Day is celebrated on the 5th of December every year by volunteers from across the globe. Each year, a theme is selected and celebrated in the spirit of spreading awareness and acknowledging the volunteers who are role models within their communities. The theme for this year, 2022 is: Solidarity Through Volunteering. The theme for this year encourages volunteers to work together within their communities in order to find common solutions for the countless inequalities that people experience throughout the globe.

The United Nations (UN) have emphasised the importance of volunteerism by articulating that it is one of the most vital delivery mechanisms for global transformation, and ensuring a lasting impact with its ability to change people’s mindsets, attitudes, and behaviours. Here are some ways in which you can advocate, spread awareness, and promote volunteerism in your community:

  1. Get involved in volunteer work

Advocacy begins with you. The best way to promote volunteerism in your community and to encourage it in others, is to work towards spreading awareness by supporting your community in various ways. Supporting a worthy cause in your community today, helps build a better world for tomorrow. By volunteering to take care of the environment, lending a hand at underprivileged schools, and passing on valuable skills to the youth, you can help to create a better future and set an example for future generations.

  1. Donate to a volunteer organization

If you are unable to physically volunteer your time or if you have the financial means to do so, donating to a volunteer organisation enables you to help underprivileged communities move towards living healthier, more productive lives. By donating money and other items, organizations can provide their services to the larger community and donated items can be used by individuals in your community who are need.

  1. Share your experiences

When people see and hear about how much volunteerism impacts their communities, it encourages them to volunteer. By educating the public on issues of concern and showing them how the contributions of others have changed things for the better, people become inspired to come together to assist their communities. By sharing and reflecting on your experiences of volunteering, it cultivates gratitude and creates a sense of belonging among individuals in a community.

  1. Demonstrate Genuine Need

Demonstrating genuine need among your community motivates people to volunteer and become more involved. When you create volunteer opportunities or make people aware of the opportunities that already exist within your community, it creates awareness and encourages advocacy. Many organisations rely on volunteers for their time and skills so that they can provide additional services or programs for the larger community. When communities become involved in finding solutions together, they are more likely to be feasible in the long term as they are more inclusive and people-centric.

  1. Create Opportunities

People are constantly moving into and away from communities. This means that the needs of your community are constantly changing and evolving which creates numerous opportunities for volunteerism.  By creating opportunities for individuals to volunteer within communities, it encourages individuals searching for new connections to come together, it promotes community-building and encourages a healthy culture of collaboration, friendliness, and open communication. Creating opportunities for volunteerism motivates individuals and creates a desire among individuals to have a real and tangible impact on one’s community.

In celebration of this year’s theme: Solidarity Through Volunteering, the PsySSA Student Division encourages all students to share their volunteer experiences and express their solidarity on social media using the hashtag #solidaritythroughvolunteering and #IVD2022.

[1] The Author writes in their capacity as a member of the Student Division of PsySSA (Psychological Society of South Africa) and the chairperson of Research into Student Empowerment.

PsySSA Thanks our 26th Congress Volunteers!

PsySSA Thanks our 26th Congress Volunteers!

PsySSA thanks our 26th Annual South African Psychology Congress for their effort, dedication and service to the Society and Congress.

See below their reflections on attending the Congress as emerging practitioners!

1. Priyanka Kisten, Honours in Psychology UKZN
Absolutely amazing first experience at the conference, so informative and interesting

2. Nobanzi Dlamini, BA Counselling Psychology UNISA
The event was an insightful wealth of knowledge and learning. It provided one with much needed connections and inspiration.

3. Naseeran Vally, BCom Honours in Industrial Psychology UNISA
It was a great first experience, very informative and a good opportunity to network.

4. Noor Ahmad, MA Psychology (Coursework and Research) University of Witwatersrand
The congress was very informative and a good opportunity to learn from and connect with seasoned professionals and psychologists in the field.

5. Raeesa Mathews, MCom Industrial/Organisational Psychology University of Cape Town
My experience at congress was very insightful and I am inspired to continue in the field of psychology more broadly (and not just in IOP)!

6. Ané Van Zyl, Bachelor of Psychology, SACAP.
I was up and down but I enjoyed every second, I loved the presentations and the delegates for the most part were great to have educational discussions with

7. Nicholas Nortier BA(Business Management and Psychology) SACAP PTA.
It was a privilege and an honour to attend such an event, grew both in knowledge and personally.

8. Valencia Kgadima BA(Hons) in Psychology UNISA.
The congress was very informative and I’ve learned a lot of things in different psychology field.

9. Boitumelo Motaung BSocSc (Psychology and Criminology) University of the Free State
It was an amazing and interesting 1st experience. Learning more about the study field was very informative

10. Lynne Richards Masters of Social of Social Science in Clinical Psychology, University of KwaZulu Natal.

The PsySSA congress is a pivotal event is the psychology calendar and it is an amazing opportunity for students. I am appreciative of the staff and speakers who are willing to give of their time to engage with myself and my colleagues. The opportunity for students to volunteers is invaluable.

11. Tanya Meyer Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours (Psychology) SACAP

The experience was inspiring as well as enlightening. One of the highlights of the experience was when I got to meet the authors of the books and journal articles I have been citing since undergrad.

12. Britney bengtson, BA Honours Psychology Varsity College Durban North – PsySSA Student Division Secretary 
Volunteering at the 26th annual PsySSA congress was not only an opportunity to assist PsySSA head office but in addition it was a wonderful opportunity to learn, connect, and be inspired by the great minds in psychology South Africa

13. Maryam Gangat, Psychology Honours Graduate University of KwaZulu-Natal – PsySSA Student Division Vice-Chairperson 
As a first time congress volunteer, attending the 26th Annual PsySSA Congress was a phenomenal experience. I had numerous opportunities to meet phenomenal, influential and truly inspirational professionals and have interacted with psychologists who have only fueled my passion for the field of psychology.

14. Bridgette Mogoje, Student Registered Counsellor (UKZN) – PsySSA Student Division Chairperson 
Volunteering at the 26th Annual South African Congress has afforded me an opportunity to truly reflect on the type of professional I would like to become and has broadened my perspective on the type of issues our communities are faced with. In between the volunteer work, we were able to interact with professionals who have done amazing work in the field and were willing to answer questions from students. I am grateful to PsySSA for affording us this opportunity to learn and be inspired!









PsySSA Commemorates Youth Day 2022 #UnmutedYouth

PsySSA Commemorates Youth Day 2022 #UnmutedYouth

This June, the PsySSA Student Division wants to amplify youth voices for social change in our social media campaign using a multimedia approach with the hashtag #UnmutedYouth. The hashtag #UnmutedYouth speaks to the theme of raising your voice against injustice as the youth of Soweto had done 46 years ago.

Join the PsySSA Student Division Youth Day Campaign by sending a picture with a 50-100-word caption or a 30 second video describing what it means to raise your voice against injustice and tag the Student Division and use the hashtag #UnmutedYouth.

See what Youth Day means to our Student Division Leadership below!

Board Exam Preparation Workshop 2022

Board Exam Preparation Workshop 2022

About this workshop:

Recognising the importance of being adequately prepared for the board exam of the registration categories as the final phase of training. Three divisions at the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), the Division of Registered Counsellors and Psychometrists (RCP), Society for Educational Psychology South Africa (SEPSA), and South African Association of Counselling Psychologists (SAACP) are presenting a workshop on board exam preparation. The workshop will cover generally the Mental Health Care Act, the National Health Act more generally as it pertains to the three registration categories. The workshop will then cover category related issues that may appear in the board exam, including ethics, referrals, and cases.

Link for this Workshop

21 May 2022
Join the zoom meeting

Board Exam Preparation Workshop 2022

Pakeezah Rajab is a Product Specialist at JVR Psychometrics and a registered Research Psychologist and Psychometrist. She is also an executive member (secretary) of the Psychological Society of South Africa’s Division for Research and Methodology. Since qualifying as Psychometrist in 2016, she has gained experience with clients working in several contexts, including schools, private practice, higher education, and corporate environments. She has worked on several projects that developed, validated and/or standardised various assessments for use by the South African population – including aptitude, personality, values, career guidance and emotional intelligence. Her research interests include measuring cognitive potential, motivational drivers and assessment development. 

 Rekha Kangokar Rama Rao is a registered counsellor in private practice and is currently accepted into the M.A. Community-Based Counselling psychology program at the University of Witswatersrand. She is actively involved in the community, applying the skills and knowledge acquired through academics and experience in life. Her interests are in trauma-related affect that the communities grapple with, especially focusing on masculinity in the South African context.

 Jessica Ellington has recently completed her HPCSA board exam in Registered Counselling and graduated from the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). Jessica completed her undergraduate degree from Monash, South Africa, in 2018 with a double major in Psychology and Criminology. Jessica has experience providing counselling and psychometrics for university students. She is particularly interested in psychoeducation, psychosocial wellbeing, career counselling and psychometrics, specifically for teenagers and young adults. She hopes to complete her master’s in counselling psychology in the future after working in the field as a Registered Counsellor.

Dr. Sipho Dlamini is a senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Psychology. He is also a registered counselling psychologist. Dr. Dlamini serves on the board for the journal Psychology in Society as an associate editor, he also serves as the vice-chair for the South African Association of Counselling Psychologists (SAACP) and the executive of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) as an additional member. His research interests include Africa(n)-centred psychologies, the history and philosophy of psychology, community psychology, the training of psychologists, and critical race theories.

 Nqobile Msomi is a counselling psychologist and lecturer at Rhodes University. She co-ordinates Rhodes University’s Psychology Clinic, a community-based training institution for counselling and clinical psychologists. Msomi espouses a situated psychology and concerns herself with ways to move towards practice, teaching and research informed by the values and principles of community and Africa(n)-centred psychologies. She is a PhD candidate and has partnered with a local education focused non-governmental organisation for her case study research.

Dr. Diana Soares De Sousa is an Educational Psychologist, Research Psychologist and Registered Counsellor registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She works therapeutically with both adults and children to enhance both their learning and their ability to successfully navigate the world. She is the Head of Academic Standards and Quality Assurance and the Chair of SACAP’s Research and Ethics Committee at the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). Dr De Sousa currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Society of Educational Psychologists of South Africa (SEPSA) of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), has previously served on the Executive Committee of PsySSA, and is the past Chair of the Registered Counsellor and Psychometry Division of PsySSA.