About Mandy Young

Mandy Young

Mandy Young is a psychotherapist in private practise in Cape Town, a Theta accredited field guide and an ecotherapist. She has been active in her professions since 1979 as a psychotherapist, researcher and tutor / lecturer at the University of Cape Town. Mandy has worked with children, adults, teenagers and students who have been dealing with depression, drug addiction, sexual abuse, parenting issues, academic underachievement, relationship difficulties, post-divorce/separation adjustment, adults wanting to improve their own parenting skills, and teenagers engaged in ecotherapy programs who are trying to replace drugs, drinking and sexual experimentation in their lives with more life-giving activities.

Mandy Young is a psychotherapist in private practise in Cape Town

Her Masters thesis was an ecosystemic assessment of the 'Hurt to Hope' Divorce Adjustment program. Mandy ran three group programs consecutively and evaluated the impact of the children participating: pre-program, post-program and again 15 months after the program had been completed. The assessments were from:

Hurt to Hope Divorce Adjustment program

More recently Mandy has been involved in Rehabilitative Counseling for those experiencing the Amputation of a Limb. In the beginning she worked together with the Cape Amputee Clinic and in the Cutting Edge and Timely Spiritual and Emotional Counseling and Comforting of those with Cancer. Both areas of counseling are greatly enhanced by clan-like weekly group meetings with amputees and group support for cancer patients who reside together during proton and neutron radiotherapy treatment. The well being and healing is also greatly enhanced for these sufferers because there are teams of professional people with big hearts who collaborate together for the comprehensive rehabiitation and healing of their patients. "This is a lesson the wild dogs taught me", says Mandy, the importance of community lifestyle and nurturing kinship bonds to enhance physical, spiritual and emotional well being.

In the last 17 years Mandy has embarked on a new journey - studying the African Wild Dogs at many wildlife reserves in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and more recently the mothering behaviour in African Elephants, as well as social behaviour in Dolphins and wild Meerkats. Mandy has found her wilderness experiences and research to have provided important understandings for her work with people. She realized that genetically, soulfully and spiritually we evolved in adaptation to nature and as humans, we are not best adapted to the stresses and strains of city life and many aspects of our westernized lifestyles. Mandy has developed ecotherapy experiences where she has encourages guests to embark on their own journeys of healing and self-discovery in wilderness spaces whilst observing animals with social behaviour.

“In nature we experience the therapeutic environment of unconditional acceptance, the stability, continuity and containment of natural processes and cycles of life and death that are reflective of most long-term human relationships. Animals are present in the moment, not worrying about past events or worrying about future possible encounters with predators, their attitude can help us enormously to be present, authentic and honest with ourselves.”

Her understandings have culminated in four tailor-made ecotherapy experiences: Wild Women, Wild Dogs & Wild Men, the Wisdom of Elephants, Dancing with Dolphins and Mingling with Meerkats.

The culmination of her work has been the subject of several magazine articles and newspaper editorials, local and national conference presentations, and has recently been included in a baby book called Ecotherapy, the Wisdom of Elephants and Continuum Concepts. Her ecotherapy experiences and Hurt to Hope program has also been featured in several documentary series on animals and healing.