Antoinette’s undergraduate degree was completed at the University of Pretoria, South Africa where she majored in psychology and criminology. Following completion, she also finished her honors degree in psychology from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Thereafter, she started an intensive masters degree program in clinical psychology led by the late Prof. Charl Voster, at the University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus) in South Africa.
Her internship in clinical psychology was completed at Dr. George Mukhari Hospital—one of the largest state hospitals in South Africa—and Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. During this time she treated and worked with a large variety of intensive psychological, psychiatric, cognitive and neuropsychological difficulties through psychotherapy and assessments with, adults; adolescents; children and the elderly. Such difficulties included, (amongst others): depression; anxiety; bereavement and loss; trauma; relationship difficulties; and psychiatric conditions, as well as the impact of traumatic brain injuries and neurological illnesses on adults and children.
Throughout this internship and thereafter, she focused her efforts on her masters degree dissertation where she became the first to introduce and implement clown therapy as a method of treatment for pre-operative and post-operative anxiety in children aged 5 – 10 years, in both private and public South African hospitals. During this time she was also employed as the student counselor at Medunsa University, where she assisted a large student population with both psychological difficulties, as well as vocational and cognitive assessments.
Following her qualification as clinical psychologist, she completed her community service at Tshwane Rehabilitation Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa—a rehabilitation facility that focuses exclusively on the physical and psychological rehabilitation of people who have experienced significant brain injury and spinal cord injury. During this time, her focus was on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychological difficulties following brain injury in adults and children alike, as well as on the psychotherapeutic care of people who had recently had a life changing spinal cord injury. Limited resources in these environments resulted in her developing a neuropsychological assessment battery that can be used in contexts with very limited assessment instruments, with reliable results. She has also trained other psychologists in the use and implementation of this battery.
Antoinette is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a clinical psychologist in private practice. She is also a member of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) and Neuropsychology South Africa.
Antoinette has been awarded as one of Health4You’s Top 25 Healthcare Providers for both 2016 and 2017. In 2017, she was awarded the Clinical Psychologist of the Year in South Africa award, in Global Health Pharma’s (GHP) Women in Health Awards.
Currently, she is in private practice heading up Antoinette Nicolaou & Associates Clinical Psychology at their Erasmuskloof, Pretoia East practice. Here her focus is on all aspects of psychotherapy and psychological assessment, with the aim to facilitate effective psychological and interpersonal functioning for her clients. She also collaborates with her associates to facilitate wellness retreats in idyllic destinations all over the world.