and enhancing
quality of life

Meet Our Team

Elsa Struwig

Elsa Struwig is the owner of the therapy centre. She has two children of her own whom have taught and informed her work.

Elsa devoted her career to help children heal from the detrimental effect of childhood trauma as well as assisting children with other mental health challenges. As an Eye Movement Integration Therapy (EMI) Practitioner, Elsa was the first person internationally to publish a study on the use of EMI for childhood trauma. She also co-published internationally with Prof A. D. van Breda in the journal Families in Society. She presented modules in Assessment as well as Clinical Practice for the Clinical Master’s Degree programme at the University of Johannesburg. Elsa also mentored several students during their internship for the same programme.

The framework within which she works includes ego state therapy, Ericksonian hypnosis, solution focused therapy, Somatic Experiencing® and play therapy. She completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Johannesburg (Cum Laude). Elsa is also a certified EMDR practitioner as well as a certified Somatic Experiencing ® practitioner. She presents workshops as well as papers at national and international congresses in South Africa as well as abroad.

Professional Memberships:
  • SACSSP (South African Council for Social Service Professions) – 10-17399
  • SAASWIPP (South African Association for Social Workers in Private Practice)
  • BHF (Board of Health Care Funders) – Practice no 089 0000167916
  • SAPSAC (The South African Professional Society on the Abuse of Children)
  • MEPSSA (Milton H. Erickson Psychotherapy Society of South Africa) – Executive Committee Member
  • MEISA (Milton H. Erickson Institute of South Africa) – Senior Member)
Eunice Uys

Eunice Uys graduated at the University of Pretoria in 1987. Eunice also completed a three-month course in Forensic Social Work in 2015 at the Wits University where she accomplished the highest practical result, and in 2013 she completed a course through FACT by Dr Louise Aucamp, well-known Specialist in Forensic Investigations and Assessments in allegations of Sexual Abuse.

Eunice enjoys working with young children and has also been in practise for 16 years at Laerskool Garsfontein during the mornings. She deals with a wide spectrum of problems that includes child depression, separation anxiety, trauma, lack of social skills development, impact of divorce on children and giving parental guidance. Since 2011, she has been in private practise at the Elsa Struwig Centre.

Eunice has a passion for children that are dealing with problems and strives to help them solve issues and challenges they face. She also attends the children’s court on a regular basis to help protect the child or make recommendations in connection with contact visits and primary residence.

Charmaine van der Spuy

Charmaine is a clinical social worker in private practice in Pretoria. She is passionate about children and believes it is a privilege to work with children, to be allowed to enter their magical world, and to be accepted into their pain and vulnerabilities. Charmaine sees every interaction with a child as an opportunity to learn and believes that every interaction enriches her.

Charmaine has completed her Master’s Degree at the top of her class and is constantly continuing her education and knowledge through workshops and training. Charmaine’s specialties include working with young children and toddlers (under 3 years) with a variety of emotional difficulties. She enjoys working together with parents, teachers and other health professionals in order to best help the child. Charmaine also offers parent guidance to assist parents who struggle with disciplining/understanding their child.

Charmaine is the mother of twins whom are often the guinea pigs of her ideas and techniques. I will not be surprised if they write a book one day with a title that reads “Being a therapist’s child”.

Her qualifications and training include:
  • BA (Socsci)
  • MA (Socsci) Clinical
  • Internationally accredited Somatic Experience Practitioner
  • EMDR practitioner
  • EMI practitioner
  • Lego-based therapy facilitator
Professional memberships:
  • SACSSP (South African Council for Social Service Professionals) Nr 10-30811
  • BHF (Board of Health Care Funders) Pr Nr 0890000480916
  • MEISA (Milton H. Erickson Institution of South Africa)






Sonri van Weesel

Sonri van Weesel is a social worker in private practice and specialist in the field of Play therapy.  She completed her Bachelors degree in Social work in 1995 and obtained her Masters degree in Play therapy with distinction at the University of the Free State in 2005. Her research focused especially on Gestalt play therapy with children with depression. Over the years Sonri has completed numerous courses and training in trauma therapy, attachment based therapy, child development, socio-emotional assessments as well as child and adolescent therapy.

Sonri has 25 years experience working as Social worker and gained valuable experience in various fields such as family- and child care, statutory social work, psychiatry, EAP and Child/Play therapy.  This contributed to her empathetic approach and ability to connect with her clients, young and old. 

Sonri believes in creating a child friendly environment for children to open their hearts and minds to change, healing and growth.  Her greatest passion is working with children and helping them to develop into emotionally and socially strong individuals who are able to reach their full potential. She believes it is a great privilege to be able to enter a child’s world. Sonri also believes in a holistic, systemic approach where children and their needs need to be seen holistically.  She therefore encourages the involvement of parents and significant adults and gives the necessary guidance.  She values connection and honesty with clients.  She has a special interest in working with traumatised children, children going through divorce, bereavement and emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression.

Sonri is a fully accredited member of SAASWIPP and SACSSP.  Since February 2021 she is in Private Practice at Elsa Struwig Centre for trauma and play therapy.

“ Enter into children’s play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts and souls meet” —   –Virginia Axline-

Lemmer Rootman

Bsocsci: Psychology; Bed (hons): Educational Psychology; Med: Educational Psychology at University of Pretoria.

Lemmer Rootman has been working at Unica School for learners with Autism since 2010 and has had extensive training in areas related to Autism guidance and support. This includes Alternative and Augmentative Communication and Behavioural training. He has also presented workshops and training on Sexuality and Autism, as well as Behavioural Workshops for parents, teachers, and other professionals.

Lemmer believes in continuously adapting therapeutic approaches to best support the client’s needs.  He currently offers the following services:

  • Scholastic and Emotional Assessments
  • Career Guidance and Support
  • Study skills and method training and support
  • Autism Diagnosis, guidance and support
  • Social Skills training and Lego-based therapy
Professional Memberships:
  • Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) PS0134937
  • Board of Healthcare funders (BHF) 0671819

Liezl von Bratt

Liezl van der Westhuizen

Liezl van der Westhuizen is a registered social worker and graduated at the University of Pretoria in 2013 and obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work (specialising in Play Therapy) at North-West University in 2017. She has extensive experience with complexed traumatised children, having worked in children’s homes for several years. She completed the socio-emotional assessment course in 2017 through FACT (Forensic Assessment Consultation Training) by Dr Louise Aucamp. She loves children and is passionate about helping others. Although she doesn’t have her own children yet, she loves to involve her niece and nephew in play sessions.

Professional memberships:

SACSSP (South African Council for Social Service Professionals) Nr: 10-35109

BHF (Board of Health Care Funders) Pr Nr: 9990890000873632

Call us today to make an appointment

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Therapy is an investment that enriches and enhances quality of life that has been altered by different variables for example trauma (e.g. medical procedures, violence and abuse), loss, change or any other psychosocial difficulty.


Group Therapy
Individual Therapy
Trauma Therapy
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  • 609 January Masilela Dr, Constantia Park, Pretoria, 0181
  • +27 12 998 6661
  • admin@estherapy.co.za
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