Thirty-four-year-old clinical psychologist Melissa Card is a senior lecturer of psychology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with an impressive resume of studies, learning and achievements under her belt, including, above all, a sense of priority in being able to hold up a candle to the goodness of humanity.
To date, she is one of the youngest doctors of psychology in South Africa, having earned her doctorate at 31 in 2016. In the same year, she also won the faculty teaching excellence award and followed this up with the vice chancellor’s teaching award in 2017. Over the years, she has developed further skills in psychotherapy, clinical supervision, lecturing, psychological assessment and workshop development and training.
Added to this impressive bulk of work are three international journal publications, international conference presentations, and a certification as a yoga practitioner across Womb Yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
“I heard this quote – ‘be the reason someone believes in the goodness of humanity’ – and I think this is what keeps me inspired,” she says. “Working with people who want to see a difference in their lives and connecting with my students and patients lets them know that they have someone in their corner.”
Card, who was born and raised in East London and read for her undergraduate degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand, works as both a lecturer and in private practice. She teaches from first year to masters level, and supervises postgraduate research projects across UJ’s honours, MA and PhD programmes.
“I hope to cultivate a curiosity for learning, knowing, questioning and creating in the field of psychology,” she says.
“I hope to continue to grow in the academy and to ultimately climb to the level of professor. In my practice, I would like to establish a therapy centre where people can access therapeutic services for reduced rates or for free. This would allow for counsellors and therapists to volunteer their services to the less privileged.”
Her work ethic dictum is clear: “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done and that’s the difference between those who dream of success and those who get up every day and make that success happen.” – Tamsin Oxford