Background & Introduction
Helena Bester has her roots in Africa which she loves dearly. She believes that mother nature is an important and wise mentor that patiently mirrors the lessons we ought to master through our endeavors.
She started her professional life as a teacher. She was promoted to the youngest female Head of Department and soon thereafter Deputy Principal after she had been honored with two merit awards.
Helena was the co-founder of the first private remedial clinics in the Western Cape. In her extended work with children with learning problems and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, she also conducted her own research in an attempt to find viable alternatives to stimulant medication. She also compiled a learning readiness program focused on preventing barriers to learning.
Her first book Help, My Kind Makeer Iets was published in 1996 as a result of her work and experience at the remedial clinics she had co-founded. Bester's second book, Help my Child is Causing Chaos: Hyperactive or creative? was published in 2000 in both English and Afrikaans. This book is a practical guide for parents, teachers and therapists on how to identify and handle children who suffer from ADHD. This book was on the best sellers list and reprinted twice. In 2006 Beheer Aandagafleibaarheid and How to Cope with ADHD were published and reprinted. These books were also listed on the top ten best sellers list. New Hope for ADHD in Children and Adults:A Practical Guide was published in both English and Afrikaans in 2016 and nominated for the Kyknet award. “New” in the title refers to Neurotherapy which has been rated as a level 1 treatment for ADHD by the American Association of Pediatrics in October 2012. ADHD in adults is also discussed elaborately. Her latest book, Neurofeedback-The Non-Invasive Alternative. An intervention for ADHD, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, PTSD and other causes of discomfort, was published in 2019.
Since the initial research Helena has conducted for her first book, she has been closely involved in the quest of special accommodations for learners with special needs. Helena has also been closely involved in the implementation of the adaptations in evaluation methods since White Paper 6 of the Inclusive Education Policy. She has had regular radio interviews and participated in numerous in service training programs for teachers. Parental guidance and other workshops have been presented at her private practice regularly since she started her private practice as psychometrist and remedial consultant and therapist in 1990.
Qualifications and Experience
Helena has a sound background in various meditation practices which she incorporates in her work with children and adults. Since she qualified as a neurotherapist in 2005, she has been an investigator in two international Neurofeedback research projects lead by chief investigators from prominent universities in the USA. Neurotherapy is currently the main therapy in her practice. She addresses problems pertaining to ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Sleep problems, problems with energy levels, Autism, Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injuries and numerous other disorders and problems.
Professional memberships, certifications & accreditations
Helena is a professional member of:
• SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group)
• EEG Spectrum
• CPD Well program of the University of Stellenbosch.
• The ISNR (International Society for Neurofeedback & Research) which has representation from 27 countries.
Helena is a private practitioner in the Western Cape. She has been appointed the Vice President of the BFSA (Biofeedback Association of South Africa) and is a BCIA accredited clinical neurotherapist.
She is a psychological and remedial consultant and therapist, has a EEG Spectrum Neurofeedback Certification and is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Ella is a five year old Labrador Retriever and is part of the practice. She stays by Helena’s side when she writes and also mostly when she works. She is much loved by all the clients of the practice.
Three years ago, while Helena was attempting to evaluate a very difficult child, Ella’s fate changed. The child kicked, screamed, punched two people in the reception area and bit the furniture.
Ella made her way through to the practice because of all the commotion. She managed to keep the little boy calm and focused so that the evaluation could be done. Since that day she has been sitting in on approximately 80% of the evaluations and therapy sessions. She has since managed to help many children to overcome their fear of dogs as well.
She has the beautiful habit of resting her head on any crying person’s lap. Sometimes she functioned as a bridge in cases of selective mutism and other times she just offers her recharging and calm presence.