Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

What is SHIP®?

SHIP® is a registered trademark and complies with legislation, including legislation governing property rights.The theoretical foundation of SHIP® as a psychological theory is psychodynamic. Its practical point of departure as an in-depth psychotherapy is that it facilitates spontaneous healing of trauma memory. Spontaneous healing is defined as the process inherent in all organisms that reflects its continual movement towards wholeness.

The SHIP® psycho-biodynamic approach is essentially neuropsychological facilitation and processing, and incorporates the latest neurophysiological research and knowledge. During this process the client connects with the root of trauma, and heal its debilitating effects on the system.

The asymmetries in the two hemispheres of the brain give rise to two different memory systems that are used in SHIP®, namely implicit memory (nonverbal, bodily memory) and explicit memory (verbal memory, language, facts, concepts, descriptions, thoughts).

What is the SHIP® Foundation?

The SHIP® Foundation is the governing, operational and administrative body of SHIP® and was established on 28 of September 2001. It is a professional, postgraduate, post-registration training school for psychologists and is embedded in the profession of psychology through scientific research and publication.

As a common-law judicial entity, The SHIP®® Foundation has a board of management (under a memorandum of association and governed by set rules and South African legislation) with a chairperson elect and secretary to regulate its activities, including minute-keeping in accordance with section 204 of the Companies Act of 1973, making the minutes available to its members and conducting business within the provisions of the Act.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria has approved SHIP® for the continuing professional development (CPD) of psychologists as required by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

What are the criteria for belonging to the SHIP® Foundation?

The SHIP® Foundation has had an active voluntary membership for the past 18 years. Membership is restricted to registered clinical, counselling and educational psychologists who have to comply with certain criteria.

The specialist field of SHIP® is not merely technique, and self-experience enhances self-understanding of the value of the process and promotes the shaping into an effective SHIP® facilitator. The criteria therefore incorporate the commitment of a SHIP® trainee to complete their own psychotherapy as a prerequisite for their healing and growth.

How is SHIP® researched?

SHIP® has a well-established, comprehensive theoretical and practical basis. Qualitative research in a natural setting (SHIP® psychotherapy sessions) is applied in SHIP®. Selective case study examples are used as data-gathering instruments and, together with the intuitive research knowledge of the researcher, provide data. The result (of the function of interaction between the researcher and the phenomenon) is an emerging research design based on grounded theory where theory emerges from data instead of data confirming existing theory.

The ongoing SHIP® research has generated four completed doctorates, two current registered doctorates, and three completed master’s degrees at mainstream South African universities. Six peer-reviewed published articles in international scientific journals & the most recent updated SHIP® academic textbook support research data.

Does SHIP® use the psychotherapeutic relationship?

The psychotherapeutic relationship is as important as in any psychotherapeutic model. SHIP® facilitation focusses is on process, content and structure, on empathy, warmth, trust, validation, patience, respect and non-judgement.

Sharing information, discussions, explaining, reframing and supporting are part of the interaction. Awareness of transference and counter-transference by the psychologist is always present and is used as an integral part of the process.

The stronger the psychotherapeutic relationship, the more effective SHIP® will be.

Does SHIP® push clients beyond boundaries and re-traumatise them?

Trauma is the cause for the later development of chronic dis-ease that may manifest through the body or through interpersonal problems. In order to heal such trauma and the subsequent debilitating dis-eases, previously stuck cycles need to become unstuck and free flowing.

The SHIP® healing space allows the client to safely engage with the disconnected/ stuck material.

Psycho-biodynamic activators are used to open feelings associated with trauma-activating events in order to stimulate the client’s internal natural process of spontaneous healing. The client is then skillfully guided to experience the previously disconnected feelings towards complete expression. Integration of trauma creates an internal free flow of potential and a natural shift in consciousness. Healing has taken place. This differs from re-traumatisation where reinforcement of disconnection (the origin of trauma) is instigated, with the objective of yet again denying the natural expression of spontaneous healing.

Does SHIP® cause people to regress?

SHIP® activators elicit glimpses of childhood traumas (historical painful, hurtful and fearful experiences), though healing can only take place in current life. The focus of spontaneous healing is on the completion of such traumas through the here-and-now experience thereof and there is no regression to a younger age; regression takes place if the client leaves the here-and-now.

Is SHIP® like hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is an altered, induced state of consciousness where experiences and psychological functioning differ from the awake (aware) condition.

Hypnosis uses phrases which SHIP® does not, such as:

  • Increased suggestibility
  • Selective perception
  • Non-independent actions
  • Induced amnesia

SHIP® is not an induced altered state of consciousness, but a very focused conscious state.

Information about types of members