Pastoral Therapy with Peter Fox and Marius Brand

Pastoral Therapy with Peter Fox and Marius Brand

Meet Peter Fox and Marius Brand who have their pastoral therapy practice at Rondebosch United Church since May 2013

Over the last 6 years Peter has been working from the vestry, which serves as a counselling room. Since the middle of this year, after he moved from the other practice rooms that he shared with Marius in Newlands, he has been operating with Marius at RUC. Peter’s initial contract until the end of last year was to use the rooms free and to see parishioners for counselling in lieu of rent. Since resigning from St Luke’s earlier this year Peter has started to pay the rent the church accepted. Marius also uses the rooms on Mondays and Tuesday afternoons and pays rent accordingly. Peter uses the space for the rest of the week in the afternoons and on some Saturday mornings and some mornings during the week. The space outside Patience’s office serves as the waiting room. The magazines there on the table are for clients while they wait. Marius and Peter have furnished the room so that it is a comfortable and safe space in which to meet for counselling. Peter gives Patience and Robert his schedule for the week. We share the vicinity with the play school and mid-afternoon appointments do have to contend with the children’s play noise. Lindsay is organizing separate intercom connections that will help with access and professionalism in the way we work.

Cooperation and communication amongst ourselves in the church with Chris, Robert and Patience assists the usage of the space in a way that there are no avoidable clashes. Peter and Marius had hoped to be available professionally to the churches in the area and to congregants within the Uniting Church of South Africa of which they are both ministers. Nothing has come of this yet but hopefully in the future there may be scope for this.

Peter is delighted that Marius has succeeded him at St Luke’s Hospice.  Marius was clearly the managers’ choice of candidate and has made an excellent beginning since mid-July. Peter and Marius will co-lead a retreat of Spiritual Counsellors at St Luke’s in early November. Peter has every confidence that St Luke's has made an exciting and wise choice in their appointment of Marius. Marius is gifted as a teacher, trainer, educator and philosopher. Marius has advanced skills in psychology and theology and is a warm and astute man with experience well beyond his years.  Peter believes that Marius will continue the legacy and specialness of the calling of Spiritual Care as a support function to the soul and heart of what the work is about—creatively assisting the transition that our mortality confronts us with. The journey is to find peace, forgiveness and gratitude in the preparation for the relinquishment of life.

Peter is the silver-haired Fox and Marius is the younger, middle-earth sage. They both do a fair amount of pre-marriage preparation work with couples intending to marry. Peter has a number of couples also in enrichment couple therapy and in divorce assistance counselling. Marius works using Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, creatively connecting the insights of Psychotherapy and Spirituality. He is a registered Clinical Pastoral therapist and Life Coach. He was Head of Christian Ministry at Cornerstone College from 2006-2012. He was responsible for curriculum development, research, teaching and faculty arrangements. He has a Masters in Clinical Pastoral Care from Stellenbosch University as well as Bachelor of Divinity and a BA. He grew up in Zimbabwe, is married to Mariza and has two sons, Jack and Murray. Mariza is a Geography and English teacher. While he was minister at St Andrews Church in Cape Town between 2001 and 2006 Peter was given the privilege of baptizing their son, Jack. At that church Marius was involved in ministry to refugees and immigrants. It was while he was there that Peter met him as a minister that assisted in Hospice ministry in the City Bowl at Somerset Hospital Day care. Marius later brought his students from Cornerstone to Hospice where Peter met with them in a teaching capacity. Robert was also associated with St Luke’s during this time and is remembered for his compassionate and skilled ministry with teenage patients. Marius enjoys mountain biking and trail running. He is also keen on kayaking where during his student years he worked as a guide on the Zambezi, Orange and Doring rivers.

Peter has pastored churches in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and two churches in Cape Town; Milnerton and Mowbray. Since 1996 he has worked exclusively as a counsellor but still does some preaching. Peter is in the process of becoming a Minister in Association with Rondebosch United Church where, with his wife Susanna, he is a member and now attends the Church Council meetings. He has a BA (Hons) degree from Rhodes University and on 12th October next month is ordained 40 years. He has been involved in Life Line, and the Institute of Christian Spirituality which was a containing and gracious faith community of questioners and seekers after his resignation at Mowbray. The learning in meditation, retreats and contemplation were healing experiences after the disappointments around his resignation in 1996  from Mowbray Church. He taught for 10 years at South African College of Psychology and is now an Academic Board member of SACAP. His 17 years of service as Spiritual Director of spiritual care volunteers and ministry to dying patients at St Luke’s saw him develop a facility and skill in Interfaith Ministry. He is now a committee member of the Interfaith Forum of Cape Town and is currently pursuing with others the vision for an Interfaith Community Centre in District Six that architects have already drawn up. The founder of this vision was the late John Oliver. In this regard Peter and Marius have similar involvements. Marius is a member of the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum. Peter has a Diploma qualification in Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy which he received from the South African Institute of Psychotherapists in 2003. He is also registered as a counsellor with specialized skills with the Association of Christian Counsellors in RSA. However he does not have a practice number and so clients cannot claim from Medical Aid for consultations.  Clients can claim rebate on their private tax. Peter is regarded as an expert in the field of grief, loss, bereavement  and spirituality in Thanatology, having co–authored a book and manual on the subject. Like Marius, he is also in regular clinical supervision for the work he does with clients.

Training, teaching, work-shopping and mentoring are also passions that Peter is engaged in at various levels. His practice also includes grief support counselling and assisting the clients sent to him by psychiatrists and psychologists after those clients have processed their addiction issues or other personality issues. He is also involved in family therapy work. His methodology has in its mix a psychodynamic, existentialist, systems approach that draws on various influences, including Jungian, Rogerian, Gestalt, Imago Therapy, and mindfulness.

 Peter is an avid reader and loves theatre, movies, art, creative writing and poetry, swimming and dancing. He is currently taking singing lessons. Peter and Susanna have this year had the pleasure of their son and his family returning to RSA after 10 years in UK. Brendan is the assistant Pastor at Church of the Holy Spirit in Kistenhof. Their daughter Christina lives and works in Cape Town.

Both Peter and Marius are excited by their growing pastoral therapy practice at RUC and see this not merely has a rental agreement but as a partnership in ministry with the congregation.