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UKZN Master in Clinical Psychology Awarded Cum Laude



UKZN Master in Clinical Psychology Awarded Cum Laude

UKZN Master in Clinical Psychology Awarded Cum Laude. Ms. Lorelle Pillay has been awarded her Master of Social Science in Clinical Psychology cum laude from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Her research, entitled An Exploration of Young Women Menstrual Experiences in the African Context A Soping Reviewc, examined the impact of menstrual experiences on young women and the socio-cultural factors influencing these experiences.

Her study also mapped out recommendations from previous research to alleviate these challenges.

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Key Findings of the Study

Pillay’s research revealed that young women experiences of menstruation in Africa are predominantly negative. This negativity is largely due to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, misinformation about menstruation, cultural portrayals of menstruating females, and a lack of education around menstruation and its processes.

‘The study highlights the necessary changes to improve the experience and overall quality of life for young females in Africa, empowering them and spreading awareness about menstrual health,’ Pillay stated. She also emphasized the different socio-cultural beliefs surrounding menstruation and their impact on menstrual experiences. ‘I grew up in a culture of concealment surrounding menstruation and wanted to shed light on the challenges faced by myself and other women in different environments.’

Academic Journey at UKZN

Pillay completed her bachelor and honors degrees at UKZN, a place she describes as feeling like home. ‘I feel very nurtured at UKZN. I was initially hesitant to take on my research topic, but my supervisor, Dr. Sachet Valjee, had faith in me and my topic and guided me throughout.

I am grateful for his input and the motivation from my colleagues during our master’s coursework. Hearing that I could make it to the top from someone who was already there was very reassuring. Completing this degree has shown me that I can take on anything and succeed.’

Dr. Valjee shared his admiration for Pillay, saying, ‘Congratulations Lorelle, I wish you all the best in your future as a professional practitioner.’

Inspiration and Support System

Pillay’s interest in understanding human behavior was sparked by listening to her father, a policeman, recount anecdotes about his work. This interest, combined with the determination to succeed instilled in her by her mother, a retired teacher, motivated her to help people who feel they have no way out. This led her to pursue a career in clinical psychology.

She described her husband, parents, and family as her biggest supporters during her degree. ‘It is often said that a person is a person through persons (umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu) and this could not have been truer for me. I owe my success to them.’


Ms. Lorelle Pillay achievement of earning her Master’s in Clinical Psychology cum laude from UKZN is a testament to her dedication and hard work. Her research has brought to light significant issues surrounding menstrual experiences in the African context and has paved the way for further improvements and awareness in this area.

Pillay’s journey, marked by the support of her family and the guidance of her supervisor, exemplifies the power of perseverance and the impact of a strong support system.

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