Professor Alida Herbst

About Professor Alida Herbst

Additional Member

MA in Social Work with Play Therapy, PhD in Social Work

Professor Alida Herbst, a registered social worker and professor of social work, has a professional career spanning 13 years of practice experience as a medical social worker at 1 Military and the MediClinic Heart and Kloof hospitals. There, she gained expertise in narrative therapy, trauma, grief, and bereavement counseling, supporting patients with chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, as well as their families and caregivers. She holds an MA in Social Work with Play Therapy from the University of Pretoria and a PhD in Social Work from North-West University. Her doctoral research focused on a narrative program to support young adults living with HIV.

Since beginning her academic career in 2005 at NWU, she has been involved in transdisciplinary research projects, supervised 23 Masters and 11 PhD students to successful completion, authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed scholarly articles, and edited the South African textbook “Trauma Counselling: Principles and Practice in South Africa Today.” Her research centers on the psychosocial health of individuals, groups, and communities, with a specific interest in narratives of illness and health.

Beyond research, she has 19 years of teaching-learning experience and active engagement in professional and academic associations such as the South African Association for Health Sciences Education (SAAHE) and the International Association for Health Sciences Education (AMEE). She was appointed Deputy Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Health Sciences at NWU on 1 July 2023. In collaboration with the deanery, schools of the faculty, and the Centre for Health Professions Education, she is serving in this academic leadership role with a drive to enhance health professions education, contribute towards faculty development initiatives, participate in the creation of responsive qualifications and programs in health sciences, promote innovative teaching-learning, and educate 21st-century students to be responsible citizens and future health professionals for South Africa.

One of the exciting projects she is currently involved in is participation in the EU-funded Potential of Microcredentials in Southern Africa (PoMiSA) project. This multi-country project aims to develop principles and policies for the recognition, quality assurance, and regulation of microcredentials in Southern African countries.