Johannesburg - Pierre de Villiers became a household name in the 1990s when we still had continuity presenters on television telling us which programmes to look out for on any given night of the week.
Not only did he “Read the autocue with a lot of make-up on”, he jokes, but he anchored programmes for the channel, such as the SABC2’s Big Brand TV Show which aired every Friday night just before The X-Files for more than a year.
He also played the resident barman in M-Net’s Egoli and read the finance news on Jacaranda FM.
But how did a TV personality become a counselling therapist and, more important, how did his self-help book Dear Pierre come about?
He joined the University of Johannesburg and was offered a position as lecturer in life skills and presentation studies to students at the university when SABC2 pulled the plug on all continuity presenters.
For De Villiers lecturing was a part-time position that left him with more than enough time on his hands to do private psychoanalysis training with a doctor in psychology.
Word of mouth brought him a few clients at home while he was still lecturing.
He then appeared on Talk Radio 702 as a life skills specialist and SABC’s 3Talk invited De Villiers as a guest. He also featured in many other broadcast programmes and in print media.
“Ten years later it was time for a sabbatical to write Dear Pierre – a collection of challenges contemporary society faces based on actual clients, in Q and A format.”
With a decade of experience as counselling therapist, De Villiers chose 30 case studies covering topics such as sex, romance, money, love and everything in between for his first self-help book.
“In no particular order they range from the sometimes bored to the desperate and even the bizarre. Dear Pierre is a sneak peak into the lives of complete strangers. It aims to observe, teach, enjoy and ultimately leave us feeling much better about our own lives.”
Asked whether his clients didn’t mind details of their lives being published, De Villiers quickly tells how disappointed one client was to hear that he had not made it into Dear Pierre.
* Dear Pierre is available at Exclusive Books and retails for R195.
Chapter 2: “A Wife with a wandering Eye”
I have a dilemma and hope you can help me. I have been married for seven years now and never looked at another man. I would describe my relationship as good, but now I am attracted to a man at work and can’t stop thinking about him. I look forward to going to work just to see and be with him. I feel so guilty, as if I am living a secret fantasy life. Not sure if I should make the fantasy a reality which would be so easy to do since I believe he feels the same.
Is what I am thinking and doing wrong? I don’t want to destroy my marriage but my feelings are starting to get the better of me. What should I do?
I understand the force of attraction challenging your thinking and the spiral of confusion that grows from there. Thank you for reaching out for help, bless Natasha for sending you my way and let’s give you some peace of mind. You sound like a wonderful person who is guilty only of being human. This innocence as it stands is important for you to immediately focus on and to then tackle everything else from there. You have no reason for status quo guilt. We cannot control what we feel and are therefore only held responsible for how we act on what we feel which you haven’t yet done.
You stand at a crossroad beyond right or wrong it seems, with a case of two very different roads offering you two very different experiences. Let me assure you that whichever route you choose, you will find your share of both challenge and reward down either of these. It’s not a case of good or bad, but a human dynamic that simply is, always will be and it’s our responsibility to keep it in mind as we go through life.
It’s normal and perfectly acceptable or even ideal to evaluate life. This is where you are and interestingly enough, you might happily carry on with at least another seven years of your marriage if you currently decide to do so I believe.
Use the power of logic to realise that you do not yet know the person in question beyond the intoxicating nirvana of attraction, which is an altered reality lens for ignoring all logic as to fuse wholly and completely with another irrespective of consequence. Attraction is a beautiful thing, but dangerous in its capacity to make us act completely out of character and it’s brought endless regret for mankind throughout history. Realise the force you are facing and insist on seeing things more clearly before you act in an almost “drugged” emotional state of perception.
I’m not nudging you back to your husband. But I would like you to be as honest as you can when you consider if your husband is a good person with your happiness at heart when he acts, speaks and loves you every day? You’ve had seven years’ experience to confirm this now.
You could easily at this point in your life and with the energetic assistance of this new kind stranger find the perfect (but destructive) opportunity to experience the same scenario as the “culprit” you observed so long ago. The energy exchange for this purchase of experience is paying with the loss of your marriage while gaining renewed understanding for the person you looked up to so long ago.