Welcome to the Psychology practice of Brenda Van Rooyen. I am a registered psychologist and a qualified teacher with my focus being the holistic well-being of the child, adolescent and young adult within the academic setting.

Tread lightly on this earth, leaving gentle footsteps in the heart of others.

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About

I am Brenda van Rooyen (PhD), an educational psychologist.

I am a registered psychologist and a qualified teacher with my focus being the holistic well-being of the child, adolescent and young adult within the academic setting. My golden retriever co-therapist, Layla, and I focus on respectfully connecting to the people we meet, creating a safe space where they can explore and re-story their journey.


My qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Higher Diploma in Education, an Honours degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology (all achieved cum laude) and a PhD in Child and Adolescent Psychology. 

I have a special interest in:

  • Psychoeducational assessment and holistic support of children with barriers to learning.
  • Therapy with children, adolescents and young adults.
  • Animal assisted therapy.
  • Narrative therapy.
  • Mindfulness.

How animals contribute to our mental and physical well-being, as well as how they support a therapy process, is intriguing to me. To develop my understanding of this field, I completed Ethology’s Animal Assisted Therapy Course with the late Professor Johan Odendaal, which was a great privilege.

To enhance my understanding of mindfulness and the mind-body connection, I completed my year-long yoga teacher training at the Ananda Kutir Ashram. My ongoing professional training has been in the fields of narrative therapy, mindfulness and neuropsychology.

I have 18 years of experience with psycho-educational and career development assessments, as well as play therapy and individual psychotherapy and have also supervised educational psychology interns in the past.

Layla, my golden retriever co-therapist, has completed her Canine Good Citizen levels Bronze, Silver and Gold (KUSA). We participate in ongoing training with Just Dogs. Layla specializes in warm welcomes, cuddles and anxiety-reducing play.

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Services

My focus is the holistic well-being of the child, adolescent and young adult within the academic setting.

I offer the following services…

  • Psycho-Educational assessments: these are comprehensive assessments recommended when children and adolescents are experiencing learning challenges or when you are unsure about school placement or learning readiness. The process includes an interview with parents, input from teachers, an emotional and behavioral screening, intellectual and academic assessment.  Assessment tools used depend upon the reason for referral and the age and needs of the child.
  • Subject choice and career development assessment: these are sought by adolescents in Grades 9 to 12.  My approach is holistic, with the intake interview including a discussion with the client and parents. Assessment includes intellectual functioning, interests, values, personality, screening of academic functioning as well as an in-depth interview process.
  • Child and Adolescent Therapy: my approach is integrative and based upon the needs of the child or adolescent within their school and family system.

Reasons you may wish to make an appointment:

  • You are not sure if your child is ready to move into formal schooling.
  • Your child or adolescent is experiencing learning difficulties. The following challenges may be identified: reading, writing, spelling or mathematics difficulties; attention deficits; low motivation and perseverance; low self-esteem and reduced risk-taking.
  • Your child or adolescent needs to apply for test and examination concessions.
  • Your adolescent is not sure about which subjects to choose (Grades 10 to 12) or what career path to pursue.


  • Your child or adolescent is gifted and under-stimulated in the school context.
  • Your child or adolescent displays behaviour such as temper tantrums, aggression, anxiety or withdrawal.
  • There is concern about your child or adolescent’s general emotional well-being.
  • Your child or adolescent has experienced trauma, either directly or within the immediate support system.
  • As a parent, you need guidance regarding supporting, managing or stimulating your child or adolescent.

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