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.