Brenda Cowley

Educational Psychologist / Parent-Infant Psychotherapist
Constantia, Cape Town
Telephone: 021 794 4738
Mobile Number: 079 508 5406
Email Address:
Constantia, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I am a registered Educational Psychologist/Psychotherapist with a background in Psychoanalytic psychotherapy.  For the past 25 years I have been working in Cape Town in private practice and am currently completing a masters degree in Infant Mental Health through the University of Stellenbosch.

I deal with all problems and difficulties relating to babies and toddlers between the ages of 0 to 3 years.  These include difficulties around feeding, sleeping, weaning and separation. I also work with parents who seek parenting advice.

I am comfortable helping mothers who are experiencing post-natal depression and anxiety. Research has shown that mothers who have individual therapy for postpartum anxiety and sadness, benefit enormously from the therapy.

However research is now also showing that working with the mother together with the baby is preferable.  This is because the therapist is able to nurture and develop the mother/baby bond whilst at the same time helping the mom to deal with her feelings.  Thus secure attachment in the baby can be developed and fostered.  It takes longer for this to develop if work is done with the mother alone and the earlier it can be established the better.

Parent/infant psychotherapy is a supportive, gentle and non-threatening form of therapy .It is generally short-term (approximately 12 sessions) and takes place with the parent/s and infant in the room with the therapist.

Parents usually experience the therapy setting as a “safe haven” in which they can relax in a non-judgemental space. There are age appropriate toys available which the babies and toddlers find fun and interesting.

The therapy generally starts with one or two adult sessions (without the baby or toddler present) in which I try to get to know the parent/s and their reasons for seeking my help. Further sessions usually take place on the floor with the baby as a welcome member of the therapy “team.”

Occasionally I will see a parent for individual psychotherapy to help them identify and work with their own issues which may be getting in the way of their ability to deal with a problem with their baby or toddler

I am myself a mother who, when my child was a young baby, had my fair share of anxiety. I enjoy working with adults and I find babies and toddlers endlessly fascinating.

I am registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa and charge medical aid rates.

For further information and information on my work with adults please go to my website:

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Associated member of the Cape Town Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
  • Member of the Cape Town Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Group which is affiliated to the South African Psychoanalytic Confederation.
  • Founding member of the Cape Town Child Psychoanalytic Group.
  • Member of the Western Cape Association for Infant Mental Health.
  • Member of the Cape Town Infant Mental Health Forum.
  • Member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health

Practice Number:  8621233
HPCSA Registration Number: PS 0033251