Our goal is simple: to assist people struggling with mental illness to create and live worthwhile lives. To do that, we provide the tools you need to function at an optimal capacity.
Our reintegrative approach to treatment ensures our residents can live in the real world and tackle life’s challenges head-on, without feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
Our team of experts offer a holistic solution to mental illness treatment. This includes, but isn’t limited to, psychiatry, neuroscience, spiritual practices, science-based nutrition and cutting-edge psychological approaches. When combined, it ensures lifelong transformative changes in our residents.
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Robyn has worked closely with Yolande, the Co-Founder, for over two years. As the Managing Director, and valued member of the leadership team, she is the first point of contact for our residents and their loved ones. Robyn is responsible for all client assessments and admissions and will ensure that their stay at Papillon is comfortable, productive and meaningful. Robyn is passionate about people, wellness and recovery and is always developing her skills set – currently she is studying the Enneagram model. Robyn truly believes that everyone has the chance to get well with dignity and respect.


Mzamo is a Systems Family trained therapist who uses an eclectic therapeutic approach. He did his training internship at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria. In the beginning of his career, Mzamo focused more on Neuropsychological assessments and reports for clients who had traumatic brain injuries. Mzamo’s first love is psychotherapy where he assists clients in processing trauma, negative thoughts, and emotions. He is a person-centred psychologist in nature and focuses on building good rapport with clients. At Papillion Recovery Centre he has had the experience of treating dual diagnosis as well as international clients. Mzamo also discusses current psychological challenges in the country on radio and TV.

Freda Steenkamp - Head of Admissions

With 33 years experience as a clinical social worker in mental health and 17 of these at Helen Joseph Hospital, Freda is well equiped to assess clients wanting to be in the Papillon programme. Freda has a passion for working in the mental health arena and believes in an “out of the box”, holistic approach, to guide individuals and families to become the best version of themselves. Freda has an experienced outlook on mental health and knows that there is no one who cannot be helped, just the way we help, changes. Freda is there to guide families on length of stay for their loved one as well as the individualised care plan that Papillon specialises in.


After completing his degree in clinical psychology at UJ Cum Lauda in the mid-80s, Dr Vuirli registered for medicine at WITS University. Dr Vuirli completed his community service at Sterkfontein Hospital and went private in 2007. Dr Vuirli has a cognitive behavioral and DBT approach to his sessions which last up to an hour with patients. Dr Vuirli contributes to the Papillon team at an MDT level offering insights on clients to the team at MDT meetings.


Alexi completed her practical at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital after studying through the University of Witwatersrand. Alexi is responsible for individual care plans and heads up the group programme at the centre. Her special interests are in abnormal diagnosis, vocational rehabilitation, and adult learning disabilities. She conducts the trauma processing groups as well as the dialectical behavioural therapy groups at Papillon.


After receiving his social work degree with distinction, Ndimphiwe went on to work in the fields of crime prevention and addiction recovery. He is passionate about empowering people to live to the utmost of their abilities. A systemic therapist in practice, Ndimphiwe uses relational-cultural therapy to emphasise the importance of building and maintaining gainful relationships in recovery. Committed to leading by example, he is currently in the process of completing his master’s degree in Clinical Social Work.


Dr Joffe qualified as a general practitioner at the University of Witwatersrand in 1995. She completed her internship at Johannesburg Hospital. She has worked in family medicine for almost 25 years and has been a part of the Randburg community during this time which, she describes, as a privilege. Dr Joffe has a passion for medicine and believes in a holistic approach to health. She has a special interest in mental health and paediatrics.


Tanya completed her BSc in Microbiology, Biochemistry and Psychology before going onto complete her BSci(Med)Hons in Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Cape Town. She is currently a masters candidate at Stellenbosch University in Therapeutic Nutrition. Tanya has completed additional training in Eating Disorders through the Inside Out Institution in Australia. Tanya has worked in both the public and private healthcare system. She has a passion for supporting people with disordered eating and helping them to overcome their food rules, disordered behaviours and poor body image.

Hildah Mphahlele Registered Nurse Papillon

Hildah has over eight years’ experience in psychiatric nursing at various hospitals. She supports and respects clients rights and strives to understand a client’s needs and concerns. Hardworking and reliable; Hildah collaborates well with clients, families, and members of the multi-disciplinary team. Hildah anticipates and responds to the needs of others. Hildah also oversees all the packing of medication at Papillon.


Dylan, a certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Professional Recovery Coach accredited by COMENSA, International Coaches Register, and SAQA, triumphed over two decades of personal addiction battles. Now, he dedicates his time and passion to mental health management and addiction recovery, finding fulfilment in guiding clients to their full potential. Dylan serves as clinic manager at Papillon Recovery Centre and leads the Dual Diagnosis Unit, fostering comprehensive healing.

ilana eidelman

Ilana completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education in the field of English and has been teaching high school learners since 2020. Her passion however, lies within the field of psychology and she has completed her Undergraduate and Honours degrees with distinction at the University of the Witwatersrand. Ilana further aims to do her Masters in Clinical Psychology. Her areas of interest are psychiatric disorders, and addiction as she aims to delve deeper into understanding the complex interplay between mental health issues and substance abuse.


Alisa has a BA honours degree in African and Asian Art history and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. She has worked in the community art sector since 2005 and trained as a Community Art Counsellor in 2011. She has been with Papillon for over a decade as an art facilitator and is currently doing her Art Therapy Masters degree through the University of Johannesburg.

Danieyella Rodin - Drama Therapist

Danieyella works in gentle, mindful ways combining somatic approaches and transformative, playful creative work. She has experience in the NGO and disability sectors, as well as in substance recovery. Her training is trauma-informed but she also believes in the unique power of drama therapy to enable clients to re-story, re-enact and re-work old patterns experientially, opening them up to transformation and new possibilities.


Robert creates the menu at Papillon in
consultation with our nutritionist. He is
responsible for producing the Gut-Health
diet program, which changes seasonally.
Robert passes on his knowledge to the
clients when they are ready to reintegrate.
He provides worthwhile recipes and
balanced nutrition plans for residents.

Dominique Rowberry - Yoga Instructor

Dominique utilises various styles of yoga, she has been practising for over 30 years. Her passion for yoga grows every time she gets on the mats! She believes it’s a great learning experience and allows one to get into touch with oneself. In this busy material world, we often forget that the most important thing in our lives is ourselves, and this includes our body. For Dominique yoga is the best way to connect body and mind.


Penelope brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our organization, In her role as Administrator she takes the helm of our accounts and finances, ensuring that our financial operations run smoothly.
She is also heading up our Human Resources Department, where her people-focused approach and strong leadership skills are put to excellent use.

I founded Papillon based on my own experience with mental health. Working as an editor in the media industry, I found that I could not count on professional support structures on an ongoing basis. When I ventured into the mental health industry after a severe psychosis in 2010, I made contact with McLean, the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world and a Harvard affiliate.
From this point, I began developing the programme. Papillon Recovery Centre was created based on a year’s international research in the USA and UK.
You can’t compare our experiential programme with any other South African psychiatric institution’s offering. Ours is unique, much like the people who call Papillon home. This approach to the individual determines our tailor-made treatment plans. During their time at Papillon, residents learn a new way of being in the world that is positive and supported by our free aftercare.

Qualifications & Unique Experience

  • Recovery Coach (2001)
  • Dual Diagnosis Counsellor (2001)
  • EAGALA Level 1 Equine Therapist (2011)
  • BSocSci Industrial Psychology (1996)
  • First person to independently cross Africa from coast to coast solo on horseback (1998)

Mental Health Recovery starts here.

We’re waiting for your call or message.