M. Vera Buhrmann was born in South Africa. She had varied medical experience before training as a psychiatrist and as an analyst at the Jung Institute in London. She settled in Cape Town as a practicing analyst in 1959 and is still attached to the psychiatric department, Groote Schurr Hospital, Cape Town. She did psychological and anthropological research for 13 years until 1985, studying intensively the Xhoisa Healers, their beliefs and methods. She has published widely in journals and congressional proceedings.