Areas of Expertise
Child Centred Play Therapy
Is most suited for children from 2 to 10 (up to 12 depending on development) years old and is a non-directive approach that is thoroughly evidence-based. Even adults during typical talk therapy can't always express their feelings and thoughts. Children naturally don't have the developmental capacity for such verbal expression yet. A play therapist is trained to read and communicate through play with children helping them to make sense of self and their world. So, 'simple play' and play therapy for children are as different as 'simple talk' and talk therapy for adults. It's different from the traditional directive and talk therapies and had proven to be the most effective for this developmental age group. In fact, several recent Meta-Analytic Review studies that have looked at its effectiveness and compared it to directive approaches found Child Centred Play Therapy to be superior in its effect size.
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy
The above Meta-Analysis Studies have also observed a steady trend and a surprising further increase in the effectiveness of non-directive therapy when parents were involved, particularly through the engagement in Filial Therapy. Filial Therapy as a play-based family therapy was developed by Mr and Mrs Guerney's in the 1960s who realised that parents could be facilitated to become their children's therapeutic agents creating intergenerational family healing. This approach to Family Therapy has been manualised into Child-Parent Relationship Therapy by Dr Landreth and can be facilitated in individual, couple and group settings. It's a highly cost-effective method of therapy that also produces great results. This therapeutic modality has also shown positive results with families of children on the Autism Spectrum.
Integrative Play Therapy
This approach is used in this clinic to tailor therapy for each individual child and their family where Child Centred/Non-Directive mode is the base. Other play therapy approaches are blended to cater to very unique presenting problems. Individual therapy with the child-client can be integrated with the facilitation of Filial coaching of parent/carer or Child-Centred approach could be integrated with a Learn to Play technique in working with the children on the Autism spectrum or same non-directive approach integrated with Animal Assisted Therapy.
I am a passionate advocate for Non-Directive Child-Centred Therapy. My approach to Play Therapy is gentle and respectful of the child and I believe in building trusting, empathic and reciprocal relationships with children in therapy. The aim is to allow the right level of permissiveness combined with the gentle limit setting to create an environment that is safe for the child to process what is needed and heal.
I specialise in working with young children with anxiety, trauma, fears, sleep disturbances, anger and many other psychological, behavioural and developmental issues.
The therapeutic approaches I use to create individualised intervention are underpinned by the Neurosequential Model of therapeutics developed by Dr Perry, as well as Dr Porges' Polyvagal Theory.
I recognise the importance of supporting parents in their involvement in therapy with their children and in the intergenerational future of Filial therapy in helping parents to become therapeutic agents to their children. Have successfully completed a Thesis researching Filial Therapy integration with Mindfulness training to address both child and parental anxiety.
I have an interest in including animals in therapy with children and in family therapy and together with my co-therapist Bella the Groodle had undergone thorough training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT) in the UK (level 1) and Australia (level 2) and currently working towards International Certification in AAPTTM.
Bella and I are fully certified Animal Assisted Therapy team with 'Lead the Way' Victorian organisation.