Our story

Our Clinicians

Meet the team

Christine Harkin

Director – Supervisor – Senior Clinician

MEd(IncSpec). MCouns (Hons). Post Graduate Clinical Play Therapy . CertSPT. RPT.

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Christine has a special interest in working with children who have experienced family violence. She also strives to weave the findings from Interpersonal Neurobiology and Polyvagal theory into her practice.

Christine is grateful for all the children and families she has had the opportunity to work with and thanks them for extending to her the privilege of being part of their journey.  Christine likes to work with all children to support them to integrate their challenges and move towards reaching their full potentiality and healing.

  • B.A.E., Master of Counselling (Honours)

  • Master of Education (Special Ed)

  • Advanced Certification Clinical Play Therapy

  • Synergetic Play Therapy

  • Certification (Completion May, 2020)

  • Associate member of the Australian Play Therapists Association

  • Registered member of the Australian Counselling Association

  • Registered Supervisor ACA

  • Member of the Association For Play Therapy U.S.

ASH golbasi

Senior Clinician

Provisional Psychologist.  RPT.

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Ash is a Provisional Psychologist who has completed a Masters of Professional Psychology and is currently completing a Certificate of Child Centered Play Therapy. She is also in the process of fulfilling the hours required to become a registered psychologist.

Ash has experience working with children with anxiety, autism, challenging behaviours, and emotional dysregulation. She is passionate about helping children use their inner strength to find new ways to heal and connect, by promoting positive self-esteem and resilience, improved ways of communicating, and providing them with healthier coping strategies.

katrina bell

Senior Clinician – Supervisor

PostGradPlayTh. CertSPT. BaSW. AMHSW. RPT

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Katrina Bell (BaSW) has worked with children and families in a variety of roles for over 15 years. Katrina is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) and Registered Clinical Play Therapist (RPT).

Katrina has extensive experience working in case management and clinical roles with children and families. She has worked within both the Child Protection and Education systems within Victoria in social work and therapy roles in addition to working in private practice.

As a play therapist, Katrina supports children to explore their feelings and process their experiences using the medium of play. Katrina is also committed to supporting the caregivers and systems that interact with children and young people on a day-to-day basis through coaching and training.

Katrina also has particular interest in therapeutic modalities that allow client to express themselves or emotionally regulate without being reliant on ‘finding the right words’. This includes yoga (particularly trauma-sensitive yoga), iRest and meditation practices, creative expression through art and music (including therapeutic drumming).

Katrina also provides professional supervision and support for social workers, play therapists and other professionals needing support around their work with children, families, systems or their own broader professional development and support.

  • Bachelor of Social Work and Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) with the Australian Association of Social Work
  • Post Graduate Training in Family Therapy and Systems Theory.
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy.
  • Certified Synergetic Play Therapist and Registered Play Therapist (RPT).
  • Level One Certificate in Theraplay.
  • Level Two iRest Meditation Teacher.
  • Accredited DRUMBEAT Facilitator
  • Currently completing Certification as Synergetic Play Therapy Supervisor
  • Currently completing Advanced Diploma in Children’s Yoga (YogaFun) and 200hour Yoga Teacher Training (Axis Yoga).
  • Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) with the Australian Association of Social Work.
  • Accredited Registered Play Therapist (RPT)/Clinical Play Therapist with Australian Association of Play Therapists (APTA).

Chermaine Yeng

Senior Clinician

MCouns. RPT.

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Chermaine is a Specialist Counsellor and a fully accredited Play Therapist who has completed a Masters of Counselling and specialised training in Child Centered Play Therapy.

Chermaine has an interest in neurodevelopment, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders and trauma. She is passionate in helping children to go through their learning journey, reconstruct their world and regain inner resilience through Child Centred Play Therapy, Sand Tray Play and Filial Therapy with parents.

mandy easton

Clinician – Animal Assisted Therapist

BaSW. Registered AAT. MBusCoach. PPT.

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Mandy is a Social Worker and and Animal Assisted Therapist. She is currently completing a Certificate in Child Centered Play Therapy.

Mandy has a passion for early intervention, empowerment, strengths based practices, narrative therapy, play therapy and the use of Animal Assisted Therapy using her own dog, Rubi.

orla gilheany

Senior Clinician
GradDipArts/Play Therapy. RPT
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Orla is a Specialist Counsellor and a fully accredited Play Therapist who has completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Play Therapy and a Certificate in Youth Arts. ​ Orla is interested in visual arts and symbolic and imaginary play, as a means to discover children’s rich inner world and help them develop a healthy sense of self. Orla’s focus is on helping children and their families recover joy and confidence.

Ashleigh Hanegraaf

Senior Clinician
BPsych. Grad DipChildPlay. RPT.

Ashleigh has a background in psychology, a passion for neuroscience and experience working with children on the autism spectrum as well as children who struggle with emotional regulation and anxiety. She is passionate about working through a symptom-based approach which encourages each child’s uniqueness and helps them to learn to cope with challenges in life, understand their own emotions, and create a foundation of self-esteem, competence and self-efficacy that will assist them throughout their lifetime.

dan howell

Senior Clinician
BaSW. AMHSW. RPT.

Dan is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and Certified Synergetic Play Therapist and is in the process of completing training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Dan has specialised in providing counselling to children and adolescents impacted by relational trauma, particularly neglect, family violence and sexual abuse. Dan works with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Adjustment Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety.

tess drummond

Associate Clinician
Mental Health Cert. CertPlayTherapy. PPT.

Tess is a Specialist Counsellor who is has completed Mental Health Certification and is in the process of completing a Clinical Level Program in Child Centred Play Therapy.

Tess enjoys working with children on the Autism Spectrum. She delights in connecting with them and discovering their unique personalities. She likes to explore beneath this label and learn what is distressing the child.

yenee khoo

Associate Clinician
PostGradDip PlayTherapy. RPT.
Yenee is a play therapist who has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills and a Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy.  Yenee is registered with PTI. Yenee strongly believes in the power of play and has a particular interest in using therapeutic stories and metaphors in helping children heal themselves.

golnaz behgoo

Senior Clinician
Masters Child Play Therapy. MSW. RPT.

Golnaz is a clinical social worker and play therapist who has completed a Master of Social Work and a Master of Play Therapy. Golnaz has extensive experience working with children, young people and their families involved with the child protection system and living in out of home care. she is passionate about uncovering the effects of adverse childhood experiences and attachment security, in young children.

Golnaz is interested in child assessment, therapy, parenting education and skills training. she uses information about attachment, trauma, child development theory and neuroscience to work with children’s emotional, psychological and behavioural difficulties. Much of her work is also with the families, providing the necessary support to strengthen their relationships and build parenting skill.

nicole bester

Occupational Therapist
BOccThy.
Nicole is an Occupational Therapist who is extremely passionate about working with children of all ages and abilities and their families and supporting them to reach their full potential. Nicole has several years of experience volunteering in the early intervention setting, assisting with group therapy and combines her love of working with children along with her knowledge on the development of fine and gross motor skills and social skills to create fun, play-based activities. Nicole has an interest in neurodiversity and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nicole is also very creative and has a strong interest in the arts and how they can be used to express emotions and enhance wellbeing whilst incorporating goals of Occupational Therapy.

louise phelan

Clinician
Louise is a qualified Art Therapist with an Advanced Diploma in Steiner Education and a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. Louise has many years of experience working in early childhood education and she delights in creating and facilitating art programs which focus on building trusting relationships with children and encouraging exploration of colour, texture and nature through stories and open-ended materials for creative expression. Louise is a qualified member of the Australian Kinesiology Association & Holistic Therapies Australia.
Zoe

Zoe Tee

Associate Clinician

BAppSc(Psych). MCouns&PsychTh. PPT.

Zoe is a dedicated Child Clinician with broad experience working with Children including with the Ardoch Youth Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services. Zoe has a Psychology background and experience in working with children and Families in a variety of capacities including case support work and counselling Zoe is currently completing Child-Centred Play Therapy Clinical Training Program 2019. Completion Aug 2020. PPT.
Loretta

Loretta ho

Senior Clinician
MC-MHSC. GradDipPsych. PostGradDipPlayTherapy. M.Sc (Aud). RPT.

Certified Play Therapist (PTI)

Audiologist and Full member of Audiology Australia (AudA)

PG Dip Play Therapy

GradDipPsychAdv

 MSc in Audiology BSc in Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences

Loretta (PGD, GradDipPsychAdv, MSc, BSc) is an audiologist with specific interests in children with hearing disorders and communication difficulties. She has experience working in both public hospital and private clinical settings, providing her a diverse exposure to people with multiple disabilities and special needs.

As a play therapist, Loretta values her therapeutic relationships with children. She is passionate about holistic childhood development. She believes that children can be empowered through play to utilise their inner strengths to cope with challenges in life.

Loretta is interested in attachment theories and how early childhood experiences impact a person later in life. She is aspired to integrate audiological knowledge and psychological principles to help children with auditory, emotional and psychosocial needs.

Vicki Soar Senior Clinician Play Therapy

vicki soar

Senior Clinician
BA(Hons)
MA ArtTh. 

Registrations:
HCPC. ANZACATA – AThR (registered Art Therapist). BAAT – Art Psychotherapist.

Vicki is a qualified Art Therapist, who has worked across England and Australia in many diverse settings including: Probation, Schools, Acute Psychiatric Inpatient Units and a Centre Against Sexual Assault. Vicki is experienced working with vulnerable children and has specialised training in treating symptoms of Trauma through Art and Synergetic Play Therapy. 
Understanding that each child is unique and will approach internal conflicts differently. Vicki helps children understand, regulate and explore their experiences through Art and Play. This is nurtured through compassion, neurobiological research and a client centred approach. From this foundation Vicki believes client’s can achieve their goals in a very gentle, creative and safe way. Allowing for the child and care givers to have an empowering, enriching experience of the therapeutic journey.


sarah gordon

Senior Clinician
GradDipArts/Play Therapy. Certified Synergetic Play Therapist.

Sara Gordon is a qualified creative arts therapist, with a speciality in synergetic play therapy.
 
Sara has extensive experience across a wide-range of age groups and has successfully guided clients through the projective qualities of the creative art and play therapy processes.
 
Sara values the relationship she shares with her clients as a fundamental component of her work, which helps facilitates optimal growth and client self-awareness.
 
Sara balances her art and play therapy practice with her growing family of 4 little children.

coral tymms

Office Administrator

Coral is Play Therapy Melbourne’s wonderfully talented Office Administrator. She comes to us with over 30 years experience as an Office and Practice Manager. She is the backbone of Play Therapy Melbourne, ensuring that every day runs smoothly.

Annette maruli

Administrator Director


Annette is a welcome addition to the Play Therapy Melbourne Team and joins us with strong NDIS experience and nearly a decade in Banking where she worked as a Business Analyst and Business Improvement Consultant.

Animal Assisted Play Therapy

ruby

Therapy Dog

Rubi and her handler Mandy Easton were trained in Animal Assisted Therapy in 2012. Rubi has a natural ability to help children and young people through daily struggles, stress, anxiety, depression and anger. Through creative ways Rubi loves to bring about self awareness, reflection, play, mindfulness, empathy and love in children and young peoples lives.

We proudly accept referrals from 

We are proud of the work we do with the following organisations and thank them for their support.
Melbourne City Mission
Elizabeth Morgan House