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Working Together to Strengthen Families

Play is the universal language of the child.

Play Therapy Hub houses a co-operative of independent, qualified and experienced Play Therapists in Melbourne’s inner north. Our play therapists are dedicated to the highly specialised and evidence-based, child-centred play therapy.

We strive to bring harmony to families by helping little people work through trauma, troubles and childhood road-bumps. From toddlers to tweens, our mission is to provide all children (and parents/caregivers) the tools. These tools are necessary for positive emotional development, healing, wellbeing, and resilience building using the therapeutic power of Play.

Play Therapy for Children

For children, emotions are difficult to express verbally.

Kids don’t even have words for most of their feelings yet. Play therapy uses the natural childhood language of play to help little people communicate and work through inner troubles.

With the insight and support of a trained and qualified play therapist, children are able to

  • Access their troubling feelings, express them, and work through them
  • Heal and recover from trauma
  • Conquer behavioural challenges and improving cognitive development
  • Encourage empathy
  • Deepen connections and enhance communication
  • Foster healthy coping mechanisms transferable to adulthood.

Play Therapy lays the foundation of emotional growth for little people to flourish.

Our Services

Similar to the needs of children, to do good work in therapy requires consistency, empathy, safety, shared knowledge, and support.

We have that at Play Therapy Hub. And as a result, you and your family will have it too.

We believe we’re better together.

More Information
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Parenting Support

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Do you want to know a bit more?

Get in touch with us to book an initial consultation or request more information.

Therapy that includes play can calm the storm in your child’s inner world and bring some well-deserved harmony to your home.

Get In Touch

Play Therapy Story

Founder and Director of Play Therapy Hub – Helen Barrett

My experience in psychological and therapeutic services for children, adults and families spans nearly two decades. Beginning my career as a social worker and counsellor, I then trained in child-centered play therapy. It quickly became my primary way of working effectively with children who were struggling emotionally and socially within themselves and in their attachment relationships. It literally transformed the way I parented and worked as a Child and Family Therapist.  

What I love about child-centered play therapy is that it’s a therapeutic modality for children as young as 2 to 12 years old that focuses on building safety and trust within the therapeutic relationship to allow the child to explore and feel all of their emotions. We then help them put words to their experiences and become the child’s external regulator, helping them feel safe and enter a more regulated state (aka. rewiring the brain), while supporting the developing brain to build the necessary emotional intelligence skills to cope with future problems and move through the world. 

Whether it’s in trauma recovery, building emotional resilience, dealing with attachment issues, or with milder anxiety or social difficulties, play therapy is a special way of engaging and empowering children to learn, grow and heal.  

I’m thrilled to have founded Play Therapy Hub, a collective of independent private practices  who honour and promote the therapeutic powers of play therapy. Our goal is to help our little people flourish and strengthen families by growing their capacity to be more mindful or conscious in their parenting. 

We are excited to offer a range of evidence and play-based therapies to children and families that also include parent education, parent coaching,  facilitated groups and training for early years educators and teachers. 

Meet Our Team
Helen Barrett Clinical Play Therapist Play Therapy for Children

Play Therapy Story

Founder and Director of Play Therapy Hub – Helen Barrett

My experience in psychological and therapeutic services for children, adults and families spans nearly two decades. Beginning my career as a social worker and counsellor, I then trained in child-centered play therapy. It quickly became my primary way of working effectively with children who were struggling emotionally and socially within themselves and in their attachment relationships. It literally transformed the way I parented and worked as a Child and Family Therapist.  

What I love about child-centered play therapy is that it’s a therapeutic modality which provides a safe space for the child to explore and feel all of their emotions. We then help them put words to their experiences and become the child’s external regulator, helping the child to feel safe and enter a more regulated state, while supporting the developing brain to build the necessary emotional intelligence skills to cope with future problems and manage their world. 

Whether it’s in trauma recovery, building emotional resilience, dealing with attachment issues, or with milder anxiety or social difficulties, I’ve yet to see a counselling approach more responsive, respectful and transformational in building foundational skills in emotional and social intelligence than play therapy for children. 

I’m thrilled to have founded Play Therapy Hub, a community of private practices  who honour and promote the therapeutic powers of play therapy. Our goal is to help our little people flourish and strengthen families by growing their capacity to be more mindful or conscious in their parenting. 

We are excited to offer a range of evidenced and play-based therapies to children and families that also include parent education, parent coaching and support,  facilitated groups, workshops and training for early years educators and teachers. 

Meet Our Team
Helen Barrett Clinical Play Therapist Play Therapy for Children

Testimonials

Here’s what our clients had to say about their kids and our play therapy for children services:

Children’s therapy centre

We began play therapy hoping that it would be an effective way of breaking the difficult cycle that I was in with my son. Our play therapist, Laura, has a beautiful manner with our son and we have valued her insightful observations about what may be underlying his behaviours.

Danielle (Mother)
Filial Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Play Therapy Hub kindly ran a parent webinar for our families at Ashley Park Primary School where they presented on how a child’s brain develops, what is anxiety and how do we manage it? What is resilience and how do we work towards it? They were extremely knowledgeable in their presentation and made the information understandable for all who attended. They provided some clear strategies that our families can start to implement in their own homes to build independence in children.

Alisha Campbell (Ashley Park Primary School), Google Review
Play Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Our son has been going to Play Therapy since late 2019. He loves to play and gets so much positive affirmation during the sessions. His self-confidence has improved significantly over this time and he has also progressed in his ability to self-regulate. He has developed a lovely relationship with Natalie and loves going. He is always quick to get dressed and going on his play therapy day. During the lockdown, his behaviour deteriorated significantly. A testament to the great relationship with Natalie is that despite having difficulty with online communications in most other settings, he loved the online sessions with Natalie and was very excited to be able to show her all his toys at home.

Emma & Grant (Parents)
Theraplay

My child has a trauma background. He’s getting the Play therapy for about 9 months now. I can’t not thank Helen enough for her help and support . It’s been a very hard journey but the result is amazing. He has got great control on his emotions. He is a happy boy now 🙂

Mark & Linda (Parents)
Child Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

The play therapy and filial therapy Helen Barrett provided our family has been life changing. I couldn’t recommend more highly

Kathryn Rae (Mother), Google Review
Children’s therapy centre
We have had a very positive and wonderful experience with Play Hub in this very unusual year! We have felt very supported throughout lockdown as a family during our weekly check in via Zoom. My daughter feels very safe and looks forward to playing with Felicity every week, she comes home and continues her play from the sessions. We highly recommend Felicity for play therapy.
Manjari (Mother)
Filial Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

We were desperate to find something to help our 4-year-old with her daily meltdowns when we stumbled across Play based therapy at Play Hub. We made an appointment with Natalie who straight away was reassuring, supportive and understanding of our family’s needs. To say that Natalie has transformed our daughter is an understatement. She has developed our daughter’s confidence, language, and ability to express her emotions and self-regulate. Natalie has equipped us with practical play-based strategies, and we feel more confident to attend to our daughter’s emotional development and help her to self-regulate. She has helped to restore calmness to our home and strengthened our relationship and communication with our children. We are so grateful for Natalie and recommend her to all our friends and family.

Andrew (Father), Google Review
Play Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Helen taught me how to be empathetic towards my children before we educate them. It’s the empathy that is most vital and it’s not always about fixing the problem. It’s great having someone to talk too about issues your having at home with your Children. The play aspect at home which is 30 mins a week is a great way to connect with your child and have that quality time with them. Thankyou Helen for changing the way I connect with my children.

Maryann Perri (Mother), Google Review
Theraplay

My daughter had a lot of trauma at the hospital and was hospitalised every month for first year of life and still quite frequently so has developed a phobia of doctors and even a simple scan request, requires sedation. Play therapy has definitely helped her work on that and she loves it that it is just for her and the therapist. My play therapist, Jean, is really great.

Michelle (Mother)

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