Natalie is passionate about supporting children to achieve their full developmental potential, optimal health and wellbeing. She believes in nurturing each child’s socio-emotional health from early in life to ensure the best possible foundation for a happy, healthy and well-adjusted adulthood.
Natalie believes child development is influenced by family and community, as well as life experiences and the way in which these have been processed and understood by the child. Her primary focus when working with a child, is to maintain an open, playful and curious presence, whilst establishing an authentic therapeutic relationship based on safety, empathy, unconditional acceptance and trust. Natalie is an advocate for the voice and rights of the child and the child’s own capacity for learning, socio-emotional growth and healing through play.
Natalie’s therapeutic approach is thoroughly informed by up to date knowledge and research in child and play development and mental health and she believes in a holistic approach which includes parents and carers, as well as all other significant individuals and organisations involved in the life of the child.
Natalie is a trained Filial Family Therapist and holds expertise in supporting families to learn therapeutic skills to enhance family and parent/child relationships and manage challenging behaviours. She is also a trained and qualified Learn 2 Play Therapist and is skilled in helping children to establish and strengthen the building blocks of play which are necessary for mastery of more complex play skills that contribute to language development, higher-order thinking and social competency. Special interests include trauma, anxiety and attachment. Natalie holds a Board of Director role within APPTA.
Natalie is a registered Primary Teacher with close to 15 years’ experience. Her role has included supporting children’s academic and emotional wellbeing, as well as tailoring curriculum, learning and wellbeing programs to children with special needs.
Natalie owns and manages her private practice Inside Out Play Therapy, working as a play therapist clinician, parent educator and trainer. She also holds the position of Practice Manager at Play Therapy Hub.
Master of Child Play Therapy
Postgraduate Bachelor of Teaching with Honours
Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
Graduate Diploma in Computer Science
Trained and qualified Filial Family Therapist
Trained and qualified Learn 2 Play (L2P) Therapist
Here’s what our clients had to say about their children and our filial family therapy services:
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, Mardi, has a beautiful manner with our son and we have valued her insightful observations about what may be underlying his behaviours.
The combination of the play therapy and implementing her simple strategies has been very effective in changing things at home. We have found play therapy to be very beneficial for our family and are now undertaking filial therapy to continue to reap the rewards of the play therapy approach.
Karen & Rob (Parents)
Natalie is fun, bright and bubbly. Through Play Therapy, she was easily able to connect with my child and we cannot believe how much he has transformed from being an anxious and unsure little boy, into the settled, confident and social child he is now.
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)
Donna’s play therapy & animal assisted therapy work has been instrumental in supporting & developing an understanding of the underlying issues of our disengaged refugee students. Her expertise has also been welcomed by staff who needed insight in engaging & developing strategies to meet the needs of our highly challenging students.
Ivan Araujo (Dandenong West Primary Youth Worker)
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