Meet The Team

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Renae Plueckhahn

OWNER

SENIOR PLAY THERAPIST

Renae is a Registered Play Therapist with APPTA and has a Master in Play Therapy. Renae also has a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education.

Renae is a provisional member of PACFA and a Registered Supervisor with PTPA. Renae has level 1 qualifcations in SandTray Therapy.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I used to be a teacher and wasn't able to reach the children that really needed the extra help and attention. So I retrained and can now reach all of the children in the best way - through play!

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love the bopbag, it can be great for aggressive release or turn into a horse, a person to dress up or even to try out some gymnastics moves!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I am an avid reader and netflix binger so I like to do a lot of that in between being mum to 3 kids and wife to my farmer husband.

Sarah Bush

SENIOR PLAY THERAPIST

Sarah is a Registered Play Therapist with APPTA and has her Masters in Play Therapy. Sarah also has a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education.

Sarah has been working with children and families for many years and is a provisional PACFA member.

Sarah has also recently completed level 1 training in SandTray Therapy.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I have always been interested in watching the many benefits of play for both children and their parents! I have worked across varied settings, using play to provide good outcomes for children and this path encouraged me to complete my masters and learn as much as I could about children's mental health. I couldn't see myself doing anything else now!​

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

The drum, some children use it to test limits and learn about boundaries and sometimes it's fantastic for self regulation!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love to enjoy my garden and drink lots of tea! I also enjoy playing with my nephews and watching them become their own little people!

Narelle Hanley

PLAY THERAPIST

Narelle is a Registered Play Therapist with PTPA, with a Certificate in Play Therapy from Centre for Play Therapy.  Narelle's undergrad is in Early Childhood Education and she has level 1 training in SandTray Therapy.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

After teaching children for over 20 yrs I could see that play therapy was an ideal approach for children to express their inner feelings and emotions with the help of toys. I love helping children and this is another way to help them communicate and make sense of their world through play.

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

It would have to be the giant

Playmobil Queen!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love to go camping with my family, reading, and cooking.

Kelly Preece

PLAY THERAPIST

Kelly is a Provisional Play Therapist with PTPA working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist. Kelly has completed the Certificate in Play Therapy from Centre for Play Therapy. Kelly is a qualified Social Worker who has experience in working with children and adolescents in the mental health arena, disability and also within the department for Child Protection.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

As a social worker, I have always had a passion for working with families and especially children. Coupled with my artistic/creative side, play therapy was a natural fit for my personality and my love of creative and child-focused approaches to therapy. It warms my heart to see children grow and heal using their most natural/comfortable form of communication – PLAY!

 

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love watching children paint, draw and create - using their unique creativity to express themselves. I also like dress-ups, puppets and the doll’s house for role playing.

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love pottering in my veggie garden, going on adventures with my family to the river or beach in our caravan, and water skiing as much as possible in the summer months!

Phoebe Donaldson

SENIOR PLAY THERAPIST

Phoebe is a Registered Play Therapist with APPTA and has her Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy. She has a passion for working with children, and has extensive experience working in a range of settings. Phoebe has conducted Play Therapy sessions in remote Aboriginal communities and supported families and children to be reunited through a restoration program. She has worked with children in hospitals and remote health clinics across NSW and NT. She has also worked as a Play Therapist in private practice in Newcastle, and most recently as a Family Specialist in out of home care. Phoebe is also about to finish her Certificate in Holistic Counselling.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I was first drawn to Play Therapy when I was working in the Northern Territory. While working in remote Aboriginal communities, I learnt that play is a natural method of communication for children that doesn't involve any shared language. I have always absolutely loved working with children, and I wanted to have as much therapeutic impact as possible in my work. When I learnt about Play Therapy, I knew this was the path for me - as the most developmentally appropriate way for children to express themselves is PLAY!

 

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love seeing children use the toy phones in the play room to communicate important themes in their lives, and the various roles children can take on while playing with these. I also absolutely love seeing the versatility of the 'bop bag' and how children's imaginative play can transform this into whatever they need it to represent through their play!

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love painting, going for walks, looking after my house plants, and love a good podcast!

Helen Mocilnik

STUDENT PLAY THERAPIST

Helen is a Student Play Therapist and is studying the Master of Child Play Therapy at Deakin University. Helen is a qualified Youth Worker and has an Honours Degree in Community Development. Prior to studying Play Therapy, Helen worked in child, youth and family support roles in remote Aboriginal communities and in Northern and Western Adelaide, with a passion for creating trauma-informed youth and children's recreational programs.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I was fascinated by the benefits of Play Therapy for children who had experienced complex trauma following a stint working in a remote community in South Australia. Play is the natural language of children and a wonderful way for children to express their inner world and experiences in a way that is safe and natural for them. Studying Play Therapy seemed like the most natural and therapeutic extension to my experience working with vulnerable young people.

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love seeing the way children play with dolls and the worlds they create and recreate with them. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love spending time with my own children out in the bush, exploring the natural world. I also love (rare) date nights with my husband, spending time with family and friends and reading!

Kelly Preece

PLAY THERAPIST

Kelly is a Provisional Play Therapist with PTPA working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist. Kelly has completed the Certificate in Play Therapy from Centre for Play Therapy. Kelly is a qualified Social Worker who has experience in working with children and adolescents in the mental health arena, disability and also within the department for Child Protection.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

As a social worker, I have always had a passion for working with families and especially children. Coupled with my artistic/creative side, play therapy was a natural fit for my personality and my love of creative and child-focused approaches to therapy. It warms my heart to see children grow and heal using their most natural/comfortable form of communication – PLAY!

 

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love watching children paint, draw and create - using their unique creativity to express themselves. I also like dress-ups, puppets and the doll’s house for role playing.

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love pottering in my veggie garden, going on adventures with my family to the river or beach in our caravan, and water skiing as much as possible in the summer months!

Phoebe Donaldson

SENIOR PLAY THERAPIST

Phoebe is a Registered Play Therapist with APPTA and has her Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy. She has a passion for working with children, and has extensive experience working in a range of settings. Phoebe has conducted Play Therapy sessions in remote Aboriginal communities and supported families and children to be reunited through a restoration program. She has worked with children in hospitals and remote health clinics across NSW and NT. She has also worked as a Play Therapist in private practice in Newcastle, and most recently as a Family Specialist in out of home care. Phoebe is also about to finish her Certificate in Holistic Counselling.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I was first drawn to Play Therapy when I was working in the Northern Territory. While working in remote Aboriginal communities, I learnt that play is a natural method of communication for children that doesn't involve any shared language. I have always absolutely loved working with children, and I wanted to have as much therapeutic impact as possible in my work. When I learnt about Play Therapy, I knew this was the path for me - as the most developmentally appropriate way for children to express themselves is PLAY!

 

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love seeing children use the toy phones in the play room to communicate important themes in their lives, and the various roles children can take on while playing with these. I also absolutely love seeing the versatility of the 'bop bag' and how children's imaginative play can transform this into whatever they need it to represent through their play!

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love painting, going for walks, looking after my house plants, and love a good podcast!

Helen Mocilnik

STUDENT PLAY THERAPIST

Helen is a Student Play Therapist and is studying the Master of Child Play Therapy at Deakin University. Helen is a qualified Youth Worker and has an Honours Degree in Community Development. Prior to studying Play Therapy, Helen worked in child, youth and family support roles in remote Aboriginal communities and in Northern and Western Adelaide, with a passion for creating trauma-informed youth and children's recreational programs.

WHY PLAY THERAPY?

I was fascinated by the benefits of Play Therapy for children who had experienced complex trauma following a stint working in a remote community in South Australia. Play is the natural language of children and a wonderful way for children to express their inner world and experiences in a way that is safe and natural for them. Studying Play Therapy seemed like the most natural and therapeutic extension to my experience working with vulnerable young people.

FAVOURITE TOY IN THE PLAYROOM?

I love seeing the way children play with dolls and the worlds they create and recreate with them. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?

I love spending time with my own children out in the bush, exploring the natural world. I also love (rare) date nights with my husband, spending time with family and friends and reading!

Play Therapy SA