“I started as a student nurse in 1982 and went on to become a registered general nurse before specialising in paediatrics in 1995. In 2000, I became a nursing academic but continued clinical practice until 2009 on a part-time basis.
While working as a paediatric registered nurse, I could see that many nurses agreed with the concept of family-centred care but had a lot of trouble putting it into practice for many reasons. We also aimed to provide atraumatic care but were not fully equipped with the knowledge or training on how to achieve this.
I decided to complete my PhD, “Integration of procedural play for children undergoing invasive Cystic Fibrosis treatment: A nursing perspective”. However, this left me with more questions to answer. I wanted to understand better how I can help children experience atraumatic healthcare.
I quickly realised that I needed to expand & incorporate the language of play therapy into my clinical work. So, in 2009 I travelled to the UK to undertake the Master of Play Therapy at Roehampton University London.
I was very interested in working with children who had experienced bereavement, including grief and loss associated with having a medical condition or who had suffered medical trauma. I was also interested in supporting children who were dying and integrating alternative ways to communicate through therapeutic play, art, music and other creative techniques.
I started my private practice in 2011 called Play Therapy World. With each referral, I focus on the child’s psychosocial health and well-being which includes the child’s family and community systems.
In 2014, I was appointed to Deakin University to be part of the team to develop Australia’s first play therapy university course. Now we have a suite of postgraduate therapeutic play courses which may ultimately lead to professional recognition for graduates of the Master of Child Play Therapy.”