Te manawa whanaungatanga mō ngā tamariki katoa
The heart of relationship for every child

Find a Play Therapist

We have wonderful ChildPlayWorks (CPW)-trained Child Centered Play Therapists located all over Aotearoa. Find your local therapist in the list below.

Please contact the therapists directly for availability and pricing.

CPW Graduates have successfully graduated from the ChildPlayWorks Clinical Play Therapy Training Programme, having met all requirements of training.

CPW Advanced Interns have a minimum of two years of CCPT supervision and have completed more than 100 hours of clinical supervised practice. 

CPW Interns are in their first year of supervised practice.

All CPW Graduates, CPW Advanced Interns and CPW Interns practice under the ethical guidelines of their Professional Association memberships.

Please note, in all regions we have further CPW Graduates, CPW Advanced Interns and CPW Interns than those shown below. Please contact us if you need more information or help.


Hello, I am Helen. I have three adult children and live on the Hibiscus Coast, in the North of Auckland. I was born and raised in the UK but made New Zealand my home in 2001. 

I am a full member of NZAC and practice as a Counsellor, Play Therapist and Parenting Consultant. I am also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in training. 

My work is now purely focused on working with children, adolescents and their families.

I am constantly in awe of how children are beautifully in tune with what they need for their healthy, psycho-social development and the unfolding of their unique, wondrous self, and how they instinctively communicate these needs through their behaviours and play.

What we can easily interpret as problematic behaviour, is often a child's way of voicing a need for love and safety. Children are needy by nature and are driven to ensure these needs are met and this is because their healthy development depends on it. 

My practice as a play therapist is therefore two-fold.

Firstly in supporting the parent/caregiver in learning to read their child's behaviours, so that they can become the answer to their child's needs and as such help remedy any problematic behaviours.

Secondly, through the provision of a safe, secure, therapeutic relationship, enabling a child through their most natural medium of expression – play, to work through any difficulties that might be hindering their development and well being.

I also offer Strengthening Parent-Child Relationship sessions as a way of facilitating a secure attachment relationship through the medium of play.

For further information please visit http://www.helenhustontherapy.com

or email helenhustontherapy@gmail.com

Mobile: 021 422 045

I love working with children in a way that builds their self-esteem, confidence and empowering them to heal. I have my own Play Room and I have a mobile Play room also. I support parents through SCPR - Strengthening the Child/Parent Relationship.

I work at Muriwai Beach, Auckland and Albany. I am also available for online SCPR appointments with parents.

Contact: 021 040 1799 or email leesaminton@yahoo.co.nz


I have worked as a counselor and social worker for nigh on 40 years, gaining valuable
insights and truly humbling experiences along the way.

My learning journey started with person centered therapy. This approach trained me to be
non-directive, allowing the client to lead whilst recognizing that we all have the ability to
fulfill our own potential.

Further early training was in the area of family therapy, focusing on relationships and
communication and this has remained the foundation of my work currently. Making and
maintaining meaningful connections in this world of distractions and busyness is what I aim

Along my journey I have developed further skills in the area of cognitive behavior therapy
and mindfulness which I love to teach and practice with clients where anxiety and/or
depression is taking over.

More recently I have trained as a child centered play therapist, and rediscovered my love
of client centered work. It is very rewarding to be alongside a child in the playroom as
they use the toys to express their experiences and feelings through a self -guided and self-
healing process.

I work out of 2 locations in West Auckland, one in central Henderson, and the other in

I can be contacted on email helenaish@xtra.co.nz or mobile 0212667796.


Please contact us for futher details.

Astrid Smit
Play Therapist at Barnardos Waikato

I provide play therapy, parent coaching and some sessions in strengthening the parent child relationship. I  can do sibling work when appropriate.

Conditions apply to the referral as we are funded by Ministry of Social Development.

There is a waiting list.

Please contact us for further details.


My name is Tracey Crouchman and I am a Child Centered Play Therapist (Advanced Intern) with ChildPlayWorks. I work in private practice in Cambridge and am also employed by Cambridge Lifeskills working therapeutically in both settings providing Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) for children. 
I have a long standing passion for working with children and hold a UK Diploma in Nursery Nursing (NNEB) and a BA (Hons) in Psychology. I fulfilled many roles as a Childcare Practitioner internationally before becoming a parent to my own two children and subsequently began my journey into the wonderful world of Child Centered Play Therapy. 
I feel privileged to work with and be alongside tamariki/children as they engage in their CCPT process and enjoy working in partnership with their whanau/family and/or caregivers to help strengthen the child-parent and family relationships. 

Tracey is a full member of the New Zealand Psychological Society and member of The Association for Play Therapy (APT, USA). 

Contact details: 027 230 3003 or email traceyccpt@gmail.com

Please contact us for further details.

Please contact us for further details.


Melanie is a Child Centered Play Therapist and Reg Social Worker who has over 25 years experience of working with children and families in the health and social services. Melanie provides CCPT, SCPRT/Filial Therapy and Sibling Therapy. Her private practice and play therapy room is based in Tauranga.

Melanie is ACC approved, a member of the Bay of Therapy Foundation and provides contract work for victim support and Oranga Tamiriki.

Contact Melanie at www.playtherapytauranga.co.nz



Hilary is passionate about all children and particularly those that come from ‘hard places’ and who are trauma experienced. Having worked with children for over 40 years, she now specialises in using Child Centred Play Therapy to support this population group of tamariki (children) and their whanau/caregivers.  Child Centred Play Therapy offers these children ‘felt safety’ in a space where they can express their thoughts, feelings and behaviours at their own pace and developmental level. Play is a child’s first language and toys are their words.  Through establishing a trusting therapeutic relationship this deeply respectful, evidence-based form of child counselling, the child is able to work out balance and control in their lives, helping to change what may be unmanageable in reality, to manageable through the child’s symbolic play.  For the child, being ‘in control’ of the experience assists them to move toward an inner resolution.  “I love to see the work of the tamariki unfold in the playroom, within our trusting therapeutic relationship, finding felt safety which empowers them to develop a wonderfully positive sense of self”, she says.

Hilary’s experiences have been in the education (primary and early childhood), social work and now therapeutic support. Alongside her Child Centred Play Therapy practice, Hilary is CEO and a founder of Homes of Hope Charitable Trust.

Hilary holds a BSW in Social Work (Bi-Cultural), a Diploma in Teaching and a CPW Post Graduate Certificate in Child Centred Play Therapy. She is registered with the Social Work Registration Board.

Originally from Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, Hilary has loved living in the Bay of Plenty for the past 26 years with her husband, three children, two grand-children, and many other tamariki over the years. They have two adorable mini-me mother and daughter Maltese Terriers.

BSW (Bi-Cultural), Dip Tchg, CPW PG Certificate in Child Centred Play Therapy
Reg. SW

  • Work details - Homes of Hope Charitable Trust, 64a Manley Grove South, Gate Pa, Tauranga, 3112.
  • Hilary provides – CCPT 4-11 years; parent-child relationship work.
  • Contact details – (07) 578-9826 or hilary.price@homesofhope.org.nz

Please contact us for further details.

Dee Costello is a counsellor, registered with New Zealand Association of Counsellors since 2002. She has developed a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of how to support people to achieve rich & full lives through her formal training in Child & Adolescent Guidance Counselling & Child Centered Play Therapy.

She is the co-owner of Footprints in New Plymouth, dedicated to providing a respectful, compassionate and confidential counselling service that empowers children, adolescents, adults and families to:

  • Develop creative solutions to challenges they face.
  • Enhance personal effectiveness and resilience.
  • Restore & sustain more satisfying relationships.
  • Achieve well-being & balance in all aspects of their lives.

At Footprints Dee provides developmentally appropriate child centered play therapy for children in the specialised Footprints playroom where she is alongside children in a deeply respectful way of ‘being with’; creating a safe atmosphere for them to express themselves, try new things, learn more about how the world works, learn about social rules & restrictions & work through problems, all through their play.

Dee can be contacted at:

Footprints, 73 Whiteley Street, Moturoa, New Plymouth, 4310
e. dee@footprints.kiwi.nz
p. 022-075-0486
w. https://www.footprints.kiwi.nz



Who I am:

My name is Michael Payne. I’m English by birth and have lived in New Zealand since 1985. I’m married with 4 adult children and a growing number of Grandchildren. My base professional training in Mental Health Nursing, but I have attained various counselling qualifications and experience over the years. Having worked in an ICAMHS service for many years before going into private practice, I have developed a love for CCPT due to it gentle process of working with children in their own space, and their own pace.

Work details:

I work in the centre of Gisborne above a café in an old colonial style building; great for parents to have a coffee while I see their child. I share rooms with two other counsellors/friends, so there are adult spaces as well.

What I provide:

In CCPT I have some training in Filial Therapy and provide that when the opportunity arises. Due to being ACC registered and a Registered MNZAC I am able to work with children who have experienced sexual abuse.

I have completed the NIRE Cert in CCPT and currently searching for trainees to work with so I can complete the NIRE Cert in CCPT Supervision.

Contact details:

Email: playfulsolutions.gisborne@gmail.com

Phone: 027 372 0952

Website: playfulsolutions.co.nz

Shirley Jourdain, Play Therapist, Palmerston North.

I have been learning about Child Centred Play Therapy (CCPT) since the beginning of 2011.  After training as a counsellor I went on to complete the post-graduate diploma in Child Centred Play Therapy. 

I wish I had known about it when my own children were young.  I am still amazed at the ‘magic’ of CCPT working in the lives of the children who engage in the CCPT process.  It is such a safe, respectful, effective and fun way for children to make sense of the things that impact them in their lives.

I work with individual children between the ages of 4 and 13, ACC Sensitive Claims.

I also work with siblings and the parent – child relationship.

I work from my playroom at my home in Awapuni, Palmerston North.

B.Ed., Tchng Diplomas Secondary and Primary, Dip. Counselling, Post Grad Cert CCPT.

I can be contacted at shirley@jourdain.net.nz



Contact details: 

Email:  rachelo@tearohanoa.org.nz

Cell: 020 4041 8127

Please contact us for further details.



Marg has studied to become a counsellor, child play therapist, and professional supervisor and has been working in private practice since 2007.  She lives in Westport and holds clinics each week in both Westport and Greymouth.  She works therapeutically with both adults and children. Marg is registered with ACC to provide sensitive claims counselling.   She also contracts with a number of other community organisations and Employment Assistance Programmes to provide counselling.

Marg has a special interest in working therapeutically with children and currently she is participating in a long term research programme to measure the outcomes for children who attend play therapy.  This research is being supervised by the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Tennessee USA

Marg also provides supervision and CCPT supervision to counsellors and CCPT practitioners throughout NZ.

Marg’s Qualifications include: Dip Teaching; Dip Counselling; MNZAC; ACC Reg Counsellor; Cert. Child Centred Play Therapy & CCPT Supervision (NIRE, USA); PGrad Cert Prof Supervision.

Contact: 027 306 4667 or margsreach@gmail.com

I am a born and bred Cantabrian who enjoys living in this beautiful city, Otautahi. Even though I have left to travel at different times, I always enjoy coming home to my place of belonging. I am married with two adult children.  My counselling work consists of working with adults, adolescents and children. When working with children I work from a play therapy approach.  In play therapy I provide toys for children to use; to say with toys what they have difficulty saying with words. I believe it is vital to support parents and caregivers throughout this process and provide ongoing support in their role as I work with their child.  I am also registered with ACC to provide counselling for sensitive claims.

I work in private practice at The Arahura Centre, 406 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch. I can be contacted on either kim@thearahuracentre.co.nz or on 021 0665118.

My name is Kate Scott, I am a registered Child Psychologist and Practicing Play Therapist. I am passionate about working with children, adolescents and their families. 

In addition to working from a lovely large playroom in my private practice, I also work in a school setting. I lecture a child therapy paper to tertiary students and run a child therapy support group for the children of siblings and parents struggling with cancer. I am also involved with Waves the suicide bereavement programme. 

In my spare time I love walking and running in the countryside and on the beach. I live in Christchurch with my husband, two children and my beloved jack russel. I participate in regular professional development and am always eager to upskill my training.

Above all, my aim is to provide a safe place for children to come to my playroom to process their emotional journeys through child centred play therapy as well as provide tools to increase parents feelings of confidence in their parenting skills and ability to create the family life they value.  

Contact: 027 9347890 or email katepsychologist@gmail.com  

Currently on maternity leave. Please contact us if you need any further help.

Leigh Lawless Reg MNZAC

Leigh is a fully registered counsellor with NZAC who has completed a BA Hons in Counselling and Psychotherapy and Post Graduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health which supports understanding around development and ways to support children from infancy.  She has also specialised in Child Centred Play Therapy and currently works with children and their whanau at Discover Child Counselling located in Timaru.  Leigh supports families and children through the CCPT counselling modality from ages 3-13years.

As well as this she runs Relax Kids Classes in South Canterbury for children from 3-12 years including Parent and Health/Education Professional classes and workshops to support and introduce relaxation skills and techniques through 7 stages of play based mindfulness. 

Leigh is passionate about supporting children and their whanau in play based ways that create positive relationships and healing for children in developmentally appropriate and fully researched therapeutic approaches.

Discover Child Counselling (South Canterbury)

Ph: 021-1149794 - leighlawless@outlook.com



Claire Millichamp

Claire is a Registered Social Worker and Play Therapist (ChildPlayWorks Graduate) who has been working with children and their families since 2011.
Claire has a private practice in South Canterbury doing Child Centered Play Therapy, ACC Sensitive Claims, family support and sex education and sexualised behaviours professional development for schools, early childhood centres and the community. She is the author of children's book 'Me and All of My Body: Body Positivity and Safety for Kids'.  
Claire is passionate about making sure children are given opportunities to thrive, discover their strengths and be given a voice and recognises the need for safe, child friendly spaces. 
Phone: 027 371 0784
Website: http://www.sidebysidetherapy.co.nz
Facebook and Instagram: Side by Side Therapy NZ

Hi, I am Frankie Dean, a registered psychotherapist with a private practice in Wanaka, Central Otago. Child-centered play therapy is my main focus. I see children age 3-12, and specialise in early childhood trauma. I also work with individual parents, parent and child, and groups of parents to strengthen the parent-child relationship.

To find out more, click on this link https://www.playtherapyotago.nz/

Frankie Dean



I’m Natalie Astin. I am currently providing child-centered play therapy for children, aged between 3 and 12 years, through contracts with local schools and Oranga Tamariki. 

I run mindful parenting courses, teaching skills I use in the playroom to parents/caregivers so they can develop a closer relationship with their children.

I am also working towards completing my training in transactional analysis, psychotherapy.

To find out more please visit my website: www.playconnectgrow.weebly.com

I am from Winton, Southland and have a passion for working with children. I provide Child Centred Play Therapy for children aged 3–12 years, which also includes support for parents/caregivers. 

I am based at Southland Help in Invercargill, working with children who have experienced sexual harm. I am able to use the premises and playroom at Southland Help to see private clients also.

Debbie Anderson

BHSc, PGDip Couns, NZAC (Prov)

Counsellor/Child Play Therapist

Email: debanderson@xtra.co.nz 

Cell phone: 0272238860


My name is Cathy Lucas - I am a Registered Play Therapist and completed my training with Childplayworks several years ago.

I live and work in Alice Springs and work as a Sexual Assault Counsellor with children, youth and families. I have a lovely space to work from as a Play Therapist and Sandplay Practitioner here.

I am a Registered Play Therapist with APPTA (Australasia and Pacific Play Therapy Association) and a Registered Member of NZAC. I am also trained in Rhythm to Recovery (Drumming) for emotional regulation, communication and attachment building. My work is adaptable to working with teenagers and adults.

My private contact details are cathynzgirl@gmail.com.

Catherine Lucas | Registered Play Therapist/Counsellor
Sexual Assault Referral Centre | Central Australia Health Service
44 Railway Terrace, Alice Springs, GPO Box 721, Alice Springs, NT 0870

phone: 08 8955 4500  email: catherine.lucas@nt.gov.au