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Yvonne Parr

Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy

Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills

Foundation Degree Arts in Counselling


Play therapy  4-11yrs

I am a certified Play Therapist and Counsellor who specialises in working with children of primary school age.  I have worked with bereaved children, those affected by parental separation, young carers, children who have lived with domestic abuse and those affected by someone else’s use of alcohol.  My experience has shown that therapy works best when family members and other supporting adults are interested and engaged with the therapeutic work provided for the child.

Following a 24 year career as a secondary school teacher I retrained as a person-centred counsellor before specialising in play and creative arts therapy.

My passion is supporting children as they explore their inner selves through the mediums of play and creative arts.  I am interested in children’s use of simple rituals such as “Hello, I’m here” and “Goodbye, until next time” as well as in their evolving self-expression through movement, sound, sand play and role play.  


I believe therapy changes lives because it provides a healing environment in which our brains adapt in restorative ways.  Human brains are especially good at adaptation.  In fact, every moment, our brains are changing, responding to the environment: benign, harmful or healing*.  During any difficult situation in a child’s life, their brain will respond in natural, self-protective ways.  The adults around the child may notice changes in the child’s thinking, feelings, and behaviour.  Over time, when the difficulty has lessened or passed, the child’s environment may be sufficient to help them to recover fully.  However, sometimes their thinking, feeling and behaviour responses to the original difficulty persist, causing new, unwanted challenges for the child in everyday life, which is where my therapeutic approach can really make a real difference.  In the safe, familiar, uninterrupted and confidential therapeutic space, play and creative arts therapy can help the child move from a place of sadness, uncertainty or fear.  Over time, children can become more self-aware, able to practice making different choices, and can begin to trust life again.

*Adapted from Sanders P, ‘People not Pathology: freeing therapy from the medical model’. Monmouth: PCCS Books;2023.

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