for children & adolescents

Debbie you are amazing and
I could not have asked for
a more supportive counsellor
for my daughter.


Ive done a lot of work on myself already I just knew i needed something more


A miricle worker


I can finally let it go now


Thank you thank you
and thank you


Debbie you have been an absolute
inspiration to both of us and
we will never forget the work
you put into the girls and also
keeping us sane in the process 


Watching a session
I fell in love with my son
all over again


Approach | Ladybug Counselling

At Ladybug Counselling, indirect and directed play therapy is used as well as expressive therapies.

Getting to the bottom of things

Expressive - Play therapy provides a way for childrens to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. The inner child's experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play. It becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others and more importantly to learn. Play therapy can include, paint, arts, games and toys, sandtray, puppets and symbol work.

With adolescents for example, we use a variety of talk therapies such as narrative, solution based and psycho-education as well as other medians such as sandtray, art, writing and other forms of expression they chose.

Play therapy isn't just for kids

Working with children can mean at times working with the whole family and at Ladybug we work from a holistic approach that works with all influencing factors in life. Therefore, the sessions may just be individual or, include sessions with siblings and or, the whole family / carers. Sessions include the opportunity to express themselves, receive support and guidance for themselves and the whole family and other invested stakeholders in the inidividual's life.

Give your inner child a safe place to express

Initially, the main focus is building rapport with the inner child or adolescent and once the rapport has been built and trust established; the inidividual will be able to express themselves freely and commence working through the situation. Ongoing review of the treatment plan will occur with the carer and on-going communication between all parties will be established to gain success for each child or adolescent in this process.

You cant get it wrong


Play therapy has many theoretical approaches that uses childrens' natural way of communicating as the main tool in the in the therapeutic process (Corey, 2007). There is directed and indirect play therapy. The models differ in approach depending upon the theory's core perspective. For example, child-centered play therapy has children pretend to play out the trauma until they make sense of their own experience (Bratton, et al, 2009). The Gestalt model differs by focusing on the child as a whole and takes into account all their life influences in more directed play (Bratton, et al, 2009). All models use a variety of toys that are neutral and the sessions are conducted in a secure safe environment (Downs, et al, 2009).

Play your way


a) Child Centered Play Therapy

Child centered play therapy is another approach that has been credited to work successfully with children who have been sexually abused. This approach focuses on the child, and not the issue. These sessions rely on the children's own ability to resolve their troubling emotions (Menassa, 2009). It should be noted that in this approach the counsellor must rely on the children's own resources.

b) Structured Play Therapy and Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy works with gaining a full understanding of the children's life by exploring other events of significance through following the child's play. Structured play therapy works with the counsellor taking the lead in the play and directing what occurs (Corey, 2007). This changes the outcomes in he play and the child can see there are different solutions and endings to their own situation.

Both of these perspectives use toys and resources to act out the children's emotions and have them tell their story (Menassa, 2009; Rambo, 2003). Both theories embrace the children's reality.

A beautiful modality for change work


Art & Movement Therapy

Art therapy uses creative processes, including drawing, painting movement to enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being and it is suitable for all ages. Art therapy works by accessing imagination and creativity. Music therapy helps improve or maintain health. It does so across various domains (e.g., cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills, and quality of life) by using music experiences (e.g., free improvisation, singing, songwriting, listening to and discussing music, moving to music) to achieve treatment goals and objectives.

Unlock childhood trauma and change core beliefs


Sand-tray therapy is a great tool to initial build rapport with the child as well as learn from other children how they have interpreted their own world. In this approach the counsellor has the child build their world within the sand-tray and then have them describe it. Then, if needed, the child then explains what they would like to see happen in their world to fix any concerns they have (Kalff, 2010). Children in this approach can use different toys, objects and any other material to use as symbols in their world. The counsellor observes them building their world and uses verbal tracking in the process to help the child feel safe in the process (Kalff, 2010). This then creates a base-point from which to start working on specific issues.

Your past doesn't define you 


Bratton, S. C., Ray, D. C., Edwards, N. A., & Landreth, G. (2009). Child-centered play therapy (CCPT): Theory, research, and practice. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 8 (4). Special issue: Person-centered therapy with children and adolescents, 266-281. Retrieved from

Corey, Corey, G. (2007). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Downs, J, Pfaff-Henk, J, VanFleet, R, Mochi, C, Grodzki, L & Mullen, J.A. (2009). Roles play therapist play: Post-disaster engagement and empowerment of survivors. Association for Play Therapy Journal, 4(4)

Kalff, D. M. (2010). Introduction to sandplay therapy. Journal of Sandplay Therapy, 1, Number, 1, 1991. Retrieved from

Menassa, B. M. (2009). Theoretical orientation and play therapy: Examining therapist role, Session structure, and therapeutic objectives. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory and Research, 37, No. 1

Rambo, A. (2003). The Collaborative language-Based Models of Family Therapy: When Less is More. Hecker, L. L., & Wetchler, J. L., eds. (2003). An Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy (1st ed.)(pp 449 - 478). Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Clinical Practice Press.