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About Claire...

Claire works in South Canterbury and is also available via video call NZ wide. 

Claire is a Registered Social Worker, Member of ANZASW and Play Therapist,  who has been working with children, young people and their families since 2011. In 2021, she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Child Centered Play Therapy, through Child Play Works NZ.  Claire has worked in Dunedin (NZ) and in Thailand, over 9 years, before moving to South Canterbury. 


Claire is passionate about making sure children and young people are given opportunities to thrive, discover their strengths and be given a voice and she recognises the need for safe, child-friendly spaces.

Another of Claire's passions is to see people experience healthy relationships and to facilitate a dialogue where there is openness around our bodies, diversity, puberty, sex and sexuality. She hopes that parents, and adults in children's lives can feel empowered and confident to create safe spaces for their kids and young people and ultimately create a safer, more whole, and pleasurable society for our communities. 

Claire has a special interest and experience in journeying with women in their sexuality. She has knowledge of women's wellness, sexual health and trauma as well as strategies that can lead to a more full sex life. 

In her spare time, Claire enjoys deep conversations with friends, walking, yoga and her family. 


About Child Centered Play Therapy a type of counselling that provides a place for a child to express their feelings and anything else they may be struggling with. Children often struggle to find words to express how they’re feeling. Through toys, art and other materials (sand, small figures, etc) children/ young people can process difficult experiences and feelings. Talking can be part of their process, but when words are hard or not readily available, they are able to explore their internal world through materials.


Therapy takes place at the child's pace and in doing so, can take some time. 20 sessions is a minimum suggestion but often more time is required, especially if there is trauma.

At Side by Side Claire meets with parents/caregivers for an initial 1-2 sessions, prior to making a decision as to whether CCPT will fit their child and family situation. 

If Counselling is decided upon, Claire then sees children weekly, with parent/caregiver reviews approximately 6 weekly. 

Claire's role is to provide a safe space, where the child feels fully accepted for who they are and what they bring to the room (even the deeply hurtful, shameful parts of themselves). It is through this acceptance that a child/young person is then able to feel safe to be and feel whatever they need to, to process their feelings and experiences.


It is important to note that the child is in charge of the direction of their therapy. This means that strategies are not provided. Change usually takes place for people when they feel free not to have to change. This change is more significant as it is internally motivated.


If safety concerns are evident, Claire will act in a way to keep people safe, but care is given for the child to feel empowered and have autonomy where possible in this process. 


... is where Claire works 'Side by Side' with the child's main caregiver, to coach them in providing the therapeutic relationship. Sessions take place, with Claire present and follow up is done with the parent/significant adult. This can be particularly beneficial where there are attachment, or relationship needs, or where a child has anxiety, and would get more out of the therapy with a significant adult present.


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