Play Therapy is a way of giving children the opportunity to explore their experiences, thoughts, emotions and desires in a safe non-judgmental environment, with the support of the therapist. Play is a child’s natural means of expression and is a safe way to communicate, talking usually becomes secondary. Through the therapeutic alliance, formed with the therapist, the child is able to move forward and develop at their own pace. They are supported to draw on their inner resources and build resilience so that change can occur. Play Therapy is essentially a way of helping children to heal themselves. Within the play therapy space children take the lead, they make decisions and solve problems. They are able to use any of the items in the tool kit as they wish. The space has as few boundaries as possible yet as many as necessary.
My name is Donna Stone and I run Dobbie Stones Play and Creative Arts Therapy. I have worked with children and families all of my adult life. I qualified as a teacher 24 years ago and have taught every year group from Nursery to Year 6, in a variety of primary schools. I have also worked with families as a Homestart Volunteer, through running Parent and toddler groups and delivering parenting programmes.
I became a teacher to nurture children and over the years found more and more children were struggling to access education due to a range of difficulties; from anxiety, trauma and loss to experiencing difficulties at home and in school with behaviour and relationships.
It has been a natural progression for me to re-train as a Play Therapist with Leeds Beckett and APAC (Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy). I hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills and a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy.
Children do not live in isolation and often in order for them to change, the people around them need to become more self reflective and attuned as well. This understanding led me to train in PCAP (Parent Child Attachment Play) and Heart-to-Heart with Debi Maskell-Graham. This has enabled me to support parents and school staff to strengthen relationships and support children more effectively.
I am passionate about my work and believe accompanying children on their journey through Play Therapy is a privilege. I work with children individually and in groups within their school settings. Private referrals are also made.
I adhere to the ethical framework of PTUK (Play Therapy UK), am insured and DBS certified as well as being registered with the Professional Standards Authority and the ICO. I receive regular clinical supervision.