About Helen

Helen Barrett is clinical social worker, registered play therapist and owner of Helen Barrett Children’s Counselling and Play Therapy. With over 16 years experience in providing psychological and therapeutic services to children and families across a range of community settings, Helen is a highly qualified and skilled therapist with extensive knowledge and experience in play therapy counselling, child development, complex and relational trauma as a result of abuse or neglect.  She is passionate about childhood trauma recovery and building emotional resilience and attachment security in young children. Helen has a special interest in working with pre school aged children who have been adopted.

Helen is a registered clinical play therapist with the Australian Play Therapists Association and also registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers, holding expertise in complexity and mental health. She is registered with Medicare as a mental health provider and also with NDIS. She also has completed clinical training in Filial Therapy and is currently in the process of obtaining certification as a Filial Therapist.

In private practice, Helen provides child assessment, therapy, parenting psycho education and skills training, supervision.

Helen is a certified group facilitator of the Tuning Into Kids parenting program and Circle of Security Parenting (COS – P) program that focuses on parenting strategies that nurture children’s attachment to their parents and build emotional resilience. She also incorporates the key learnings from these programs in her individual work with parents and caregivers.

Helen’s preferred therapeutic modality with children is Child Centered Play Therapy, a method that is relationship rather than problem focused and heavily informed by trauma, attachment and child development theory framework. She also incorporates learnings from infant research and neurobiology to better understand and work with children’s emotional, psychological and behavioural problems. Much of Helen’s work is also with the parent in promoting good enough ‘conscious’ parenting that emphasises self awareness and understanding of how their early experiences can shape how they relate and respond to their children. Parents are assisted to build more connection and healthy positive parent-child relationship that result in prevention of increased problems and resolution of specific behavioural and emotional difficulties in children.

Helen’s relational approach brings a level of integrity, knowledge and deep humility to her work with children and families as well as warmth, respect and playfulness. Helen is deeply committed to the growth of play therapy counselling in Melbourne and is passionate about promoting play therapy as the only developmentally appropriate and sensitive counselling approach for young children.

Helen’s hourly consultation fee is $150.00. Third party fees (NDIS managed) attract an hourly rate of $170.00.

Helen’s Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Dip. Holistic Living Counselling
  • Adv Dip. Childrens Holistic Counselling

Australian Play Therapy Association

  • Adv. Clinical Training in Play Therapy
  • Circle of Security Parenting Education Training

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

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