• Child Play Therapy at Nature plus Nurture Play Therapy

    Play Therapy, Adolescent, and Family Counselling.

  • Child playing with trains at Nature plus Nurture Play Therapy

    Now taking appointments in the Nature plus Nurture clinic located in Wonthaggi.

Child playing with lego figures
child playing with building blocks

What is Child Play Therapy?

Play Therapy is a form of counselling or psychotherapy for children.
Through play children explore and communicate thoughts and feelings that they may not have developed words for.
Toys become the child's words and play is their language.
The play therapist provides a safe and trusting environment where the child can work through a variety of issues or concerns relevant to them.

Is Play Therapy Effective?

There is significant evidence to support child play therapy as an effective mental health approach, primary intervention, and supportive therapy. Research suggests that play therapy is effective in reducing child-caregiver stress, improving attachment relationships and increasing a child's self-efficacy. Further studies have found play therapy to be effective in reducing anxiety and increasing social development important in relationship formation. There is also much evidence to suggest that a child’s growth and development can be stilted when there are disruptions in attachment relationships, often seen when parents/carers are undergoing stress or challenges themselves.

The great news is that play therapy can help your child to explore their relationships through the building of a strong therapeutic relationship with their therapist, with the aim of decreasing anxiety and sensory issues.

Nature plus Nurture is a neurodiversity-affirming service. We believe that every child, teen, and family is unique. We embrace your child's strengths providing them with the skills, tools, and strategies to allow for improved participation within the home, school, play, and community.


Child playing in sandpit Learn to Play

Learn to Play Therapy

The main aim of the Learn to Play Program is to build a child’s spontaneous pretend play ability, crucial to a child forming well- developed social, emotional, and language skills.

Child Play Therapy - playing with lego figures

Child Play Therapy

We take an integrative approach to Child Play Therapy, where each child is respected as an individual. The therapy goals and sessions are suited to the child and their unique challenges and strengths.

Filial Therapy - parent and child bonding

Filial Therapy

Filial Therapy is an educational model of family therapy. During Filial Therapy the existing parent/child relationship is used and enhanced to bring about positive behaviour changes.

Adolescent counselling - child listening to music

Adolescent Counselling

Our creative counselling for teens is an evidence-based approach using various techniques and modalities, including talk-based approaches, CBT, play therapy, creative art for self-expression, music, and sand tray work.


  • Loss & grief
  • Trauma
  • Chronic illness
  • Separation/family split/divorce
  • Illness of close relative
  • Physical disability or limitations
  • Anxiety
  • Bedwetting (enuresis) or toileting problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Foster or adopted child
  • Aggression or anger
  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Behavioural problems
  • Stress (e.g. not coping)
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Domestic violence
  • Gender questioning
  • School refusal
  • Bullying
  • Refugees/asylum seekers or new migrants
  • Selective mutism
  • Developmental delay
  • Global Developmental Disorder (GDD)
  • Cerebral Palsy

Children that are neurodivergent:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Tourette Syndrome (TS)
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI)
  • Mental Health Illnesses (Social anxiety, depression, OCD, etc).

A referral or diagnosis is not required to attend play therapy.

      • Play therapy gives children the opportunity to reach their full potential. It helps children improve in areas such as, emotional regulation, relationship building, physical development, and problem-solving; whilst facilitating the processing of trauma, and supporting the development of healthy coping strategies, and resilience.

    …….Play therapy is best suited to children aged 2 – 13 years of age…….

About - Nature plus Nurture

My name is Jen Rushani and I am the founder of Nature plus Nurture . I have over 20 years experience working with children and families. After the birth of my first child I became  interested in child development and children’s individual differences in learning and commenced a career in early childhood education and care. I have since had many opportunities working in 3 states in various roles and contexts including Additional Needs Coordinator and Director of Early Learning Centres for several Victorian council services, public schools, and large private organisations. My work within diverse communities has given me a unique insight into the challenges faced by children and families. and inspired me to become an advocate for inclusive practices, as I believe every child should have the same opportunity to thrive, to become the best they can be. After studying psychology for several years  I was introduced to play therapy and found I was drawn to this child friendly psychotherapy. Play therapy harnesses the unique therapeutic powers of play to help children heal, develop, and thrive. Play therapy also does not try to change the child, but instead uses play as a way for the child to unlock their internal thoughts, feelings, and processes to bring about changes in behaviour, social, emotional, language and physical development.

I am a qualified Child Play Therapist and hold a Master of Child Play Therapy (Deakin University). I also have the following qualifications Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology),  Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling, Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care and currently studying Psychology (Honours).  I am also a certified Learn to Play Practitioner, where I deliver a directive form of therapeutic play designed to assess and enhance a child’s pretend play skills. 

 It is my privilege to be part of every child, adolescent, and/or family’s journey of growth, development, and healing. I am excited to offer services to children, young people, and families in my local community of  Wonthaggi, South Gippsland and the Bass Coast (Phillip Island and surrounds). I  love this community and can’t wait to share my love of ‘play’ and its therapeutic qualities with you. If you don’t live locally you are still welcome to enquire as I may be able to assist.

Jen Rushani - Play Therapist

Jen RushaniFounder of Nature plus Nurture PTY LTD
Master of Child Play Therapy

Post Grad Cert Counselling
BA Psychology
Dip Early Childhood Education & Care

Member of Australian Psychological Society (APS) (Student)

Clinical Supervisor

Casual Academic @ Deakin University, working in the role of clinical supervisor for Master of Child Play Therapy students

Social causes- Sharing the love

Please help us support our local community

We’re supporting Share the Dignity’s #ItsInTheBag

This year we are supporting Share the Dignity’s annual Christmas appeal #ItsInTheBag.

Each year over 134,000 bags are donated to women and girls doing it tough. The bags are made up of so much love and care, filled with the basic essentials, period products, and so many more special gifts for people in need during Christmas time.

Please support us by making a donation. Your donations will mean that bags can be put together and donated on our behalf. You can contribute in 3 ways either by a monetary donation, donating products (women’s, teen, and mothers & babies) or by creating a full bag of essentials. You can find out more by clicking the tab below which will take you to our dedicated donation page. Click the checklist tab for details on how to create a bag.

Thanks for your support 🙂


Child thumbs up looking happy

Share the Love Campaign

We are proud to announce our Share the Love Campaign, which provides an opportunity for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community  to access our service at no cost. As a private practitioner this is a very limited service but it is my way of giving back to my community, with the hope of changing the life of one child or family.

Due to the overwhelming demand for this service and to support those most at risk, specific criteria must be met to be selected. For more information, or to apply, please complete the form below. If we are unable to offer support we will do our very best to connect you with other support groups within the local community.

If you are a local business and would like to support this campaign please contact us.