Anne Muscatello therapist on Natural Therapy Pages
Member since 2009

Anne Muscatello

Anne Muscatello

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Play is a natural process by which children relate to and understand their world. "Children are our finest teachers. They already know how to grow, how to develop, how to learn, how to expand and discover, how to feel, laugh and cry and get mad, what is right for them and what is not right for them, what they need. They already know how to love and be joyful and to live life to its fullest, to work and to be strong and full of energy. All they (and the children within us) need is the space to do it." Violet Oaklander

Anne Muscatello - Play Therapy and Holistic Counselling

Servicing area

East Bentleigh, Victoria

Focus areas

Vision Relaxation Breakdown Professional supervision Stress management Well-being


Anne now also offers play based therapy sessions in your child's education setting following pre arrangement with education staff.

For further details, please contact Anne.

Modality: Play Therapy and Holistic Counselling

Play is a natural process by which children relate to and understand their world. For varied reasons, children may have difficulty in articulating their feelings arising from issues and/or situations they have faced or are facing and as a result their behaviour is altered.

Counselling through play allows children to create a world where they can work through their feelings and discover their own solutions. Play provides the opportunity to assist and guide children in restoring their sense of well being by utilising their innate ability to heal and grow.

The therapeutic relationship, which develops between child and counsellor, forms the foundation from which the child’s growth and healing can occur. The counsellor is able to view the child’s world and maintain the safety, trust and respect necessary. This allows the child to externalise their inner experiences and associated feelings. In addition, with the child’s direction the counsellor may also join in with the child’s play.

These counselling sessions are conducted in a room specifically furnished with a collection of toys and equipment. These creative play tools are necessary to assist children in symbolically representing and expressing their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Through play, Anne’s role is to assist children to learn more adaptive behaviors in which to process their understanding of any emotional and/or social difficulties they may be experiencing.

Play therapy has been utilised as a primary and adjunctive therapy for several conditions and issues such as anger management, grief and loss, crisis and trauma, and in addition for modification of behavioural issues/disorders such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism or pervasive developmental disorders. Play therapy can also assist with educational, social, developmental, physical and learning disabilities, as well as conduct disorders. Research supports the effectiveness of play therapy with children experiencing a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and learning issues including: children whose presenting concerns are related to life stressors, such as divorce/family breakdown, grief and loss, hospitalisation, chronic illness, abuse, domestic/family violence, natural disaster, relocation (e.g. refugees) and trauma . Play Therapy does not aim to change the experience however offers children/adolescents the opportunity to process and assimilate their understanding of issues.

Additional Therapy Focus Areas:
*Attachment Issues *Communication difficulties* Delayed language, *Child parent relationships/Parenting skills *Emotional distress *Gender Identity Issues*Play Development *Self esteem issues *Separation Anxiety *Social adjustment/integration issues*Social skills

Benefits of Play Therapy & Holistic Counselling:
  • Creates or enhances healthy bonding and attachment in relationships
  • Develops a sense of trust in self and others
  • Fosters empathy and respect for thoughts and feelings of others.
  • Assists in identifiying, developing and implementing positive behavior management strategies
  • Reduces anxiety associated with traumatic events in the child's life
  • Improves ability to communicate effectively
  • Facilitates conflict resolution and problem solving skills
  • Promotes appropriate behaviours whilst encouraging self confidence, self worth and a sense of competence

Length of therapy

Each counselling session usually lasts 50 minutes. Research suggests that it takes from 12-20 sessions to resolve the problems of the typical child referred for treatment however this is determined by the needs and circumstances of each child. Some children may show improvement in a short-term period, whilst more complex issues may take longer to resolve. During a child’s counselling sessions, behaviour may appear to become worse initially before improvement becomes evident. Any concerns may be discussed with the therapist/counsellor.

Parents Role

Parents/carers play an important role in the process of their children’s counselling sessions, where support and encouragement assists in enhancing the child’s work. The counsellor meets regularly with parents/carers and discusses ideas and observations. Parent feedback is important in conveying any observable changes to the counsellor about the child’s home life. Anne is able to then translate the child's play for the parents and provide age appropriate suggestions which will support the child's therapy within their home environment.

"I trust in the power of play to connect mind body and spirit to enhance a child’s wellbeing and facilitate their healing journey” Anne Muscatello

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