MSc Play Therapy graduate Simone Panas is a Therapist at Stepping Stone Child Therapy Consultants in Cardiff and manages the Play Therapy Training Clinic, where current Trainee Play Therapists can complete their clinical placements. She also works as a School Project Manager, managing volunteer counsellors and working with clients within a mainstream school.
Describe what you do
I facilitate Play Therapy, Therapeutic Life Story Work, Parent/Carer Consultation Sessions, Group Therapy Sessions and I co-work Attachment Therapy and Assessment Sessions. I work with a team of therapists, including Play Therapists, Art Therapists, Theraplay Level 1 and 2 Trained Therapists and Therapeutic Play Specialists.
Why did you want to work in this field?
My career began working in education settings, however it soon became clear to me that I wanted to work more closely with children and young people and help them in a way that could not be addressed through the national curriculum.
I knew I wanted to do something therapy or counselling-related and after some searching I discovered the MSc Play Therapy course. Reading about Play Therapy, the career opportunities and the university course and module descriptions I knew straight away that this was the right path for me.
What do you enjoy about it?
I really enjoy working closely with children and young people who are looking for an outlet and a way to express what they are experiencing or have experienced internally. Working therapeutically with children and their families is hugely rewarding as you are in a privileged position to support the individuals through their experiences and witness first hand as they express, process and overcome their difficult life experiences.
Describe the features of play therapy being used in your job
Whether I am working one-to-one with a client in Play Therapy, supporting adolescents and young people therapeutically or working with parents and carers, I am able to use the skills I learnt whilst training alongside my innate traits to listen, reflect and support each individual.
What opportunities were opened to you as a result of gaining the MSc Play Therapy?
Through my MSc qualification I was able to gain employment as a Play Therapist, which has then allowed me to work with different client groups using a range of therapeutic interventions. I work therapeutically with a range of clients including children who are adopted or in foster care, children who have experienced trauma (one-off trauma or prolonged early life trauma), children who have experienced loss or separation, and children with challenging behaviour.
Best thing about the course
Undertaking the MSc Play Therapy course provided me with an array of opportunities that I may not have been offered elsewhere. I have met some wonderful people along the way and have made life-long connections, friends and contacts who have supported me in different ways throughout the years. I would recommend the course to anyone who is looking for an exciting and creative career path; to people who feel passionate about making a difference in the lives of children, young people and families; to individuals who are naturally playful and are able to communicate with children in a variety of ways.