Play Therapy @ Medical Therapy Unit
Play Therapy has arrived to the Medical Therapy Unit -
Monash Medical Centre every Friday.
This service has been funded by the outstanding event
held last year from our friends - Mates
on a Mission.
Play is an
integral part of a child's life. From birth play helps children to learn, to
relate to others and to have fun. Play can enhance a child's development
physically, emotionally, intellectually and linguistically. When children or
adolescents are admitted to hospital they are at their most vulnerable. They
are separated from their friends, family and familiar surroundings which may
lead to increased stress.
can really make a difference. It allows children to express their concerns
whilst in hospital. Play Therapy facilitates an understanding of the hospital experience and educate patients in
adapting coping strategies to assist them with this.
Welcome to Play Therapy at the
Medical Therapy Unit
you see Play Therapists encouraging children who are old enough to use
breathing/blowing as method for assisting with injections. When children are
able to blow something (a pin-wheel, a party blower, a balloon, bubbles) at the
point of needle insertion it assists with a muscle relaxation response for
easier needle access and also is a powerful distraction tool.
Therapy in hospital can:
Enhance the children's understanding of their
treatment and condition
Help children regain confidence and self esteem
Provide a safe outlet for feelings of frustration and
Serve as a diversion to keep child's mind off pain and
Introduction of the Play Therapist:
· Jodi: Commenced training in child development with a Diploma
in Children's Services and then followed on with a Bachelor of Early Childhood
Development and Education She is currently studying part time doing a
Diploma in Allied Health services. Jodi has worked as a kindergarten teacher in
both 3 and 4 year old groups over the past
4 years. She enjoys floristry
(has a qualification in this too), photography, camping and loves animals. She is passionate about her work with
children and is keen to work with and
assist children in a health setting.
Paula Matthews-Rogers: Head of Educational Play Therapy
& Creative Arts Therapy.
While studying a Bachelor of Arts Degree, I worked part time
as Kindergarten Assistant. I developed an interest in working with children and
then completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. I worked as a kindergarten teacher for a
number of years teaching both 3 and 4 year old groups. I then worked part time
kindergarten teaching and part time lecturing in Early Childhood Development.
Following this I worked for a number of years in a Multi
-Cultural Early Childhood centre, which I think was one of my most
enjoyable and rewarding roles and at the
same time did part time contract work in Early Childhood in-service training.
I have had some wonderful opportunities and so then worked
on a research team for indigenous education in Early Childhood. I also taught kindergarten part time, as
being in the 'company of children' has always been my favourite thing.
I then did a psychology degree part time and worked as a
kindergarten teacher again. I have worked in both inner city and rural
kindergartens and just loved each experience.
In 2008 I commenced employment at Monash Children's Hospital
as Head of Educational Play Therapy & Creative Arts Therapy. This has been another amazing opportunity for
me and I continue to enjoy my work with children in a different role.