Donna Starling is a Registered Social Worker through the Ontario College of Social Workers, and a Certified Play Therapist through the Canadian Association for Play Therapy. Since graduating from McGill University with a Master's Degree in Social Work in 1997, Donna has been doing therapeutic work with children, adolescents and young adults in a variety of settings in Canada and the United States. While working in Detroit, Donna trained with Bill Steele of the Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. It was in the Detroit area that Donna was part of a Crisis Response Team and also worked with children and adolescents in a research program called The Opportunity Center within The Guidance Center. The Opportunity Center combined therapy with experiential interventions. The necessity of using play in therapy to connect with children and adolescents, and to further their abilities to truly communicate their emotions and experiences became obvious. Moving to the Guelph area, Donna completed her formal training as a Certified Play Therapist with CAPT, training with supervisors Lorie Walton and Greg Lubimiv. Donna is now a Certified Play Therapy Supervisor, training new play therapists.
Donna is also available as a guest speaker or for workshops. Please call or contact through the website for more information.
As a caregiver, your role as a partner in the therapeutic process is key. Depending upon the plan and goals established with you, you may join all sessions or some sessions so that work and goals may be continued in the home, using the attachment and connection you have with your child to assist in progress.
With adolescents and young adults, a plan is established with them, depending upon their wishes, to communicate with and involve family as needed, with health and safety being a priority.
For caregivers who are divorced, Donna will adhere to the rights of the caregiver(s) based on legal custody AND the rights of the child/adolescent to privacy. Donna does not get involved in issues of custody.