change with
Small Steps

Sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming for children and their parents.

Many children struggle with big feelings. The demands within day to day life seem to grow year on year and more children are struggling with anxious thoughts and feelings. Some of these children might appear withdrawn and others display challenging behaviours, but all need a chance to express themselves and be heard.

Life is challenging for parents too. We are now parenting in a very different way from previous generations. It can sometimes be confusing to know how to set safe and fair boundaries, how to keep our attachment to our children strong in a technological world and how to encourage our children to have respect for themselves and others. 

It is quite normal for us to struggle from time to time.

How can Small Steps help?

A range of therapy approaches

  • for children on their own

  • for parents on their own 

  • for children and parents together.

Each package of support will be tailored to your individual needs.

Group Support

  • for parents and children together

Either in my private practice or a local venue.

Self Care packages

  • for Parents

  • for Play Therapists

Supervision to Play Therapists

  • in training

  • fully qualified

Schools and External Agencies

  • all the above services can be tailored to suit individual and group needs




Play and Creative Arts Therapy

Are you worried about your child? Are they struggling in their friendships or learning? Has your family been through a difficult time? 

Play therapy provides a safe and confidential place for children to work through their problems.


Parent Child Attachment Play

Are you tired? Feeling overwhelmed? Or just wanting a little support for you?

Most Parents and Carers need a little support from time to time. This programme will help you to put in boundaries, show your child that you understand them and bring the fun back into family life. 

Parent and Child

Heart 2 Heart

Are you wanting to connect with your child in a fun and friendly way?

This is a lovely relaxing 6 week programme that puts play and fun at the centre of family life. Learn to see your child positively and connect with them in a way that lets them know that you understand their needs.

Self Care

For Parents and Therapists

Are you struggling to find 'me' time? Are you feeling tired , anxious or stressed? 

Sometimes we forget that unless we care for ourselves we are unable to care for others. Self care packages of support are tailored to each individual, helping you to lead a more balanced and enjoyable life.

Therapists and Counsellors


Are you training to be a Play Therapist? Or are you a fully qualified Play Therapist or Counsellor? 

I can offer supervision to meet your training body's requirements. Each supervision session is tailored to meet your needs and creative supervision can be offered where appropriate. 

Schools and Other Agencies

Packages of Support

Are there children in your school that are not reaching their potential? Are there children who are withdrawn or acting out? Are there parents who have forgotten how to have fun with their child?

I can offer a range of support tailor made to meet your school's needs.



Play and Creative Arts Therapy

Adults tend to work through their problems by talking to a friend or professional. They have the words to describe their thoughts and feelings. But some children do not have these words. Play and Creative Arts therapy allows children to communicate through talk if they wish, but they can also express their thoughts and feelings through play.

Who can benefit

Any child aged 4-15 who is struggling with big feelings for whatever reason. 

Young carers, Looked after children and Foster children.

Children with specific difficulties

What to expect 

An initial 1 hour consultation

Weekly 40 minute session with an experienced Play Therapist

Usually for a minimum of 12 weeks

Waiting area for parents with tea and coffee



Parent Child Attachment Play

There are so many demands on children and parents in today's busy society, that

we sometimes struggle to keep the close bond between parent and child.

By putting the focus back on play and on having fun with your child, parents

and children can really enjoy being in one  another's company.

Who can benefit

Any parent or carer who wants to form a closer bond with their child.

What to expect 

An initial 1 hour consultation

Weekly 1 hour session for parent/s with an experienced Play Therapist

Usually for a minimum of 6 weeks

Follow up support through emails and phone calls


Parent and Child

Heart 2 Heart

In Heart to Heart sessions, parent and child connect with small activities,

building trust, understanding of one another and a real sense of fun.

Who can benefit

Any parent or carer who wants to form a closer bond with their child.

What to expect 

An initial 1 hour consultation - parent only

Weekly 1 hour session for parent and child with an experienced Play Therapist

Usually for a minimum of 6 weeks


Self Care

For Parents and Professionals

Self Care sessions are designed around you, for you. Taking time out to think about yourself and consider your own needs can be hugely beneficial in your relationships with children.

Who can benefit

Parents, Therapists, Teachers, those in Caring Professions

What to expect 

1 hour session with an experienced Play Therapist

Choose from one off individual sessions or group packages

                    Online Courses

Have you ever:

  • Felt tired or drained

  • Felt overwhelmed

  • Wanted to slow down the thoughts in your head

  • Wondered about your self worth

  • Wanted more hours in the day

If the answer to any of these is yes then check out these courses

Introduction to Self-Care
Self-Care for Therapists
Pink Blossom


Clinical Supervision

Supervision supports a supervisee by:

  • Providing a safe and confidential space in which client work can be explored.

  • Sharing in a journey of creative exploration, in which there is a sense of trust, respect, openness and potential for continual growth.

  • Encouraging, enabling and empowering the development of professional skills and self-care within the PTUK/PTI ethical framework.

What to expect 

  • Clinical supervision with an experienced Play Therapist

  • Trainees will need 1 hour of supervision to every 6 hours of clinical work

  • Trained Play Therapists will need a minimum of 1.5 hours per month

  • Further support via email and phone when required

  • Skype appointments can be arranged where necessary.


Schools and Outside Agencies

Packages of Support

All of the above support can also be offered to schools and outside agencies.

Who can benefit

Play Therapy - individual children 

Parent Child Attachment Play - individual parents

Heart to Heart - parent and child together

Heart to Heart groups - for children of a similar age with their parents

Self Care - for any staff with a therapeutic role within the school/outside agency

What to expect 

A tailored package to suit the schools needs

Sessions can either take place at my private practice or within school/outside agency

Sad girl.jpg

What is Play Therapy

In Play Therapy Children Learn:

  • to respect themselves

  • that their feelings are acceptable

  • to express their feelings responsibly

  • to assume responsibility for themselves

  • to be creative and resourceful in confronting problems

  • self control and self direction

  • to accept themselves

  • to make choices and to be responsible for their own choices

G. Landreth (2012) 


About Me

Debbie Shields


Since qualifying as a teacher I have always had an interest in those children with emotional, social or behavioural difficulties. I soon came to realise that there is no such thing as a naughty child, just one who isn't currently having their needs met or being understood.


Play and Creative Arts Therapy is a gentle way in which to encourage the child to find and to love themselves.


Supporting parents has been an added bonus. Helping a parent to look at their child with fresh eyes and to see that they have the skills that they need, is something very special and rewarding. 


Mathematics and Special Needs teacher in both Primary and Secondary schools.

Nurture group teacher at Outwoods Edge Primary School

Behaviour support Teacher for Leicestershire County Council

Play Therapy

Member of PTUK since 2011

Enhanced DBS 

Professional liability insurance

Regular Clinical Supervision


  • PG Diploma of Play Therapy, PTUK & Canterbury Christchurch University

  • PG Certificate of Therapeutic Play Skills, PTUK & Canterbury Christchurch University

  • PQ Certificate in Supervision

  • Parent Child Attachment Play Practitioner, Big Toes Little Toes

  • Heart to Heart Practitioner, Big Toes Little Toes

  • Bachelor's Degree, Mathematics and Psychology, Newcastle University


Contact Me

Debbie Shields

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