Therapists

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Elen / Director, Occupational Therapist

Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist

Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist


Elen Nathan is a NZ registered Occupational Therapist in Napier and is currently studying post-grad in Ayres Sensory Integration. She has 20 years experience working with children and adults who have  diverse needs. Elen has specialised in Autism Spectrum Disorder which has led her to work in peak body organisations including Autism New Zealand, The National Autistic Society (UK) and Autism Victoria (AUS).


Elen is passionate about working with neuro-diverse children to build their self esteem and self worth through understanding themselves better, the intrinsic strengths they have, and the gifts they have to offer the world.  


Elen is the Mum of 2 busy young boys who have taught her that often children come with their own plan and need an understanding team in their corner coaching them through life's challenges. 

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Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist

Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist

Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist


Richard Nathan is an NZ registered Occupational Therapist with 20 years experience in the adult health and disability sector in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. 


Richard is a busy father of 2 young boys and understands the transition to fatherhood can be transformative with both challenges and rewards. 


Richard has worked in both health practitioner roles and senior management roles for national and local agencies and enjoys applying a practical strengths based approach to his work

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Stacey / Educational Psychologist

Richard / Consultant, Occupational Therapist

Stacey / Educational Psychologist


Stacey Baxter is a registered Educational Psychologist from Napier. 


Educational Psychologists apply psychological knowledge and theory to understand and support children and young people’s learning and development. Stacey has more than 7 years’ experience working with a diverse range of children and young people, as well as their families and teachers, first as a teacher herself then as a Psychologist for the Ministry of Education. Stacey loves all things LEGO and is trained to deliver LEGO-based therapy with individuals and in small groups. 


Stacey is incredibly passionate about supporting children/young people's emotional and social development and well-being, through inclusive and accessible practice, and brings this passion into all aspects of her work.

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Recommendation - Mum of 3 Year Old

Recommendation - Mum of 10 Year Old

Stacey / Educational Psychologist

“From the first phone conversation Elen was incredibly helpful & generous with her time & knowledge. 

She was the first person who listened and understood my perspective in the midst of our family struggling with our child’s sensory difficulties. I’d tried various avenues to access help to no avail. She offered clarity & a practical way forward, which has been invaluable to us as a family. 

I couldn’t put a price on the positive effect Elen’s support has had on us all: stress levels are down, confidence is up & we are able to get on with life in a calmer, happier way.

Appointments are a highlight of our child’s week; she has a lot of trust in Elen & has the best time during their sessions. 

I highly recommend Elen as a dedicated & passionate therapist who always has your child’s individual needs at the forefront of her work.”

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Recommendation - Mum of 10 Year Old

Recommendation - Mum of 10 Year Old

Recommendation - Mum of 10 Year Old

" I highly recommend Elen from the Playful Place. The changes we have seen in our 10 year old son since working with Elen for the past year have been immense. She has taught him many tools and strategies for coping in the aspects of his life he finds particularly hard, such as social situations. 

We have had teachers, family, and friends  also comment on the huge change they have seen in our son in the past year since attending the Playful place.

Elen has been a rock for our son, having someone in his life that completely understands his way of thinking. We are hugely appreciative of everything Elen has done for our son but also our family."