Melanie Gilbert-De Rios

Melanie Gilbert-De Rios

Play Therapy Tauranga
9 Brookfield Terrace

Phone: 021 0364644




  • Post Graduate Certificate in Child Centered Play Therapy.
  • Bachelor (Hons) Social Science.
  • Diploma in Social Work.
  • Approved Victim support counsellor.
  • ACC registered
  • Registration with SWRB
  • Member of the Association of Play Therapy. 
  • Member of New Zealand Association of Social Workers.
  • Member of the Bay of Plenty Therapy Foundation.

 About Melanie

I am a Child Centered Play Therapist and have over 20 years’ experience of working with children and families in the social services and health sectors.

I am originally from London, England and have also lived in the USA. For the past 17 years I have enjoyed living in Tauranga with my husband and raising our two teenage daughters with our dog Daisy.

Therapeutic Modalities

My area of expertise is in Children Centered Play Therapy.  I also have training in Family Therapy, Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dream Analysis, and Sand Tray Therapy which I incorporate into my work as appropriate.

Child Centered Play Therapy

birds fly, fish swim, children play”Dr  Gary Landreth

In the process of growing up most children can have trouble coping at some point. Difficulties your child experiences at home or school are often expressed in their behaviours or play. As a Play Therapist I am trained to work therapeutically with children through play, their natural mode of communication. Play Therapy allows Children to explore their thoughts, feelings and behavior’s and use their own inner resources to find better ways to express and cope with these. Play Therapy allows children to work at their own pace and developmental level, to reach their full potential for optimal healing, growth and development.

Depending on your child and family needs I may offer individual sessions for your child, sibling sessions or parent /child sessions as appropriate.

Children are part of families, and communities.  Through parent review sessions, we work together to understand what your child is communicating and how best to respond. Liaising with other professionals involved in your child’s life, can be part of our work together. This can help the support system around your child, gain a better understanding of your child’s needs and ways to support them to affect lasting Change.

I work with children and their families with: -

  • Parental separation/divorce
  • Bereavement within the family
  • Disability or illness (their own or within their family)
  • Changes to Family (sibling additions, blended families, foster care or adoption)
  • Family conflict and violence
  • Separation anxiety
  • Behavioral and social difficulties
  • Trauma
  • Physical, sexual or emotional Abuse and neglect.

Clinical supervision and professional development

 I have regular specialist supervision from consultants in both Child Centered Play Therapy and Family Therapy. I regularly attend training, and Play Therapy webinars, to ensure I keep up to date with therapeutic research and practice. I am currently participating in an international research project on the outcomes of child centered play therapy with NZ children.


I offer a confidential and supportive service to Families. Please call to discuss your child and family’s needs.

Bay of Plenty Therapy Foundation

PO Box 13624, Tauranga Central, Tauranga 3141    Email: