Petra Vrkljan

Child and family therapist, educator, supervisor

Certified Clinical Supervisor (Leeds Beckett University, England)

Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy (Canterbury Christ Church University, England)

BSc. Psychology (Oxford Brooks University, England)

Certified Play Therapist (Play Therapy International)

Founder and Director of ‘Play Therapy Centre Damara’ since 2013

I was born in Northampton, central England, in 1976 to a British mother and Croatian father.  I grew up in Zagreb, Croatia until returning to England in 1991., where I completed my high-school education. Led by a deep interest and a need for a greater understanding of my own and others psychological makeup and functioning, relationships and family dynamics, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and French at Oxford Brooks University in 2001. From 2003, I worked at a mental after-care facility for adult men in London, where I discovered the therapeutic effects of using creative-expressive art modalities in working with patients, to help alleviate their emotional and behavioural difficulties.

In 2006, upon returning to Zagreb, I started working with children, initially through organising and running creative workshops at a non-government organisation “Sunce”, and later in working with children with learning difficulties at the American International School of Zagreb.

In 2014, I received my diploma in practice-based Play Therapy with Play Therapy UK (PTUK) and the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC) in England. That same year I opened my private practice Play Therapy Centre “Damara” in Zagreb, where I worked with children aged 3 to 12 years and their parents / caregivers through the modality of play therapy. Invited by schools, who were seeing an improvement in their students’ emotional, behavioural and social wellbeing as a result of play therapy, I created and started running trainings for teachers on implementing therapeutic techniques in the classroom.

In 2022 I become certified as a Clinical Supervisor for play and creative arts therapists with PTUK and APAC. I supervise therapists online and face to face in Croatia and the UK. After over 10 years of working with children through the modality of play therapy, I am passionate in creating a safe and supportive space for the development of other therapists through supervision.