Here to Help you Thrive

Welcome to CoRe Counselling Melbourne.

We specialise in:

Childrens Counselling and Play Therapy

Specialising in children and adolescents between the ages of 2 to 13

Animal Assisted Therapy

Building a bond with an animal through interaction and play

Parental Coaching and Support

We provide a range of counselling services to parents and families

Training and Supervision

Clinical supervision, training and seminars on request

How We Can Help You

We create a comfortable, safe environment, where we work together with our clients to achieve defined goals
Childrens Counselling and Play Therapy

Childrens Counselling and Play Therapy

Play Therapy is to children, what talk therapy is to adults.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy

A therapeutic treatment based upon building a bond with an animal through interaction and play.  

Parent Effectiveness Training

Parent Effectiveness Training

Offers proven communication skills that work with a tangible framework to help parents stay on course.

Positive Parenting Program

Positive Parenting Program

Triple P is a parenting program that presents like a toolbox of ideas.

Filial Therapy

Filial Therapy

Provides parents with training in simple Play Therapy techniques they can use with their own children. 

Donna Lai

Donna Lai

Principal Clinician

I’m passionate about providing practical and creative strategies to help children, young people and parents alike.

After over 25 years of providing counselling to families and children within schools and The Childrens Hospital at Westmead, Sydney (previously the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children), I’m now pleased to offer private sessions in the CoRe rooms in Melbourne.

I counsel from a child centred play therapeutic approach and have three very special dogs – Pebbles, Coco and Cookie – trained for Animal Assisted Therapeutic work.

Within an emotionally safe space, I help my clients re-author their narratives in a way that meets their hopes and dreams for their future.

Please feel free to reach out for a free 15 minute consultation over the phone or send me an email via the link below.


Please feel free to call for a free 15 minute consultation


Donna is warm and engaging.  She has a wonderful ability to correlate her dogs’ behaviours and personalities with the students she works with. By doing this she is able to help her students make strong and lasting connections with her therapeutic process. The positive outcomes Donna has made in the lives of the young people she works with is remarkable.

Sarah Macdonald - Director, Canine Comprehension

When my children were young I was living abroad, with no family support and few friends with children.  I enrolled in Donna’s Parent Effectiveness Training course and it was an absolute delight!.  Not only did she bring together parents from diverse cultures and backgrounds but we were also mothers of children of all ages - from babies to almost adult teens. With such cultural diversity, not everyone’s parenting practices were the same yet there was never any judgement - we all learnt from each other but at all times were gently guided and directed by Donna in an inclusive, respectful way.  We all benefited from the material covered and from being in the group environment.

One of the things that impressed me most about Donna during the course was her calmness, her ability to create a space for everyone even though we were at times a rowdy bunch.    And also how we were never told what to do - the solution evolved through discussions and became what was right for each of us, regardless of the age and stage of our children, or our cultural differences.  That takes a real connection to people, and an understanding of her own material and how to apply it appropriately in individual cases.

I highly recommend Donna as a parent counsellor for anyone - because I have not only found her to be a great support to me but also seen in this group setting how she deals with others.  Calm, culturally sensitive, extremely knowledgable and adaptable as the case may require.

Marcia Ward

Donna’s play therapy and animal assisted therapy work has been instrumental in developing an understanding of the underlying issues of our disengaged refugee students.  Her expertise has also been welcomed by wellbeing staff and teaching staff who need insight in engaging and developing strategies to meet the needs of our highly challenging students

Ivan Araujo - Dandenong West Primary School Wellbeing Youth Worker

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