Sian & Tony

Clinical play therapist, Professional supervisor, Creative therapist, Consultant and Trainer, Parent educator, Yoga and Mindfulness teacher, Brain geek and Play and Creativity Advocate

Sian Chambers-Vallance is the CEO and manager of Building Better Brains. She is a passionate clinical play therapist, professional supervisor and creative therapist working in private practice and specialising in early trauma and attachment difficulties. She works with children and families in a systemic way and believes that brain based parenting and teacher education and support are key to helping this next generation of children thrive…… along with harnessing the power of play, of course!

Background and qualifications include degrees in Performing Arts and Psychology, Post Graduate Clinical Training Program in Child Centred Play Therapy,  Diplomas in Counselling, Mindfulness and Art Therapy, Certificate of Individual and Group Supervision,  Advanced Graduate Training in Clinical Child Centred Play Therapy, Certified provider of Autplay® Therapy, Cert is Positive Discipline Parenting, plus training in Somatic Experiencing®, Children’s Yoga, Porge’s safe and Sound Protocol, Sandtray Play Therapy, Dramatherapy, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Attachment, Neuroscience, Trauma in Children and Adolescents, Trauma informed practice, Parent Education, Peaceful/Playful Parenting and Theraplay®.

Sian has spent the last 20 years working with children and families (running creative arts connection programs: music, singing, children’s yoga and mindfulness, brain play sensory exploration, drama and art), using therapeutic music and movement with dementia clients and elderly groups, creating intergenerational music and creative arts programs in the community, and advancing her knowledge of trauma informed practice and interventions, neuroscience and the developing brain, and attachment play techniques (including Theraplay® for families).  Sian is a passionate advocate for play and creativity and is one of the trainers for Play Therapy Australia, presenting to mental health professionals on Interpersonal Neurobiology and the Power of Play nationally and internationally.  She was inspired to continue her father, Eric Bottomley’s (OAM) work, (from CERES and Sustainable Schools, Victoria), by helping make the world a better place through education, advocacy and empowerment.  Sian has also co-developed the Trauma Smart Classrooms Program with Tony Vallance to help make educators become more child centred, brain wise and trauma informed in their teaching practice.

Mental health professionals, educators and parents have the power to consciously evolve the human brain by providing social emotional brain and trauma education and support strategies to help the next generation build better brains.

Registered Counsellor, Secondary School Teacher, Australian Education Awards Teacher of the Year 2019, Victorian Excellence in Education Awards Finalist 2018, Drumbeat and Mindfulness Facilitator, Behaviour Support Specialist.

Tony Vallance is co-owner of Building Better Brains. Tony works in an extremely creative and client centered way encompassing multiple modalities such as Virtual Reality, LEGO, Sandtray, Narrative based, Strengths Based Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He helps school aged clients to level up their contemporary learning skills with STEMpathy training. As a musician, Tony also runs You Rock Therapy which involves clients learning basic drums and guitar and learning how to express and externalise via songwriting and recording. He also facilitates group work which leverages his passion and experience from fourteen years as a top educator. Tony also works with men and in particular dads whom he coaches and helps to develop their skills and coping with anxiety, anger and control issues. Tony is registered with the ACA and VIT.

Tony was a finalist for Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year– Victorian Excellence in Education Awards in 2018 and winner of Teacher of the Year for the Australian Education Awards, 2019. He is a learning Specialist with the Department of Education, created and runs STEAMWORKS at Lilydale High School (a 21st century skills focused department). Tony is also a Certified Senior Drumbeat Facilitator, Certified Google Educator, and Mindfulness in Schools Facilitator. He is currently working on a book for new teachers to build capacity for self-care, prevent burn out and is a passionate advocate for relationship-based teaching practices which have consistently yielded him top academic results from his senior students. Tony believes that trauma informed education is key to a thriving class and that school culture needs to change to one of student-centred learning and achievement. Maslow’s before Blooms! Connection before Correction!