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Jodie's Story

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I established Play Therapy with Jodie in November 2019.

After 20 years in education, I was ready for a new challenge.

During my time as Deputy Principal, I worked with many children with additional needs. These included autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and trauma. I knew the conventional ways of dealing with behaviour and meltdowns didn’t work. When children behave ‘badly’ or are difficult, it’s usually because something has triggered them. We need to know what that is so we can support them. As Deputy Principal, I would play with the kids sent to my office until they were ready to talk. My approach wasn’t always appreciated. But I knew it was the best way to work out what was happening with the child. I knew we needed greater support for children with additional needs. I knew we needed to find the cause of the behaviour. We need to fix the behaviour instead of giving consequences for the behaviour. It was my experience as a parent of a child with complex needs that introduced me to play therapy. I also realised I wanted more balance in my life so I could be there for my son. So, I took the leap and started studying play therapy. Play therapy is relatively new in South Australia. It’s a one-on-one approach to therapy that focuses on connecting with kids through what they do best. Play. Often when a child visits another therapist, it’s the parent answering the questions. That’s often because young children don’t know how to articulate their feelings or explain what’s causing those feelings. ​Launching Play Therapy with Jodie​ After 20 years in the education department, it was a big leap to start my business. I applied for leave. And I registered my business name and had it confirmed on my birthday. It’s been a lot of fun collecting toys and books and meeting new clients. ​I’m still adjusting to life without students and other teachers. But my husband, two boys, family and friends have been an enormous support. When I see the progress the children I’ve worked with have made at school and at home, I know I’m doing the right thing. As the business has grown, I've employed new therapists and we've moved into a bigger office in Tanunda, as well as expanding to the Clare Valley. I'm excited about giving more families in the Barossa and Clare a safe and supportive environment to help their children and re-build relationships.

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