After more than 20 years in the early childhood education industry, Bundaberg woman Jasmine Jeffrey has opened a play therapy business to help support local children and families.
Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy was established in June this year and offers child counselling through play at a space within the Bundaberg YMCA.
Jasmine said opening the business had come after years of experience working with children.
“My passion for early childhood developed after finishing grade 12 with the need to gain employment outweighing the expectation of continuing on to university,” Jasmine said.
“After not knowing which direction I was going to take, I was offered a traineeship in a childcare service and this is where my interest in early childhood education and child development emerged.
“I truly believe our journey takes specific paths for a reason and my journey into Early Childhood was so that I can have a positive impact in children's lives.”
Jasmine said she had previously worked with children and young adults across many roles, from educator, director, teacher, manager and university teacher.
“During this time, I gained vast experience and obtained numerous qualifications including an Early Childhood Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Bachelor of Early Childhood Education,” she said.
“Being part of an ever-changing industry for a couple of decades has exposed me to different family dynamics, social structures, people with additional needs and an appreciation for how children's overall development can be obstructed through exposure to early trauma, fear, anxiety and unrest in their life.”
Jasmine said it was through her business Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy that these issues, feelings and experiences could be addressed.
She said play therapy enabled children to enter into a trusting therapeutic relationship to express, explore and make sense of their difficult and sometimes painful life experiences in a safe and supporting environment.
“Play therapy builds on the child’s inner resources and strengths, which are supported by the trusting therapeutic relationship to bring about developmental growth and healing in the child,” Jasmine said.
“It helps children develop confidence and positive self-esteem, find healthier ways of communicating and can promote resilience and coping, in ways that are appropriate to their age and developmental stage.”
Play therapy helps Bundaberg families
Jasmine said play therapy could often help with a range of issues or experiences a child may face, including parent separation and divorce, anxiety and depression, adoption, chronic illness, trauma, sleeping and eating issues and more.
She said through play therapy, children could ‘play out' literally their inner and real life experiences.
“Play therapy allows children to express, regulate, communicate, practice and master new skills as well as their emotional responses,” Jasmine said.
“Children use play as a natural form of communication and self-expression in everyday life and play is important for children's overall development.”
Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy Bundaberg offers group and individual sessions for children from two to 12 years old.
A Mindful Monday Club is also available which helps to develop mindfulness, emotional regulation skills and confidence.
Find out more about Connections Play Therapy and Consultancy here.
Other business stories: Witness beauty from above with Coastland Aviation