I have been working with children and their families for over twenty years. A qualified primary school teacher and educational psychologist, I am passionate about the social and emotional development of children, and I’m privileged to be a part of many discussions and thoughtful moments with children, parents and educators. I aim to be a bridge between children and adults, so that children’s needs and thoughts can be voiced in a thoughtful, respectful and considered way. I like to encourage careful listening, wide wondering, and deep reflection among the children, adolescents and adults I work with.
Over the years I have worked in a wide variety of educational settings, as well as running my own private practice. My practice includes play therapy with toddlers and young children, individual psychotherapy with children and adolescents, psycho-educational assessments and parental counselling. In addition, I run small groups that teach children my 20 different assertiveness skills based on my book The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids. I enjoy working with children in various school settings presenting my different Social and Emotional Learning modules and psychoeducational programmes. I also give informative talks to parents and teachers. As a result, I have a very good, up-to-date understanding of children’s development and the many challenges they face growing up. I like to share this knowledge in a practical, skills-based manner, so that it is helpful and relevant to children, adolescents, parents and educators.
My greatest source of personal and professional inspiration, challenge and joy is raising my two delightful children, Matthew and Rachel, alongside my loving husband David.
“What a great idea! We sorely need therapeutic material aimed specifically at children, especially in South Africa, and this manual is an invaluable resource for young victims of bullying. Moreover, the assertiveness tools presented in this book will be useful for the social development of any child.”Dr Brendan BelshamChild Psychiatrist and author of What's the fuss about ADHD?
“Jo Hamilton's book is as useful, quick and accessible as it professes to be. I love the analogy of equipping children with a toolbox to fix tricky situations.”Nikki BushCreative Parenting Expert, speaker and best-selling author of Future-Proof Your Child
“I particularly liked the chapter written for bystanders – we are all responsible for standing up and speaking out when we witness wrongdoing and meanness.”Dr Nicola DugmoreEducational Psychologist
“Bullying is an international phenomenon of endemic proportions and must be uncompromisingly addressed in every school from the top down. No professional who works with children and adolescents can afford to ignore this Toolbox for practical techniques and sound advice.”Professor Andre VenterDevelopmental Paediatrician & Head of Department, Paediatrics, University of the Free State
“Children will appreciate Jo’s open and casual style, a delightful approach that makes a very serious and sometimes hard issue accessible, and even fun to grapple with.”Dr Helen DooleyEducational Psychologist and co-author of The Adolescent Storm and How Children Experience Trauma and How Parents Can Help Them Cope
“Her parental tips are most useful, in particular the section on cyberbullying. This is a must read for all parents and educators.”Sister Ann RichardsonSpecialist Nurse Practitioner
Author of Baby Sense, Sleep Sense and Toddler Sense.
“I wish I had had this book when my eldest daughter had problems being assertive at school!”Tina OtteRegistered nurse and midwife, childbirth educator and author of Tina Otte’s Pregnancy and Birth Book
“With bullying and aggressive behaviour being an ever present and worsening phenomenon in our children’s lives, this toolbox is a very useful and practical collection of strategies that parents and children will find very helpful, and applicable in daily life.”Dr Linda KellyChild Psychiatrist
“The book includes helpful sections on the role of the bystander in a bullying situation, and on cyberbullying. I heartily recommend this resource!”Dr Brendan BelshamChild Psychiatrist and author of What's the fuss about ADHD?
“Most compelling about The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids is that this is an accessible manual for children and their parents that will help them to become empowered and learn skills that are needed, not only in times of adversity, but also to set them on a path of being assertive in the best possible way, as a life skill.”Professor Andre VenterDevelopmental Paediatrician & Head of Department, Paediatrics, University of the Free State
“I really look forward to recommending this extremely helpful, hands-on toolbox to the children that I see who have almost given up on ever learning to cope with mean people. With the help of this book, these children will feel free again in their world.”Dr Helen DooleyEducational Psychologist and co-author of The Adolescent Storm and How Children Experience Trauma and How Parents Can Help Them Cope
“This insightful and comprehensive toolkit can be implemented from the toddler years onwards.”Sister Ann RichardsonSpecialist Nurse Practitioner
Author of Baby Sense, Sleep Sense and Toddler Sense.