A woman smiles as she holds a toy cat stuffy. Headshot: Jacqueline Gattens, Registered Provisional Psychologist at Kids Reconnect

Jacqueline Gattens
MA, Psychology




  • Friendly

  • Smiling

  • Warm

  • Respectful

  • Playful
  • Gentle

  • Strong

  • Motivating

  • Collaborative

  • Soft-spoken

Jacqueline Gattens is a child therapist
who uses her kind, smiling, friendly Superpowers
to help Calgary kids grow their own
special kind of strengths and Superpower skills.

Jacqueline’s Superhero Story

Attention Parents
Before your first session, you can share this story
with your child. You can also scroll below to read about Jackie’s professional experience and expertise as a child therapist in her professional bio.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Jacqueline. She liked being called Jackie, so let’s call her Jackie, and you can call her Jackie, too. This is Jackie’s Superpower story (it’s about reaching out with a smile and making friends), so kids can get to know her playful side.

When Jackie was a little girl, she loved playing with her toys and with her two friendly cats at home. She played at home every day. Until one day, it was Jackie’s First Day of School. (The First Day of School is a big day for kids and can bring up big feelings. Teens and grown-ups also have big feeling days, like First Day at a New Job.)

Jackie’s First Day of School

That day, she found out she was shy. Not just a little bit shy, but really, really shy. She did not know anyone at school. Not one kid or a teacher.

One of the kids said hi to Jackie, and she opened her beautiful blue eyes wide. She blinked and tried to say “hello” back, but to her shock, no words came out. Suddenly, Jackie’s face felt warmer and warmer as she blushed a bright pink. A worried feeling showed up in her heart.

She worried about what to say. What if this kid did not like her, she thought. The worried feeling started to get bigger. What if nobody liked her? And bigger. If she did not make any friends, what would she do? Would she have nobody to play with at school? Her little heart felt shy and sad. These were big, heavy feelings for her little heart.

At recess, all the kids played together outside. Except Jackie.

A smiley surprise sparks Jackie’s Superpowers

Jackie felt scared and too shy to join in. She sat all alone on a bench under a tree and opened her pink lunch box. Inside was a sandwich—and a snacking surprise from her Mom: not one, but TWO chocolate chip cookies.!

The chocolate chips made a cute smiley face shape that was smiling at her. Seeing the chocolate smile made her feel better. She felt a little bit of hope.

Maybe I CAN make one friend today,” she thought. (That was a feel-better thought, and another feel-better thought followed.)

Having a kind friend to play with would be fun,” she thought. She smiled widely as these feel-better thoughts danced in her heart.

Just then, a cuddly cat with blue whiskers walked over to Jackie. It looked up and saw Jackie’s smile. Then it jumped, curled up on her lap, and fell asleep. Jackie had already made a friend! She ate her sandwich quietly so she would not wake the kitty cat. It was purring loudly (that’s how cats smile).

“What a friendly cat,” she thought. “Maybe when the cat saw my smile, it no longer felt shy. That’s how the cat knew I was being friendly and kind.”

On the box there’s a clue.
Click on the box to see who wants to say hi to you.

A new friend!

Just then, a girl ran across the schoolyard to Jackie. She was a little older than Jackie.

Right away, she smiled at Jackie and said: “Thank you for finding my cat! I have been looking everywhere.”

“Are you new at this school? What’s your name? I am Jenny,” she said. Without stopping for answers, Jenny went on. “Ooh, is that chocolate chip cookie smiling? I love that! Did your Mommy bake those for you? I love cookies, don’t you?”

“Yes, I love cookies too,” Jackie managed to say. “I have two, and I can share them with you. Would you like to have one?”

They both smiled as they enjoyed their chocolate chip cookies together. Jackie and Jenny became great friends. They played with the other kids at school and made more friends. They joined the swim team, and after school, they learned to bake cookies and pies. To this day, they sometimes still bake cookies together. They are still friends.

What Superpower did Jackie discover that day?

Smiling! Jackie learned that giving and receiving a kind smile feels good in your heart. She also learned that smiles and good feelings grow as we share them.

In her Superhero story, here’s how Jackie’s Superpowers grew

  • Jackie’s Mom smiled as she baked smiley cookies for Jackie.
  • The smiley cookie smiled at Jackie.
  • Jackie smiled at the lost cat.
  • The cat purred (that’s how cats smile).
  • When she heard the cat’s purrs, Jenny felt happy to find her cat.
  • Jenny smiled at Jackie as she said “thank you for finding my cat.”
  • Jackie smiled back at Jenny.
  • Giving and receiving friendly smiles helped grow Jackie’s friendly, brave heart. Her heart grew a little bit at a time until she was no longer shy.
  • That’s how Jackie discovered her Superpower smile. It was small at first. Day by day, the more Jackie smiled, the less shy she felt—and the friendlier, kinder, and braver she got.

Jackie can help you grow your own Superpowers, in your own Superhero story!

When she grew up, Jackie became a Registered Psychologist.

In EmPOWERland at Kids Reconnect, she loves helping kids explore and grow their Superpowers. When kids visit Jackie, they have lots of fun. Each time their hearts feel better, and their smiles grow to shine bright with delight. On your own feelings adventure with Jackie, what Superpowers would YOU like to grow?

Jacqueline’s Professional Bio

Jacqueline (Jackie) Gattens is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP). She holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University.

Spanning over a decade, Jacqueline’s experience in the mental health and social work fields includes counselling clients with depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and relational issues. She has ample experience supporting children’s mental health in various settings, including an inpatient child psychiatry unit, a wraparound centre for young mothers, and within the child protection system. Jackie has completed the Green Stream Foundations of Play Therapy through the Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute and is a member of the Canadian Association of Play Therapy.

Using attachment-based interventions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and psychoeducation, Jacqueline helps parents and adult clients to improve coping skills, process trauma, and work toward their preferred futures. Her public speaking and educator expertise includes facilitating presentations on attachment and infant mental health for colleagues and students, as well as parent education groups and skill-building groups for children.

Making your child’s Superpower-growing adventure sparkle

Jacqueline believes in a trauma-focused, strengths-based, client-centred approach that always meets parents, families, and children where they are—and where you and your child are, at this moment, is an exciting stage! At their young age, your child’s Superpower skills are in the seedling, foundational stage of astronomical potential. Your child’s relationship with you, as their parent, is forging the basis for all their future relationships. Jacqueline is excited to meet you and your child, helping you grow a securely attached parent-child connection as a Superhero parent to a Superhero child.

The sparkly —and most fun— part of child counselling is where Jacqueline’s professional experience and expertise as a Registered Psychologist shine brightest. Her warmth, creativity, and friendly child counselling sessions will make your Superpower skills growing adventure at Kids Reconnect a playful, joyous one—both for your child and you as a parent.

Did you know…
Jackie does EMDR therapy!

So what is EMDR?

Click here to explore and learn more.