REGISTERED SOCIAL WORKER
After the rain comes the rainbow!
Jessica Donovan is a child therapist in Calgary
who uses her playful, quirky, adventurous Superpowers
to help children and families
who are going through difficult times
to believe in themselves, heal, and feel better.
Jessica’s Superhero Story
Before your first session, you can share this story
with your child. You can also scroll below
to read about Jessica’s child therapist
expertise and experience
in her professional bio.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Jessica, who loved adventures. This is her Superpower adventure story (it’s about finding your own strengths and those of helping friends) and she wants to share it with you.
When this story starts, Jessica was little—about five. She had little five-year-old legs and little five-year-old feet to match. (It would be odd if they were any bigger, don’t you think?)
Jessica loved to read picture books and watch cartoons about adventures.
But in her heart she felt “Big Feelings” that held her back. Jessica was scared and worried about going on her own adventures. She did not think that with her little feet and little legs, she could walk very far. Plus, she was scared of what scary animals she might see. What if she saw a bee or even a bear? And what if it started to rain?
Until one day, she decided to go for it.
“At least I can try,” she thought to herself. (That was a helpful thought!)
Jessica decided to go on a small adventure, to start. (Starting small can also be a helpful idea.) Her first adventure could be exploring her grandmother’s garden. She asked for permission, and Granny said yes, she could go outside and play.
Granny’s garden was big as gardens go. It had strawberry bushes, lots of trees, and a veggie garden. A great place for a child-sized adventure!
Jessica loved strawberries. She wondered where she might find some strawberry bushes. Just then, a little bird perched right on her head.
“Don’t be scared, little girl,” the bird said. Then he politely asked her: “I need a place to rest. I don’t have a bed; is it okay if I rest on your head?“
“Yes, that’s okay,” Jessica said. “Little bird, do you know where I can find some strawberries? I would like to bring some home for my Granny, to share.”
“Sure, strawberries are this way,” said the bird. He flew close by to show her where.
“Thank you, little bird,” she said to her helpful new friend.
She picked some strawberries and saved a few to take home as well.
Jessica kept exploring, growing braver with every step.
Well, she was growing braver, but she was still little. (This all happened in one day, not ten years. Small steps, remember?)
After a while, her little legs got tired of walking so far.
“My little feet are so hot and tired,” she thought. “How I wish I had some help.”
“It’s cooler over here,“ whispered a tall eucalyptus tree. It swayed its gentle leaves with a cooling fresh breeze. She stood underneath the eucalyptus tree and its helpful shade.
“Thank you, tree,“ she said.
“I am always happy to help a friend,“ replied the tree. “That’s what friends do. If you need help, it’s okay to ask.”
At that moment, Jessica’s heart knew that the garden was full of helpful friends. “It would be so much fun to grow a garden,” she thought. “Maybe I could learn how from a friend.”
Suddenly, from the eucalyptus tree leaves, she heard a crunching, munching sound.
What could it be?
It was a kind koala, eating eucalyptus leaves!
“Hi Jessica”, the koala said. “My name is Koi, and I love gardening. I can teach you how. Together can grow a bigger, better garden!”
They talked as they walked to the veggie garden and became friends.
“Are you a bear?” Jessica asked Koi.
“Not really,” Koi said. “But everyone calls me Koala Bear. It’s sort of a nickname that stuck.”
When they reached the veggie garden, it was full of flowers and vegetable plants. Suddenly, Jessica saw a bee flying among the tomato flowers.
“You don’t need to be scared of me, Jessica,” said the bee. “I am Bernardette, a friendly little bee. I am helping this tomato plant to grow more tomatoes. It’s fun to help gardens grow, do you agree?”
Koi and Jessica agreed! The three worked in the garden until it started to rain. The rain felt fresh and cool on their faces. Jessica was not scared of the rain anymore because her kind koala friend explained that gardens need rain to grow.
Meet Koi, the kind koala!
Click to see what helps
plants grow strong and tall.
That was the day Jessica found her Superpowers!
After the rain, a rainbow shone brightly among the clouds. Jessica’s Granny was very proud of Jessica and loved her fresh strawberries.
Since then, Jessica was not worried about going on adventures anymore. She was not scared of walking far, of bees, or bears (at least, bears of the koala kind). It was not just her courage she found, but also new friends! That day she learned that when we feel scared, sometimes we all need a little help (and asking for help is okay).
What happened when Jessica grew up?
When Jessica grew up, she became a child therapist (also called a Feelings Helper) and learned about how to help kids, teens, and families grow, heal, and feel better. She knows, for example, that if little Jessica had not been scared at the start of this story, then she would not have known just how brave she really was and how strong she could grow. How many friends and how much fun she had (even with little legs and little feet) in just one day!
As a child therapist, Jessica helps kids to turn scary, tricky, “Big Feelings” into their strongest Superpower strengths.
When you visit Jessica in EmPOWERland at Kids Reconnect, she will love helping you explore your special Superpowers as you go on your own amazing adventures!
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
—A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Jessica’s Professional Bio
Jessica is a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Dalhousie University and a master’s degree in Social Work with a Clinical Specialization from the University of Calgary. Jessica brings to the Kids Reconnect team extensive non-profit experience supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and their families within Calgary’s education, youth justice, and child welfare systems.
From a young age, Jessica knew that she wanted to help children and families heal and feel better. As she began working with children experiencing mental health and behavioural issues, she recognized the impact of addressing the root causes of the challenges they were facing. This led her to pursue a master’s degree and channel her professional efforts to support and empower children, parents, and families experiencing systemic barriers such as poverty, homelessness, and adverse experiences, including childhood trauma.
A strong believer in early intervention, Jessica is passionate about working with kids and teens, helping them to grow into healthier adults and families for the future.
Jessica wholeheartedly appreciates the parents, children, adolescents, and families who allow her to be part of their story — and is excited to support your child‘s growing adventure in EmPOWERland at Kids Reconnect. She also helps parents and couples, as part of the couples counselling team at Couples Reconnect.
How can Jessica help kids and teens through counselling?
Even within the same family environment, every child experiences the world differently and faces different challenges. They also have different strengths. Jessica’s child counselling expertise helps kids to overcome their unique challenges.
What is the same in every child is a boundless capacity to heal, overcome, and grow. Everyone needs a little (or a lot) of help sometimes. That’s where Jessica’s expertise can spark a world of difference. Through child counselling and teen counselling, kids and teens can improve their self-esteem, strengthen their relationships, find and grow their own voice and skills (Superpowers!), and develop their capacity to manage “Big Feelings” that show up in their lives.