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Meet the Therapy Pro Toowoomba Therapists

Jodie Dobson, paediatric occupational therapist

Jodie Dobson returned to her hometown of Toowoomba as Therapy Pro’s first specialist paediatric occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists are daily life specialists, supporting clients to ‘do’ more independently.

Jodie works specifically with children, helping them to develop their daily living tasks including dressing, toileting, bathing, exploring, eating, sitting, sleeping, going to school, making friends and playing.

“I love occupational therapy because it is about the everyday—helping individuals achieve more of the things they must do, need to do and want to do,” Jodie says.

“I help children build foundation skills for their daily activities.

“Play is up there as a need and a want because it’s through play that children learn so much about the world, other people and themselves.”

While Jodie is experienced in assessing and tailoring interventions for children who present with developmental delays and children who have physical or intellectual disabilities, her expertise is working children who have autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing difficulties and their families.

She understands that the world as she sees it is not the same for her young clients—it can be too loud, too cold, too prickly, too…much. Jodie helps families to understand their children and helps her young clients cope better with their challenges so that they can take part in activities to the best of their abilities.

Jodie gained her post-graduate certification in sensory integration from Ulster University while working in the United Kingdom, supporting children within the home and classroom.

She’s a University of Queensland graduate, glad to be ‘home’ on the Darling Downs.

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Sharyn McCarthy, social worker

When Sharyn McCarthy made a mid-40s career change to become a social worker , she formalised a role she had been fulfilling for decades as a supporter and enabler .

The Therapy Pro social worker supports children and adults overcome personal difficulties and structural barriers so that they experience inclusion, involvement and independence in home, school, work and community life.

Once an early childhood teacher, Sharyn has established a long history in the community sector across the Darling Downs and south-west Queensland. She has worked for Queensland Health and Disability Services Queensland too.

 

Sharyn was one of the first refugee and migrant workers in Toowoomba supporting early Sudanese refugees and has fought for the inclusion of children with disabilities, or from Indigenous or non-English speaking backgrounds, into early childhood services.

Sharyn uses strength-based interventions to help adults, children and families recognise and build on their existing—and valuable—competencies and accomplishments.

“Sometimes we can be so drenched in our ‘problems’—what’s wrong with us—that we can’t see our strengths and possibilities.”

Sharyn also uses guided interactive play to young children with disabilities express themselves.

The sign of a job well done, Sharyn says, is when a client moves on with confidence, and forgets her.

“When I do something well, it cannot be seen. It will be as though I wasn’t there. That, for me, is the best outcome.”

Sharyn gained her Masters in Social Work in 2014.

And as for coffee, Sharyn likes hers, piccolo. A splash of milk at home will do.

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Bethany Hooper, occupational therapist

It’s fortunate that Therapy Pro’s occupational therapist Bethany Hooper thrives on variety: in her line of work, every day and every client’s needs are different.

Bethany has experience working with adults of working age, older adults in residential aged care or in supported living environments, and children diagnosed with disabilities. Her work with children has included supporting their learning and social skills.

Bethany honed her professional expertise working in a small rural community as an occupational therapist, supporting clients across a broad range of areas to improve daily living functions through assessment and carefully tailored interventions.

Areas covered included assisting clients with reaching developmental milestones, assisting with sensory processing, functional mobility, self-care activities, work/leisure activities, and community access.

Bethany also enjoys helping clients with aids, equipment and minor home modifications.

Persistent pain management is an area of particular interest. Bethany can offer clients active pain management strategies, including activity grading and pacing to complement clients’ existing pain management plan and assist them to engage in activities they find meaningful.

“I am in awe of the will people have to keep on keeping on, learning how they live, how they cope and strategies they come up with to get by. To enable clients to do better than ‘get by’ is a privilege.”

Bethany grew up in Toowoomba and is a graduate of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

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Anne Newsome, Occupational Therapist

Anne Newsome, occupational therapist

Anne Newsome has worked as a community-based occupational therapist for the past 27 years.

In joining Therapy Pro’s Toowoomba team, Anne has found what she calls “the golden nugget” to make a difference in the lives of clients of all ages.

Anne uses both her experience in life and as a clinician to enable clients to lead meaningful lives and become as independent as possible within the bounds of their ability.

Anne grew up in UK, raised a family in Rockhampton and moved to Toowoomba to commence her new job opportunity with Therapy Pro.

Anne assists clients to achieve activity of daily living goals, by undertaking comprehensive assessments of current level of function, addressed by specific therapy interventions to maximise independence.

“I am thrilled to be working for Therapy Pro. This is an organisation that walks the talk, and provides its therapists with the same “wrap-around” support and values that we are then able to pass onto our clients”.

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Fiona McColl, clinical social worker

Fiona McColl, clinical social worker

No family is perfect. All have challenges, issues or problems.

Therapy Pro Ipswich clinical social worker Fiona McColl loves jigsaws, cryptic crosswords and unravelling complex life dynamics.

Fiona is a rare bird in Australia: a clinical social worker, trained in psychology, sociology, social work and clinical therapy. She has experience working with disability, child protection, mental health and domestic violence and a long-standing interest in trauma, adult and child attachment and family-relatedness.

She can work with you for behavioural support and advice, including Positive Behaviour Support Plans, and can provide individual and family counselling.

Fiona comes to you and she’s also tech-savvy, able to support you via telephone, email or Skype. That’s a Therapy Pro difference of convenience.

“What if you didn’t need to continue to feel like you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? What if you didn’t need to do it alone? Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. Don’t be afraid to reach out!”

Fiona unravels complex situations, looking at where she can make a difference one-on-one with you as an individual, within a family as well as society and systems more broadly.

And yes, Fiona does have an accent. It’s Canadian, not American.

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Man Yan “Minty” Ma, speech and language pathologist

Toowoomba-based Minty Ma admits she is a bit of linguistics and language nerd — an interest that definitely comes in handy as a speech and language pathologist with Therapy Pro.

Always interested in both language and medicine, Minty now combines the two to help clients with speech, communication and swallowing difficulties around Toowoomba and beyond.

Minty assists with speech, language, swallowing, voice and multimodal communication assessments and interventions.

“I feel the main part of my role is to give people empowerment and the ability to make their own choices. With some clients it is teaching them new skills and for others it is helping them to regain the skills they have lost, through accident or injury.”

Minty is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English.

How did she get the name Minty? When her Chinese birth name Man Yan proved too much of a mouthful for her young school friends to pronounce, she was dubbed Minty and the nickname has stuck. Sweet!

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Maree Kasberger, psychologist

Psychologist Maree Kasberger joins Therapy Pro with a track record to support her belief in achieving positive change in clients’ lives.

Maree can help Therapy Pro clients with psychological assessments and interventions, behavioural support and advice including writing and developing Positive Behaviour Support Plans, individual and family counselling and psychometric assessments.

She brings more than a decade’s experience working with individuals who have physical injury, mental illness, chronic illness or addictions as part of employment services, workplace employee assistance and occupational rehabilitation programs.

Maree has particular expertise in work assessments and job-readiness skills acquisition, as well as stress management techniques.

“Confidence, self-esteem and motivation are all facets of life I enjoy exploring with clients – and growing.”

Based in Brisbane, Maree holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Counselling from Australian Catholic University.

As a crafter in her spare time, Maree  gets immense pleasure in turning fabrics, yarns and threads into items that stand out for their uniqueness. It’s a passion reflected in her professional life too, helping individuals see their uniqueness positively.

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NDIS Therapy Services

Therapy Pro is a registered NDIS provider of therapy services. Find out about our client-centred approach to help you achieve your goals.

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Therapy for Children

Getting the right supports to children at the right time can make all the difference. Here’s where you start.

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Join Our Team

If you’re a therapist who is passionate about their work and keen to make a difference, we really need to talk about you joining our team!

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