​Providing quality 
Play Therapy  & 

Animal Assisted Therapy 
treatment, training,

supervision and consultation

Services offered:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Consultation
  • Training

Fees: $150-$175

ages served: 5+

 Play Is Powerful! strives to provide quality play therapy and Animal Assisted Therapy treatmenttraining, supervision and consultation.  

Jodi Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California, a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and a Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist™. She received her Bachelors of Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California. She has been working with children, teenagers and their families, in various capacities, for over 25 years. She has worked extensively with families in a wide variety of settings including residential treatment centers, hospitals, and schools and was an adjunct assistant professor for the USC School of Social Work for over 10 years. Jodi worked in community mental health as a clinician at first, and then as a director, overseeing various programs, working in program development and leading a well respected intern program. Currently, she is focused on her private practice, Play Is Powerful!, in Claremont, California. Jodi and her canines, Daltrey and Daenerys specialize in providing play therapy, animal assisted therapy  and Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ to children, teenagers and families. Additionally, Jodi provides supervision and consultation to individuals and organizations.

Jodi’s passion for play therapy expands beyond her clinical work, supervision, and training roles and informs all aspects of her career, including her management and leadership style. She has several original play therapy techniques featured in Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques (Lowenstein, 2008). She is a frequent workshop presenter on the topic of play therapy. Jodi has been involved in various leadership positions with the California Association for Play Therapy in the past and continues to be an active member. In 2005, Jodi had the privilege of participating in a joint relief effort between the Association for Play Therapy and Operation USA in providing direct intervention and training to tsunami survivors and care providers in Sri Lanka. In 2020, Jodi and Daltrey were featured in James Redford’s documentary film, “Playing for Keeps”, which examines the importance of play and downtime on health for people of all ages.

Jodi has two Australian Labradoodles, Daltrey and Daenerys (AKA Dani) who work with her She is certified in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ through the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ (IIAAPT), and Daltrey and Daenerys are both approved AAPT animals. Additionally, Jodi and Daltrey are a registered therapy team with Pet Partners and are Certified with HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response (AACR). Daltrey has volunteered at a local detention center, visited dementia facilities, eating disorder clinics, grief and loss camps, and a variety of other facilities and enjoys participates in de-stressing events at several California universities. In 2014 he participated in a research study by Dr. Aubrey Fine, incorporating dogs into clinical work with children with ADHD. Through their work with HOPE AACR they have deployed to multiple disasters, including fires, mudslides, school shootings and other crisis in California to provide comfort to first responders and those directly impacted by the traumatic events. Jodi also serves on the Mental Health Committee for HOPE AACR and is the Mental Health consultant for the PSW Region. Most recently, Daltrey and Jodi have joined the Riverside CalFire Peer Support program where they work directly with CalFire.

What is play therapy? The Association for Play Therapy (APT) defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development."​

​What is Animal Assisted Play Therapy:  Animal Assisted Play Therapy® is the integrated involvement of animals in the context of play therapy, in which appropriately-trained therapists and animals engage with child, family, and adult clients primarily in play interventions aimed at improving the client’s psychosocial health, while simultaneously ensuring the animal’s well-being and voluntary engagement in the process. Play and playfulness are essential ingredients of the interactions and the relationship. (VanFleet, 2013, 2015)