Meet Chai’s Newest Case Manager, Yossi

Chai Lifeline Canada offers a myriad of services and programs to children and families living with illness. Case management is one on one personal support by a trained professional who is there to offer support to families in all areas. We’re lucky to have a wonderful case management team, with each member excelling in different areas. Our newest addition to the team, Yossi Turpin, is no different and is building relationships and making meaningful impacts after only a few months.

Yossi was familiar with Chai Lifeline, and decided to apply because he was curious about us, our core values attracted him and it looked like an amazing opportunity. In his previous work Yossi developed a passion for working with children, youth, and families “I’m so glad to be here with the experience I have that I can bring to some of these situations.” Yossi shares. Yossi’s background is specifically in children’s mental health as a child and youth counsellor, as well as a registered psychotherapist, for the last 30 years. Yossi has worked at residential children group homes, in different hospital settings and with community-based children’s mental health services. These work experiences gave him the opportunity to constantly develop his clinical skills and work in roles that child and youth workers don’t typically get to work in.

In the last 15 years, Yossi developed an interest and honed his skills in trauma and play therapy, incorporating the latter into every position he has held. Bringing it to Chai Lifeline Canada, Yossi  feels encouraged doing it here and appreciates that we see the value of it.

What exactly is play therapy? To know that, we need to look simply at what “play” is. Play is the language of children–it’s how they communicate and express themselves to the world. So, if a professional needs to engage children to better understand what they are going through, what better way to do so than through using their language, aka play? Within play therapy, there are different approaches a professional such as Yossi will use.

There is directive, in which specific activities and games are introduced, which help target different themes such as problem solving, anger management, etc.

Then there is non-directive, where clients get to lead the play. It helps clients develop trust and builds a safe space for those who may be weary at first. There is also sand tray therapy, which is when a tray of sand and a shelf of miniature figures are laid out for the client. They can then build a world inside the sand or can build a tray that explores specific situations that they themselves may be going through. According to Yossi, it can feel safer for them to explore the situation in a micro way on the tray versus outside the tray in their personal life. Then there is the PACE Model, which stands for playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy.

Play therapy uses these approaches to engage with someone, and the beauty is that parents can even use these approaches at home when playing with their children to better understand them. Overall, play is a great tool to use for looking at experiences because sometimes words can’t express what someone is going through.

When asked what he likes about working at Chai, Yossi shared that he enjoys:

  • The dedication that exists within the organization. Whether it be the people, programs or the fact that we are a grassroots organization, when something needs to be done, we do it.
  • The sense of commitment to clients. “To be able to stand by somebody and be a support is an outstanding opportunity,” shares Yossi. “It’s an honour to be so close with someone during a very difficult time and to offer support and ear to listen.”
  • The work itself—it’s special, it’s honest and it’s real.

Yossi has only been with us since December 2021, but the impact he has made with his kindness and play therapy program is already so powerful. He has big dreams for his future at Chai Lifeline Canada and we are excited for those dreams to be realized and turn into wonderful contributions for the organization. We know he will do great work, leaving a positive impression on all