From the time she was gifted a Petite typewriters as a child, Joanna has enjoyed writing.
“I said I would be a writer or a journalist, but I became more interested in the psychological area. However, I remined interested in writing and the therapeutic value in storytelling.”
After graduation, Joanna worked for various NGO’s in the area of Children’s rights and child sexual abuse, including the ISPCC, before moving to Debbie Deegan’s To Children with Love.
At the height of the recession, she decided to start the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic.
“After 10 years in direct client work, and also training other therapists, and giving talks and seminars, I made a conscious choice to limit my trauma work, and I concentrated more on training.”
In tandem with her growing practice, Joanna wrote articles which reflected her work. She had a parenting column in The Sunday Times Ireland edition, and has written many opinion pieces. She now delivers the parenting column on the Sean Moncrief show each week,
“And I have a podcast, 15 Minute Parenting.”
Who is Joanna Fortune?
Date of birth: 1977 in Kilcoole, County Wicklow.
Education: Loretto, Bray; Dublin Business School, BA, Psychotherapy and MA in clinical work. Numerous other courses. Middlesex University, currently taking a doctorate.
Family: Husband, Diarmuid, and Maisie 3 ½.
The Day Job: Maisie says, “My mum helps girls and boys with their feelings and listens to grownups talking.”
In Another Life: “I’d work in a bookshop.”
Favourite Writers: Doireann Ni Ghríofa; Deirdre O’Sullivan; Emilie Pine; Sinead Gleeson; Emer McBride; Mike McCormack.
Next Book: “For the moment I’m concentrating on the doctorate, but maybe, one day, I’ll write a novel.”
Top Tip: “Prioritise your writing. I use a structured approach and write 2,000 words a day.”
Website: www.Folanh.com Twitter: @thejoannafortun
The Debut: 15 Minute Parenting, The Teenage Years (Third in series.) Thread: €11.99. Kindle: €1.09.
Packed with practical, playful ways to connect to teenagers. Joanna encourages parents to explore how they feel about the way they were parented.
“It’s about being good enough, and being present every day,” says Joanna. “Play is a state of mind and a way of being.”
The Verdict: A brilliant interactive guide that is as simple as it is inventive.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 7th November.