Joana Villespin


Hello, my name is Joana.

I completed my Occupational Therapy studies at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, back in 2016. Alongside my formal education, I’ve delved into some specialised training, acquiring certifications as a SOS-trained (SOS Approach to Feeding) Floortime practitioner and gaining a solid understanding of Developmental Play.

My professional background has primarily centred on paediatric care within private clinics across the Philippines, allowing me to nurture a deep passion for this field.

Fast forward to 2022, and I find myself in the UK, collaborating with the outstanding team at Words First. It has been a remarkable journey thus far! I’ve had the privilege of working in various educational settings – from mainstream primary schools to secondary schools supporting students encountering social, emotional, and mental health challenges, as well as specialist provision schools catering to complex cases.

In my professional pursuits, I am particularly enthusiastic about the intersection of play and occupational therapy, especially in complex needs cases. Currently, I serve as a Level 5A therapist in specialist provision schools, actively contributing to the delivery of comprehensive, targeted, and specialised support. Moreover, I am deeply committed to crafting adaptable OT programmes designed for implementation across a range of educational contexts.

When I’m not in my professional role, you’ll often find me engaging in creative activities such as painting, both digitally and on traditional canvases, keeping journals, and capturing moments through photography. I’m also an avid reader and relish immersing myself in audiobooks. And yes, I have a soft spot for video games, always contemplating how to integrate them into therapy in meaningful ways.

If you were to ask my friends to describe me in three words – dependable, creative, and kind would be their choice.