Wellbeing and Mental Health

St James’ CofE Primary School is very fortunate to have our own on site School Counsellor!

Hello my name is Catherine Kiff.

I am the school counsellor for St James’.  As the school counsellor I offer a safe and confidential space where I will listen, non-judgmentally, and help children to begin to understand their feelings and thoughts.

As an integrative arts psychotherapist and counsellor I work through the use of the arts and play. Through this way of working it helps provide emotional support when children, young people and adults are faced with experiences in life that they are finding difficult to cope with. Using the arts such as painting, clay, puppets sand tray, music and drama can help people to communicate their feelings and express their thoughts which they find difficult to talk about.

Expression through use of the arts provides an alternative but important opportunity to understand a person’s emotional life and their ways of relating to other people. Unlike art activities art work produced in therapy is not intended as an end product and it does not have to be aesthetically pleasing. Using the arts in a therapeutic contest is a means to self-discovery by being curious about what is created. The arts act a vehicle for understanding growth and facilitating change. There is not expectation to be good at art or have any previous experience of working in this way.

In addition to my work at St James’, I have a private practice an d work across the public, private and voluntary sectors and in research, within the field of mental health.

Qualifications and Registrations:

I am qualified to Masters Level with specialist qualifications in adults, adolescents and children. I also have additional training in bereavement, loss, trauma, PTSD, art therapy and creative play therapy.

As a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist I am a registered member of the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), the UK Council for psychotherapists (UKCP). The British Association for Counselling and psychotherapy (BACP) and the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).

I have an enhanced DBS check and level 3 safeguarding.

Useful Links for families

Essex Child and Family Well-being Service Bulletins

About Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service (ECFWS)

ECFWS is delivered by Virgin Care Limited in partnership with Barnardo’s, to deliver children and family services across Essex, including local children’s community health provision. Services are commissioned by Essex County Council and West Essex CCG, and work closely with partners within education to change outcomes for children and young people.

We are pleased to share with you their Weekly Bulletins, an interactive resource aimed to support schools and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Each bulletin contains activities to support the wellbeing of our school community in line with our PSHE programme, resources for your information, relevant service updates and up to date contact information.