a small paper boat on a pond for the About Cathy Harwood pageAbout

Working with a local network of qualified and experienced professionals, Cathy Harwood established Whole School Wellbeing to respond to the mental health and wellbeing agenda in schools. We are passionate about the need for practices which promote wellbeing for everyone as well as responding to those in difficulty.

Cathy Harwood is a member of the National Executive for NAPCE, the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education.

Cathy is a fully qualified Child and Adolescent Art Psychotherapist (MSc First from University College Dublin). She has worked in numerous schools in Bristol including Westbury on Trym Church of England Academy, Four Acres Primary, Oasis Brightstowe and Glenfrome Primary. This has involved setting up therapy in the school setting, working as children’s therapist, supporting families and teaching staff, transferring behavioural strategies, providing practical guidance and resources, and creating whole school strategies. She is a guest lecturer on numerous child development,  art psychotherapy, and initial teacher education courses including University College Dublin, University of Bristol, UWE and University of South Wales.

Her background includes leading nexusbristol, an all sector forum for leaders with responsibility for improving outcomes for children and young people in Bristol, and a period as Head of Innovation and Creativity for a well-known occupational psychology business. She has an MA in Leadership from Exeter which focused on system change and relationship, and an initial career in educational publishing. She has extensive experience in learning design, building and enabling relationships across boundaries, and using creativity to promote change, self-awareness and growth.

Whilst working in CAMHS throughout her clinical training, she became focused on the current challenges in schools, and made this the focus of her dissertation. On graduating she conducted research in a primary school evidencing the positive impact of child art psychotherapy on readiness to learn, achievement, and wellbeing in children who were identified as disruptive and disengaged from learning. This was published in the British Association of Art Therapists’ professional journal in 2015.


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