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Woodbridge High School

Woodbridge High School

Wellbeing Team

Meet our Wellbeing Team!

Contact our Clinical Lead, Mel Stephenson: MStephenson@woodbridgehigh.co.uk 

Mel Stephenson  

Clinical Lead : Mel Stephenson BA(Hons) with QTS, PGDip, MA Counselling & Psychotherapy

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
Mainly enjoying working with young people, I also volunteered for Childline for about 4 years and found it so fulfilling. Mental health is so pivotal to wellbeing. 

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School? 
I started in the summer term of 2016.

What were you doing before you joined?
I had opened a small therapeutic school with a friend/colleague in Bedfordshire, so was providing therapy to those students and local schools as well as running the school! 

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I’ve a research interest in trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences or ‘ACES’. My masters thesis was centred around this, it’s always best researching something you’re authentically interested in given how immersed you have to become in it!

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
I remember on my first look around the school, someone commented how amazingly warm the school is relative to how big it is...I feel that too! It's so dynamic and forward thinking; the atmosphere is full of energy and the students are exciting and incredibly fulfilling to work with. I've also been so lucky to work with some amazing colleagues and to make some good friends at Woodbridge, I definitely feel part of the family.

Did you know?
I once walked the great wall of China for nine days for charity!


 

Laura Mole 

School Counsellor: Laura Mole BSc (Hons) Adv Dip. Humanistic Integrative Counselling

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
I studied A-Level Psychology at school.  I found it fascinating and it helped me to understand myself and others better.  When I was older I looked into how I could use Psychology in a job where I could help people, and I found counselling.  I love my work and the different people I get to meet every day.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?
I started in January 2021.

What were you doing before you joined?
I had/ have my own private practice in Muswell Hill, working as a counsellor  with teenagers and adults.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I have a specialist interest in working with anxiety and OCD, and how to calm the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic. 

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
Everyone has a warm welcome for you, and it makes you feel at home.

Did you know?
I have a dog called Albert who is named after the physicist Einstein.  He has anxiety, but he’s lovely and he’s doing really well!

Joanne Board 

Well Being Officer: Joanne Board, Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (cpcab Counselling & Psychotherapy Awarding Body) NCFE cache certificate in Understanding Autism.

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?
I enjoy working with teenagers and feel that there is a huge need for access to help with the wellbeing of students within schools.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School? 
I started at Woodbridge in 2018.

What were you doing before you joined?
I was volunteering at Place2Be in a secondary school in Barking and at an adult counselling agency in Dagenham.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I have an interest in ASD in teenagers as I have a child with special needs myself and each day I learn something new from him. I have also gained lots of knowledge around resilience and social skills.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
There are many things I love about Woodbridge, the feeling of being part of a school family, the trust the students have in the staff and the happy buzz that is in the school each day.

Did you know?
I have been to Surf School in Cornwall and have also been part of the Tomatina in Valencia which is a tomato throwing festival in Spain!

Paula Grant 

School Mentor Co-ordinator: Paula Grant  

What sparked your interest in mentoring?
Growing up I used to regularly attend a youth club, where I received great mentorship from the youth leaders. Their guidance and support played an instrumental role in my life, and developed my interest in working with children and young people, which I have been doing for the past ten years.

I believe it’s very important for young people to feel heard and understood. I love that I am able to provide that support, and can be a listening ear at such a crucial time in their lives.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?
I started Working at Woodbridge back in November 2017 (time flies when you’re having fun!).

What were you doing before you joined?
I was working as Pastoral Manager in a primary school.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
I strongly believe in building the resilience of young people, and aiding in equipping them to excel in their personal and educational goals. The vast majority of work I do with young people tends to focus on self-image. The way we see ourselves dictates our decisions and how we communicate with the world.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
Woodbridge has a great atmosphere and sense of community, it’s a very supportive environment that encourages growth and embraces new ideas. I am proud to work here amongst such amazing colleagues.

Did you know?
I travelled to the Australian Outback!

 

Wendy Smith 

Education Welfare and Family Liaison Officer: Wendy Smith, Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB Counselling & Psychotherapy Awarding Body) 

What sparked your interest in wellbeing?
My interest in people lies at the core of this interest. I believe in others and their ability to facilitate change for themselves through the process of relationship, communication, support, respect, understanding and space. I am person-centred in my approach, believing that we all hold the tools to be who we choose to be and achieve beyond our thoughts.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?
I started working with Woodbridge in July 2017 via an external company; I became a staff member of Team Woodbridge February 2020.

What were you doing before you joined?
I was in a counselling agency, working with adults and groups and in secondary schools as a mentor, coach and counsellor. I have worked in many local authority and independent educational settings for nearly twenty-five years.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?
Young people and families.

What do you love most about Woodbridge?
Woodbridge is exceptional, incredible community. It is genuinely underpinned by kindness, care, humility and equality. The Woodbridge ethos is felt by all in the environment; it is warm, nurturing, friendly, happy and united.

Did you Know?
I enjoy travel and learning about people and their different lifestyles. I have been privileged to visit many countries, my favourite continues to be Italy; the love of family, tradition, culture is so obvious to me in Italy.

Lottie Able 

Trainee Psychotherapist: Lottie Able. Currently completing a MA in Child Psychotherapy.

What sparked your interest in counselling and psychotherapy?

I have always had an interest in working with and alongside children and young adults. I am inspired by their capacity to learn, grow, develop and have fun. I have found great value in dedicating time and energy into the mental wellbeing of children and adolescents and this encouraged me to pursue a career in psychotherapy, focusing on children and adolescents.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?

January 2021…. excited for the journey to begin!

What were you doing before you joined?

I have been training to become a psychotherapist for many years now and have gained experienced within primary schools as a therapist. Before that, I was an actor and I attended drama school for 3 years.

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?

I am highly passionate about building secure loving relationships between babies and their parents/carers. Within that passion, there is a need to understand what prevents us from building and maintaining safe relationships and how that may affect us later in life. I enjoy working alongside children/adolescents allowing them the space they deserve to be themselves, wholly and without judgement.

What do you love most about Woodbridge High School?

Friendly, welcoming atmosphere. I’ve been here a minute and it feels like I’m part of the family already.

Did you know?

I used to work for the man in the red coat with the big beard in the North Pole. The coldest day was Boxing Day 2014 ( -36˚!) and I waited out in the snow for 5 hours for him to come collect me! He overslept, claimed the night before he had been ‘busy’.

 

Surya de Wit 
 

Art Psychotherapist: Surya de Wit 

What sparked your interest in art therapy?

As an artist I know how beneficial it is to express yourself creatively. Alongside creating my own art, I have often worked in mental health and care services supporting people to live rich and fulfilled lives as possible. Art therapy has helped me combine these two passions and really put my experience and skills to good use.

When did you start working at Woodbridge High School?

I started working at Woodbridge in September 2020. 

What were you doing before you joined?

I was the manager of a care home for female adults with mental health and learning disabilities in North London 

Do you have any specialist areas of interest in your field?

I am interested in helping people overcoming adversity, we all face numerous challenges throughout our life and that is what shapes us. I believe in helping people through that and building on their strengths.

What do you love most about Woodbridge

I love how welcoming and supportive everyone at Woodbridge has been over the past year. They have really made me feel like part of a community  

Did you know?

I spent a year on artist in residency in Bolivia where I collaborated with indigenous communities in creating art and exchanging skills.