Developing emotional literacy, language and communication skills

I offer a variety of services to schools:

Counselling for children

For information about counselling for children, go to: children

Therapeutic Storywriting Groups, an SEN intervention

I run therapeutic writing groups with children in small groups of 4-6 over a period of 8 – 10 weeks to develop their emotional literacy and writing skills. This is an SEN intervention for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. It is based on the research of Trisha Waters, which found that this increases the children’s motivation to write and supports the development of emotional literacy.

The work can include a pre- and post assessment of children’s attitudes and abilities and be linked to classroom literacy work. 70 – 90% children with emotional and behavioural difficulties have language difficulties – their behaviour gets seen, but their language difficulties are not always addressed.

Nurture Groups

I can run nurture groups to support children and young people in managing their emotions, relationships, conflicts and dilemmas in ways which are not destructive to themselves or others and also supports the inclusion of children who have retreated into a safe place of their own, in order to manage their feelings.

Support in Improving Parent–Child relationships

I can work with parents and children to facilitate parent-child communication, using the arts and including aspects of family SEAL.

Foreign Languages Consultancy, Training and Teaching

I provide consultancy and training and in foreign language teaching in primary schools, based on the latest ideas in effective primary language teaching and drawing on four years experience working as a consultant in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove and lecturing at the University of Brighton.

I provide language teaching for children using narrative, drama, cross-curricular and kinaesthetic approaches. This could be part of PPA Cover.

I have attended a British Council funded course in Italy on teaching languages to Early Years and Foundation Stage pupils. The approach uses a story format and is underpin by psycho- and neuro-linguistic perspectives to language learning. It therefore develops emotional literacy alongside language learning.


A programme to develop pre-writing and writing skills through music, movement, drawing and writing. It is aimed at children aged 5-8, or older children with difficulties in writing. It trains fine and gross-motor co-ordination and supports the development of a confident, fluid style. Through 9 different themes, children practice all the movements and lines in our letters, connecting body, eye, both parts of the brain and creativity. A holistic approach to writing, devised by Dutch – Norwegian Ragnhild Oussoren Voors, it is based on research into French, German and Swedish approaches to writing psychology and pedagogy, so that children not only write well, but enjoy it.

Creative workshops to support the development of self expression, communication skills, and emotional literacy

I offer workshops in dance and puppetry


I run dance and choreography workshops linked to curriculum areas.

I have danced since the age of two and a half and the main influences have been Martha Graham, an American contemporary dance pioneer, and Rudolf Laban, to whom we owe the fact that we have dance in the curriculum. He fled Nazi Germany during the war, ending up at Darlington Hall in Devon. He based his work on everyday movements and geometry in space and devised a system of notation that enables us to record, think about movement and compose pieces of dance choreography.

I base my work on Laban principles, offering an approach to dance that focuses on exploring, creating and recording dance and movement. I sometimes use building blocks of movement from the ‘Language of Dance’ known as the ‘movement alphabet’ to explore how bodies move and from this how dance can be formed. These can be represented by symbols, which also provide a means of recording movement and encourage an intellectual understanding of dance, thus providing a language for discussion and evaluation as well as giving a sound framework for the dance-making process.

Choreography and dance-making tasks encourage self-expression and develop problem-solving skills. Through performing their work to each other, children develop physical coordination and self-confidence. Skills in perception, appreciation, interpretation, evaluation and communication are developed through observation and use of the movement vocabulary.


I run puppet making workshops to develop design technology, speaking and listening skills. Different courses include making shadow puppets, table-top puppets, glove puppets and marionettes. Puppets can be based on a fairy tale theme or literacy project, and used to develop story-telling and role-play themes.

Staff Development


I can provide tailor-made consultancy and training for schools to support the development of effective relationships, founded on clear and emotionally literate communication which facilitate an effective and productive environment through periods of stability and change.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

I offer confidential counselling and psychotherapy for staff whose personal circumstances may be affecting their ability to work effectively. I can provide a range of services, including fixed term work.

For information about counselling for adults, go to: adults

Coaching and mentoring

I also offer mentoring and coaching services to help individuals realise their potential.

My experience includes working as a trainer for ‘Working With Others’, which supported staff teams in developing effective communication and collaborative skills, founded on mutual trust.


I can provide training in workplace specific counselling skills for teachers, to support the development of an emotionally literate school in which pupils and staff feel heard and able to reflect on their experiences. Staff will be given skills to empower them to listen effectively and empathically to children without escalating emotional charges or conflicts.

Find out more about Catherine
Contact me by email or telephone 07742214720
Catherine Bishop,  Counselling and Psychotherapy
in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex