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Ruth Cumberland

I qualified as a primary school teacher in 2004 and worked in this role for five years. During this time, I realised my passion lay in the emotional wellbeing of children and adults; it became clear to me that the children in my care needed a holistic approach to developing good mental health before they could focus on learning and I felt unable to focus on this in its entirety whilst teaching a class. I therefore began exploring techniques that enabled people to heal and remain positive. I wandered off the beaten track and learned complementary therapies such as Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique and a range of ‘mind-altering’ holistic therapies.

After working in adult mental health settings for five years, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to create holistic healing sessions for children in a school I was working in in 2012. Since then, I have delivered this programme of emotional wellbeing in three local schools on a weekly basis. In 2014, I teamed up with a couple of professionals from the local authority SEMH team and we created a holistic parenting programme, where they teach a range of practical steps to support children in their behaviour and I teach the parents a range of techniques to improve their own emotional wellbeing. This has proved extremely successful.

In 2015, I was appointed SENCO alongside my role of Emotional Wellbeing Teacher. Part of this role includes training professionals to develop their understanding of how children with SEND think, feel and learn and also exploring how to support children with their Social, Emotional and Mental Health.

Although seemingly obvious, in my work with children and their parents, I have come to realise that if the parents can feel better, this will positively impact on their children. This is entirely possible and I have seen it happen many times where an adult will release negative beliefs and comment that suddenly their children are behaving differently. This has become the basis of my work – to support parents and children in the process of emotional healing.