Wellbeing team

We take the emotional well-being of our students seriously. We move beyond just teaching and learning and we are aware of all aspects of school life of our students. It is recognized that student’s emotional and social well-being has a major effect on their cognitive development and learning. We believe that schools are a crucial environment for promoting emotional well-being and mental health awareness. We believe that early identification of mental health challenges and signs of mental distress is key to efficient help.

The main goal of the Well-being Department is to support the mental health, well-being, and resilience of our students. We help students in various ways:

  • Individual counseling sessions
  • Preventive activities built in our wellbeing curriculum held during the whole school year
  • Consulting opportunities for parents to discuss their student’s mental health issues
  • Counseling with advisors about their assigned student family members
  • Consulting with teachers about the needs of the student, and their academic success.
  • Providing support and documentation for students with disabilities during their studies at LA and the exam process.

 Some of the issues we might be able to help with:

  • Struggling academically (I don’t know if I can keep up, I am struggling in one or more classes)
  • Peer relationships, struggling to fit in the community. (How do I get along with people around me. I have not made friends.)
  • Transition/adjustment problems (I feel awkward, I don’t know if I belong.)
  • Emotional concerns and social pressures (I feel stressed, I am anxious, am I OK?)
  • And more…


Our team consists of 4 members – all of them are educated in psychology, psychotherapy and have a wide range of experiences in the field of working with both children, adolescents and adults.

Katarína Búřilová

Community counselor

Katka studied psychology at Comenius University and spent 10 years working in the area of human resources both in business and in NGO sector. After helping LEAF develop its core HR processes from scratch, she moved on to helping students navigate through the psychological challenges of the boarding school environment on their road to self-discovery at LEAF Academy. She is a certified psychodynamic psychotherapist with over 7 years of experience in the field.

Mária Balážová

Community counselor

Maria is a psychologist and licensed psychotherapist, member of the Slovak Chamber of psychologists and Slovak Psychotherapeutic Association. Among others, she worked as a researcher for the Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology for 10 years and at the same time getting her clinical experience in a health care service company where she worked with children and families and dealt with a wide range of developmental problems. She has been with LA for the past 3 years.

Hana Kuc

#wellbeing team

Hana is a psychologist with 15 years of experience in the social service field. Before returning to Bratislava, she lived in New York City for 23 years, where she earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling and worked in various public and private social service agencies. Before joining our team, Hana managed outpatient substance dependency clinics, provided mental health therapy to teens and adults, and taught classes for counselors. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and traveling.

Marcela Gatciová

#wellbeing team

Before joining the LEAF Academy team Marcela worked in various areas including education and media. As a former teacher, she was glad to come back to classrooms as a volunteer at UNICEF where she spent several years as a Junior Ambassador. It was during that time she realized she wanted to enhance her competence and become a psychologist specialized in educational counseling. Later she completed her studies at Comenius University and began working at a primary school in Bratislava. She has already concluded her training in Art Therapy and is currently in the final phase of her psychotherapeutic training in Individual Psychology. Besides she is passionate about languages, dancing, traveling, and spending time with others.