A Warm Welcome!
Finding the right therapist for your needs can be a challenge. With my professional psychotherapy and counselling services, I am committed to providing you with the highest quality of care. My personalised approach to therapy helps you identify the issues impacting your life and create the best solutions for your needs.
I offer a range of counselling services to help you work through any issues you may face. From relationship issues to anxiety and depression, I am here to provide you with the support and the therapeutic tools you need during difficult times. My counselling services are tailored to meet your specific needs and to help you move forward positively.
Browse my books and articles on psychotherapy and counselling here on this website. You can also find them at your local book dealer or conveniently on Amazon.
As an experienced and caring psychotherapist and counsellor since 2002, I am here to guide you through the transformative journey of Communication-Focused Therapy. Let’s embark on this empowering and motivating path towards better communication and well-being together.
When it comes to finding the right therapy for your needs, personalisation is vital. I provide individualised approaches for each of my clients, helping them to identify the best options for their circumstances. My personalised approach helps you to work through any issues you may be facing while also helping you to create a sense of balance and peace in your life.
Over the last two decades, I have successfully helped many people with various mental health issues and in difficult situations. I work in private practice in Dublin or remotely over Zoom or Skype.
Working With You
Beginning a course of therapy early can help get you back on your path towards a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. Your therapy should be for and about you. It should reflect who you are and how you want your life to be.
Your therapy should be individualised to your problems, personality, needs, values, interests and expectations. My training is in the two major schools of psychotherapy, psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) therapy and CBT. They are empirically tested and used worldwide. Further, I can add approaches from various other recognised schools of therapy, systemic, Gestalt, integrative and imaginative. I am also happy to discuss my own approach, Communication-Focused Therapy®.
Listening, Understanding, Helping
Important to me is to understand your needs, listen with empathy, and help and support you in finding greater happiness and success in your life. With you, I adapt your therapy to your individual needs and issues.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Psychotherapy and Counselling
My extensive experience in working with clients covers a broad range of mental health conditions.
- Anxiety and Fears
- Panic Attacks
- Social Anxiety
- Relationship Problems
- Work-Related Problems
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Sleep Difficulties
- Low Self-Esteem
- Low Self-Confidence
- Eating Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Psychosis and Schizophrenia
- and more.
Psychotherapy Research – Anxiety News – Anxiety Research– Anxiety Resources – Fear Research – Social Anxiety Resources – Happiness Research – Anxiety Treatment – Anxiety Self-Help – Anxiety Stories – Fear in the News – Anxiety Questions & Answers – Anxiety Discussion Forum – See articles and images about Ireland
- Anxiety and the Environment: Eco-AnxietyClimate change is a real threat to the environment and ourselves. Among climate change deniers, many are probably merely denying climate change because they are afraid of something else, such as feelings of loss of control in their daily lives. Inconvenient explanations also often lead to denial. Eco-anxiety does not affect everyone equally. It tends …
- Your brain is not the problemClick here for the article published by Reddit Mental Health. In the attached Reddit article, I hear again what I have been hearing often from patients. They feel as if there is something fundamentally wrong and defective with their brain and their mind. However, this line of thinking often leads to feeling even worse. In …
- Anxiety and ADHDAngela Kirkpatrick is concerned about what stopping the treatment will do to her symptoms.
- Advice to get life on track in my 30sClick here for the article published by Reddit Mental Health. I’m 31 (F), single woman. Lost a lot of my life to mental health issues including depression, social anxiety and sibling and parental abuse. I want to get my life in order. I want to start with my mental makeup because I’m consumed with a …
- Beyond Neurosis: The Case for A Humanistic Approach to Illness AnxietyNot Just a Page in a Manual In my client, Colin, I saw myself. He was, as I had once been, fixated on his physical well-being to the point that his hypervigilant behaviors had taken over and begun to negatively impact his daily life. He had put college on hold in his senior year and moved back home. He was consistently wracked with worry about his physical health even though he had no documented health problems. In session, Colin would constantly check his body, running his fingers along his neck to investigate for lumps or placing his hand across his chest to ensure that his heart wasn’t palpitating. He would often express the feeling that he was doomed to become horribly, catastrophically ill. He lived in constant discomfort and suffered persistent feelings of worry. I had been there myself. Like what you are reading? For more stimulating stories, thought-provoking articles and new video announcements, sign up for our monthly newsletter. By the age of 30, I had visited numerous emergency rooms complaining of vague discomforts: heart palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, headaches, bladder pain. I’d be discharged each time with a clean bill of health, but I wouldn’t quite believe it. Often, I’d seek further care, visit other doctors and specialists, and ruminate and fixate on an impending health disaster that was surely just around the corner. I just couldn’t seem to accept that I was healthy; it was too risky. If I let my guard down, then the worst would happen. It took a while, but I recovered. Therapy helped. So did a low dose of Prozac. I still got anxious about my health, but not to the extent that I constantly sought out care and lost myself in anxious rumination. But what about Colin? What would help him? When I began to think about what had helped me, I was surprised at how simple it sounded. I had found a therapist who didn’t make me feel crazy, irrational, or neurotic. He listened to me and never judged, even when I rattled off vague physical symptoms and the anxious conclusions I would draw from them, even when I told him I had scheduled yet another doctor’s appointment. He stayed with me. But with Colin, I blundered. I told myself just listening wouldn’t pass muster, wouldn’t be intervention enough. So, I went clinical instead of human. I forgot what had helped me. I thought it would be helpful to show Colin the DSM criteria for Illness Anxiety Disorder. My thought was that he would read it and realize that he was being anxious and irrational in his worry and fixation about his physical health. I probably don’t need to tell you that this approach backfired. Though he never said it outright, Colin, I have no doubt, felt pathologized, invalidated, and judged. Therapy didn’t seem to be progressing, and Colin’s anxiety wasn’t getting any better. If I was truly going to help him, I had to pivot, and fast. Moving to Where There is No Sky At that time in my career, I was reading a lot of classic psychology texts and one that consistently resonated with me was Man’s Search for Himself, by Rollo May. In this book, May describes a young girl coming home from school after there had been a drill for students to hide from a nuclear attack. Once home, the young girl asks her mother, “can’t we move somewhere where there is no sky?” Eureeka. Colin and I both, while in an anxious state, desired to be somewhere where nothing bad could happen. If there was no sky, there could be no bomb. If there is no stone left unturned, there can be no surprises. So, if we check enough, if we fixate and protect enough, nothing bad can happen. Call it “hypervigilance” or “neurosis” or “hypochondria” — whatever unhelpful psychological designation you wish to give it — it comes down to one thing: an anxiety-based behavioral response. When I would visit ER after ER, I was seeking a safe place where nothing threatening could happen. When Colin checked and rechecked his body for changes and symptoms, he was seeking a stasis where nothing bad could happen. When he returned home despite excelling as a college student, he was seeking a safe, nonthreatening space. The little girl in Rollo May’s book is, to a greater or lesser degree, and in one form or another, all of us. When we are threatened, we seek safety. This response is human, though primitive; it is not, however, neurotic or maladaptive or irrational. Once I realized that Colin and I were no different than May’s young girl, my clinical mind softened, therapy began to expand, and change started to occur. Putting the Manual in the Drawer I put my DSM in the drawer and began to talk to Colin about anxiety as a general concept. I reached for any metaphor I could find: “anxiety is like a smoke detector that goes off at the slightest wisp of smoke;” “anxiety is like a home alarm system that gets tripped when a strong gust of wind blows.” I wanted Colin to understand anxiety at its core. The therapist I mentioned earlier had done the same for me; I recall him explaining the “mammalian brain” and the concepts of “fight, flight, and freeze.” The more he educated me on what anxiety is and why it happens, the more in control I began to feel. Gradually, I became an expert on my own unique presentation of anxiety. And from there, I began to learn how to manage it. I wanted Colin to experience this sense of knowledge and power in the face of his debilitating worry. If he could understand anxiety, he might feel less threatened by it. But beyond education, this required normalization. If Colin viewed himself as part of esoteric group of neurotics, he would assuredly continue to feel isolated with his fear. If, on the contrary, he felt a sense of commonality, he might be more willing to step out of his rigid fixation. So, we talked about physical health and how scary it is. We talked about it as you and a friend might talk about the weather or the football game. I left diagnostic language and pathology out of it and just talked with him about something we all have in common. Then Colin said, “now that I think about it, this all started after the thing at the airport.” A few months before, at an airport, while preparing to fly home from college for a break, Colin had become dizzy. He didn’t quite faint, but he thought he might. His brain went into overdrive, telling him he was having a heart attack or a seizure or something catastrophic. Though he flew home, he shared that it was after this incident that his health-related anxiety had really begun to escalate. Anxiety had caused him to put his life on hold. He was looking to move somewhere with no sky. Colin’s newfound understanding of anxiety had allowed him to draw an important connection that he felt safe enough to share and that, ultimately, would help him begin letting go of his catastrophic worry. It wasn’t clinical language that allowed for this; nor was it diagnostic criteria — it was talking, sitting together, creating safe space. Now we really had something to build on: there had been a stimulus, then a belief, then a behavioral response. Incredible things happen when we just listen, and Colin’s disclosure provided an opportunity. So, we kept talking. We talked about how things happen that scare us, how we have a cognitive response to these things then a behavioral response. I was careful never to call into question or to judge his response, but rather to help him understand the chain. It was making sense. I can’t say exactly that there was a breakthrough (this is, often, a myth of psychotherapy, as true breakthroughs are almost never moments of dramatic and triumphant epiphany), but it wasn’t long after that Colin started to come to therapy less often, began to report feeling less anxious, and began planning his return to college. More Than an F-Code Nobody ever asked me for Colin’s diagnosis. He never asked me either and I owe him a great debt of gratitude for staying with me despite my wrongheaded decision to show him the DSM criteria. He gave me a chance to change course, for which I am eternally grateful. Colin was my on-the-job training in humanistic psychotherapy. Sure, I’ve read Irvin Yalom and Carl Rogers, but nothing can supplant real-life practice. Colin was pivotal in my recognition of the importance of humanizing rather than pathologizing. In retrospect, he was more important than any course I’ve taken, book I’ve read, or theory I’ve learned. He didn’t feel safe in his body but, over time, he felt safe in therapy, and that allowed his sense of safety to expand outward and to begin combatting his sense of worry. I realize now that my own therapy had afforded me the same opportunity. Once I felt accepted and safe, I was free to begin questioning my anxious thoughts and conclusions. So, sure — on paper or to insurance companies, Colin might be the posterchild for Illness Anxiety Disorder (F45.21), but in a human sense, he is much more than an F-code. Because of a frightening stimulus, his unique form of anxiety attached itself to his physical health. Anxiety attaches itself to something for everyone — what it suctions itself to merely depends on our unique experiences. So, what does this make Colin, really? Is he neurotic or a hypochondriac? Or, simply, did he, like any human, become frightened by something frightening and want to protect against it? In protecting against the threat, he utilized specific behaviors in order to remain safe. These behaviors, no doubt, worked for a while, then they didn’t. I had done the same. You have done the same. If we humanize the experience, we allow for coping and healing. If we pathologize it, we impede coping and healing. When we descend from our clinical and diagnostic “high horse,” we truly become Rogerian and “meet our clients where they are.” When I was seeking emergency care for a perceived illness, I was not an exotic specimen to be viewed through a clinical microscope. I already felt different and alien; the last thing I needed was confirmation of that belief. I needed to be understood, accepted, and humanized, not studied as though I was a fascinating case in the annals of abnormal psychology. Colin and I have this in common: when we felt we were being viewed through a clinical lens, we personalized our diagnosis and become resigned to it as an immutable fact. When we felt accepted and seen through a human lens, we became able to view our anxiety as a cloud in the sky rather than as the sky itself. Questions for Thought and Discussion What are your personal and clinical impressions about the author’s client, Colin? Have you encountered clients with health anxiety in your own practice? How does your own treatment approach with these clients differ from the author’s? What might you have done differently with Colin?
- Scared of flying? Here’s the best seat to sit on a plane to overcome your fearA frequent flyer shared which special seat will help anxious aviators overcome their fear of flying.
- Anxiety and the College Application ProcessMom is “fraught with anxiety” about her son’s looming college application process.
- COVID-19, attentional bias, and trait anxietyClick here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. Anxious individuals selectively attend to threatening information, but it remains unclear whether attentional bias can be generalized to traumatic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies suggested that specific threats related to personal experiences can elicit more substantial attentional bias than general threats. The …
- The Fear of the First ChildbirthIntroductionThe increasing Cesarean Section (CS) rates may be attributed to women’s increasing requests for elective CS. High Fear of Childbirth (FOC), especially among nulliparous women, may be significantly associated with CS preference without medical indications. The current study aims to investigate the impact of childbirth fear on the mode of delivery preference among nulliparous women.MethodsA cross-sectional correlational study was performed in the Maternal and Children Hospital (MCH) from the beginning of October 2022 to the end of February 2023 and incorporated a convenience sample of 342 nulliparous women. The data was collected using a self-reported questionnaire comprising participants’ demographic and obstetrics characteristics and the FOC questionnaire. A logistic regression model examined the relationship between CS preference and the other independent variables.ResultsThe results indicated that 74.3% of the nulliparous women preferred vaginal delivery, while 25.7% preferred Cesarean Section. Concerning childbirth-related fear, the highest mean scores were related to fear of clinical procedures, fear of harming or distressing the infant, and fear of pain 5.19 ± 1.13, 5.12 ± 1.27, and 5.09 ± 1.22, respectively. High FOC was present among 74.6%, moderate in 17.3%, and severe in 6.7% of the participants. Logistic regression analysis showed maternal age and monthly income were the significant sociodemographic determinants of choosing CS as the preferred delivery mode (p
- Can You Fake It Til You Make It?For those who live with social anxiety, the prospect of attending social events or interacting with others can be incredibly daunting. Even the simplest interactions can be a struggle, and many find themselves paralyzed by fear. If this is something you can relate to, you may have heard the suggestion to “fake it til you … Read More about Can You Fake It Til You Make It? The post Can You Fake It Til You Make It? appeared first on About Social Anxiety.
- Rates of Depression and Anxiety Are Rising in Young PeopleClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. We know young people are depressed and anxious. There are things we can do about it. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk.
- CancerPhobia: Our Fear of Cancer Is Outdated and HarmfulClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. The article explains how our fear of cancer is shaped by various factors, and that the fear itself can be harmful. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk.
- my first reddit post and i already feel insane, so sorry if this is all over the place. take ur time if ur reading..means a lot!Click here for the article published by Reddit Mental Health. ok so i dont even know where exactly to start but here i go.. so in order for this not to be all over the place i will make up names so that its less confusing. theres me, my gf (at the time i was …
- 5 Things Not to Say to Someone Experiencing AnxietyClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. When someone is anxious, it can be tempting to lend reassurance. Still, even well-intended comments sometimes hurt. This article offers several helpful points, among them are the following: Telling an anxious person that they need to get it together or that they are ‘ok’ is often …
- Anxiety, Pain, and Quality of Life in Orthodontic TreatmentConditions: Malocclusion; Pain; Anxiety; Quality of Life Interventions: Other: Conventional fixed treatment; Other: Clear aligner treatment Sponsors: Yuzuncu Yıl University Completed
- Familial aspects of fear of cancer recurrence: current insights and knowledge gapsFear of cancer recurrence is fear or worry about cancer recurrence or progress. Fear of recurrence can impact patients’ quality of life and wellbeing. Cancer survivors’ families support them practically and emotionally, making them a vital supplement for official healthcare. Given the well-established important role of the family in dealing with cancer, we compiled the studies that examined the relationship between family-related factors and fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) among cancer survivors (CSs). One of the foremost studies in this field is the FCR model presented by Mellon and colleagues, which included concurrent family stressors and family-caregiver FCR as factors linked to survivor FCR. Our goal was to prepare the ground for a family-based model of FCR that is more comprehensive than the one proposed by Mellon et al. sixteen years ago. The studies included those with samples of adult cancer survivors from different regions of the world. Most of the studies we reviewed are cross-sectional studies. We categorized family-related factors associated with survivor FCR into partner-related factors, including subgroups of disclosure to partner, cognitions of partner, and partner’s sources of support; parenthood-related factors, including having children and parenting stress; family-related factors, including living situation, family history of cancer, family’s perception of the illness, and family characteristics; and social interactions including social support, disclosure, social constraints, and attitudes of others. This review sheds light on how significant others of cancer survivors can affect and be affected by cancer-related concerns of survivors and emphasizes the necessity of further investigation of family-related factors associated with FCR.
- Fear of Failure Holding You Back?Click here for the article published by Psychology Today. The fear of failure is a powerful force. We can learn how to set fear aside, make bold moves, and quickly recover from the inevitable misstep when it arises. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at …
- After Freeway Closure, Los Angeles Traffic Snarled but Not as Bad as FearedBy Daniel Trotta(Reuters) -Los Angeles commuters appeared to be heeding warnings to stay off the roads on Monday morning after a weekend fire…
- Cancer-phobia: Our Fear of Cancer Is Outdated and HarmfulClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. Our fear of cancer is in some ways outdated, excessive, and harmful—a phobia. Understanding the history and psychology of that fear, and recognizing its harms, can help. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own …
- Human Doing, Being, and Becoming: How Do You Find Happiness?Click here for the article published by Psychology Today. Find happiness through these three ways of thinking of yourself: human doing, human being, and human becoming. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk.
- I want to stop feeling so much. It’s exhausting. Am I simply too empathetic or just crazy?Click here for the article published by Reddit Mental Health. Why do i cry so much always? Im not normal. No one cries as much as me around me. I cry looking at people on road, I cry looking at underprivileged children playing in the sun with no proper food, shelter, clothing. I cry seeing …
- Why the Godfather of A.I. Fears What He’s BuiltGeoffrey Hinton has spent a lifetime teaching computers to learn. Now he worries that artificial brains are better than ours.
- Guest blog: Teacher’s experiences help students navigate mental healthClick here for the article published by Mental Health America. Guest blog: Teacher’s experiences help students navigate mental health MHA Admin Wed, 09/27/2023 – 08:10 September 27, 2023 by Michael Cullinane As a 46-year-old veteran high school teacher, I often worry my students will soon write me off with an “Okay, Boomer” response. Although a …
- Direct paraventricular thalamus-basolateral amygdala circuit modulates neuropathic pain and emotional anxietyClick here for the article published by Nature Portfolio. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk. Back to Home Page
- Defense mechanisms as predictors of anxiety and self-esteem—A multiple regression analysis.Click here for the article published by Psychoanalytic Psychology (APA) anxiety. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 40(4), Oct 2023, 348-353; doi:10.1037/pap0000459 Defense mechanisms are supposed to help us deal with stress by decreasing anxiety and preserving our self-esteem. The aim of the present study was to determine which defense styles and specific defense mechanisms have the strongest …
- Tapping the Hidden Potential Inside OCDClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. A Personal Perspective: How can Adam Grant’s newest book help OCD sufferers? In more ways than you think. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk.
- Depression Is Not Sadness and Mania Is Not HappinessClick here for the article published by Psychology Today. Mania does not bring people joy, it steals it. Continue reading … Disclaimer: The content of this article has not been checked or verified. Proceed at your own risk.
- Effects of fear of missing out on inhibitory control in social media context: evidence from event-related potentialsClick here for the article published by Frontiers in Psychiatry. The results of this study suggest that the fear of missing out (FoMO) undermines inhibitory control by consuming more cognitive resources in the early conflict detection stage and leading to insufficient cognitive resources in the later stages of the inhibitory process. These findings suggest that …
- It’s not a virus! Reconceptualizing and de-pathologizing music performance anxietyMusic Performance Anxiety (MPA) is one of the most widespread and debilitating challenges facing musicians, affecting significant numbers of performers in terms of both their personal and professional functioning. Although numerous interventions exist to target MPA, its prevalence remains unchanged since the first large-scale studies of the 1980s, indicating that available interventions are having limited impact. This review synthesizes and critiques existing literature in order to investigate possible reasons for the limited efficacy of current approaches to managing MPA. Key concepts discussed include conceptual and methodological challenges surrounding defining MPA, theoretical perspectives on MPA’s etiology and manifestation, and the coping strategies and interventions used to manage MPA. MPA has predominantly been investigated pathologically and defined as a negative construct manifesting in unwanted symptoms. Based on this conceptualization, interventions largely seek to manage MPA through ameliorating symptoms. This review discusses possible reasons why this approach has broadly not proved successful, including the issue of relaxation being both unrealistic and counterproductive for peak performance, issues associated with intentionally changing one’s state creating resistance thus exacerbating anxiety, and focusing on the presence of, rather than response to, symptoms. Despite 50 years of research, MPA remains an unsolved enigma and continues to adversely impact musicians both on and off the stage. Reconceptualizing MPA as a normal and adaptive response to the pressures of performance may offer a new perspective on it, in terms of its definition, assessment and management, with practical as well as theoretical implications.
- Transdiagnostic treatment of depression and anxiety: a meta-analysisBackgroundIn the past 10 years an increasing number of randomised trials have examined the effects of transdiagnostic treatments of patients with depression or anxiety. We conducted the first comprehensive meta-analysis of the outcomes of this emerging field.MethodsWe used the searches in PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase and the Cochrane library of an existing database of randomised trials of psychological interventions for depression to identify studies comparing a transdiagnostic treatment of patients with depression or anxiety with a control group (deadline 1 January 2022). We conducted random-effects meta-analyses and examined the effects on depression and anxiety at the short and longer term.ResultsWe included 45 randomised controlled trials with 51 comparisons between a psychotherapy and a control group and 5530 participants. Thirty-five (78%) studies were conducted in the last 10 years. The overall effect size was g = 0.54 (95% CI 0.40–0.69; NNT = 5.87), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 78; 95% CI 71–83), and a broad PI (−0.31–1.39). The effects remained significant in a series of sensitivity analyses, including exclusion of outliers, adjustment for publication bias, for studies with low risk of bias, and in multilevel analyses. The results were comparable for depression and anxiety separately. At 6 months after randomisation the main effects were still significant, but not at 12 months, although the number of studies was small.ConclusionsTransdiagnostic treatments of patients with depression or anxiety are increasingly examined and are probably effective at the short term.