Personal Biography

Ph.D. Clinical PsychologyUniversity of Limerick
Ph.D. Research PsychologyUniversity of Dublin, Trinity College
B.Sc. Hons. PsychologyUniversity of Leeds
Adv. Dip. PsychotherapyDun Laoghaire
P.G. Dip. Clinical SupervisionUniversity of Dublin, Trinity College
P.G. Dip. StatisticsUniversity of Dublin, Trinity College
P.G. Cert. D.B.T.Bangor University, Wales
Chartered PsychologistC. Psychol., Ps.S.I.
Chartered Clinical PsychologistC. Clin. Psychol., Ps.S.I. (no. 4416)
Chartered Psychologist specialising in PsychotherapyC. Psychol., Spec. Psychotherapy, Ps.S.I.
Accredited Psychotherapist M.I.A.H.I.P. (no. 1510)
Registered with the Irish Council for PsychotherapyReg. I.C.P.

I completed an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Leeds in 2001. Following that, and in conjunction with a wider research team, my doctoral research conducted a nation-wide study on early predictors of neuro-developmental differences in very young children. This awarded me a PhD in psychology from Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, in 2006. I then undertook Doctoral level clinical psychology training at the University of Limerick, from which I was awarded a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2009. As part of this, my doctoral work research focused on working sensitively with those presenting with dementia. I also completed smaller research projects looking at the lived experiences of autistic teenagers as well as referring practices of GPs into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). During my clinical training, I worked across several HSE teams, including: one year in CAMHS working with children between the ages of 4 and 17 years; one year in Adult Mental Health Services; half a year in Primary, Community, and Continuing Care (PCCC) Services, working both with adults and children in the care system; as well as half a year in voluntary Child and Adult Disability Services with children from as young as 3 years of age up to older adulthood.

Since this time, I have worked largely for the HSE in the role of Senior Clinical Psychologist. This has included several years within Child Development Teams where I offered both psychology and multi-disciplinary assessments and interventions for children between the ages of 2 and 12 on both early intervention and school-age teams. Here, I worked with children, their families, schools and wider systems, presenting with general developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum, and other emotional and behavioural differences. I have also spent many years working in traditional Adult Mental Health Services offering assessment, formulation, and psychotherapy to clients, as well as supervision to other staff. As part of this work, I have trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), graduating with a post-graduate certificate in DBT from the University of Bangor, in 2016, Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT), and Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT). I have many years of experience running groups and working individually with people through these lenses.

In collaboration with others, I have regularly engaged in research of my HSE work, looking at such things as the implementation of rating scales in children’s services, the impact of training programmes for multi-disciplinary staff in understanding and working with people struggling with relational difficulties (often referred to as “Borderline” presentations within such services), the factors contributing to workable DBT Consult Groups, and the efficacy of teletherapy, both for psychologists and clients engaged in psychotherapy during COVID-19. All of this work has been presented at national / international conferences over the years (e.g., Society for DBT, Psychological Society of Ireland, British Psychological Society, European Society for Developmental Psychology).

During my time working for the HSE I trained separately as a psychotherapist, completing a 4 year training in Dun Laoghaire which led to my accreditation with the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP) and my registration with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP). My training was principally psychodynamic in nature (Object Relations) and it is from this theoretical paradigm that I am most influenced. Whilst I can incorporate, and do recognise, that there is a time and place for imparting coping skills (e.g., mindfulness, compassion, DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) interventions, I have always appreciated the importance of depth work over skills work, of the unconscious over the conscious, and of relational working over cognitive working. It is this that guides my basic way of working.