Childhood is at times very challenging. In recent years studies have identified a dramatic increase in mental health difficulties in children and adolescents.
As adults, with a fully developed brain, we have challenges expressing the overwhelm that we feel at times. As children and adolescents have not yet reached full brain development, it makes expressing their inner hurt through language very challenging. Resulting in behaviours which are concerning to those who love the child.
Within the safe therapeutic space the play and creative materials become the vehicles for the child or young person to express their inner world. Their fears, stresses, worries, anxiety's and their grief. We put language to that experience. Finding ways to organise and understand these challenging life events. Identifying ways to communicate to our loved ones when we are in distress. Developing ways in which to bring a feeling of safety back into the body.
We work together in whatever playful modality the young person is most comfortable in expressing themselves. This is not through language alone;
Music and Lyrics
Painting and Drawing
Working in this way allows the child to communicate in a way that is developmentally appropriate. The child feels heard, their pain is understood and maybe for the first time. Within the safety of our relationship we then begin healing and organising all of those parts which were hurting. I work closely with parents in translating the emotional distress that their child is feeling. Empowering the parent with specific skills to become an agent of change. Skills to take care of their little persons inner emotional needs.
Child Play Therapy
Adolescent Psychotherapy 11-17yrs
Parental Support Sessions
Workshops for Professionals and Parents
School Consultation Session
Filial Therapy Family Intervention
"Enter into children's play and you will find the place where their minds, hearts and souls meet" Axline
Reasons why a young person may need Therapeutic Support
THANKFULLY NOT ALL CHILDREN WHO EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES WILL REQUIRE THERAPEUTIC SUPPORT. BELOW YOU WILL FIND A LIST OF REASONS WHY A CHILD AND THEIR FAMILY MAY COME TO WORK WITH ME. THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE AND THERE CAN BE MANY OTHER REASONS FOR A CHILD NEEDING SUPPORT.
Adoption or foster care support
Persistent Stress and Worry
Attachment and bonding
Bedwetting/ soiling challenges
Change in personality
Learning/ Developmental differences
Loss of a loved one
Low self esteem and self belief
Parental conflict, separation or divorce
Persistent anger, worry, sadness or fear which hinders the daily life of the child
School Challanges/ Refusal
When a parent or carer makes that initial contact they are generally feeling overwhelmed and have an urgent need for support.
Initial contact is generally made with me by phone. I will listen to the current challenges that your young person is presenting with. If I believe that I can be of support to your family I will then invite you to meet with me for our Intake Parental Session in my Parent Space in Dunhill. All information that you share will be kept confidential, in line with the Children's First Guidelines.
Parents use this Intake Session to find out more about the ways in which I work and gain support. I will gather a full developmental history of your child and information regarding the life story of your child and family. This information is integral to the therapeutic work which will follow.
It is dependant upon the information provided as to what modality of support will be required. For instance this may be adolescent psychotherapy for a 14 year old who has had a difficult school experience with Parental Involvement. It may also be Theraplay, a family therapy approach, to support connection between a child and their parent.
Parents are very much part of the therapeutic work and many times will be part of the therapeutic sessions with the child. Changes are generally needed within the home environment and how family members relate to one another. I carry out Parental Support Sessions generally following the first five therapeutic sessions with the child.
Get to Know Me
A GENUINE WELCOME TO YOU AND TO MY ONLINE SPACE.
As a child my parents would have described me as a very caring, empathetic, considerate and nurturing child whether this was to my many pets (big and small), to plants or to people. They also would have described me as highly sensitive :)
Growing up I would often go to work with my mum who was a pre-school teacher. I am sure that is where my interest in working with little people began. I was fascinated by how they played, the intensity of the feelings within it. I loved the way the children were so open. They lived very much in the moment and how they wore their emotions on their sleeves for the world to see. The world of children grabbed my attention and I wanted more.
This interest led me to study an honours BA Degree in Early Childhood Studies in University College Cork. Following a little travel after graduating I began my training as a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. In 2011 I completed a three year Post Graduate training in Psychotherapy with a Specialsation in Play Therapy with Eileen Prendiville in the Children's Therapy Centre. I hold full accreditation with The Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy since 2014 as a Play Therapist and a Psychotherapist.
For several years I worked in Respite and Residential services for children and adults with learning difficulties. I also worked for some years in a Special School for children on the autism spectrum in a 1:1 tuition capacity. Over the years I have worked therapeutically with many organisations such as TUSLA, Barnardos, WASSA, Down Syndrome Ireland, Foroige along with local primary schools and secondary schools.
I continue to carry out additional training to ensure that I am up to date with current research and practices and keep in line with my accreditation CPD needs. There is yet to be a training which teaches me as much as the young people that I work with in my therapy space. I am committed to the well-being of the families that I work with and parents are central to the work that takes place.
Finally I am a parent. I truly know the stresses that come with raising little humans in this world. I also know how difficult it can be to just ask for help sometimes. If you have any questions please just call me on 085-2723909. If you would prefer please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualifications and Accreditation
Fully Accredited Psychotherapist +Play Therapist
Fully accredited member of the Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy. Engaging with frequent Supervision and CPD.
Children's Therapy Centre
Three Year Post Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy with a Specialisation in Play Therapy
Hons BA in Early Childhood Studies
University College Cork
Diversity and Gender in Childhood
Policy and Law
Child and Family Health Psychology
Continuous Therapeutic Training
Theraplay Level One and Therapy Level Two: The Theraplay Institute
Filial Therapy: Rise Van Fleet
Sand Tray Therapy: Rocky Mountain Institute
Bassel Van Der Kolk: Treatment of Trauma
Daniel Hughes: Introduction to DDP
Bronagh Starrs: Working with Adolescents
Sue Jennings: EPR Model
Mooli Lahad: Trauma Story, BASIC PH
Polyvagul Theory: Deb Dana
Nature Based Play Therapy: Maggie Fern
The Heart of Trauma: Bonnie Badenoch
Sensory Integration Network: Yoga and Sensory Integration
Advanced Skills in Tele-Play Therapy Training: IAPTP
Delivering Mental Health Programs in Schools: Edel Lawlor