Cultural Competency Workshop Dublin – 28th September

Materials available to download here

For those interested in exploring the topics of culture and diversity (in particular ethnicity) and their roles in the therepeutic space, the below workshop facilitated by myself on behalf of the IACP may be of interest.

Slides, reading lists & other materials will be available to download from this website after the workshop.

This TED talk gives a flavour of the type of themes explored on the day.

In the spirit of exploring our reactions to diversity we will hear from a number of voices and minority perspectives during the workshop including.

  • Salome Mbugua from Akidwa a leading NGO highlighting the issues faced by migrant women in Ireland.
  • Thomas McCann from the Travellers Counselling Service.
  • Abeer Younis – Palestinian/Israeli artist now living in Ireland will share some of her journey & experience

More details available at this link

Relationship breakdown, Divorce & Mental Health

The upcoming referendum has made discussion of relationship breakdowns, separation & divorce very topical.

This article from clinical psychologist Dr. Maureen Gaffney gives an insightful look at the topic in particular highlighting the mental & physical health costs to couples.

She highlights early intervention as key, as early as prior to marriage. Many clients I have worked with have described situations where relationship counselling & mediation were left until far too late and thus were ineffective or in some case made things even worse.

If repair & healing is what the couple want to work toward together, helping them gain understanding on relationship issues & patterns of negativity as well as learning new less destructive ways to communicate are some of the things that can be explored in therapy. Support can also be very useful for those going through the stress & turmoil of a difficult separation & divorce if a decision the end things is made.

The risks of delays & difficulties accessing counselling services in Ireland

While mental health is certainly very much part of the national conversation these days it is disturbing to hear regularly how many aspects of our mental health service remain many years behind.

A clear illustration of this in a recent Irish Times article describes a situation where over 6000 individuals are awaiting counselling services through the HSE with over 1200 waiting 3 months or more. There seems to be particularly disturbing backlogs in the West of Ireland & North Dublin. Many of these individuals could be extremely vulnerable and may not have the resources to access private or alternative services.

Recently in my own practice I became aware of an individual who recently made a serious attempt to complete suicide but through complete chance was prevented.

This vulnerable person ended up being referred by a GP to the A&E department of a major hospital where they ended up walking out due to pure frustration waiting. They were to be contacted by phone as a follow up to this visit which apparently, unbelievably, has still not occurred weeks on. This individual & his network were not aware of the alternative free supports available even those provided by well known organizations such as Pieta house.

Luckily in this instance friends and family have rallied around and got the information & support required shoring up this deficit but for such a high risk individual’s life to be left to chance is extremely disturbing and seems to highlight the vestiges of an archaic, disconnected system with regards to identifying appropriate care for vulnerable people and their mental health.

Accessing Counselling Services in Ireland – the three main options for clients

A variety of people including those working in community & health settings regularly ask me about how to access counselling supports in Ireland, often confused about options outside private practitioners. This brief article explains the three main options available to clients seeking access to talking therapies in Ireland.

Talk Therapy Dublin is happy to provide free information & advice for anyone curious or confused with respect the accessing the right services or supports.