I work as a psychotherapist in Kilkenny city. My therapeutic approach is humanistic & integrative. I work one-to-one with adults and receive individual self-referrals and referrals from GP’s in Kilkenny and surrounding counties.
I am a registered therapist with Towards Healing who provide counselling and support services to survivors of institutional, clerical and religious abuse.
Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy
Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy focusses on the integration of the whole person, in mind, body, feelings and spirit and recognises the client’s ability to take responsibility for themselves and their choices.
In the therapeutic enterprise both the client and the psychotherapist are actively engaged in establishing a collaborative relationship to explore the client’s lived experience and to facilitate the client in fulfilling their innate potential and live in a more satisfying and resourceful way.
What is psychotherapy?
Psyche is the Greek name for soul.
Psychotherapy can be a balm for the human soul at times of emotional distress, stress and conflicts in our personal lives and in our wider external relationships.
My psychotherapy training integrates various models and theories as noted below.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud who had a deep appreciation of the depth and complexity of human life. Freud recognised how our unconscious, that which is outside our awareness, can manifest in our relationships and cause suffering and distress.
Attachment Theory explores how childhood experiences of relationships are mapped onto the psyche and how these blueprints can get carried into adult life relationships.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works within a frame of reference which suggests that feelings follow thoughts, thus changing our thoughts (which can often be unconscious) can change our feelings.
Gestalt Therapy emerged in the 1950’s and focusses on the the importance of having good contact with oneself and others for psychological health and well-being. Issues may arise when contact is blocked or interrupted with ourselves, with our relationships and with our environment.
The cornerstone of Carl Rogers Person-Centered Therapy emphasises the client’s ‘actualising tendency’ the innate motivational force to expand, mature and grow as a person. Healing occurs through the therapeutic relationship that offers empathy, unconditional positive regard and genuineness.
Object Relations Theory posits that our main driving force is to seek a relationship with others and it explores our psychological make-up and structure in terms of our relationship with others.
My training in Bodywork (non-touch) utilises the work of Willhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen. Reich was a student of Freud and he developed a theory of Character Structure which is based on a triad of self identity comprising thought, feeling and the physical body. Lowen was a student and a client of Reich and further enriched and developed Reich’s work into Bioenergetics.
Psychotherapy also incorporates current research from various fields including neuroscience and trauma resolution.
When is a good time to start psychotherapy?
While a personal crisis may be the entry point into therapy, it may be helpful to know that you can engage with therapy at any time throughout your lifetime. If you are aware of an unresolved issue(s) it may be beneficial to engage in therapy when you are feeling more resourced as this generally allows the process to deepen at an earlier pace.
Goals for psychotherapy
The initial meeting with a client will focus on their therapeutic goal(s). For some clients therapy is about gaining insight, awareness or understanding and this in itself may be sufficient and may organically lead to the needed change. Client’s may choose to focus on symptom relief or having a supportive place while going through a crisis. The goal(s) are also dependent on the time being invested by the client as some may opt to invest in shorter or longer term therapy. The focus may change as sessions progress where a client deepens their exploration process.
Counselling seeks to facilitate a person to explore their life situation to enable them to make their own decisions and occurs within a contractual and confidential setting.
The cornerstone in Carl Rogers person-centered therapy emphasises the client’s ‘actualising tendency’ the innate motivational force to expand, mature and grow as a person. Healing occurs through the therapeutic relationship that offers empathy, unconditional positive regard and genuineness.