Curious about Counselling?

When I meet new people and tell them I am a psychotherapist I am always blown away by how interested people are. I get so many questions about the process and what it’s like. I am passionate about my work so I would happily talk about it all day. It often brings my own awareness to the fact that not everyone feels that way about their chosen career.

If you have ever had any interest in counselling then I recommend you pursue that. Foundation courses are a great way to get an introduction to the work and theories behind the process.


There are always courses available but I would recommend ones starting in the next couple weeks in Swords, Newbridge and Dublin City Centre.

In the course you will gain an understanding of:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Person Centred Theory
  • Reality Therapy
  • Lifespan Development
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Behaviour Therapy
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Behaviour
  • Therapy Counselling Skills

You will also have the opportunity to add more positivity and self awareness into your own personal life. Thanks to personal development and experiential learning you can increase your self esteem, gain a better understanding of mindfulness, improved boundaries, learn about group process and more.

When: Swords – Fridays starting, 31st October – May, as well as 5 full Saturdays over the duration of the course.
City Centre – Mondays starting, 3rd November – May, as well as 5 full Saturdays over the duration of the course.
Newbridge – Thursdays starting, 6th November – May, as well as 5 full Saturdays
over the duration of the course.
Time: 7 – 9:30 pm
Cost: €850
If you have any questions or if you want to learn more contact: Gerard at Siochan Counselling 086 607 0260 or email

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.” – Maya Angelou

Cooler days, longer nights

In the past I did not enjoy Autumn. As the air began to get crisp I started getting worried about the cold weather heading my way. As I have continued to get older and wiser I now enjoy the change. I welcome the fresh, clean air and beautiful colours of the leaves and sky as well as the excuse to bundle up. The change of season also makes me want to hibernate, enjoying the long evenings inside. Maybe with a great book, movie or perhaps with a hot stove.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 17.20.48Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 17.22.36

If like me you just want to relax on the cooler nights a movie is a lovely way to unwind. If you need any movie inspiration I recommend the site Omive. It’s a website that will help find you films and television shows. You decide the genre, actors, directors or whatever you are in the mood for then it will show you the films. Easy.

While the seasons are changing maybe you are feeling like a change in yourself. It seems as though there are an infinite amount of self help books out there. All claiming that they will change your life. To be honest nothing will change you unless you, yourself want to make a change. However, if I were to recommend one book it would be this one:

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Yes, it is called ‘F*ck it – The Ultimate Spiritual Way’ by John C. Parkin. And it’s great. I do not care for flowery language in a self help book so this was right up my alley. I have recommended it to friends, family members and clients. All of which have enjoyed, I hope you do as well.

Once hibernation mode is engaged, you will need sustenance. I am not one for food blogs, as reading about food or seeing pictures of food is not interesting for me. However, watching people cook food, I am completely onboard for. I have got more inspiration and cooked more because of this blog then anything else. It’s called Food Wishes, the voice you hear and hands you see belong too the man behind the blog, Chef John. What makes it different from most food blogs is that the star is the food! (Novel idea eh?)

He has over 1,000 different recipes so there is something for everyone. Although I have watched most of the videos I have not made nearly enough. But that is what the next few months can be about.

Instead of grumbling about the cold find something that will keep you interested until the longer days return. Be grateful that you get to watch another cycle of this planet. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere you can tell the rest of us how wonderful your Spring is!

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano


We live in a world of instant gratification. We have centuries of knowledge available at our finger tips. We rush and race both mentally and physically. People are constantly exhausted and no one asks at what pace we are actually meant to function at.

Time is a construct which differs depending on where you live. Living in Western civilisation often means we are very connected to time. Usually talking about what little of it we have. There is so much anxiety related to time that ironically it causes us to waste the precious moments we have.

While on a holiday in Nepal I asked a local man what the weather supposed to be like the following day. He looked at me confused and bewildered and said, ‘How should I know, it’s not tomorrow yet.’ I smiled and knew he was wiser than I.


We can often get consumed with the past and/or the future, which means we are missing what is happening right now. We don’t give ourselves the space to explore what thoughts or emotions we are experiencing. When was the last time you asked yourself how you were feeling?

Why not start giving yourself a few more minutes a day. Funnily enough making time for a short mediation like the one below can make you feel like you have more time. The amount of guided mediations out there are staggering, find one that fits for you. Then start deciding at what pace you want to live your life, don’t let that be dictated by others.

 “We have been moving along at such a fast pace that we no longer know what we are doing. Now we have to wait until our soul catches up with us.” – Paulo Coelho




Course Information

Empowerment Through Self Care

Far too many of us focus on the day to day in our lives. Forgetting to mind ourselves amidst all the hustle and bustle. We are busy with jobs, children, friends and family. In all that busyness do you ever take time for yourself? Can you, without feeling guilty?

I have always loved the analogy of oxygen masks on an airplane. We are told to put our masks on before helping anyone else. Why is that? Because if you need that mask to breathe but focus on everyone else you could suffocate. Are you going through your life making sure everyone else can breathe without asking if you can?

If so, why not take two hours a week, for eight weeks, just for you. Giving you the chance to better get to know yourself. Through this self development you can learn how to better care for yourself. We will cover subjects such as: guilt, motivation, self esteem, trust and more.


Past participants of the course have had this to say:

“This course has been a real help to me, to understand me! For the first time I am in tune with me.”

“I would highly recommend this course, it gives you an inside view of yourself. It seems to cover a lot of issues and it’s an introduction to yourself, to see who you really are.’

“It gives you insights into your behaviour and habits and how to make improvements in emotional well being.”

Further Information:

  • When: Beginning September 24th and running for 8 weeks, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
  • Where: Siochan Counselling, 9 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: €15 a week. Pay in full to get one week free > €105
  • All supplies including tea, coffee and snacks will be provided.

If you are interested in joining please contact me at: 085 133 6644, or by email:

If you would like more information on me, feel free to check out my website, or my LinkedIn.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


It’s a shame it takes the death of someone in Hollywood to draw attention to a disease in which hundreds of millions of people suffer from.

With the recent suspected suicide of Robin Williams a limelight has been shone on what could have led him to do this. Which has brought attention to depression, and how without help it mentally chips away at those who suffer from it.

It can make you feel isolated and alone, forcing you to wear a mask. A brave face to show the world unable to share the pain that is really being felt.

There seem to be many comedians who suffer from depression themselves. Perhaps that’s because those who battle depression experience a flat affect, no emotional responses to situations or experiences. Seeing that they can make others experience joy and laughter gives them purpose. However, at the end of the day if you don’t have love for yourself the love of others means nothing.


If you are suffering from depression, get help. Although you feel alone in the darkness, you don’t have to be. Those feelings are a symptom of the disease. I had done a previous post with a focus on talking to someone when you are feeling down, you can read that here. It’s never too late to reach out, to ask for help, it could save your life.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” -Laurell K. Hamilton


Practice giving. Minimise judging.

I often worry that the spare change I give to panhandlers will be used for drugs or alcohol. Although that is my own judgement I prefer to know that what I am giving will help the individual. More often then not I’ll give food and the person is always grateful.

If you are like myself but are feeling more generous, why not make packs to be given out to the homeless in your area? Depending on your location and the time of year you can change the contents. Here in Ireland I would throw in a rain ponchos maybe in a colder climate a pair of gloves or mittens would be appreciated.


That warm and fuzzy feeling will give your mood a boost, even if you are feeling low. The world needs more random acts of kindness, here in Ireland there’s a festival on the weekend of July 19th. For those of you on the rest of the planet take a look at this site for some great ideas and how to get involved.

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” – Gautama Buddha

We’re Not all Sugar And Spice

I’m tired of seeing half naked women on television displayed as strippers and/or hookers. I’m tired of hearing women described as sluts, skanks and whores. I’m tired of feeling annoyed when the media tells me this is normal. This doesn’t have to be our normal.

From a very young age most girls get described as sweet, pretty or nice. While boys will often be labeled with strong, funny and brave. There is lots of pressure put on men and women telling them what traits they should have, today I am focusing on the pressures put on women. In hopes that it could help make everyone more aware of the messages we are bombarded with.


There is an underlying belief that women always have to be ‘all things nice’ which can be frustrating. As a woman if you are assertive or if you do not accept a man’s unwanted advances, you may be called bitch. Especially by men who may not grasp how uncomfortable they can make us feel. However, being nice all the time can often mean you are labeled as a pushover. How can you win?

It's a trap

A lot of this seems to be systematically ingrained into our culture, so what can be done? It starts at the individual level, we need to show kindness and empathy to one another. We need to watch our thoughts, as they lead to behaviours. Pay attention to the assumptions that you make about others. My guess is the less negative thinking you have about women, the more aware you will be of the the negative way the world around you can portray them.

Let’s stop accepting what has been taught to us as ‘normal’ and make a new, better standard.

“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai