I am a Registered Psychotherapist with over ten years experience in the area of mental health. I am from Ireland and moved to Canada in 2014. In Ireland I worked in the homeless and youth sector as well as a methadone reduction treatment centre and private practice. Since moving to Canada I worked in the areas of Children’s mental health and autism services as well as addiction treatment and now I have my own therapy centre Spacious Mind Counselling.
Where are you from? Tell us where you were born and raised. Did you have a traditional upbringing for your culture or a unique situation? Did you and/or your family relocate?
I was born in Co.Limerick in Ireland and moved to Canada in 2014.
Your education: Where, when and what did you study? In what courses did you excel and were there any challenges in your education?
Initially I graduated as a mechanical engineer from University of Limerick. I worked in engineering for 8 years and during this time I studied Psychotherapy as well as volunteered with the youth services in Limerick. In 2010 I returned to University full time to get a masters in Youth and Community Work as well as an Honours BA in Psychotherapy.
What led you to a career in mental health? Did you have an inspirational mentor or a turning point event in your life?
I broke a bone in my back in a bad car crash in 2004 and this changed my perspective on how I was living my life at that time. I was stressed out and anxious with work and did not really take care of my mental health. This accident lead me to getting into my own personal therapy which helped me become aware of past traumas and how to heal them in a way that allowed me live more in line with my values rather than doing what I thought I should do to please others.
What is your current workplace setting? What were there stages involved in getting to where you are now?
I am the founder and owner of Spacious Mind Counselling in Guelph and online. I worked in various mental health settings over the past ten years before opening this centre. My goal is to have a therapy centre that has qualified and experienced therapists who provide an excellent level of care to the clients we serve.
Tell us a bit more about yourself – what do you like to do with your free time? Do you have hobbies, a favourite author, artist, movie, series, food, destination, blogger, etc. – anything at all you’d like to share?
I love hiking, surfing, running and anything creative like improvisation, art, acting. I have been in two plays with the Guelph Little Theatre as well as doing tonnes of fun improv at The Making Box Guelph and The Second City, Toronto.
A lot has changed in 2020. Any advice to share about how to approach your work, relationships or homelife in the era of the ‘new normal’? What will life be like in a year from now?
I hope the world will be a kinder and more just place where systems of oppression are openly named as such and work continues to reduce the harm these systems cause.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking about a career in mental health or just getting started?
It is a process that takes time and it is not linear in terms of growth. Being in my own personal therapy has helped me have increased understanding of the process.
Are you seeing clients in-person again? What have you learned about this process?
Yes I am seeing clients in person. It has been a slow process where we have prioritized safety.
Member of the OAMHP since: