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Managing Anxiety

Panic Attacks

Self Compassion


Frequently asked questions 

How does counselling work?


The most important element in counselling is trust, you must feel comfortable and have a connection with your therapist in order for therapy to work well.  If this is present then typically you, the client, brings whatever is troubling you to the sessions, I will help you to process it and try to make sense of it. I will always strive to provide you with a secure and confidential space in which to explore your issues. 


How do the sessions operate?

All sessions outdoor or online are scheduled in advance and will usually happen weekly at the same time. Sessions will last 50 minutes. 


How many sessions will I need?

This is a common question, there is however no simple answer. Some clients will only need a few sessions to experience results, others may have deeper issues that require a gentler and longer approach. During our initial session we can decide together on the most appropriate number of sessions. 

What if I need to cancel a session? 

I would encourage you to attend all weekly sessions as regularity helps the counselling process. However should you need to cancel I would request 24 hours notice. There is a charge for missed sessions if this notice is not given. 

FAQ"S for Outdoor Therapy -

Before going outside we will undertake an online session so you are fully comfortable with with exactly what is involved.

Do I need to be fit? 

No this is not a fitness exercise, all walks will be gentle or may involve sitting outside.

What if it rains?

The weather in Ireland is very unreliable, it can be pleasant to walk in gentle rain with the right type of clothing. In fact sometimes bad or dull weather can be a nice mirror of our mood. However we always have to option to move to an online session if the weather is too bad. 

What if someone sees me?

There are several locations that I use for outdoor therapy, before we begin we will discuss a location where you would be most comfortable. That may mean a drive to a location that is not on your doorstep. If people see us, we will look like two people out for a walk and a chat, however we will discuss in advance what to do/say if we happen to bump into someone you know.


Malahide Castle 

Managing Anxiety 

Feelings of anxiety can be very common with many people complaining of constant bouts of intense worry or fear about health, family, work, school etc. In some cases this can cause physical symptoms such as headaches and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 

Anxiety can develop as a result of genetic predisposition, our upbringing and our life experience. Often the person experiencing anxiety can have a deep need to control their life and environment in order to feel safe and secure. Of course life is not predictable and we can't control what happens to us so the need for certainty can be exhausting.


The ideal way to tackle anxiety is through a combination of lifestyle changes or improvements in exercise, nutrition etc. and through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy. Changing the way we view situations and changing the demands we place on ourselves can have a powerful impact.

If you would like to explore further how to manage anxious feelings please get in touch.


Portmarnock beach

Panic Attacks 

Many people suffer from panic attacks which can entail sudden onset of sweating, heart palpitations, dry mouth, weakness, shaking, hyperventilating and stomach pains. Often there is no obvious trigger, they can last up to an hour and be extremely distressing for the sufferer. The dread of the next panic can be almost as distressing as the panic attacks themselves. 

However, while panic attacks are extremely distressing and upsetting they are not life threatening or dangerous. There are techniques for dealing with panic attacks, it is possible through education to learn how to manage, reduce and eliminate panic attacks. 

Flooding is a technique that can be used to treat panic attack. It involves educating ourselves on the physical aspect of panic attacks and allowing ourselves to simply experience the symptoms without trying to stop them or engaging in any activity that might prolong the attack. 

I can help you to learn about panic, panic attack and techniques to deal with and overcome panic attacks. 


Portmarnock Beach 

Self Compassion 

Do you ever compare yourself to others and wonder why you are so average. Why haven't you excelled? Have you felt like you have failed? Do you feel like you are alone in this experience? In fact, this suffering is what we all have in common,  the shared human experience is of messy and imperfect lives. Society places great emphasis on self esteem but often it can be more useful to focus on self compassion. Self esteem tends to desert us, when we need it most, i.e. when we are feeling sad or rejected.


Self compassion is not about judging ourselves positively, it’s a way of relating to ourselves kindly. Its about accepting the basic human fact that we are flawed. We are not perfect, there is no such thing. Striving to achieve perfection or exceptionalism means we must view ourselves as better than other people and sets us up for frustration and disappointment. 

Practicing self compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness in the way we would treat a good friend, with patience and empathy.We often treat ourselves extremely harshly, worse than we would ever treat anyone else, we can be our own worst enemy.

We need to accept the fact that we are suffering in order to give ourselves compassion. Sometimes we don’t ever realise how much damage the harsh self critisim we give ourselves everyday is causing, how much it is hurting us. Often we believe that if we are too kind to ourselves we will become self indulgent and lazy, the opposite has been shown to be true. Self critism causes high level of stress in our bodies. By tapping into our care giving systems of warmth, gentle touch and compassion we release the feel good hormones. A feeling of safety and connectedness to others can result from practising self compassion. 

If you would like to explore this further please contact me. 

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