Margaret Dunne B.A., H. Dip., Dip. Counselling, M.I.A.C.P., M.I.F.C.A., M.C.O.S.R.T.
I graduated with a B.A. and H. Dip. in 1987 and taught for a number of years. I then trained as a Psychotherapist and qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1997. I soon joined the counselling team in the H.A.R.I. Unit of the Rotunda Hospital specialising in Fertility Counselling. Many patients were coping with a medical diagnosis, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Endometriosis. This was having a detrimental effect not only on their ability to conceive, but on their self-esteem and relationships. My role was to support them and help them cope with the stresses and challenges involved. I found myself particularly interested in working with clients who have received a serious medical diagnosis or who have a physical disability. In my work as a counsellor I have seen and helped clients deal with numerous disabilities and diagnoses including Motor Neuron Disease, cCancer, M.E. to name but a few. Often what commences as a physical or medical issue can have a profound impact on the client’s emotional and psychological state. Even something that might be regarded by other people as a minor injury, such as back pain or a broken bone, can be the cause of significant stress and anxiety for the client in their circumstances and have a significant impact on their relationships with their families and friends. I assist my clients in coping with all the implications of their injury or disability.
Clients with Vestibular Disorders often experience changes in their personality (know as organic personality syndrome), grief, changes in relationships with family and friends, and fear culminating in panic attacks and / or depression. My training enables me to provide support and assistance to my client in coping with this condition, through facilitating the expression of their emotions regarding it. Working with my clients, I assist them to review how they are envisioning their lives going forward because the client needs to have assistance in integrating their images of who they were with who they are now. Vestibular disorder clients are coping with the loss of their self-identities including their capabilities. When you lose the sense of your own independence and ability to care for yourself, it can be overwhelming.
Having trained in Boston, U.S.A., under Dr. Alice Domar, Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Mind/Body Health Centre, I combine relaxation strategies and mindfulness techniques with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This combination has been clinically proven to be highly effective in not only treating anxiety and depression but also in preventing their relapse. This particular therapy gives my clients a sense of being more in control of their thoughts and feelings and raises self-confidence and self-esteem.
For the last two years I trained in London as a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist because I saw first-hand the enormous impact a disability, injury or medical diagnosis has on my clients’ relationships with their partners, both sexually and emotionally. Understandably, most people find this aspect of their lives very difficult to discuss. Having done specialised training, I help my clients to express, understand, and move forward with this aspect of their lives, in a warm, caring and non-judgemental environment.