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About Alison

My approach to counselling (and life in general)

Trained in the Human Givens approach, I use the most up to date, effective psychological techniques based on a modern understanding of the brain/mind/body system and what people really need to thrive and be happy. My counselling sessions are about encouraging self-reliance, confidence and lasting emotional health in a safe, confidential and supportive space. In the first session we decide whether we feel that we can work together and look at what your goals are. Some people find that a short term solution-focused approach (where we start from where you are now and focus on getting you to where you’d like to be in as few sessions as possible) is the right one for them. Others find that they need to take things more slowly and really look at things in depth (for example healing from childhood trauma). Still others are looking for more of a life coaching approach when they find themselves at a crossroads in their life.

My working life and my counselling credentials

It’s taken me a while to get to where I am today! I have run several small businesses (all types – software localisation,  driving instructor, caterer, small business coach…) before moving into community development work  and also becoming a tutor in further education. Over fifteen years I taught a range of subjects including IT and business and in later years, psychology and personal development. Loving the psychology side of teaching, I decided to take the plunge and study it more intensively. I embarked on a Master’s Degree in Human Givens psychotherapy and set up my own private practice here in Douglas, Cork city in 2012. I offer “face to face” appointments and also via Skype and telephone for people living outside of Cork city.

My Master’s degree involved me setting up and running a project with a group of fibromyalgia sufferers. (Fibromyalgia is a devastating condition – symptoms range from extreme fatigue to constant pain and disturbed sleep.) I taught the skills of mindfulness and breathing, pacing, drawing on our internal and external resources and setting new and realistic goals. Results proved that the mindfulness course did indeed really help their mood and sleep. I am delighted to be still running Mindfulness workshops for both the Cork Fibromyalgia Group and the Cork branch of the Irish ME Trust and also see clients with stress related illnesses on a one to one basis. For more information on this, please go to my Stress Related Illness page.

I am proud to be a founder member of MindfullyWell, a network of counsellors and psychotherapists in Ireland and Northern Ireland and also to be one half (together with Karl Hyden) of the Hyden-Winfield Consultancy which provides education, training and consultancy to people and organisations in Ireland in the area of mental toughness. We work with people who are interested in overcoming significant emotional, physical or life challenges, including unemployed adults, young people returning to work or education and those experiencing ill health or disability.

On a personal note

I am most proud of all to be a mother of two adult“children”. In my spare time I love to travel and to spend as much time as possible outdoors, preferably in the sun! I have recently discovered the joys of “house-swapping” which has led to several trips to the US, especially New Hampshire. I was born and brought up in the UK Midlands and moved to Ireland over twenty years ago.