Joanne Gilhooly - Psychotherapist & Counsellor - Dublin City
When embarking on the process of counselling and psychotherapy is natural to have a lot of questions about which psychotherapist or counsellor might be the best fit to support you in addressing your difficulties. What follows is some information regarding my professional background to help you with that. You are welcome to contact me with any further questions.
Education and Training
I began my training in counselling and psychotherapy in 2004, graduating with a B.A. (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Dublin Business School in 2010. Shortly after this, I began working in private practice, in the warm, welcoming, and professional space, where I am still based, on Lower Abbey Street in Dublin 1.
Following my core training, which focused on humanistic and psychodynamic frameworks, (you can read more about these approaches here) I became interested in the Gestalt approach to psychotherapy. After exploring this for a while, I undertook a further two years training with the Dublin Gestalt Centre and earned a Diploma in Gestalt therapy.
Committed to bringing you the most effective therapy I can, I have since continued to study the Relational Gestalt approach extensively and I have trained internationally with the Pacific Gestalt Institute in California, and the InKontakt Institute in Berlin.
Relational Gestalt is an egalitarian, phenomenological and non-diagnostic approach that respects the unique experience and pace of each person. Or to put it another way, I’m generally more interested in your experience than in putting a label on you (unless you have one already that fits for you or helps you).
Accreditation and Ongoing Development
In addition to my core training and my training in Gestalt, I have also engaged in several other short courses relating to counselling and psychotherapy including mindfulness, sexuality, and trauma.
I am a fully accredited member of IACP (Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and I abide by their Code of Ethics. I am also co-founder of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Interest Group within the IACP.
To ensure that my practice remains creative, ethical and up-to-date, I attend counselling supervision with a qualified supervisor, which is a professional requirement for all therapists. Additionally, I regularly engage in continuing professional development activities.
Experience and Areas of Interest
In addition to working as a counsellor, I have previously worked for several years in the social care sector, in a support role. During that time, I worked with women and children experiencing domestic abuse; young people both in and leaving the care system; and people who are homeless. I have extensive experience of working with people experiencing crisis times in their lives. I have also had the pleasure of seeing many, many, people move beyond this. I have learned, at the deepest level, that with the right supports, people (all of us) are exceptionally creative and resilient.
As a counsellor, I know that there is much more to you than the issues you are experiencing. However, it may help you to know that I am experienced in working with anxiety, depression, trauma, sexuality, feelings of shame, the effects of childhood abuse or neglect (developmental trauma), eating distress (including ‘comfort eating’), bereavement, feelings of confusion, and more.
My approach is also well suited to working with people who are experiencing distressing relationship patterns and ongoing attachment difficulties.
That said, sometimes it can be challenging to put a name to difficult feelings. It might be that for you there is a sense of general stuckness, fogginess, or dissatisfaction without really knowing why. If that is your experience, I’m happy to see if we can work towards greater clarity for you.
Generally, I work with people at a deep level to see if we can get to what is underlying the issues that are bothering you.