“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your 

one wild and precious life?”

- Mary Oliver

Contacting a psychologist for the first time might feel like a daunting task. Many of my clients arrive at their first session saying “I’ve been thinking about trying therapy for years”, and on completion of therapy, leave saying “I wish I’d done this sooner”. That said, therapy is not for everyone. I hope that the information provided here will help you decide whether therapy is something you would like to explore for yourself. 

 

About Carla 

Principal Clinical Psychologist, PhD / Chartered Clinical Psychologist, C.Psychol., Ps.S.I.

I am a registered Doctor of Clinical Psychology. I ran a successful private psychology practice in Cape Town, South Africa for many years before relocating to Ireland in 2022. I aim to provide a warm, inclusive and supportive therapeutic environment and therefore welcome adolescents and adults of all ages, races, religions, gender expressions and sexual orientations.  I also provide clinical supervision for trainee and registered psychologists.

 

I first registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Psychological Counsellor in 2008. In 2009 I completed my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, and in 2014 I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I have undergone extensive training, internships and examinations. I have worked in a variety of public and private clinics and hospitals, with a number of healthcare professionals, and have formed part of many different multidisciplinary teams. In 2022 I became a Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland.

I have a particular passion for working with Women’s Mental Health and empowering the female voice, as can be seen in the clinical research I have dedicated my time to.

As a mother of two children, I also enjoy helping new parents navigate the paths of parenthood. Presently, as a clinical psychologist in private practice, I enjoy working with women who suffer from various behavioural or emotional problems, as well as those who seek better relationships, personal growth and a deeper meaning in their lives.

 

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My theoretical training includes psychodynamic, psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioural perspectives. I aim to provide a warm, confidential, responsive and stimulating therapeutic relationship in which clients can examine their experiences of the world and perhaps explore new ways of being. 

I don't believe that analysis of the past is always necessary, though it is often helpful. I tend to take a more active stance in therapy. This means that I readily engage in conversation with you – asking questions, suggesting hypotheses, seeking clarifications, challenging ideas etc. In my experience, this approach yields insights and results faster than the more traditional modes of psychotherapy, in which the therapist remains largely silent. 

I take a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. That means that I am interested in your body, mind and spirit, and how these all influence each other and fit together. I therefore enquire about the physical and emotional environments in which you live; how you feed and exercise your body; what your relationship with yourself is like (how you treat and talk to yourself); what your relationships with others are like; how you experience your work, studies or vocation; and how you think about and nurture your soul/spirit/sense of purpose.  

While I am happy to formally consult on specific issues, I usually work in collaboration with my patients, where our shared aim is to discover, understand and if need be change old psychological patterns. I therefore facilitate both short-term therapies for specific problems, and longer term work which allows time for broader exploration and development.

Qualifications:

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Stellenbosch University

M.A., Clinical Psychology, cum laude, Stellenbosch University

Hons BA(SS), Psychology, University of South Africa

B.Soc.Sci, Psychology & Organisational Psychology, cum laude, University of Cape Town

Professional Registrations:

Chartered Psychologist of the Psychological Society of Ireland: C.Psychol., Ps.S.I; PSI Registration Number: M12592C.

Health Professions Council of South Africa: PS0114057.

Board of Healthcare Funders: Practice Number: 0468975.

Psychological Society of South Africa: PSY4179.

 

About Therapy

 

What is it?   Do I need it?   What should I expect?   How will I know when I’m done?

About Therapy

In short, psychotherapy is the treatment of a mental, behavioural or emotional condition using psychological rather than medicinal means. Therapy involves private discussions about your thoughts, feelings, behaviours and experienes with someone who has been professionally trained. 

People seek therapy for a variety of reasons, from deeply troubling psychiatric symptoms (severe depression, anxiety, OCD or eating disorders, for example) to “every day” problems of living (relationship difficulties, work stress, wanting to give up bad habits). Some people enter therapy not because of a specific problem, but rather because they wish to understand themselves more, work on achieving a specific goal or improve their performance in some area - sporting, professional, academic or relational, for example.  Others might enter therapy because they are aware that experiences in their past might be negatively impacting on their current quality of life. That is to say that different people enter therapy for different reasons. 

Therapy usually consists of one 50-minute session per week and begins with at least one assessment session. During the initial assessment we will talk about your reasons for seeking therapy, your past and present circumstances, as well as your expectations regarding the therapeutic process. Once the assessment is complete, I will be able to discuss what intervention(s) I believe will be most beneficial for you and determine whether I am the right person for you to work with. Equally, you will be able to decide whether you would like to enter therapy with me or seek another clinician. 

 

If we decide to work together, we will continue to meet weekly to talk about the reasons that have brought you to therapy.  Depending on your situation, our discussions may be very structured and practical (e.g. learning new cognitive techniques, social or coping skills, relaxation exercises etc.) or unstructured, where you will have room to explore your ideas, memories, experiences and feelings.

 

I believe that there are three main components to a successful therapy: 

  1. Therapist’s clinical skill and knowledge base See My Qualifications

  2. Client’s willingness to engage with openess, honesty and emotional vulnerability

  3. The fit or quality of relationship between therapist and client

 

Therapists are as unique and varied as the individuals they serve, which can make finding the right fit between patient and therapist difficult. However, it is absolutely vital that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist – or at least believe that you will eventually become comfortable - even if the first session feels a little strange!  If you do not feel secure with your therapist, then you are unlikely to be fully open and honest in your discussions about your life, and your therapist, in turn, will be limited in their ability to help you. 

 

How Do I know When I’m Done? 

Ending is often an important part of therapy. Typically, clients and I agree when therapy is no longer necessary. We will know that your therapy is nearing completion when: 

  • The problems/symptoms/experiences that initially brought you to therapy have dissipated or been resolved, and/or 

  • The goals you set for yourself have been reached, and/or

  • You are feeling and functioning better in your everyday life, and/or

  • The content of our discussions has become rote and no longer elicits the same number of insights or depth of feelings as it did before. 

Clinical Services

I provide short- and long-term Individual Therapy for adolescents and adults, as well as Couples and Parent-Child Relationship Therapy. I also facilitate Psychological Preparation for Parenthood workshops. 

Short-term therapy is typically more structured and goal-focused, and consists of anything from 6 – 12 sessions. Short-term therapy may suit people who have a specific goal or problem that they want to address, or those who have recently started experiencing troubling symptoms (of anxiety or depression, for example).  

 

Medium- and long-term therapy is typically less structured and allows ample time and space to explore deeper ideas and emotions. It is best suited for work on more complex problems and life experiences, as well as personal growth and development. 

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I remain mindful of the fact that a successful therapy requires significant investment in terms of time, energy and money. While there are seldom “quick fixes”, I work hard alongside my clients to ensure that they feel that these investments are worthwhile.

 

Contact Me

If you would like me to answer any other questions you might have, or if you would like to set up an initial appointment, please do not hesitate to contact me. As I am often in sessions throughout the day, contact via e-mail is preferred. I am usually able to respond within 24 hours.

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Contact Info

Phone

089 401 3792

Email
Address

Kildare, Ireland