Our Counsellors & Team
Aspen Counselling Director
Linda Balfe, Director of Aspen Counselling Services Lucan has worked as a psychotherapist since 1997.It was then that she commenced her training and work in a voluntary organisation that provided low cost counselling. It was there that she got the vision to open and be part of developing an affordable counselling service that was accessible to whoever should need to avail. In 2001 Aspen was established. She has worked as a Psychotherapist and Director of this service where to date there are a team of over 40 therapists and volunteers working and making psychotherapy affordable and accessible. Linda has B.Sc. in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Certified as a Reality Therapist and a Certificate in Supervision. The areas that she specialise in are Attachment Disorders, Narcissistic Abuse, family systems, Loss and Grief, Addictions, Anxiety, Depression, Phobias. OCD, Stress management, Sexual Addiction/Dysfunction, sexual identity and Suicidal ideation. She works with Couples and Individuals. Linda is a Supervisor to other therapists where she supervises them in their clinical practice. She is an Accredited Psychotherapist and Qualified Supervisor with the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy ( I.A.C.P)
Linda is Director, Supervisor and Psychotherapist - MIACP SIACP, WGII
Aspen Counselling Director
Patrick is a senior executive with 20+years’ of unique experience across several sectors and functions, including CRM, sales and marketing, finance, banking, manufacturing, retail businesses, charities, and ERP system implementation. Consistently identifying and accelerating strategic measures to strengthen performance with sustained operational results, He forges long-lasting client and business partner relationships to benefit all parties mutually.
A robust educational background consisting of an honours degree from UCD, a postgraduate diploma in Business Studies from Smurfit school of business and a professional accounting qualification with ACCA has given Patrick a solid foundation in all situations for an ever-changing working environment. His drive does not stop after work, and he has represented Ireland in 3 Ice swimming world championships and has been chairperson of the Leinster region for ACCA. Believing in giving back to the community, he has served as a director on several boards of charities, both past and present.
Our Wider Team
Barbara has a B.A. (Hons) in Psychology as well as a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy. Her therapeutic approach is integrative, drawing from a range of therapeutic modalities to suit the specific needs of each client. She has experience working with Abuse (physical, verbal, psychological, sexual), Anger, Anxiety, Attachment issues, Bereavement, Binge Eating, Coercive Control, Depression, Family Systems, Marital/Relationship difficulties, PTSD, Rape, Self-harm, Self-Esteem, Sex trafficking, Stalking, Stress, Suicide (ideation, attempts), Trauma. She works with individuals and couples. She is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and the British Psychological Society (BACP) as well as the Association of Professional Counsellors & Psychotherapists in Ireland (APCP).
Carmel, is a Fully Qualified Psychotherapist and a senior therapist with Aspen Counselling Service. She holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and is Accredited with IACP (Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). She is an Integrative, Humanistic therapist, but also draws on other theoretical approaches including CBT, to support her clients. Her belief is that everyone deserves a space to be seen and heard in a non-judgemental way. Her aim as a counsellor is to facilitate a healing in a
therapeutic space, where the client can feel safe, understood and respected. Carmel works with clients presenting with a variety of issues. Carmel works with individual adults, couples and teenagers from 16 years of age upwards, and has a keen interest in Anxiety. Carmel has also completed training in Applied Suicide Intervention.
Keith has been with Aspen since 2015. Keith is a fully accredited psychotherapist with the IACP (Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and abides by their code of ethics. Keith’s approach is integrative and humanistic, meaning that he combines learning from different schools of psychotherapy to best meet the needs of each client. He uses CBT and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Keith works with a broad range of issues from depression and anxiety to self-esteem and relationship difficulties. Keith hold a BSc (Hons) Degree in counselling and psychotherapy.
William who joined Aspen in 2016 has a Diploma in Criminology, a BA in Management and a BSc Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy. He is an accredited member with the IACP. William is an experienced psychotherapist who uses a humanistic and person centred approach in an integrative style to support individuals and couples with emotional, behavioural and relationship difficulties. William describes his therapy sessions “as a collaboration with clients to develop a comprehensive understanding of the emotional and psychological dynamics underpinning their presenting issue”.
Ciara Walsh is an accredited Therapist with the I.A.C.P. and has done a BSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Ciara also has training in suicide prevention and intervention having studied Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. While Ciara's style is primarily 'person centred', she has the innate ability to adapt and suit her counselling styles to each client's individual needs. Ciara works with people of all ages but has a vast amount of experience working with young people.
Dip & BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy MIACP
Professional Certificate Children and Loss (RCSI)
Professional Certificate Working with Trauma
Sheila is a fully qualified psychotherapist having completed the BSc (Hons) Degree in Counselling /Psychotherapy and Professional Diploma in Psychotherapy. She is accredited with the IACP. Her professional background before becoming a therapist has been as an SNA for 16 years, working with children with diverse needs. She is an integrative and humanistic therapist, but also draws on other theoretical approaches including CBT and Psychodynamic modalities to support her clients.
Sheila has a professional certificate with PCI College in Working with Trauma, and also CBT skills and is continuing in this education in CBT. She additionally holds a Professional Certificate with RCSI in the area of children and Loss. She has also completed the Fetac train the trainer course and applied suicide training.
Don is a fully accredited counsellor with APCP - Association of Professional Counsellors & Psychotherapists in Ireland.
MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
BA (Hons)Degree in Psychology,
Community Addiction studies (L5).
Certificate in Mindfulness for Professionals
Motivational Interviewing Intermediate level.
Don also works as a counsellor with The Walkinstown Greenhills Resource Centre which is funded by the Dublin 12 Drugs and Alcohol Task Force. He is also a trained facilitator for the Strengthening Families Program in Dublin 12.
Areas of Speciality:
Narcissistic Abuse, Loss and Grief, Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, Phobias, Anger management, Developmental Trauma, Emotional disregulation and ADHD
Natalie Mc Cormack
Natalie is a fully accredited psychotherapist and has been part of the Aspen team since 2017. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Dublin Business School. She works in accordance to and adheres to IACP's code of ethics. Each client is individualistic in their needs and therefore no one approach will be the same. Natalie is trained integratively, this allows her to draw from a multitude of approaches depending on the presenting issue/issues. She works with, but is not limited to anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, self esteem, suicide, family and relationship issues. She draws on different therapeutic approaches including psychodynamic, person centered and existentialism, offering a safe therapeutic environment for the exploration of issues in a collaborative way.
Child and Adolescent Therapist
Aisling is a child and adolescent therapist. She has a postgraduate diploma in Play Therapy and has just completed her MA in Creative Psychotherapy at the Children's Therapy Centre. She works with a child centred approach using play and creative means to give children and teens a space to negotiate their way safely through difficult life events such as bereavement, parental separation, school problems or trauma. Aisling helps children find appropriate ways to deal with big feelings such as anger, fear, sadness and anxiety. She works with children from 4 to 17 years of age. Aisling provides parenting support and psychoeducation to help caregivers become better equipped to support their children. She is trained in trauma ‐focused-CBT, Theraplay Level 1 and Teleplay. She is currently providing online sessions for children aged 7 and older. She is a pre-accredited member of Irish Association of Play Therapists and Psychotherapists. (IAPTP).
Tony is an accredited psychotherapist and counsellor with IACP since 2015 and he is also a qualified teacher in Mindfulness and Positive Psychology. Tony has worked with clients on issues such as anxiety, depression, work related issues, addiction issues and suicide ideation. He also works with clients who experience family and relationship issues and believes his 5 years’ experience as a marriage preparation facilitator assists his work with couples in particular. Tony works with clients with a mindful humanistic approach which gives the client the space to reflect and develop a greater understanding of the challenges that brings them to therapy and the space to allow them to heal and move forward.
He also has a big interest in the mind/body connection and the importance of both positive physical and psychological health. He is a former sports coach and holds a diploma in sports psychology. Tony recently worked as a wellness coach with a large multinational company in Dublin and holds a diploma in corporate wellness and is trained in assisting individuals in individual and group crisis intervention (ICISF).
Tony is a former chairperson of Bio-energy Association of Ireland (he is a qualified Bio energy therapist) and he is currently a committee member of the IACP Dublin Regional committee. Tony is currently attending college to complete the last segment of his Bsc (Hons) degree.
Niamh has worked in Aspen since 2017, she holds a MSc in Child and Adolescent Therapy, a BSc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a professional certificate in CBT. She is a fully accredited therapist with the IACP and abides by their code of ethics. Niamh works with adults, adolescents and children but the main focus of her practice is with clients under 18 years old. She works non-directively and uses a variety of creative interventions including sand tray therapy, art, storytelling and play therapy. Niamh is experienced working with a broad range of issues including adhd, asd, anxiety, attachment difficulties, bullying, bereavement, depression, eating disorders, emotional regulation, panic attacks, parental separation, self-esteem and sexual identity.
Louise has been working with Aspen since 2019. She is an accredited psychotherapist and works in accordance with the code of ethics of the IACP, of which she is a member. She holds a Masters in Guidance & Counselling and a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Louise uses an integrative and person centred approach to support clients with a wide range of concerns including anxiety, loss, bereavement, stress, trauma, depression, self esteem …
As an integrative therapist, she sees her role as helping her client as they explore their issues and concerns in a supportive, safe and caring environment. She believes that clients hold their own answers and the role of the therapist is to facilitate an understanding of this to allow change and healing to happen.
Christine is a qualified psychotherapist and has been part of the Aspen team since 2019. holding a BA Hons degree in counselling and psychotherapy from ICHAS ( Irish college of humanities & applied science) and is an accredited therapist with APCP. Christine's aim is to build a warm and safe therapeutic space where the client feels valued and heard. The style of therapy provided is that of an humanistic/integrative approach which allows to utilize a multitude of approaches depending on the clients presenting concern. Christine has experience working with an array of presenting issues such as grief & loss, anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression and trauma.
Hi, I'm Penny. I have a BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy, am fully accredited with the IACP, and I'm currently completing a Masters programme in Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy.
I specialise in individual counselling with adult, child and adolescent clients struggling with anxiety, depression, identity and self-worth issues, often with a tendency to put themselves second in their relationships with others – and themselves.
I use a range of tools, from CBT, attachment and psychodynamic therapy, to art and polyvagal-informed therapy, depending on the needs of the client. Working from a person-centred ethos, I seek to create a safe, confidential and emotionally nurturing environment in which you can process the emotions, behaviours and thoughts that have kept you stuck – and learn to flourish.
David has been with Aspen since 2018 and has earned a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from PCI College Dublin. He is a pre-accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (I.A.C.P.) and abides by their code of ethics. David aims to provide a welcoming and safe environment where clients can explore any issues they find themselves facing.
He has experience working with clients facing relationship, work and family issues and also with people who are feeling depressed and anxious.
Paul Huggard has been part of the Aspen Team since 2019. He holds a Higher Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a Masters in Psychotherapy and is an accredited member of IAHIP.
Paul works with adults of all ages and also has wide experience of working with young adults. Paul has experience in the areas of stress, anxiety, low mood, self-regulation, depression, self-esteem, personal development, addiction, life choices, life direction, work related issues, relationships, exploring, encouraging and expressing the creative self, bereavement, grief and loss. He also has training in suicide prevention.
Paul’s counselling approach is an integrative one, based on a person centred and humanistic model. The aim is to use a collaborative approach to meet the needs of each individual client by creating a safe therapeutic space in which the client is heard and valued. This allows the client to explore the challenges they are facing, and to identify ways of moving forward so that they can take the necessary actions to do so.
Dearbhla has a Bsc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She also holds a certification in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills and a professional certificate in Understanding Women's Mental Health Issues. Dearbhla has been working in Aspen since 2019. She works mainly from a person-centered/humanistic approach, but is trained integratively which allows her to draw on other modalities depending on specific client needs and approaches.
Dearbhla believes that counselling is a built on collaborative relationship between the therapist and client, working together in a safe, non-judgemental space to overcome the challenges the client may be experiencing She has worked with a variety of clients reflecting a wide range of clinical presentations. Dearbhla has a particular interest in anxiety, trauma and women's mental health. Dearbhla is a member of The Women's Mental Health Network which advocates on women's mental health issues.
Theresa O' Haire
Theresa has been trained integratively, which means she can adapt her therapeutic approach to suit each client’s unique circumstances. Her aim is to provide a warm, compassionate and non-judgemental space for clients to explore and safely navigate their way through struggles arising from issues such as Anxiety/Panic, Depression, Bereavement, Low Self-Esteem, Relationships and more.
Theresa’s training is ongoing as she is now working towards accreditation in Shauna Quigley’s Clearing Method. This approach is a guide to using our bodies to inform our minds. That knot in our stomach’s, that tight chest and more are telling us what wounds we carry. When we learn the language of these wounds, healing can begin.
BSC Hons Counselling & Psychotherapy
Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy
Pre-Accredited Member of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
Sam has been with Aspen since 2020. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy as well as a Professional Diploma in Trauma Informed Psychotherapy.
Sam is an integrative therapist with a strong person-centred foundation. She places an emphasis on forming strong therapeutic relationships with her clients through non-judgement and empathy.
Sam draws from many theoretical models to best suit the needs of the individual client e.g. CBT and psychodynamics. Her training in Trauma Informed Psychotherapy lends itself to a range of client presentations.
Sam has experience in working with an array of issues including anxiety, depression, work-related stress, bereavement and loss, family estrangement, relationship issues, trauma, self-harm, abuse, low self-esteem and body image issues.
Anita has 12 years’ experience working in the area of mental health and holds both a B.Sc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy as
well as an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Supervision. Anita is a fully accredited member of IACP (Irish Association for Counselling and
Psychotherapy) and works in accordance with IACP’s code of ethics.
Anita’s goal is to encourage and empower her clients to take control of their own lives at their own pace and she specialises in a host of therapy practices such as, but not limited to, Anxiety and
Depression, Stress Management, Personal Development, Bereavement and Loss and Childhood and Relationship Issues.
Anita began working in Aspen in 2011 as a trainee therapist and subsequently left to set up her own private Counselling and Psychotherapy practice in Castleknock in 2020. Anita has now
returned to Aspen to provide peer supervision for the current trainee students.
Caroline is a Pre-Accredited Therapist and member of the IACP. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy and qualified with a distinction. Before moving to work full time as a therapist, Caroline worked for over 25yrs in the field of mental health where she led teams and services in the voluntary sector.
At any stage in our lives we can be met by challenges that interfere with our happiness and sense of wellbeing. Some of these challenges are caused by big events like trauma, bereavement, a diagnosis of physical/mental illness or a relationship issue. For others, we may feel out of balance or sad, our thoughts are negative and we can't connect. Our relationships may be suffering. We are not sure what is causing this, we just know that we are not living a full life, something is missing or holding us back. Couples may be in crisis and wondering if they can last.
As an integrative therapist I will provide a safe, confidential space for us to explore together. We will look at possible causes for your challenges and we will agree together the best approach for supporting you to overcome those challenges. This may take a very short time or you may find longer term therapy is best for you. We will always decide together.
Taking that first step is often the most difficult decision you will make. I promise you have nothing to lose by reaching out to me. I will support you to say a little bit about why you have contacted me and then we can go from there together, whether you decide to come to therapy or not.
Laura is a pre-accredited therapist registered with the IACP. She holds a first-class honours' degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Middlesex University U.K. earned through PCI College Dublin. She primarily works in the person-centred modality, and integrates techniques from other therapeutic approaches such as CBT, Mindfulness, solution focused therapy and psychodynamic therapy depending on a clients’ needs. She provides an open and creative space where clients can express themselves freely and work towards positive change. Through challenging negative thoughts and behavioural patterns, clients can begin a journey of self-exploration and learn to understand themselves better, develop emotional regulation, move towards positive change, and grow in self-awareness.
Ciaran Burke is a fully qualified counsellor and psychotherapist accredited with The National Association of Professional Counsellors & Psychotherapy (NAPCP) and is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI). He has earned a BA (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Ciaran employs integrative approaches, mostly combining humanistic and behavioural approaches to his counselling practice, meaning he can work with almost any issue and collaborate with those who attend counselling. He has previously been an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) telephone counsellor and a Senior EAP counsellor working extensively with people worldwide. Ciaran has experience with helping people learn to manage numerous issues ranging from but not limited to stress, anxiety, addiction, bereavement, trauma, relationships, anger management.
Joan is a pre accredited therapist with a BA hons in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a BA in Psychology. Working as an integrative therapist, she combines elements from evidence based therapies, psychodynamic approaches, person centred therapy and existential therapy. Joan creates a safe and non judgemental space for exploration and self discovery that allows individuals to achieve emotional well being and personal growth. Through empathy, active listening and collaboration Joan empowers clients to find their own solutions and make positive changes in their lives.
Michele has been with Aspen Counselling Services since 2018. She brings over 15 years of administrative experience in Office Management, Payroll and Accounting from her time in Trinity College, Dublin. After taking a number of years off to care for her family, she joined Aspen as a volunteer reception and then came on board as our Office Manager in January 2020. Michele looks after the day to day operations of Aspen, which includes ensuring our therapists are looked after and scheduling of appointments. She also assists in the development and implementation of policies and procedures, training and fundraising. Her primary goal is to keep our service running smoothly and to ensure that our clients are looked after in a confidential and sensitive manner.