Counselling · Psychotherapy · CBT · Mindfulness · Art Therapy · Compassion
Carbury, Co. Kildare · Tels: 0873977828 / 0862272917
If you want to know a little more about Antonia, to see if she is the type of person you could work with therapeutically, check out her qualifications, experience, and a little about her personal history
Tel: 087 3977828
- Fully accredited with the IACP and the IAHIP
- Masters in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy from the University of Oxford.
- BA (Hons.) in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy from IICP.
- 4 year Professional Diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy
- Post Graduate Dip. in Art Therapy
- Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Trained in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)
- Additional training in Child and Adolescent Counselling, Reality Therapy and Motivational Interviewing, Understanding Psychosis, Couples Counselling, Dream Interpretation, Family Constellations, End of Life and Palliative emotional care, and energy healing.
- I have experience as a lecturer training counselling and psychotherapy students at undergraduate level.
Who am I and my own personal journey
My name is Antonia, I am half Irish and half Spanish, in my early 40s and, although I spent a lot of my childhood living in Mallorca (Spain), I have been living in Ireland for 20 years, and in Co. Kildare for nearly 10 years. I was brought up between Spain and Ireland with one Irish parent and one Spanish parent. As with most people, there were a few struggles growing up and, in my teens in particular, I was very low in confidence, and I struggled with panic attacks and low self-esteem. I moved to Ireland at age 20 and many years went by with me not feeling good enough. I made many mistakes but all my experiences have taught me a lot. Through starting my own therapy, I was able to understand the effect my past was having on my current life, and to become aware of my own habitual ways of thinking and behaving that were unhelpful. It set me on a journey to love and accept myself and the people around me in a healthier way, and this journey is on-going. I know how beneficial therapy can be because it worked for me, and this is what motivated me to train in this field and ultimately become a psychotherapist. However, it is important to remember that there are many other ways to help oneself and that neither therapy nor mindfulness are a panacea for everything, and that was certainly the case for me too. There are many other alternatives, such as living a healthy lifestyle, educating oneself on self-development, reading helpful books, practicing compassion, asking for help and support, learning to say no, cultivating positive emotions and attitudes (such as kindness, gratefulness, joy, generosity,…), being open to one's own idea of spirituality, having a a sense of connection with others and oneself. There are also many other services that can be beneficial: attending a GP, psychiatrist or psychologist if necessary, using other alternative therapies such as nutritional therapy, acupuncture, naturopathy, Ayurvedic medicine, etc. if one is open to this, joining a support group with other people struggling with a similar issue, taking up a sporting activity, etc.
My professional experience
I am a fully accreditted member of both the IACP and the IAHIP, the two largest counselling and psychotherapy accrediting associations in Ireland. I have over 12 years' experience in this field. Prior to becoming a therapist, I was involved in education and I worked as a student counsellor with international teenage students. I also worked as a volunteer doing outreach services with women involved in prostitution in Dublin. Currently, I am interested in the use of Mindfulness and Compassion for the treatment of mental health issues, such as depression, suicidality, anxiety, etc. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is an evidence-based treatment recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) for the treatment of recurring depression. It combines the scientific evidence of Cognitive Science and Cognitive Therapy with the ancient psychology of Buddhism. Check out more about this on the 'Mindfulness' tab.
How do I work?
The way I work as a therapist is dependent on what you want to get from the sessions, so, if you decide to begin working with me, we will decide together what approach works best for you right now. I am trained in several styles: the 'Psychodynamic' approach aims to understand how your past and childhood experiences affect you today, and helps you make healthier choices. The 'Humanistic' approach is very collaborative and aims to help you find your own answers through a relationship of care, acceptance, honesty and trust with your therapist. The 'directive' approach, as the word suggests, is more solution-focused and short-term, and you will be agreeing on homework between sessions, so that you feel you are progressing. This approach does not concern itself too much with your past. Some of the directive therapies I have experience in include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Reality Therapy (also called Choice Theory), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERPT). Another approach that is very popular at the moment is 'mindfulness', and I also work with my clients in this way. An alternative option to therapy is to do an 8-week mindfulness programme, either in a group or individually. Please check this out on the tab on the right if you are interested in this. It can be very useful also to use a combination of all these approaches with the one person, depending on what is needed in any given session, which can be described as a 'pluralistic' or 'eclectic' approach. I understand it can be confusing for the lay person to understand the therapeutic 'jargon', so please click on the 'Counselling & Psychotherapy' tab on the right for clear jargon-free explanations of what all the different types of therapy actually mean and involve. This might help you get an idea of what your preference would be.
I believe that the single most important quality I bring to my work is that I genuinely care for the people I work with. My clients matter to me a lot, and I am committed to assisting each and every one of them meet their goals in therapy. I have found that I learn just as much from my clients as they learn from therapy, and I am constantly humbled to witness the resilience people find in themselves in times of suffering, and the growth that can come from that suffering.
Our wellbeing and self-care as therapists and human beings is essential in helping us in our work in a caring profession, and we cannot care for others in a sustainable way unless we also care for ourselves. It is wise for a therapist to try to practice what they preach and to take care of their bodies and minds, but "with a light touch" (i.e.: not in a regimental way!). I try, to the best of my ability, to cultivate compassion and to live a healthy lifestyle that involves exercise, plenty of fresh air and time in nature, good food, no alcohol or drugs, a connection with others, mindfulness and plenty of enjoyment and time to rest! This, as with everyone, is a work in progress and requires a compassionate effort. The practice is in a calm and rural setting, off the main roads. Hopefully, if you choose to come here for therapy or mindfulness, you feel the setting is private, caring and peaceful.