September 06, 2013

Women’s Therapy Centre Celebrates Three Years at the Catherine McAuley Centre

The Women’s Therapy Centre (WTC) recently celebrated its three year anniversary of moving to the Catherine McAuley Centre on Herbert Street. The anniversary offered the perfect opportunity for the staff of the WTC and of Mercy International Association (MIA) to come together for a celebratory lunch to mark three successful years of co-operation at Herbert Street.

The WTC was founded in 2008 by Jo Kennedy rsm, a Family Therapist, and Felicity Kennedy, a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist who both saw the need through their own work to establish a gender-specific, accessible and affordable counselling service for women, particularly those who have experienced abuse in adult relationships. The Centre was originally based on Burgh Quay, however before long more space was required and the third floor of the Catherine McAuley Centre was made available to them. Despite its location in the heart of busy south-city centre, the WTC have five private counselling rooms that offer a peaceful and calm environment, where women have the opportunity to speak in confidence and without judgement.

The WTC therapists work with between forty and sixty women each week on a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, bereavement and stress-related problems. Therapists at WTC have a specialist understanding of the trauma of abuse, supporting women to talk about and recover from the emotional consequences of relationships in which they have suffered violation.

At the core of the WTC ethos is accessibility. As such consultation fees at the WTC are significantly reduced, meaning services are available to women who might not otherwise be able to access professional psychotherapy services.

At present the WTC has a full time therapist, two part-time therapists, an office and fundraising manager, a policy officer and a number of volunteers who offer their skills and time. In recent years the WTC has forged links with University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin to offer placements, supervision and research opportunities to trainee psychologists, who are carrying out their doctoral degrees. The WTC also provides a consultation and training service for agencies who work with women, particularly those experiencing all forms of abuse.

At the anniversary event, MIA staff and volunteers were invited to visit the therapy centre’s counselling rooms. Felicity Kennedy, CEO of the WTC gave a presentation on the history of the centre and explained the work that the therapists are involved in. Counselling Psychologist, Tina Maguire presented further detail about the range of clients that attend the Centre and how the service benefits them. This valuable information, gathered using clinical outcome measures, aims to inform not only the work of the WTC, but also to demonstrate the necessity of the service when seeking funding.

Mary Reynolds, Executive Director of MIA, congratulated the WTC staff on their three successful years at the Catherine McAuley Centre and wished them luck for the future. Mary also remarked on the appropriateness of the therapy centre being based at the Catherine McAuley Centre, drawing on the parallels of its work and ethos and the work of Catherine McAuley, whose mission was to help those in need, especially women.

To find out more about the Women’s Therapy Centre, visit

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