Mental Health focus…with Glynis Downey

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m originally from the UK and that’s where I started my training in counselling and psychotherapy. I had previously worked as a nurse for 38 years before beginning my training in Integrative and Transpersonal Psychotherapy. I moved to Ballymoe five years ago and the business was up and running just a year later. I want to thank my family and friends and my mum in particular for encouraging me to make the move. I also want to acknowledge my supervisor Billy Brogan for his support during that time.

How did you start on your current career path?

I qualified in 2001 as a Counselling Psychotherapist from CCPE (Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education) in London and am a MBACP (Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists). It was because of my own life experiences and use of counselling as well as my wish to help others that I decided to move into this field following my work as a nurse. Since moving to Ballymoe I have continued my training. For example, I have completed a course in trauma, which is a really important area.

What services do you offer?

I offer a form of talking therapy. The Integrative side of my counselling includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamics, Gestalt, and transactional analysis while the Transpersonal is more spiritual and includes Eastern philosophies. I also work with art and writing therapy.

I offer counselling for trauma, depression and anxiety, couples’ counselling, gender identity issues, post-addiction recovery, bereavement, illness, life crises, domestic violence, personality disorders, PTSD, low self-esteem and stress, to name just a few issues people may be experiencing.

Has there been an increase in demand for your services following Covid-19?

Business has really picked up and it would have been growing over a period of time anyway. But yes, there has been an increase since the pandemic with people suffering from post-Covid trauma. In Ireland there has also been an increase in the number of men seeking help as well as younger people in college. It’s more obvious now that younger people are suffering from anxiety. It’s really good to see that they can take the initiative to seek help. There’s much more awareness of the services that are out there now too.

When should someone seek your help?

First and foremost, people should always seek help when experiencing suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm. Also, when you feel overwhelmed or are experiencing intrusive thoughts which impact on your daily life. I like to describe the feeling as though you’re tied up in rubber bands and just can’t unravel them. I think it’s important to realise that there’s a lot to be learned from the therapy journey. You learn so much about yourself. People have a lot more gold in them than they realise and sometimes it’s just a matter of digging a little deeper to discover it.