The National Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference 2024

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin | 22nd June 2024

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Mark your calendars because the National Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference is returning on June 22, 2024!


This one-day conference is the ultimate gathering for counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health professionals, and students in training to learn and grow while connecting with like-minded professionals.


The event is full of enriching activities you won't want to miss. From participative and experiential small group activities to seminar talks hosted by industry experts Dr. Lou Cozolino, Dr. Aisling McMahon, Allison Keating, Val Mullally, Niamh Brownlee, and Dr. Elaine Beaumont!


This year's conference seminar talks center around the theme of Reflective Practice Frameworks, which will be discussed in depth throughout the day and especially across the following events:


Val Mullally - Inward Journey, Outward Impact: The Transformative Potential of Professional Reflective Practice
Dr. Elaine Beaumont - Introduction to Compassion-Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training

Niamh Brownlee - Struggling to Breathe: The Diary of a Psychiatric Inpatient
Dr. Aisling McMahon - Supporting reflective practice and career-long development with the Seven-Eyed supervision model
Allison Keating - The Development of the Therapist – Reflective Practice Frameworks
Dr. Lou Cozolino - The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy


Attendees will also have the option to attend one of the following 3 breakout rooms:

Margaret O’Connor – Mindfulness

Simon Forsyth – Journaling
Eileen Hopkins – Burnout


The purpose of the conferences talks is to provide you with expert insights that enhance your knowledge of key therapeutic concepts. And, as the event is recognised by the IACP, you will be eligible to earn 6 CPD points for attending the conference!


Beyond professional upskilling, enjoy the complimentary tea, coffee, and lunch provided and connect with like-minded people in our industry.


We look forward to hosting you all at this year's National Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference!

Few spaces remaining, don't wait to secure your spot!

What to expect

Registration opens at 9 am and The Conference will end at 4:30 pm.


Benefits of attending

  • Gain expert insights from leaders in the fields of counselling & psychotherapy!
  • Enjoy the complimentary tea, coffee, and lunch provided while also expanding your network with like-minded people in our industry.
  • Stay up to date with the latest findings in the fields of Counselling & Psychotherapy. While increasing your depth of knowledge on the topic of Reflective Practice Frameworks.
  • Earn 6 CPD points for attending.



Dr. Lou Cozolino (Presenting via Live stream)

Dr. Cozolino has diverse clinical and research interests and holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and clinical psychology. His interests are in the areas of the synthesis of neuroscience with psychotherapy, education, management, and leadership. He is the author of twelve books including The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, The Neuroscience of Human Relationships, Timeless, Attachment-Based Teaching, The Making of a Therapist, The Development of a Therapist and Why Therapy Works. He has also authored and co-authored articles and book chapters on child abuse, schizophrenia, education, language and cognition. Dr. Cozolino lectures around the world on brain development, evolution, and psychotherapy and maintains a clinical and consulting practice in Los Angeles.


Dr. Cozolino holds degrees in philosophy, theology, and clinical psychology and focuses on the synthesis of neuroscience psychotherapy, education, management, and leadership. Dr. Cozolino lectures around the world on brain development, evolution, and psychotherapy and maintains a clinical and consulting practice in Los Angeles.


Dr. Cozolino will be joining us for a live virtual presentation: ‘The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy’. The focus of this presentation will be an exploration of the scientific findings, principles, and theories underlying the practice of psychotherapy. Central scientific perspectives considered will include the social and cognitive neurosciences, evolution, epigenetics, social psychology, neuroplasticity and attachment. The goal of this presentation will be for participants to have a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of psychotherapy and to be able to integrate a scientific understanding into their decisions about case conceptualization, diagnosis and treatment. 


Allison Keating

Renowned author, media contributor, and chartered psychologist, Allison Keating will join us to present a seminar on 'The Development of the Therapist – Reflective Practice Frameworks' and 'How to develop a reflective practice' !


This talk will share insights from Allison's 20 years of working with clients, touching on a variety of subjects such as the nuanced dynamics of being a therapist, and emphasizing the dual role of self-care while caring for others. These conversation points aim to invite attendees to reconsider their perspective on their clients' challenges and to focus instead on the resilience and strength displayed by their clients in the face of adversity.


The talk will also touch on many other topics providing truly insightful takeaways and will be concluded with an opportunity for questions and further discussions to support your personal and professional growth.


Dr. Aisling McMahon

Aisling is a clinical psychologist, integrative psychotherapist, group analyst and clinical supervisor, and has worked in various settings in Ireland over the past 30 years, including the prison service, community and inpatient mental health services, and private practice. Since 2015, she has worked as an Assistant Professor in Psychotherapy in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health at Dublin City University and she is Chair of the DCU Professional Diploma in Clinical Supervision. With Peter Hawkins, Aisling is co-author of the 5th ed. of Supervision in the Helping Professions (2020). Her specialist teaching and research interests are clinical supervision and practitioner development from training to retirement


Dr. Aisling McMahon will be presenting "Supporting reflective practice and career-long development with the Seven-Eyed supervision model", where Aisling will explore how the Seven-Eyed model of supervision provides both structure and guidance for exploration and reflection on practice in breadth and depth, fostering competence, growth and resilience from training to retirement. The presentation will include practical examples for both individual and group supervision, as well as opportunities for reflection on practice for attendees


Val Mullally

Inward Journey, Outward Impact: The Transformative Potential of Professional Reflective Practice.

Val Mullally delves into the essence of facilitated reflective practice, emphasising its deep connection to personal and professional development. In this presentation, designed for both students and seasoned therapists, Val offers a condensed yet engaging journey through reflective practice models, seamlessly linking theoretical insights to practical scenarios.


Gain a deeper understanding of the transformative potential of regular reflective practice, applicable to practitioners at any stage of their professional journey. In this concise keynote, Val considers the potential impact of regular reflective practice to enhance your insights, skills and awareness. She shares how using creative modalities can benefit your work - supporting the alignment of your true self with your role and within your particular context, which can profoundly impact your overall sense of joy and fulfilment in your professional path.


Niamh Brownlee

In her talk titled "Struggling to Breathe: The Diary of a Psychiatric Inpatient," author Niamh Brownlee will provide attendees with a wealth of insightful information and key takeaways by sharing a window into her experience as a psychiatric inpatient and the daily struggles she faced while confined to a hospital.


After achieving high academic success, Niamh Brownlee became a primary school teacher, first in Kent and then back home in Belfast. But all was not well. Gradually, Niamh became more and more depressed until reaching the point where she just wanted to die. At the age of 24, she was admitted to hospital. Although at rock bottom mentally, she had the presence of mind to keep a diary of the 31 days she spent in two psychiatric hospitals in Northern Ireland. This helped her survive and begin the tentative process of recovery. Five years later, Niamh has decided to share her diary of those days in the hope that others will feel less alone and come to believe that recovery is possible, and help is out there. Her diary is also instructive for those who provide mental health services. It gives a rare insight into psychiatric in-patient experience and is a plea to improve the quality of care. Niamh’s diary is a raw account of feeling utterly worthless, but ultimately it is a diary of discovery and hope.


“Niamh's brave account of her depression and time in hospital will be an inspiration to others. It is a painful story, but it is also an important one. Niamh’s story brings hope and her testimony demonstrates how, with good support and appropriate mental health services, recovery is possible.”

- Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland


Dr. Elaine Beaumont

Dr Beaumont's presentation will be on "Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy and Compassionate Mind Training".
This presentation will focus on how Compassionate Mind Training can help people in the helping professions cultivate compassion for their own suffering. Elaine’s research focuses on the impact primary and secondary trauma has on people in the caring professions.
Compassion Focused Therapy was originally developed by Professor Paul Gilbert to help people with high levels of shame and self-criticism. The theory is rooted in evolutionary psychological science and utilises both Buddhist practices and Western psychological philosophies. It draws on neuroscience, insights into emotion regulation, identity formation and a range of psychotherapeutic models.

Compassionate mind interventions can help people develop compassion for themselves, be open to the compassion of others and develop compassion for others. There is increasing evidence that suggests that cultivating compassion for oneself and others can have a profound impact on our physiological, psychological, and social processes. In contrast, concerns with inferiority, shame and self-criticism can have a negative impact on these processes and are associated with poorer physical and mental health.

People in the helping professions have been found to have high levels of compassion for others, but findings also suggest that some have lower levels of self-compassion often leaving themselves last on their to do list. Over recent years there has been an increase in people in the helping professions reporting symptoms of burnout, high levels of self-criticism and symptoms of stress. Learning how to avoid being too self-critical, and to care about yourself, may sound straightforward but it’s an essential skill that many people need to spend time practising.


Venue Directions & Parking

The National Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference 2024 - Reflective Practice Frameworks

will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.



Free parking is available on the hotel's grounds with overflow spaces available at the adjacent Blanchardstown Shopping & Retail Centre parking areas.




Course Venues:   Athlone   |   Belfast   |   Carrick-on-Shannon   |   Cork   |   Dublin   |   Kilkenny   |   Limerick