Psychology

Contact Names/Numbers/Email Addresses

Please note that we are unable to respond to any emails from the general public.  Patients can only be referred via the hospital referral system.

DetailsDr. Veronica O’Doherty
Head of the Psychology
Email: veronica.odoherty@amnch.ie
Telephone: (01) 414 4599
Details

Erika Somers
Email: Erika.somers@amnch.ie
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Contactable between 8am – 1pm Monday to Friday

Erika co-ordinates the activities of the Psychology Department. She organises clinics and groups and liaises with both patients, Psychologists and Consultants regarding referrals.  She assists with the organisation of projects and provides administration support to all the team.  Erika has been with the Psychology Department for many years as well as other departments within Tallaght Hospital.  She has years of administration experience and provides information and friendly support to patients and staff. 

For service enquiries please contact Erika.  

Description of Department/Service

We are a compassionate and focused team of professionals whose primary goal is to provide psychological care to the patients of Tallaght Hospital. We understand how important it is to feel supported and understood during a period of illness, which is why we strive to treat each patient as an individual.

We provide a high standard of care to each patient, utilising both our academic and evidenced based knowledge, in research, assessment and applying interventions. We are committed to maintaining this high standard of care and do so by continually reflecting on our work, while also engaging in further professional development to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the highest possible standard of practice in psychology to those we work with, in both a professional and empathic manner.

Patient Services for Adults

Dr Veronica O’ Doherty PhD, Principal Psychologist.

Veronica is the Principal Psychology Manager /Head of the Psychology Department in Tallaght Hospital. Veronica provides a clinical service for people with coronary artery disease who may have depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other psychological issues associated with coping with their health condition. Veronica also lectures in Trinity College Dublin and on the MSc in Cardiac Rehabilitation. Veronica is the programme manager for the Living Well programme (a six week self-management course for people with chronic illness).

Veronica will do an assessment on your psychological needs and then suggest options appropriate for your needs. Services offered are: Individual Based Psychotherapy, a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Group for people with depression and the Living Well Programme for People with Chronic Disease. Veronica is interested in compassion research. Veronica also provides talks/workshops on relevant topics/mindfulness on request.

Email:veronica.odoherty@amnch.ie

Telephone: (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals are received from the cardiac rehabilitation team.

Living well programme contacts are:  1) Catherine Heaney (Tuesday to Thurs 9.30 – 5.30pm) 01 459 0708/086 790 7778 

Email: fettercairnchp@gmail.com

2) Veronica Lucas (Monday to Friday 9-5pm) 085 280 5388

Dr Neil Austin, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist: Adult Neurology Service

Neil works as part of the Hospital’s Adult Neurology Service.  In some cases Neurological conditions can bring changes in attention, memory or mood (among many other areas).  Neil offers specialist assessment and interpretation of these abilities, so as to help other clinicians (and patients and families) understand them better.  This can be very useful in planning further medical, surgical and other care, but also can be very valuable for patients and their families in helping them to make sense of and learn to cope with the changes they might be experiencing.   

In many cases people are referred to Neil not for formal neuropsychological assessment as described above, but for support to help them understand or manage symptoms or for support in finding ways to deal with diagnosis of a neurological illness.

It is often very helpful for a Neuropsychologist to speak to a family member or someone who knows the client well, so if you have been referred please think carefully about who can help you give the clearest account of your situation.  Also please make sure you bring along any reading glasses or hearing aid you might need.  It can often be helpful to have a list of your current medication. 

Telephone: (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals are received from the Neurology service at Tallaght hospital.  We are unable to see clients who are not under the care of the Neurology service here.

Dr Aine Connolly, Senior Clinical Psychologist: Stroke Service

Aine works with people who have had stroke both while they are in hospital and after discharge home. One part of Aine’s role, involves assessment of ‘cognitive abilities’, such as memory, language and attention, reasoning, planning and judgement. To help you, your family and the stroke team make sense and understand these changes; you might be referred to Aine for an assessment of your abilities in these areas. As part of these assessments it is often very helpful to speak to a family member who knows  you well, so if you have been referred please think carefully about who can help you give the clearest account of your situation. If you are attending Aine for one of these assessments please bring your glasses and hearing aid with you. It can often be helpful to have a list of your current medication.

After a stroke a person can experience a range of emotions such as sadness, loss, anger and fear. Aine also provides therapeutic intervention to support people in coming to terms with having had a stroke. You may be referred to Aine for support and to help you to make sense of your feelings and to explore ways to manage these feelings. 

Telephone: (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals are received from the Stroke Team in Tallaght Hospital.

Dr Margaret Spelman PhD, Senior Clinical Psychologist: Diabetes Team

Margaret is a senior clinical psychologist who works with individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes. One aspect of her work involves helping patients to adjust their behaviour, so that they adhere to their treatment regime. Margaret helps patients adapt to using pro-diabetic behaviours to help reduce high-risk behaviours.

Living with a diagnosis of diabetes can present many challenges to an individual and can be somewhat difficult to adjust to. Patients may experience psychological distress as a result of this, in the form of anxiety, depression for example. Margaret provides support and where necessary therapeutic intervention to help patients identify unhelpful ways of coping and in turn, help patients to develop more effective ways of coping.

Telephone: (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals received from the Diabetes Team in Tallaght Hospital

Paediatric (Child) Psychology Services

Dr Claire Crowe,Senior Clinical Psychologist: Paediatric Diabetes and Endocrine Psychology Service

Claire, a Senior Clinical Psychologist, provides the Paediatric Psychology service to the children and adolescents who attend with Endocrine diagnoses including Diabetes, Turners Syndrome, and Prader Willi. Claire meets all children with diabetes attending their outpatient clinic as part of a preventative model of care provided by the Diabetes team. Claire offers individual therapy and facilitates psychosocial groups for these children and their parents. Claire’s role is to help young people with any psychological difficulties that may have arisen as a result of their medical condition, for example difficulty adjustment to diagnosis; needle phobia; difficulty managing worries or fears; and developing pain management skills. Sometimes Claire carries out psychological assessments with children to inform treatment or to clarify their cognitive skills and abilities if this is impacting their medical treatment or management.

An initial appointment with Claire is usually offered to the patient’s parents in order to explore their concerns about their child, and to learn a little about their child and them as a family and the strengths they have to help their child. Following further assessment, Claire will choose an appropriate form of treatment depending on the individual’s age and needs. Therapies may include Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Play Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Telephone: (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals received from the Consultant Endocrinologists

Dr Laura Gallagher, Senior Clinical Psychologist: Neurodevelopmental and Child Neurology Service

Laura is a Senior Clinical Psychologist who works with children who are attending the Paediatric Neurologist or the Neurodevelopmental Clinic. 

Laura works with children under 6 in the Neurodevelopmental Service providing assessment and diagnosis of developmental difficulties. In the first step of the assessment process, Laura meets with a child’s parents to hear their concerns and to gather information about the child’s behaviour and development to date. Next, Laura will conduct an assessment by observing the child and using assessment tools to look at intellectual ability, communication, social and adaptive behaviour.  Laura works closely with all the clinicians in the Developmental Service, so that a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis can be achieved. After the assessment Laura meets with parents to discuss the assessment and support parents in understanding their child’s diagnosis. A written report of the evaluation is provided detailing the assessment, diagnosis and where to access appropriate intervention.

Laura also works with children and adolescents attending the Child Neurology Service. Sometimes young people with a neurological condition will be seen for assessment to see how their condition may be affecting their thinking skills, learning, behaviour and emotional well-being. This neuropsychological assessment can look at overall cognitive ability, memory, attention, planning, language skills, visual-perceptual skills, academic achievement, social skills and behaviour. This type of detailed assessment can help parents, health professionals and teachers, and the child themselves, understand the child’s strengths and weaknesses and find supports that best suit the child’s needs.  Laura also provides therapeutic intervention to children and young people if they are having difficulty coping with and accepting their neurological condition, or if it is impacting on other parts of their lives.

Telephone:  (01) 414 4599

Referrals: Referrals received from the Consultants in the Neurodevelopmental Clinic and Child Neurology Service.

Helen O’Neill, Senior Clinical Psychologist: Paediatric General Medicine.

Helen is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in Paediatric General Medicine. She provides a psychology service to those children who have general medical conditions currently attending consultant paediatricians in the hospital. She works therapeutically with children, adolescents and their families. She is a certified teacher of the Mindfulness in Schools Paws b and .b programmes, and teaches these mindfulness programmes to groups of young people referred to psychology with recurrent pain (e.g. RAP, chest pain, headaches). She also runs mindfulness based stress reduction courses for hospital staff.

Referrals: Referrals are accepted from Consultant Paediatricians and are received through the Department of Psychology secretary on (01) 414 4599.

Helen Gibbons, Senior Counselling Psychologist: Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis

Helen is a Senior Counselling Psychologist with the Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis (C.F.) Team.  Within this team the role of the psychologist is to provide support to all of the children and families affected by C.F.

Many young patients and their families adjust very well to the diagnosis of C.F. Others experience difficulties coping or adjusting to the diagnosis at the early stages, while some people appear to adapt quite well initially and may only begin to experience difficulties weeks, months or indeed, years later. Helen’s role is to provide help at any time the young person (or his/her family) may need additional support. Patients or families may meet the psychologist for just one or two sessions, or they may engage in a longer term therapeutic intervention depending on his/her needs.

Telephone: (01) 414 3101

Referrals: Referrals received through the C.F. Team, though young people and parents are welcome to contact Helen directly.

Telephone:  (01) 414 4599

Psychology Research, publications, books and presentations

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., McGrann, A., O’Neill, J.O., Dinan, S. & Graham, I. & Maher, V.(2014) A Controlled Evaluation of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Patients with Coronary Heart Disease and Depression. Published: Mindfulness Journal, Available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12671-013-0272-0

Margaret Boyle Spelman (Author, Editor), Frances Thomson-Salo (2014). The Winnicott Tradition: Lines of Development - Evolution of Theory and Practice over the Decades (The Lines of Development - Evolution of Theory and Practice Over the Decades Series) Paperback.

H. Gibbons, P. Greally & B. Elnazir. Pill school: a case study of a ‘graduate’ (using a behaviour modification intervention to teach pill swallowing) [2014]. Presented: 14th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Killarney, Co. Kerry, 2014.

Presented: O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., McGrann, A., O’Neill, J.O., Dinan, S. & Graham, I. & Maher, V. (2013) A Controlled Evaluation of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Patients with Coronary Heart Disease and Depression. Mind and Life Europe Symposium for Contemplative Studies, European conference on personal and societal change from the contemplative perspective, Berlin, Germany , October 10th - 13th, 2013

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Dinan, S. & Graham, I. (2013). Evaluation of a mindfulness based cognitive behavioural group therapy intervention for patients with coronary heart disease and depression. Presented: Psychological Society of Ireland, 43rd Annual Conference, Sligo, Radisson Blu Hotel, 6th - 9th November 2013.

Spelman, M. (2013). The Evolution of Winnicott's Thinking: Examining the Growth of Psychoanalytic Thought Over Three Generations, Karnac Books, London.

Spelman, M. (2013). Winnicott's Babies and Winnicott's Patients: Psychoanalysis as Transitional Space, Karnac Books, London.

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Dinan, S. & Graham, I. (2012). Evaluation of a mindfulness based cognitive behavioural group therapy intervention for patients with coronary heart disease and depression. Presented: Irish Association of Cardiac Rehab (IACR) 2012 Annual Scientific Conference and AGM, Dublin, Ireland, 19th – 20th October, 2012.

Phukan, J., Elamin, M., Bede, P., Jordan, N., Gallagher, L., Byrne, S. Lynch, C., Pender, N. & Hardiman, O. (2012). The syndrome of cognitive impairment in ALS: a population-based study. Published:Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Vol. 83

O’Doherty, V., (2011) Contributor to chapter 67, Rehabilitation of the Patient with Coronary Heart Disease. Published: Graham, I., Ingram, S., Fallon, N., Leong, T., Gormley, J., O’Doherty, V., Maher, V. & Benson, S. (2011). Rehabilitation of the Patient with Coronary Heart Disease. Chapter 67, In Hurst’s The Heart, 13th Edition, Volume 1, McGraw-Hill, China.

Z. Edwothy, A. O’Dea, H. Gibbons, N.G. McElvaney, C. Gunaratnam, B. Elnazir, P. Greally, P. McNally & D. Slattery. The psychological and emotional impact of CF: a survey of presenting issues in paediatric and adult services in three Dublin hospitals (2011). Presented: 12th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Conference, Killarney, Co. Kerry, February 2011.

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Kehoe, A., & Graham, I. (2009). Evaluating Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Group Intervention for Patients with Coronary Heart Disease and Depression. Presented: European Health Psychology Society 23rd Annual Conference, Pisa, Italy, 23rd -26th September 2009

Austin, NA (2009). Living with Epilepsy: A psychological perspective.
Presented: Brainwave conference 2009

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Kehoe, A., & Graham, I. (2008). Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Patients with Depression and Coronary Heart Disease. Presented: Polish Mindfulness Association’s First Buddhist Conference on Practical Application off Buddhism in Western Psychology. Mindfulness: Theory and Practice. Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, ul Chodakowska 18/31, 03-815, Warsaw, Poland, November 27th - 28th 2008.

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Kehoe, A. & Graham, I. (2008). Evaluation of a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural group therapy intervention for patients with cardiac heart disease. Presented: 39th Annual Conference of the Psychological Society of Ireland, Tullow, County Carlow, November 20-23rd 2008.

O’Doherty, V., Carr, A., Kehoe, A., & Graham, I. (2008). Evaluation of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy Intervention for Patients with Coronary Heart Disease and Depression. Presented: Annual Conference of the Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation, The Radisson, St Helens, Dublin, 8th November 2008.

O’Doherty, V. Light at the End of the Tunnel. (2008) Symposium: When Ending are Beginnings. Presented:Joint Conference of the Divisions of Counselling Psychology 20-21 June, Trinity College, Dublin. When Ending are Beginnings Joint Conference of the Divisions of Counselling Psychology 20-21 June, Trinity College, Dublin.

Snowden JS, Austin NA, Sembi S, Thompson JC, Craufurd D, Neary D (2008). Emotion recognition in Huntington’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Neuropsychologia 46; 2638–2649.

Gallagher, L., Pender, N. P., Phukan, J., Trimble, T. & Hardiman, O (2008). The role of cognitive and behavioural difficulties in predicting psychological distress in caregivers of people with ALS Presented: Psychological Society of Ireland, Annual Conference, Nov 2008.

Austin, NA (2008). Emotion recognition in Huntington’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Presented: Psychological Society of Ireland conference 2008. 

N.Mc Glade and VO’Doherty. (2008) A Snap shot of satisfaction. Presented: Poster presented at UCD

O’Doherty, V., (2007) Contributor to chapter 67, Rehabilitation of the Patient with Coronary Heart Disease. Published: Graham, I., Ingram, S., Fallon, N., Leong, T., Gormley, J., O’Doherty, V., Maher, V. & Benson, S. (2007). Rehabilitation of the Patient with Coronary Heart Disease. Chapter 67, In Hurst’s The Heart, 12th Edition, McGraw-Hill, China.

Austin, NA (2006). Clinical Psychology, NEAD and Video-EEG Monitoring.
Presented: Electrophysiology Technicians Association annual conference, Newport, UK.

Gibbons, H. (2005) An investigation into the use of bibliotherapy in Ireland (2005). Presented: Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, The City Hotel, Londonderry, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 17th -20th November.

Austin, NA (2005). Clinical Psychology and Nonepileptic Attacks.
Presented: Welsh Epilepsy Nurses annual meeting, Morriston, UK.

Baker, GA, Austin, NA, Downes, JJ (2003). Validation of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III in a population of people with intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy Research 53(3), 201-206.

O'Neill, H. and Woodward, R. (2002). Evaluation of the Parenting Wisely CD-ROM Parent Training Programme. Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol.l, 23, No.1-2.
Presented: PSI annual conference in 2001.

O’Doherty, V and Cormac, C. (2001) Community Mental Health for Adolescents: Listening to young people’s views on the Mental Health Service. Presented: Psychological Society of Ireland Conference Nov’01.

Browne,J.P., O’Doherty, V.A., McGee, H.M., Mac Laughlin, B., O’Boyle, C.A., Fuller., R. (1997) General Practitioner and Public Health Nurse Views of Nutritional Risk Factors in the Elderly. Published:Irish Journal of Medical Science. Vol. 166 No. 1.