Digital Detox

Online usage has soared over the last number of years, and even more so during COVID. During this period many people have moved aspects of their lives online. People no longer are just searching for information, but are shopping, working, socialising, accessing a vast range of services, including medical consultations and health care services.    

This increase of online activity, social media usage, and reliance on TV's, Laptops, Phones, Gaming Consoles, and a range of other devices has had a huge impact on the neurocircuitry of  our human brains.

Multiple studies have found strong links between heavy online activity, compulsive usage of devices and social media engagement, with an increased risk of anxiety, depression, loneliness, hyperactivity, sleep disruption, irritability, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.

What can we do about this?  

Everything that we do become a habit, and if you are looking at your phone enough, it will become a habit. To changes habit, we need to break those habitual cycles with replacement behaviours and better coping strategies. 

Your brain is seeking reward, and will be invested in engaging in something that feels good. Start small and consistent, and begin with interrupting the old habit with the new habit you want to form. Habits are formed through repetition. 

If you find that you are constantly picking up your phone every time an add comes on tv, or there is a pause in conversation, put your out of reach of your hand. Maybe put it in a different room so that you have to get up and move to get the phone. Turn off some of your notifications, Delete some of your apps. Ask yourself,  is this adding to my life?

Watching too much TV or Gaming? Perhaps make a deal with yourself before you watch TV or turn on that Gaming Console, put a time limit on how long you are going to spend.  Perhaps you might set yourself a timer to help. Consider what you will do after the time is up: what else are you interested in? walking, reading, baking, listening or moving / dancing to music, spending time with your children, a pet, friends, gardening, stretching? 

Everyone has to start somewhere. Be consistent, and most importantly, is follow through. 

Finally, give your brain, eyes, and body a rest from the screens, be new, be you, with a digital detox.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist.

Life After Sports

The life of an athlete or sports person is filled with striving, momentum, excitement, career and being in the spot light. But what happens when you have to retire, whether through age, fitness, exhaustion, or injury.  The change can be dramatic, with many athletes struggling to adapt to regular life afterwards. 

Ceasing the demands of rigorous training, athletic performance and peak fitness, can leave anyone who has left their sporting career reeling from the experience of sudden loss.  The transition into a life that no longer requires the level of dedication, determination, and commitment, along with the loss of a community spotlight, can evoke strong feelings of depression, emptiness and an acute loss of identity. 

Athletes and Sports persons are often portrayed by the media as, being able to take on any challenge and to be mentally tough, leaving it difficult to speak about how life has dramatically change and the impacts on psychological and cognitive wellbeing. 

You have a right to get support like anyone else. 

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Workshop for Practitioners: Working with Shame in the Therapy Room

Friday 25th April 2020, 9am - 5pm, Glosna House, Athy.

Shame is a painful interpersonal emotion that develops in early attachment relationships.

Children see themselves through the eyes of their attachment figure, and if they perceive disapproval, ridicule, or aversion, this affects their self esteem, sense of self, body, and emotions.

When shame is exposed, it creates a pain that is unbearable, thus concealing itself making it difficult for a client to acknowledge, and a practitioner to identify.

Chronic shame is a problematic symptom that is often endured by clients who have experienced complex trauma, creating alterations in selfhood which can generate stuckness and lack of progression in the therapeutic process. Since shame is experienced with symptoms that are comorbid with trauma, supporting a client requires careful navigation by a practitioner.

This workshop, will focus on the early roots of shame, including the impacts on the nervous system and body, and on patterns of cognitions, emotions, and beliefs. It will help practitioners recognise the role of autonomic arousal in the nervous system, exacerbating symptoms, by identify animal defense survival responses in client who have experienced trauma.

Practitioners can avoid shame in the therapy room, due to a difficultly with their own shame, so we will explore how to be with shame, of both the practitioner and client. We will focus on how an implicit and explicit relational attunement between therapist and client, can create a safe and compassionate relational container for our clients to begin the interpersonal healing of shame.

This workshop will incorporate a dynamic combination of theory, collaborative interaction and experiential learning.


Carol Duffy (MIAHIP, MIACP, MEAP), is an accredited Psychotherapist & Supervisor. She currently works with Adults and Adolescents in Meath. During her career she has held roles as a senior clinical assessor, and psychotherapist in a number of charitable organisations.

Carol has training across the life span, with core training in Adult Psychotherapy, a Post Qual .Dip. in Adolescent Psychotherapy, and an MA in Integrative Psychotherapy & Play Therapy. She has additional training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which incorporates neuroscience, attachment theory, hakomi, somatic awareness and movement interventions rooted in mindfulness.

She brings to her work a solid MindBody connection, as a qualified yoga teacher, and grounding in her personal mediation and mindfulness practice, that began 30 years ago. She is currently undertaking a Diploma in Teaching in Mindfulness Based Interventions.

Carol has spent over a decade exploring the topic of shame and competed research in 2018. She believes in working with all parts of a person within the therapeutic relationship, and runs trainings for practitioners on shame, incorporating trauma, mindfulness and compassion.

Venue: Glosna House Holistic Centre, Ballylehane Lower, Wolfhill, Co Laois

Time: 9am to 5pm

Cost: €100

CPD - 7.5 hours

For Psychotherapists, Counsellors, (Trainees, Pre-Accrediated), and Psychologists

For Bookings contact Glosna House Holistic Centre

Phone: 087 7693966


Stress and Anxiety

Many people are affected by poor mental health either due to their work environment or personal life. Most jobs may leave you feeling like you are under pressure and as a result it is ok to feel stressed or anxious. However, if you regularly feel overwhelmed by these feelings this could begin to affect you health.

Stress and anxiety can be experienced because of work or due to other factors, such as, family, relationships or financial concerns. One issue could be causing you to feel stress and anxiety or it could be a build up of several things and this could make it difficult to identify what’s affecting you. When we feel stress or anxiety in one area of our life this can affect other areas also.

Our therapists are qualified to the highest standards and can support you with issues such as stress and anxiety what ever the causes.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist 

Pregnancy related anxiety and phobia (Perinatal Anxiety and Tokophobia).

Perinatal anxiety and Tokophobia

Most people are aware that you can become depressed after having a baby known as prenatal or antenatal anxiety, however, less people are aware of Perinatal Anxiety. This can be experienced during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. For some women they can experience a particular anxiety about childbirth, this is know as Tokophobia.

Tokophobia is a pathological fear of pregnancy, and can lead to avoidance of childbirth.  There are two classifications of tokophobia, Primary and Secondary. 

Primary tokophobia is morbid fear of childbirth in a woman, who has had no previous experience of pregnancy. Secondary tokophobia is morbid fear of childbirth which has developed after experiencing a traumatic obstetric event during a previous pregnancy.

Both of our therapists have training in sensorimotor psychotherapy, and can work with you to reduce symptoms, and phobic responses. We can help you to make sense of things and understand yourself better. Support you to recognise unhelpful patterns in the way you think or act and explore ways to change them in a safe space.

Carol Duffy, Psychotherapist