A Little Bit About Me....
So as you have gathered, my name is Lorcan Farrell and I have been working as a counsellor/psychotherapist for the last number of years in the Dublin/Kildare region. I am originally from South-West Dublin but currently live with my wife in Leixlip. In May 2016 I opened my new office, located on Leixlip's Main Street, and work full time as a counsellor/psychotherapist.
I find working as a therapist a very rewarding job. Indeed calling it a job is almost misleading as I am finding more and more that the term 'vocation' is more accurate. I get tremendous satisfaction in witnessing people transcend those obstacles that life places in their path to emerge the other side with increased resilience and an increased sense of well-being. Simply put, I find it a privilege to work with others and witness the profound changes that can occur as a result of the therapeutic process.
Education so far....
I have had a meandering path through education to where I am today. After my Leaving Cert, I completed an Honours Degree in Agriculture (BAgrSc.) in University College Dublin. I then travelled and worked in the UK, New Zealand and the United States in the Agricultural sector until I returned home in 2008 and completed a MSc in Environmental Engineering at Queens University Belfast. I worked for a time in the environmental sector but eventually began to question whether engineering was the right path for me. At this time I was attending a meditation class in the Dublin area. The therapist running the class helped nurture in me the idea of retraining as a therapist. So, in 2011 I started on my path towards a career in counselling and eventually completed both a Diploma and Honours Degree (BA) in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Institute of Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy in Dublin.
A therapists journey in education is never finished and in that spirit I have completed a number of continuous professional development courses (and continue to do so) including: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Choice Theory/Reality Therapy Basic Intensive Week, Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness, Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, HSE Introduction to Children First Guidelines amongst others. I have a keen interest in helping people develop resilience and well-being in their lives and so I read and write extensively on all aspects of well-being and resilience development with special focus on the family system and the workplace environment.
My Journey to Becoming a Therapist....
I believe it is important for people considering counselling to know a little bit about their therapist and the path that brought them to start practising as a therapist.
From an early age I have always had a fascination with how people behave, act and react to the world around them. I remember the first time encountering the notion that we as humans have the capacity to choose how we act and facilitate change in our lives. It was while visiting my sister in the UK when I was 18 and while perusing a book store in her local town centre, I found a section of the store called "Self Help". I was fascinated! From then on I read and read as much as I could about how we as humans can actually change our behaviour and how we have the ability to accomplish truly amazing personal change when we put our minds to it.
As I grew through my 20's however, it started to dawn on me how difficult the process of personal change can be and indeed how difficult life in general can be also! I was finding out how difficult unpleasant feelings such as frustration, anger and anxiety (all of which I experienced through college, work and travel) were to manage on a daily basis. I struggled with what to do when these feelings arose and how to reduce the impact they were having on me.
I will always remember the first time I attended counselling myself. I was completing MSc in Environmental Engineering in Belfast and was really feeling the pressure of trying to get my thesis completed and after being accepted into a PhD position I really didn't want but felt I had to. I remember sitting at my computer feeling miserable when out of nowhere I burst out crying and couldn't stop. It was at this point I knew something was occurring that I couldn't 'think' my way out of on my own. It was at this point that I decided to ring the universities' counselling office. I was assigned to a lovely counsellor who listened to me, respected where I was at and helped me to understand what was going on for me at time. While I only attended for a number of sessions before my time at university came to a close, that feeling of being listened to and having someone be with you in difficult times has never left me.
So a number of years later when I got the opportunity to apply for a course in Counselling and Psychotherapy, I jumped at it and have never looked back. The training, while daunting and challenging at times was always continuously fascinating. Learning about the different theories that govern how we behave as humans and the skills of helping others facilitate change have kept me constantly engaged ever since. I began working with clients in 2012 and this provided me with the opportunity to put all I had learned into practice.
It can be a steep learning curve as a novice therapist but I was hooked. I had finally found a profession/career/vocation/job that I loved from which I derived meaning and purpose in my life. Over the years of working first in the voluntary sector and then as a private practice counsellor, my love for my work has grown continuously. Being a counsellor has its fair share of challenges but these challenges I have found are in fact, opportunities for growth. This personal growth is the greatest reward I have found that comes with working in this field.