Get to know our team…
In today’s blog we are getting to know Martina Kehoe, Psychotherapist, MIACP.
Martina answers 5 questions that will help you get to know about her and her work. Plus, she shares one tip to help with anxiety! Keep reading……
Question 1: Why did you study psychology / Psychotherapy/ counselling and what was your area of focus?
I chose to study psychology as I was interested in human behaviour and the inner working of the mind. As a young child I remember being fascinated by people and human interaction. I was curious and most at home in deep conversation, connecting and learning about the lives and experiences of other people. The Bachelor of Science in psychology provided me with a foundation of knowledge and Masters in psychotheraphy allowed me to build on this and apply this knowledge to help others with issues that sometimes led them to seek psychotherapy. My theraputic approach is integrative, which means that I draw on my training in various approaches such as humanistic, systemic, psychodynamic, and cognitive behavioral therapy to tailor the theraputic treatment plan to meet the distinct needs of each individual.
I believe that sometimes we do not have control of what happens in life, but you can learn how to reflect, gain insight, and grow. To begin to recognise your own needs and give to yourself the things that sometimes others cannot such as patience and self-compassion, you can learn to connect more authentically with yourself and others, to respond differently and let go of old narratives or behaviours that no longer serve you well in life. Psychotheraphy can support this process and give you the space to explore issues in a safe, confidential, and non-judgemental environment.
Question 2: What is one tip you would give someone who is going through anxiety?
The one tip I would give to someone managing anxiety is that you are not alone. Anxiety is a completely normal response to many things in life. It may be viewed as an outer symptom that represents inner feelings and experiences. For someone who is feeling overwhelmed by anxiety it can feel intense and debilitating. If anxiety is interfering with your life seek support. Anxiety can be managed, which can allow a person to feel more in control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Too often people try avoiding thinking about their anxiety which can actually exacerbate these feelings over time. Instead, I would say acknowledge and explore these feelings and try identifying what triggers or sets it off and what makes it worse. One other tip that I would give is to practice slowing down you’re breathing. Although breathing may sound simple, after all it’s something we do every day but breathing deeply and slowly can help to bring a sense of calmness when you are feeling anxious. Place your hand on your stomach and inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold for seven seconds before deeply exhaling fully through your mouth for eight seconds. Practice this sequence repeatedly, it will allow you to experince what it feels like to breathe deeply and slowly. Its best to practice this breathing technique when your anxiety is at a lower level so that you can remember to use this method when you are anxiety increases.
Question 3: What advice would you give to readers to help them nurture their mental health?
I would say if you are looking for information on mental health look on reputable websites such as HSE or NHS rather than just googling. You can also find great self-help books or resources at your local bookstore or library on all sorts of topics regarding mental health and coping with all types of issues. If you are seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist, you could also ask if they have any useful recommendations so that you can become more informed about an issue outside of theraphy.
Question 4: What do you do every day to keep your mental health in check?
The one thing I do every day to keep my mental health in check is to walk. I love to walk, and I try to fit it in as much as I can throughout the day. It allows me time to process my thoughts, move my body and get fresh air. Even when I don’t feel in the mood to go for a walk, I push myself to do so. I also try to eat well and get enough sleep to give my body the energy that it needs to support me throughout the day. I also talk to friends or family on a daily basis. For me, these are the important things that keep me grounded, connected and keep my mental health in check.
Question 5: What is your favourite positive quote or affirmation?
For me I suppose it’s more a favourite saying or a phrase than an affirmation. My favourite phrase is ‘Noting ventured noting gained’. Too often we can talk ourselves out of taking risks or put obstacles in our own way, which I believe it is often motivated by fear. Fear can keep us stuck, not able to go back to the past but afraid to move forward. Our brains are often hardwired to give more attention to considering potential negative outcomes without giving as much consideration to the possibility of positive changes and the potential for growth. For me ‘noting ventured noting gained’ is a reminder of this. You will never know how good something may be unless you try and even if it doesn’t work out, at least you know that you have tried and pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone. There is no growth in the comfort zone. I would rather know that I have had the courage to try than to live with regret and wishing that I had of taken the risk.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Martina, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0863788002.
Check out her bio here: https://www.citytherapy.ie/people/martina-kehoe/