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Appointments to the new Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board

Published: 1 March 2019
From: Department of Health

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, has appointed the following thirteen persons as Ordinary members of the recently established Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board, under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, to regulate Counsellors and Psychotherapists working in Ireland.

The object of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Registration Board, overseen by the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, will be to protect the public by fostering high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence amongst Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

The appointments are for a period of up to 4 years with effect from 25 February 2019, subject to paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.

The following 8 persons were nominated and appointed by the Minister for Health following a PAS advertising campaign:

Ms Ann Delaney

Ms Delaney has extensive senior management experience in the health and social care sector. She is currently a regional manager with HIQA and previously worked in a number of managerial roles in the National Maternity Hospital. She worked for four years as Quality and Accreditation Manager leading the hospital’s quality and safety improvement programmes, two years as Assistant Director of Midwifery/Nursing in Clinical Practice Development and two years employed as project manager for the hospital’s capital development programme. Ms Delaney is a qualified nurse and midwife and has a number of further academic qualifications, including a Masters in Business Administration, a Diploma in professional regulation and a Diploma in Management and Industrial Relations.

Dr Marcella Finnerty

Dr Finnerty is Programme Director and College President of IICP College, which she founded in 2003. Dr Finnerty is also director of Village Counselling Service and has worked as a lecturer and trainer in various academic institutes. She is currently a practicing therapist and supervisor and has published articles in a number of psychotherapy journals. Dr Finnerty sat on the IACP research committee from 2012 to 2014 and has chaired a number of conference committees for the William Glasser Institute of Ireland. She has experience presenting papers at national and international conferences and chaired the Course Accreditation Committee for the IACP from 2001 to 2005. Dr Finnerty has a Doctorate in Psychotherapy from the University of Middlesex. Her other qualifications include a postgraduate diploma in clinical supervision, an M.Sc. in Educational Guidance and Counselling and a BA in Psychology and Sociology.

Mr Brian Gillen

Mr Gillen is a practising psychotherapist and Director of LifeChange Psychotherapy and Counselling, he also advises and carries out research for the Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP). Mr Gillen has significant boardroom experience in both the public and private sectors, including his time as CEO of Glanpower Ltd, an Irish Green Energy Company and as an International Director for a global provider of employee assistance services. Mr Gillen was an elected member of Dublin City Council from 2004 to 2007 and a secondary school teacher from 1998 to 2001. Mr Gillen’s academic qualifications include an MA in Psychotherapy, a postgraduate diploma in public relations and BA degrees in Sociology, English and Philosophy.

Ms Jennifer Griffin

Ms Griffin is a lecturer and tutor of psychotherapy postgraduates and is responsible for the development and delivery of eMental Health. She also has experience training in couples counselling and psychotherapy and lectures in philosophy at undergraduate level. Ms Griffin has been involved in the development, delivery, review, validation and re-validation of many programmes of education in Higher Education in Ireland (both within the QQI sector) as well as the Universities and Institutes of Technology and abroad, including in the areas of mental health and counselling and psychotherapy. As general manager of Turn2me.org, Ms Griffin manages the delivery of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention funded online counselling service. In this role she is also responsible for the management of organizational compliance under the Charities Act and the Governance Code. Previously, Ms Griffin was the director of counselling and supervision for ACCORD and has been engaged in clinical practice for many years. Her academic qualifications include an MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and a post graduate diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Ms Patricia Jordan

Ms Jordan has been working as a psychotherapist for the past eight years. She qualified with a masters in counselling and psychotherapy from the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute of Ireland (NCPII) in 2010. Prior to working as a psychotherapist Ms Jordan worked as a senior member of the national co-ordinating team of POBAL charged with the development and implementation of social inclusion related government and EU programmes. In that capacity Ms Jordan served on fifteen regional boards set up by Government, including PAUL Partnership Limerick, Tralee Areas Partnership and West Limerick Resources. Ms Jordan also holds qualifications in cognitive behavioural therapy, facilitation skills in social health and education and personnel management. She currently operates a busy practice which includes a high degree of community work including work with women’s refuges and assisting those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ms Rachel Mooney

Ms Mooney has been working in the field of counselling and psychotherapy since 1993. She has been Director of the National Counselling Service for the HSE since 2001. She has also worked as senior consultant and a senior clinical case manager for the Independent Counselling Advisory Services (ICAS) in the UK and was head of the therapy department in CARI from 1996-1998. Ms Mooney guest lectures on the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in Trinity College and regularly participates in seminars run by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Her academic qualifications include an MA in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has also received specialist training in the area of trauma and holds an MBA in Healthcare Management.

Dr Gillian O’Brien

Dr O’Brien is Director of Clinical Governance for Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Her role involves providing clinical leadership to a network of approximately sixty mental health professionals. She leads on a programme of continuous quality improvement and innovation in clinical practice and has oversight of the education and training budget for Jigsaw. Her work necessitates maintaining collaborative and funded relationships with partner agencies. Previously Dr O’Brien held the role of Director of Education and Training and Senior Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Coordinator with Jigsaw. Prior to her work with Jigsaw Dr O’Brien spent some time working as a clinical psychologist in Central America and Northern Ireland. Her academic qualifications include a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently undertaking a professional diploma in clinical leadership.

Dr Colin O’Driscoll

Dr O’Driscoll is currently clinical lead for HSE Mid-West Alcohol and Drug Service which involves the provision of clinical governance and oversight of counselling and outreach services in the mid-west area. He is responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of quality standards and is responsible for the development of and continued monitoring of the clinical governance system for the HSE and funded services. In 2011 Dr O’Driscoll founded Change Psychology Services and he also works as a Training New Trainers Coordinator for the organisation MINT. Dr O’Driscoll frequently lectures on a range of subjects and his previous professional appointments include Director of Psychology at Forest Healthcare, Programme Lead at Glyndwr University in Wales and Senior Psychologist at Cheadle Royal Psychiatric hospital.

The following four persons were nominated and appointed by the Minister for Health with the consent of the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation following a PAS advertising campaign:

Mr Patrick Benson

Mr Benson worked as an Area Director of Nursing in the mental health services in the Sligo/Leitrim/South Donegal area from 1985 to 2013. His principal responsibilities in this role included the management of the child and adolescent mental health services, the management of the intellectual disability mental health team and the development of professional standards for the mental health service. Prior to his role as Area Director Mr Benson was a psychiatric nurse and held the role of Assistant Area Director of Nursing in the mental health services in the Sligo/Leitrim district and in the Mayo area. Mr Benson played a key role in leading the development of the Mental Health Service in Sligo /Leitrim /South Donegal, including the development of an innovative service to General Practitioners.

Ms Fidelma Twomey

Ms Twomey is Team Leader for the Glen & District Neighbourhood Youth Project. She previously worked as liaison officer for Pobal and in that role appraised plans, work programmes, strategies and actions of beneficiary organisations and monitored performance and expenditure patterns. She has extensive management experience and was Manager and CEO of Galway City Partnership from 2006 to 2007. Ms Twomey has been involved in community development, health policy and practice for many years. She has been a member of various committees and organisations, including the Clondalkin Drugs Task Force, the Public Health Alliance, South Dublin County Enterprise Board and is currently a member of the advisory board for Play Therapy Ireland.

Mr Oliver A Kelly

Mr Kelly is a highly experienced insurance and reinsurance executive who has held positions at senior management, vice presidential and director level for insurance and reinsurance companies based in Ireland, the UK and the USA. Mr Kelly has worked in this industry for almost forty years and has extensive knowledge of insurance and reinsurance run off operations, sales negotiation, dispute resolution, arbitration and court litigation. He also has significant experience in dealing with insurance regulatory authorities in Ireland and the USA, is an Approved Person by the Central Bank of Ireland and worked as Director and Compliance Officer for ESG Reinsurance Ireland and Accent Europe Insurance Company from 2009 to 2015. Mr Kelly currently works as a self-employed insurance/reinsurance consultant.

Ms Jean Manahan

Ms Manahan has worked at senior management level in the voluntary /not for profit sector for 25 years. Over her long career she has held many leadership positions, including interim CEO of The Royal Hospital Donnybrook and CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, as well as heading up the National Development Third Age and acting as a programme executive for Atlantic Philanthropies in Ireland. Ms Manahan is currently CEO of the Irish Council of Psychotherapy. Ms Manahan’s academic qualifications include a Masters in Education from Trinity College and a Higher Diploma in Communications from NUI, Galway. In her many years in the not for profit sector Ms Manahan has managed change, risk, finances, strategy development and corporate governance. She has also worked closely with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors in the health care area. Ms Manahan has sat on boards such as The Refugee Council, the CARI Foundation and the Children’s Sunshine Home.

The following person was nominated by the Minister for Education and Skills and appointed by the Minister for Health:

Dr Brian Hallahan

Dr Hallahan is a consultant general adult psychiatrist with 19 years clinical experience in psychiatry with extensive experience in general adult psychiatry and has been a consultant psychiatrist since 2009. Dr Hallahan is currently a senior lecturer in psychiatry in NUI, Galway and in addition to his involvement in undergraduate teaching, he is also involved nationally in the training and examining of post-graduate doctors in psychiatry. Dr Hallahan is a member of the examination committee, academic psychiatry and professional competence committees with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. He is also Deputy Editor of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, a peer reviewed journal and the official journal of the College of Psychiatrists. He has approximately 100 peer reviewed publications, with many of these involving clinical and health service research such as clinical trials and the evaluation of the operation and effects of the Mental Health Act 2001.

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