I have now closed my counselling practice for new clients, but will do voluntary counselling in second level schools, family resource centres and possibly rape crisis centres where I will use EMDR the world’s leading trauma therapy.. My contact number is 087 8211 009 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I will also be devoting much time to researching and writing. I have written seven books (with several more in the pipeline) and I hope you will find some of them helpful in trying to make sense of your life. I am currently writing a book on loneliness, something I experience myself. It is a difficult topic to understand and difficult to write about. Loneliness is a pandemic, especially as society has changed in how people interact with each other. I am most interested in existential loneliness, which is difficult to heal. I will publish this book in 2024 and hope it helps lonely people.
My latest book below is about a woman with did or Multiple Personality Disorder. It has just been published and is one of three volumes. The first volume is extremely large and very good value for its size. It is also available as an ebook. BECAUSE OF BREXIT THE PAPERBACK IS NOT YET AVAILABLE ON AMAZON UK BUT IS READILY AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM.
EMERGING FROM THE DARKNESS
THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF A WOMAN OF MORE THAN ORDINARY COURAGE AND HER MANY FACES
Her Daily Struggle with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)
This is Volume 1 of a three-volume work on the story of seventy-year-old ‘Margaret,’ who suffered horrific sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse by three perpetrators from the age of four until she was twelve years old. Pregnant at such a young age, she was taken for an abortion by one of the perpetrators and her story strongly suggests that the doctor was not only in secret collusion with the paedophiles but was a paedophile himself. All the perpetrators are long dead, but they left her with a lasting legacy of distress in the form of dissociative identity disorder, once known as Multiple Personality Disorder. This serious brain injury results in splits in her personality, known as dissociative or ego parts. She had eighty-seven such parts, each one with its own personality and outlook.
She has been in therapy with me since 2016 and slowly the story of her awful suffering emerged. It is a bleak and shocking story. She is a truly remarkable and courageous woman, who despite the appalling abuse, triumphed as a caring person and mother. Despite her constant suffering from anxiety and depression she functioned very well as a worker and held a responsible job.
This book has several interlinking aims. Firstly, it is to show how very difficult the life of a person with structural dissociation is on a daily or weekly basis over a long number of years and the struggle it brings to therapy. Its other purpose is to give courage to those who suffer from this debilitating complaint and to show that, with perseverance and patience on the part of the client and the therapist, a good degree of peace can be achieved. By early 2022 Margaret was sporadically beginning to experience this peace.
This book is unique because it tracks the daily life of a woman with DID over many years in great detail. I counselled Margaret on a weekly basis and received hundreds of emails to supplement the face-to-face therapy. These are all recorded in the book.
Margaret was unfortunate, because not only did her personality split from brutal and regular childhood sexual, emotional, physical and financial abuse, but as a young adult, she met and married an emotionally and financially abusive individual. To compound her adult abusive experiences, she married into a farm and suffered ongoing emotional and financial abuse at the hands of her parents-in-law. In short, Margaret suffered abuse practically all of her life. As she struggled with a lifetime of abuse, her twelve-year-old son, who had a serious heart complaint, became ill and died. The fact that she has survived and functioned as a good parent and a competent employee is a miracle.
I hope you find the story as interesting and moving as I did.
My first book, as a counsellor, is on the death of a child and how it impacts parents and siblings. You will see this in the publications section of this site. I do not make any profit from this book, and those bereaved of children find it very useful. The book explores in a simple way the impact of our thirteen-year-old child’s death and how we coped with it over many years. Some of the details are taken from diaries we kept. Losing a child is immensely painful, but ultimately we can cope well with it. If you have lost a child, I am very sorry, and I hope this book will help you. It is titled Death of a Child. Our journey from hopelessness to hope, from despair to peace.
Available in Ireland and in the EU on Amazon.de English. Due to Brexit and no economic treaty between UK and EU this book is not yet available on Amazon UK. For readers living in UK, it is available on Amazon UK.
As I continued on my new journey of counselling and changed from history writing, I decided my next book would be on abuse, because that is what I met every day in my counselling clinic. Abusive people can be equally named bullies, controllers and narcissists. The book is titled Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying (2011). About 30% of people have this controlling trait and they make life miserable for their targets. They emotionally, if not physically, imprison them. I wrote this book because people do not really understand what abuse is, and confuse it with domestic violence, which is only one form of abuse. In recent years the term coercive control is mentioned and that is separate from domestic violence, although they are still confused in peoples minds. The use of the word gaslighting is now frequently used, either in terms of intimate relationships or in the political world where the truth is mangled by extreme-right politicians, and in intimate relationships the victims doubt their sanity. The book explores the importance of boundaries. It is fundamental to build good boundaries to combat abuse, but it is not easy, because abusive people ignore boundaries and have a sense of entitlement that they can do what they wish. The book looks at the different types of abuse – physical, emotional/psychological, verbal, sexual and financial, and mentions spiritual abuse. Most importantly it examines boundaries, the abusive personality, remaining or leaving an abusive relationship, and what happens when you leave such a relationship.
The book can be purchased from Cork University Press, bookshops and on Amazon.
Clients find my third book, Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood, (2018) very helpful. Originally the book was entitled Fear, but the more I thought about it the more I realised it is about attachment trauma, from which fear emanates. Fear is contained in the fear centre of the brain, the amygdala, the only part of the brain that is significantly formed before birth. Therefore, life in the womb is not always safe and babies can be born traumatised. For example, if a mother is anxious or depressed, or if there is conflict in the house, the mother releases the stress hormone, cortisol, through the umbilical cord into the placenta and this causes distress to the child, who may also suffer a deficit in serotonin, the calming hormone. It seems that in adult life that child may still lack sufficient serotonin, which can be replenished by daily exercise. In adulthood, this child may also be vulnerable to anxiety or depression. EMDR deals easily with this and can access ‘memories’ of life in the womb. I found this very gratifying. This book explores the concept of fear -fear of abandonment, fear of failure, social fear/anxiety, fear of death. It also looks at toxic anger coming from an insecure attachment, and toxic jealousy coming from the same source. About 40% of people have an insecure attachment and many require counselling. The book also examines how to deal with these wounds. It is not a self-help book.
This book is available on Amazon.
While I was still counselling I had an itch to write a biographical novel. I lived in easier times where people visited each other every night and helped each other out in many practical ways. I remember doing my homework by candlelight, and we had an old oil lamp to light the kitchen. I was twelve years old before electricity arrived and the cobwebs became visible! I came from a poor family and interacted with children from poor families. We had great freedom and played together almost every day. We courted lovely girls rather later that our current young crop. What, hopefully, makes the book interesting is the wealth of people that today we might call characters, whose behaviour was stranger than fiction. So, while the book is a novel, it is based on real life in a world that would be unrecognisable to the young people of today. No phones in every house, no televisions, no computers or internet, very few motor cars. Imagine.
The book is title I’ll Meet You At The Roundy O (2018) and is available on Amazon.
The roundy O, by the way, was a circular feature in a village called Grange, in the parish of Gurtnahoe and was probably erected in the early part of the Twentieth Century. It is still there today and is featured on the cover of the book.
Before I became a therapist, I was a teacher and historian. I, therefore, began as a history writer. The first book I published was a rewrite of my Ph D thesis entitled Priest Politics and Society in Post Famine Ireland (1983). It is the first major book on the role of the clergy in Irish politics and it was an extensive role. The book initially looks at the social interaction between the priests and their flocks and shows how close this was. Despite the power wielded by the priests in religious matters, a large sector of society had a healthy sense of independence from them in the political area. The priests by and large were drawn from the agrarian classes and generally went with the outlook of farmers. They were extensively involved in agrarian movements such as the Tenant League and The Land League. Sadly, they were not really involved in the Labourers’ movement. I traced the social backgrounds of almost 600 priests and not a single one came from a labouring background. The reasons were mainly financial. Labourers could not afford seminary fees. Yet it was a massive mistake to have a large section of Irish Society omitted from clerical ranks. The book also looks at the Fenian movement which was largely condemned by the priests. One of the most interesting themes was the priests involvement in the Parnellite movement. They were ardent Parnellites, but many turned on him following the revelations for his divorce, showing that on occasion the moral aspect of politics was the one that chiefly motivated the priests, otherwise their social background dictated their direction.
This book is now out of print but may be available on Amazon.
The other book that I wrote as a historian was a biography of a politician and a swindler, John Sadleir of Shronell, West Tipperary, who lived a large part of his life as an MP in London and is buried in an unmarked grave in Highgate Cemetery. I remember standing in that cemetery looking at that unmarked grave, while a group of young people sat at a fire nearby! It was a sad occasion for me, because while he was one of the world’s biggest swindlers I felt some sympathy for him having spent so long researching his life. The book is as much about mid-Victorian business and politics as it is about him. Sadleir never married and was considered a leading Catholic and enjoyed the favour of the Catholic Church. He owned a newspaper, The Telegraph, which was in constant conflict with Charles Gavan Duffy’s Nation. The Young Irelanders despised Sadleir and used the label Sadleirism as a derogatory term for betrayal and corruption. Sadleir is best remembered for the collapse of the Tipperary Joint Stock Bank, which is well explored in the last section of this book. But his swindles were much more extensive than this.
The book is titled Prince of Swindlers. John Sadleir M.P. 1813 -1856. (1999). It can be purchased from Geography Publications or from Amazon.