The Council and Executive Council
The Council and its working groups focus on: Administration & Finance, Statutory Registration, Accreditation & Professional Standards, Membership, Complaints, the iacat online Journal and PR & Media Relations. The council ensures that the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics is maintained and adheres to legislation, protocols and guidelines, ensuring safe practice for both clients and members. The Executive Council (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) also liaises with regional groups.
AAisling Brennan qualified with an M.A. in Art Therapy from CIT/Crawford College of Art and Design Cork. She also holds an MA in Applied Spirituality and Bachelor of Education. Aisling runs a private practice 'True Self, True Art' in Co. Laois. She primarily works with children, the elderly and those with additional needs.
Council Vice Chair
Heidi has experience working in mental health services for almost 10 years. These include Adult HSE/private services, residential addiction services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Since graduating with an MA in Art Therapy Heidi went on to study a masters in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Trinity College, Dublin. Heidi presently works in private practice at primary care psychotherapy, Co.Kildare (https://www.primarytherapy.ie/heidi-morrison/). Heidi also runs weekly group art therapy sessions for inpatients in HSE mental health services, Lake View, Naas Hospital.
Council Treasurer & Statutory Registration
Maggie Dagge is a Dramatherapist specialising in trauma informed DvT. Unique to this practice is the physical interaction between client and therapist towards a mutual journey to discover the anxieties that influence and impact on a person's life. Maggie works with adults and children in both school/institutional settings together with private practice. She also runs the Irish DvT practice group. Maggie, who has a background in professional theatre and venue management also uses DvT with performers, directors, teachers, therapists, social workers and trainers.
Noémie is a qualified Dance Movement Psychotherapist, running her private practice Moving Souls (https://www.iacat.ie/member_txt/noemie.moving.souls) in the North West of Ireland across counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh. Having had a broad range of experiences across multiple countries (France, England, Ireland), art forms (Music, Dance, fiber crafts) and languages (French, English, Movement), Noemie is committed to provide an empathetic, respectful and embodied space for clients of all ages, genders, backgrounds to explore whatever they need. Noemie is particularly interested in working with mental health, trauma, empowerment, relationships/attachment and motherhood.
Council & PR & Marketing Sub-Committee
Jessica began her career as a musician studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music performing throughout Ireland and the U.K. with orchestras and ensembles such as the National Symphony and National Concert Orchestras of Ireland. In 2010, she completed her Masters in Music Therapy at UL. Since graduation, she has provided music therapy to clients across a wide range of populations and ages including within St. Michael's House, Autism Initiatives Ireland, Bloomfield Health Services, the Central Remedial Clinic, Lois Bridges and within the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Her approach is person-centred and psychodynamic and she is passionate and committed to providing opportunities for change, hope and joy.
Council & PR & Marketing Sub-Committee
Ciara has worked across Wales and Ireland and has delivered workshops to community centres, schools and clinics and is very passionate in the work she produces with each one being unique and explicitly designed to cater to the groups' needs. Ciara currently works in the Central Remedial Clinic providing workshops to day service users and in a secondary school in South Dublin. Ciara has recently finished her masters in Maynooth University in Dramatherapy and is very excited in her future career as a Dramatherapist.
Council Member & Events Sub-Commitee
Angie originally qualified as an Architect with a B Arch Sc, Dip Arch(Hons) Degree and has practised as an architect in Ireland, England and Germany as well as being an Architectural Lecturer in Two Universities in the UK where she has also acted as a mentor to students in the University of Suffolk. Angie recently graduated from the MA in Art Therapy, CIT Cork and now practices in Dublin.
Úna Walsh is a fully qualified art therapist and art practitioner. Since 2014 Úna has provided art therapy at Solas cancer support centre in Waterford. Here she provides one to one and group art therapy for bereaved clients and people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis.
Úna takes referrals through her private practice, Úna Walsh Art Therapy Studios at GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) Lombard Street, Waterford city. In her practice Úna works with adults, adolescences and children. Úna Walsh MA (hons1) Art Therapy.
Gráinne recently graduated from the MA in Art Therapy from Crawford College of Art. Her clinical placement settings included primary and post-primary education, including with children with additional needs, and acute adult psychiatry services. Her thesis focused on the neurophysiology of trauma and sensori-motor techniques in art therapy and she looks forward to the opportunity to further develop these interests and incorporate them into a professional practice.
Rachel O Leary
For over 15 years Rachel has combined her love of art with her education, voluntary work and career. Her involvement with Creative Connections based in Cork city allowed her to experience community intercultural, integration and performance art. Her studies in UCC and CIT are inclusive of intercultural integration, global education and change making, youth and community work and mental health in the community. Currently she works as a social care worker supporting vulnerable adults with Nua Healthcare. She is also now in the process of completing her MA in Art Therapy at CIT Cork.
Heather is an HCPC registered dramatherapist based in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. She graduated from Maynooth University in 2018 and works full-time as a dramatherapist in an adult male mental health residential facility. Heather is the Northern Irish Allied Health Professions (AHP) rep for dramatherapy in AHPFNI (Allied Health Professionals Federation Northern Ireland), and also holds the role as the Northern Irish Link Person for BADth. (British Association of Dramatherapists). Heather works as a dramatherapist with MindWise, a charity that works in conjunction with referrals from the NHS. Heather is extremely passionate about ensuring dramatherapy is widely accessible within the healthcare system and that reaches its full clinical potential. She has a specific interest in mental health and specialises in one-to-one sessions. Heather is excited to be an IACAT council member and see what the year ahead holds for the creative arts on our island.
Nicola Kealy is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Rhythm Room www.rhythmroomdublin.com Nicola trained as an Actor at the Gaiety School of Acting and has an ALCM Dip In Drama from the London College of Music. She studied Community Dance and Choreography with the Laban Guild and has a Master’s degree in Dramatherapy. Nicola has been working in Arts and Disability for the past 20 years and has written, directed and produced numerous plays for Rhythm Room.
Nicola works as a Dramatherapist in the area of mental health and intellectual disability with experience in a variety of settings, one being group therapy with residents in a community nursing home. She has been a guest lecturer in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health at DCU and in the School of Education at Maynooth University.
Nicola is a student on the Doctorate in Psychotherapy at DCU.
Since completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Arts in Healthcare settings, Vicky has gained a wealth of experience in healthcare environments. She has worked with all age groups, from 5 year olds to retirees, through image making. Vicky then completed her extensive training as an Art Psychotherapist and has worked with adults in mental health, substance misuse, and recovery. Over the past few years Vicky has worked with adolescent clients and young children in schools. She specialises in dealing with bullying and building resilience with those affected by these behaviours. Other areas of Vicky’s experience include autistic spectrum disorders, sensory impairments, as well as emotional and behavioural disorders. Creative expression within a therapeutic relationship can have a powerful impact on maintaining good mental health, and this is something that Vicky has dedicated her working life to. Art Psychotherapy can help to resolve conflicts and problems for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and genders.
Leslie Wrenn is a music therapist from the United States. She received her MME-MT from the University of Kansas and holds US board certification (MT-BC). Living in Ireland since 2015, Leslie has worked with clients of all ages and abilities in Dublin, Kildare, and Wexford. She currently specialises in working with children with Down syndrome.
Leslie has received additional training in Lámh, Hanen, and from Down Syndrome Education International. She holds a BMus from Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). Leslie is a classical and traditional musician and performs with the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and in sessions around Dublin and Wicklow.
Michelle has combined her love for art with her education, voluntary work and career for the past 14 years. In that time, she has primarily worked with children who have mild to general learning difficulties in both primary and secondary settings. While working with young people who have difficulties expressing themselves verbally and regulating their emotions she has found creative expression paramount to establishing connection.
Michelle graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design with a Ba in Fine Art in 2000 and is currently in the process of completing her final year in Art Psychotherapy (Ma) with Crawford Art College, Cork. Michelle was also awarded a scholarship to New York School of Visual Arts in June 2019 with a focus on intercultural Art Therapy practices. Michelle was recently awarded a full scholarship for the Global Trauma Summit in June 2020 with the Research Trauma Foundation.
Grainne ni Ghráda
Grainne is the founder of All Aboard Therapy Services and represents our Associate Members on Council. She currently works in the Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford areas, having previously managed a busy private practice in the locations of Kildare, Dublin and Meath. Grainne has been a first class honours graduate of the MA in Community Music at the University of Limerick and an undergraduate degree in music and psychology from University College Cork. Her special interests and placements included working with children with additional needs, multi disciplinary creative arts groups with members of the traveller community and music therapy. Grainne went on to also achieve a certificate in therapeutic play skills from the children's therapy centre, a postgraduate certificate in youth arts from NYCI and NUI Maynooth and a postgraduate diploma in practice based play therapy from NUI Galway and the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy. She founded Music Matters, an organisation that established a network of community choirs and featured on RTE's The Secret Millionaire, Morning Ireland and TG4's "Roisin". Grainne is a QQI trainer as well as a therapist and she offers parent support, play therapy and Sandtray therapy. (Www.allaboardtherapy.ie, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rosemary McGarry, Administrator
Contact 087 992 1746 or email@example.com
Pamela Whitaker Journal Co-editor
Pamela Whitaker is an art therapist and lecturer in the MSc Art Therapy course at Ulster University, Belfast School of Art. She also works under the name of Groundswell, www.groundswell.ie. She was previously editor of the Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal.
Maggie O'Neill, Journal Co-editor
Dr Maggie O’Neill is a researcher in the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland, Galway. She researches and writes widely on Irish literature, culture and society. She has been co-editor of IACAT Journal since 2013.