After spending half of my life in Ireland, and the other half in the Bay Area, I have recently moved to Portland Oregon. I grew up with rain, and lush pastures so the climate in Oregon feels very familiar to me. I live by the river and love watching boats and birds glide by.Running and hiking through the woods with my dog is a great source of fun for me.
My office, however, is a pet-free zone.
In terms of education, I have a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies). I also have a Certificate in Sound, Voice and Music healing from CIIS which has helped me to incorporate music and sound into my psychotherapy practice. I am also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist by the National Board of Hypnotherapists.And I have a Masters Certification in Intuition Medicine from the Academy of Intuition Medicine ® , Mill Valley.
I have worked for approximately twelve years with individuals, children, couples and families in a variety of settings such as public and private school, community mental health and private practice. My work is integrative depending on the individual or group needs and it incorporates a wide array of influences:
Emotionally Focused Therapy
This is a form of therapy that primarily focuses on the underlying emotions that are involved in any given discussion or argument. It can be used in either individual or couples therapy.Too often in relatonship we focus on the story of what is being said or on the behavior that was shown only to lose track of the love between ourselves and the other. Emotionally focused therapy helps individuals or couples to show down, identify their vulnerable emotions, and teaches clients how to express needs in a safe way.This is an evidence based therapy and one of the most successful forms of couples therapy worldwide.
The work is based on Dr Sue Johnson's work and clients often learn unique and easy ways to express what they are really wanting to express, without harming their partners.Clients who work with this technique report that they understand their motivations and behaviors much better, and have a much deeper understanding for their partners , friends, families and co workers etc.
Parts Work / IFS ( Internal Family systems)
This work involves addressing the parts of us that might be wounded and too vulnerable to be exposed. Out of fear of being further wounded, the part hides behind a shield of some form. This protecting shield might show up in the form of anger that is out of control, comfort eating, or overwhelming anxiety. This pained part is likely to be linked to the role that we played in the face of rejection or pain in our family of origin. Life teaches us to cover up these scared parts and it can become a part of what we believe to be our " personality". However, when these parts start to take over our emotional relationships and we feel lost or out of control, we can then start to ask for help.
In this work, the therapist explores with the client ways to get permission from these defenses or protectors that may have been there for a long time. Its important to honor the role of the protectors, and also explain how healing the wound that is in hiding might help the role of the protector. The more the client becomes aware of what is the real authentic self versus the defended self, the more confidence, and self compassion is experienced by the client.
Mindfulness quite often plays an important role in my work. A person doesn't need to have a spiritual or religious practice or belief to engage in this process.By giving the mind something to do like focusing on the breath, or the sensations of a guided visualization a certain "spaciousness" can occur. This opening can often allow us a different experience, where we get to access our intuition instead of our busy mind ruling the show. Mindfulness plays a central part in Hakomi Body Centered Psychotherapy ,Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy all of which I incorporate into my work.
Energy Psychology explores the relationship between the body mind and spirit or attitude. It explores how thoughts, feelings, bodily functions, neuron elasticity, belief structures, sounds, movements and other energetic patterns influence well being.It takes into account the whole picture of a human versus just their mind.
Emotional Freedom Technique -EFT otherwise known as "Tapping" is technique that uses energy psychology to explore the energy blockages along meridians in the body ( much like the pressure points used in acupuncture) By tapping on the energy meridians, and addressing the psychological challenges, the tapping can clear the energy blocks, and help to make room for positive thoughts and beliefs to be fully embodied. This can help alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and other painful emotional and sometimes physical conditions.
Cognitive therapy focuses on the power of our thoughts and how these thoughts can affect our emotions and reactions. By learning to identify certain thoughts that trigger harmful reactions, we can learn alternative ways to achieve a different reaction.
is an evidence based therapy that is used widely by government bodies , and health care organizations such as Kaiser Permanente and Stanford University. Scientific research has shown a direct relationship between stress and heart health. Heartmath research shows that when we are stressed that the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered. When neural signals register this chaotic rhythm, they then send signals to the brain that inhibit cognitive functions. Ever have the experience of being so stressed that you can't remember simple things like your own phone number or familiar names? So this cutting edge technology aims to give a direct feedback to the client of the state of her/ his heart rhythm and then the work is to support the client to come into a more balanced heart rhythm pattern.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
combines cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness awareness techniques to support emotional challenges and acceptance. It supports the theory that each one of us can hold several dialectical experiences at once eg feeling excited versus feeling sad. Thus, if somebody is feeling sad and very stuck, one might explore the part that is very hopeful and happy. It essentially supports "positive psychology" tapping into the parts of us that are functioning so as to build on the "positive experiences" .
also referred to as couple and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling.It is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. This therapy can be powerful in the way that the family unit works together to solve problems instead of targeting one individual as the problem.
is a way to explore a person's underlining unconscious patterns that often get to repeat over and over in their every day life. This pattern could come from an old familiar pattern of relating to a parent, teacher, relative or caregiver and it keeps making the same pattern in current time. The relationship with the therapist can give the client an opportunity to explore these patterns, discover new ways of making choices.
Clodagh O' Herlihy, MFT, CHT
Phone number : 530-327-6440
Office Location: 2279 NW Irving street
Portland, Oregon 97210