Edel O’Donnell – BSocSc, MA, Dip. Gestalt Therapy, Dip. CBT, MIACPEdel photo

Edel is a qualified and fully accredited Gestalt Therapist based in Cork City. She trained with the Irish Gestalt Centre, which was established in Ireland over 25 years ago. The Diploma in Gestalt Therapy is an accredited course with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP).

The IACP was established in 1981 to identify, develop and maintain professional standards of excellence in counselling and psychotherapy, and it acts as a safeguard for the public. Edel is fully accredited with the IACP. Edel also has a Masters in Health Promotion and a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

As well as working in private practice, Edel works with Pieta House and Coisceim Counselling Service in Cork. She worked as a counsellor in the Student Counselling Service at NUI Galway and Pro Consult Counselling Centre.  Edel has experience working with a wide range of issues including anxiety and panic, depression, relationship and sexuality issues, trauma, sexual abuse, stress management, bereavement and loss, self-harm and suicide.  Through many years as a Health Promotion Officer with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Edel has extensive experience in promoting positive mental health especially in the school community.

Ethos and Approach

Edel is trained as a Gestalt therapist. Becoming more aware of ourselves and how we are in the world is central to Gestalt therapy. Gestalt therapy is based on the belief that with increased awareness a person can take responsibility for her/himself and they can move from dependency towards independence, and a greater sense of well-being, wholeness and self-love.

In counselling and therapy people often struggle to see themselves more clearly and understand themselves – sometimes with great frustration and a lack of compassion for themselves. Edel works in a non-judgemental way with people to create a place of safety where they can become more self-aware through working with the body, exploring and expressing feelings, and paying attention to thoughts. Edel uses different ways of working ranging from simple dialogue to the use of art, symbols, role play, body movement and awareness, visualisation and dreams, depending on your needs and readiness. This work can sometimes seem overwhelming and frustrating, so patience and courage are important in the process for both client and counsellor. The work is also exciting, deeply moving and ultimately life-enhancing.

I hope and believe that with my assistance people can become more self-aware and gain a sense of their own abilities and skills to contend with all of themselves – the parts they know well and like, the parts they don’t like, and maybe new parts of themselves that they might not have been aware of. I believe this work needs to be done with compassion and love.