Hi, I’m Dr Julie
I’m passionate about empowering parents to raise happy, self-connected and resilient children who trust themselves and their innate capacity to thrive in this world.
My Story Begins...
Some years ago, I had a vision to create a community of engaged, supportive and empowered parents who trust that they are enough to weather the storms of parenting…
Parents who are skilled at self-connection (finding their centre) and self-regulation (finding their emotional balance), and who show and teach their children the same skills so that they can trust in themselves and their potential to flourish.
I wanted to guide parents to come Home to themselves so that they could guide their children Home too.
So I built a pathway for connection and emotional regulation that parents could follow called the Pathway Home for Parents…
Here is its Story:
The idea for A Pathway Home For Parents was born in a bit of a messy way….
The Power of Relationship
Over the years in my clinical practice, I saw first-hand the power of relationships to guide parents and their children to feel more centred, self-connected and able to weather the many storms that life brought their way. I saw a deepening of their trust for each other - and most importantly - themselves and their capacity to thrive.
In my Parent Groups I was always blown away and humbled by the power of community that parents themselves created where they supported and validated each other and shared their wisdom. This sense of community enabled them to trust themselves even more and to transform how they related to themselves and their children. Running these groups and witnessing the rich sense of community that parents create has been one of my greatest joys.
The Science of Well-Being, Safety, Relationships and Transformation
I have always loved learning about how we function in this world when we feel safe or unsafe, happy or in distress. This led me to the amazing world of Inter-Personal Neuro-Biology, which explores how our brains, minds and nervous systems develop within our earliest attachment relationships. And how transformation in the pathways of the brain and nervous system (neuro-plasticity) helps us to re-wire our experiences and to heal.
This fascination was deepened by my love for Poly-vagal Theory, which is the study and application of how our nervous systems govern our experiences of feeling safe or unsafe in the world.
Motherhood and Messiness
But really, the greatest learnings have come from being a mum to my two greatest teachers, who came into my life in 2011 and 2014. Being a parent has brought so much joy and delight, but there were many days that it brought me to my knees, where I second-guessed myself, blamed myself, and looked beyond myself. Often, I felt confused and invalidated by all the HOW TO BE A GOOD PARENT information out there, that left me feeling overwhelmed and despairing.
And in this place of difficulty and messiness, my greatest transformation happened…
A Blurry A-Ha: Finding Home in the Storm
The A-ha was a bit blurry through the grainy eyes of no sleep, but still felt powerful: I had forgotten myself.
I had lost my base that anchored me to a feeling of trust, safety and being home. I had needed support for sure, but looking beyond myself felt invalidating and confusing.
So I called myself Home.
I found ways to feel anchored and regulated again.
I sought out compassionate experts who reminded me that I was already enough.
And slowly, I came Home to myself and learned to trust myself.
And when the storms of being a parent blew up, I could find my centre again, even if it took me a while…
Through forgetting myself, I remembered to come Home.
And when I felt at Home, I could deepen my relationship with myself, and with my children, who in turn could then trust themselves more…
A Clearer A-HA: A Pathway Home
How I learnt to trust myself as a parent - and as a human - has been messy. This was not born out of gentle walks in a flowery meadow…
Despite the slew of parenting advice out there, and the amazing advances in our scientific understanding of how we function, I began to see that there was no one clear pathway rooted in evidence-based theory and practice that was easy for parents to follow and that focused on our greatest gifts: our power to turn towards ourselves and befriend ourselves, even, at first, if we don’t love what we see.
And so…with this A-HA, I took the following elements:
My experience as a clinical psychologist working with parents and families, my witnessing of the power of relationships and parent communities, my love of learning, my passion for the Science of Well-Being, Safety and Relationships, and my own personal experiences of the power of transformation from difficulty, guided me to map out a four step pathway for parents to follow to enable them to work at their own pace in their own time (time, how precious is time?!).
And The Pathway Home for Parents was born.Learn More About the Pathway Home for Parents
About Dr. Julie
As a clinical psychologist, strategic interventionist coach and a parent, I draw from my many years of clinical experience and from a breath of evidence-based theories and practices, such as Interpersonal Neuro-biology, Attachment Theory, Polyvagal Theory, Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems to empower those I work with to create more connected relationships that inspire trust, resilience and their potential to thrive.
Over the last 20+ years of working with children, parents, families and individuals in several different roles I have had the privilege to experience directly the capacity we all have for deep psychological growth, especially when we are met with significant challenges and adversity.
In my role as a clinical psychologist both in the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE exclusively from 2007 – 2018; 2018-2021 contractual basis) and in private practice (since 2018), I have worked with individuals at every life stage and from many cultures, supporting them with a wide range of difficulties and mental health issues through individual support and psycho-educational and therapeutic workshops and groups (both in-person and through webinars and online workshops).
I have a great love for learning, self-development and research - especially when it comes to brains and self-care. My qualifications include:
B.A. Psychology (Ist Class Hons, 1999), Trinity College Dublin
Ph.D. (Children’s Imaginary Thinking, 2006), Trinity College Dublin
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych, 2010) Trinity College Dublin
Core 100 Strategic Interventionist Life Coach Certificate Course (with Robbins-Madanes Training, 2017)
Comprehensive Course in Interpersonal Neuro-Biology (with Dr. Dan Siegel and the Lifelong Learning Institute, 2020).
My love for evidence-based research may be great, but my greatest learnings come to me not through books, but by seeing my entire life as a teacher and opening up to every experience as a way to connect with an innate capacity for growth that we all share.
I live in Co. Sligo with my family. I have two children who are, of course, my 'very greatest' teachers 😊 and a Portuguese Water Dog called Manni, who shows me how to come Home over and over again…