Address: Contact Details:
Acorn Therapy Centre
11 Wellington Quay Drogheda,
Co. Louth.
Tel: 041 9844277
Mobile: 086 8581307
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Therapists

We bring many years of combined experience to our service. Everyone who works in Acorn Counselling and Therapy Centre is qualified within their own field.  All our Counsellors/Psychotherapist are accredited or are working towards accreditation.


Check out our Counsellors & Practitioners Articles

Counsellors Corner

Practitioners Corner

Sonia Byrne

Director of Services, Esoteric Practitioner, Yoga Instructor / Therapist

Sonia brings many years of experience to the centre in the world of business having had a career in Industrial Engineering with her main focus on industrial disputes.

Sonia studied with the Yoga Teacher Training Centre (Yttc) in Co. Down and later advanced her studies in New Zealand with Donna Farhi. She also furthered her yoga career and has a diploma in Yoga Therapy and works extensively with those with back complaints and who experienced Cancer in their lives. Her classes suit the needs of her students and is recommended by the local medical profession for her yoga for pregnancy classes.

In addition to her yoga practice she also offers Esoteric healing. Sacred Esoteric Healing is a gentle hands-on energy healing which can arrest the negative energies we align to.


Kathleen Byrne
Dip Counselling  1992/Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapy; Accredited Supervisor; Tutor
Accredited Member of IACP

Kathleen comes from a background of primary teaching. She has been working as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist for the past 21 years. She is also a Supervisor and former tutor of Foundation Diploma in Counselling Skills N.U.I. Maynooth.

Kathleen is the founder of the Acorn Counselling Therapy Centre which was established in 1995 and has continued to the present day, building up a solid reputation in the area of counselling in Drogheda.

Kathleen is a mature, warm, empathic person who has vast experience in working with a wide range of issues. Among them stress, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, abuse and grief. She has an eclectic approach incorporating client centred therapy, humanistic, gestalt and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Kathleen works with the Employment Assistance Programme in the workplace dealing with work stress & bullying using solution focused therapy, distressing and relaxation techniques.

Article by Kathleen Byrne

Catherine Logue
MIACPB Sc. (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy
Accredited Member of IACP

Catherine’s work is grounded in a client-centred approach which seeks to empower clients, and where clients determine the content and the pace of therapy. She integrates elements of various counselling theories as appropriate to the needs of each client, particularly cognitive behaviour therapy, Gestalt therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy addresses unhealthy negative emotions by helping people to change unhelpful thinking patterns and counter-productive behaviour. Gestalt therapy works towards integration and wholeness (Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘whole’) through awareness in the here and now, and psychodynamic therapy enables greater self-awareness and understanding of the influence of our past on our present behaviour.

Catherine is experienced working with clients on issues such as anxiety; depression; loss and bereavement; low self-esteem and developing assertiveness skills; abuse; health related issues and OCD. She also holds a Professional Certificate in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).


Sheelagh Beatty
B.A. (Hons); M.Sc. Counselling Psychology; Trinity Scholar (Psychology);
Graduate Member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (MPSI)

Sheelagh is a Counselling Psychologist and a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. She hold a BA degree in pure psychology, a Masters in Counselling Psychology from TCD, and was awarded the accolade of Trinity Scholar. She has worked with adult clients with a wide range of issues including anxiety, stress, depression, mental health issues, childhood sexual abuse, chronic illness, addictions, and post-traumatic-stress disorder. She is seasoned in working with couples on relationship problems and domestic violence. She also works with adolescents with such issues as depression, conduct problems, anxiety, identity concerns, bullying, school refusal, and relationship issues. In her work, she uses an integrative approach to therapy, and utilizes psychological theory and empirical research in her therapeutic work with her clients. She also specialises in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Sheelagh focuses on creating a safe, supportive, and confidential environment for her clients by establishing a secure therapeutic relationship where difficult issues can be explored at the client's pace. She engages in both short-term and long-term therapeutic work.
Typical activities include:

  • undertaking assessments, including assessment of mental health need, risk assessment and psychometric testing;
  • formulating a psychological explanation of the client’s issues;
  • planning and implementing therapy;
  • evaluating the outcome of therapy;
  • establishing a collaborative working relationship with the client based on trust and respect; and
  • continuing personal and professional development (CPD).


Barry Smyth
BA Counselling / Psychotherapy & General Counselling
Accredited Member of IACP

My main way of being with the client is an humanistic approach. This means that I respect the human capabilities of the client and have confidence in their ability to grow and to change. The goal is to find out how the client perceives himself in the here and now and to recognize growth. This is quite an optimistic approach due to the non-judgmental, non-directive attitude of the counsellor and helps the client become aware of their strengths and intrinsic goodness.

But on top of this I incorporate psychodynamic elements. I look at what unconscious thought processes are showing themselves in the client's behaviour. The goal is to help the client become more aware of how the past has influenced their current thoughts and behaviours by helping them work through unresolved issues and conflicts they may have with significant people in their lives.

In addition to the two approaches mentioned above, I would also work in a cognitive behavioural manner when a practical approach is needed to challenge the thoughts and perceptions of the client that lead to negative behaviour.

In short, I use an integrative approach which allows me the freedom to be flexible with the client in the very present setting of the therapy room and to fully integrate my knowledge and training into the process in the here and now.

 Articles by Barry Smyth 

Pat Gannon
BA Counselling / Psychotherapy & General Counselling
Accredited Member of IACP

Pat's work is grounded in Humanistic/Person Centred approach in which everyone is seen as have "dignity and worth" in their own right. He integrates elements of other approaches when necessary, including Gestalt, Psychodynamic, Existential and Emotion Focused Therapies. Pat is professionally qualified in the therapeutic use of mindfulness and also holds a professional certificate in family therapy.

Pat is a mature, empathic person who strives at all times to work in an atmosphere of gentleness and respect. Breathing and relaxation techniques are used where appropriate. Issues dealt with in his work include:-

Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Anger, Loss & Bereavement & Low self-worth.

Mary McKenna
Diploma in Counselling / Psychotherapy
Pre – Accredited Member of I.A.C.P.

My approach is primarily Person – Centred; believing individuals have the capacity “to strive to grow towards the best possible fulfilment of the potential” Mearns & Thorne, 2008

I integrate other Therapies such as Existential, CBT and Gestalt depending on the needs of the client.

I have trained in Bereavement Counselling helping to support clients following through their grief.

I also have a Diploma in Parent/Mentoring and have facilitated Parenting Groups and individual parents over the years.

I have also worked extensively with clients with Post Natal Depression.


 Róisín Matthews 
Diploma in Counselling/Psychotherapy
Accredited Member of I.A.C.P.

My name is Roisin and I am a graduate of the Dublin Counselling and Therapy Centre's four year professional diploma in Counselling and psychotherapy. I am also advancing my studies at present in psychotherapy for adolescents. I work from a Humanistic and Integrative approach which offers people space to develop self awareness and unfold their own true nature.

I believe the Therapeutic relationship that develops over time is the most valuable resource within the work, for it is within this safe space that we can eventually face and heal our deepest pain.

So whether you or your teen is dealing with depression, anxiety, grief & loss, family or relationship concerns, or other life challenges, I would be privileged to be with you as we explore the possibilities and limitations you experience in life.

Articles by Roisin Matthews



Mike Collins
Diploma in Counselling / Psychotherapy
Accredited Member of I.A.C.P. & BACP

I have been working as a therapist for 12 years, am accredited with the IACP and BACP, and have been seeing clients at Acorn Therapy Centre since 2008.

I work to support individuals and groups in reaching their full potential, through the combined application of my counselling skills, my teaching and facilitating skills, my evolving personal qualities, and my commitment to making a positive difference to people’s lives.

I would describe myself as an integrative counsellor, employing aspects of a variety of cognitive, humanistic and psychodynamic models within my work, with an emphasis upon solution-focused therapy and cognitive therapy. I am calm, empathic and gentle in my counselling work, though quite capable of displaying rigour and assertiveness too. I am patient, kind and tolerant, and have a good sense of humour.


Robert Byrne. MACI

ACI - Accredited member of Addiction Counsellors of Ireland.

 BA. Addiction counsellor.


Smart Recovery Facilitator.

 I work by creating a sense of participating in a collaboration and partnership. I possess a thorough knowledge of addiction and the lifestyles of addicts while acknowledging that the client is the true expert in discussing his or her own life. I do this by listening accurately, empathize effectively, and avoiding passing judgment. By doing this I can convey to the client that he or she has an ally in the difficult progress toward recovery. These approaches have proved to strengthen the therapeutic alliance and make the relationship a collaborative one.

The metaphor of the hiker and the guide is useful for conceptualizing the counsellor-client relationship. The counsellor guides the client through at least the early stages of recovery, but the recovery process ultimately belongs to the client. It is the client alone who is responsible and accountable for his or her recovery.  

By guiding my clients in new directions towards recovery we gain positive results that can then be explored and built on. 


Máirín Uí Fhaoláin

BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy
Accredited Member of IACP and BACP
Member of the William Glasser Institute of Ireland (MWGII)

Mairin is an experienced Counsellor and Psychotherapist who works with individuals on a wide range of issues both on a short term and a long term basis.  She works as a general counsellor in areas such as relationships, loss and bereavement, low self-esteem and workplace issues.  She also has a wide range of experience working with depression, anxiety and panic attacks.   Always focused on the client, her priority is in providing a safe place where clients can build trust and move towards greater awareness and change.

Mairin works in an integrative way with clients, which allows her to draw on different models of counselling as appropriate to each person.   Person Centred Therapy, CBT, Choice Theory/Reality Therapy, the therapeutic use of Mindfulness and Multicultural Counselling are some of the core elements of her approach. 


Leslie Howard
Reg: F.T.A.

 Leslie is an accredited and registered Family Therapist with over 20 years experience, having trained at The Clanwilliam Institute, Dublin. He also has experience and certification in group work facilitation and bereavement counselling. Leslie’s work often means involving children and adolescents in counselling sessions with their siblings and parent(s). He has worked within care settings, such as residential care and foster care.

Leslie engages with individuals alone, and with couples and families experiencing inter-relationship and other difficulties. Quote: “My academic training and counselling work has led me to believe that since we all come from families anyway, many clients seeking counselling may be experiencing problems in the present day which are sometimes a consequence of memories, experiences and self-concepts carried over from family of origin life. Of course, I also acknowledge that this may not always the most useful or relevant focus. In either case, my experience tells me that with help, clients do overcome both negative past histories and current difficulties” 

Leslie uses an eclectic mix of counselling / psychotherapy theoretical models to understand and help clients themselves to understand what they are experiencing and why. Knowledge of personality development and family life cycles helps in this.

Leslie’s style is conversational and collaborative, meaning that he focuses on joining with the person or persons in a way that best fits the goals of therapy and so as to create a co-operative but challenging therapeutic endeavour.




Address: 11 Wellington Quay Drogheda, Co. Louth. Tel: 041 9844277, Mobile: 086 8581307, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.