Counselling for Anxiety

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster, and is a normal emotional response to danger. What makes one person anxious may not create the same response in another.  Our body’s reaction to danger is a very old system and comes originally from man’s need to recognise physical danger (i.e. the threat of being eaten by a woolly mammoth), and react quickly (i.e. run away).  That’s why when you begin to feel anxious, you feel your heart speed up, your tummy churn, and perhaps tingling in your arms and legs – your body is basically telling you to run away from the danger.

However, modern ‘danger’ is not usually in the form of a woolly mammoth wanting a quick meal.  ‘Danger’ today is stress, or feelings of being out of control, or difficult emotions such as depression or anger.  If we don’t know how to deal with these issues, we panic, and feel anxious.


Anxiety can affect both our physical and mental well-being, with physical symptoms including palpitations, chest pains, faintness, being flushed, sweating, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, choking, difficulties in breathing, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, upset tummy, tremors, restlessness, panic attacks and feeling afraid.

Psychological symptoms of anxiety can be a sense of things around you appearing unreal, sounds being distorted, speeding or slowing of thoughts, tension, distractibility, loss of appetite, loss of libido and insomnia.


We at Sandyford Wellness Centre understand that coping with anxiety can be a lonely and isolating experience. Counselling can help you develop your own coping mechanisms in order to deal with anxiety and strategies to overcome negative thinking patterns. Part of the work in dealing with anxiety is exploring any possible underlying issues causing or maintaining the symptoms. Most of our practitioners have expertise in dealing with anxiety.

Change6 Week CBT Program for Anxiety,  Panic and Stress Reduction

A CBT based program combining work on both the physical symptoms you feel in your body (panic, heart beat, sweaty palms etc), and the mental symptoms you have with thoughts, feelings and negative coping strategies which may include eating, drinking or taking medication/drugs, and/or avoiding people and social situations.   This program is a very effective intervention and will significantly reduce, if not eliminate completely, your anxiety, panic or stress symptoms.  Learning how to effectively manage stress and anxiety is the key, and being able to consciously relax both your body and your thoughts in the face of stressors is a core skill you will learn.

Please email counselling(at) for information on this program.

Deirdre Nolan MIACP

Areas of Speciality:  Anxiety, Panic, Exam Stress, Grief.  Deirdre is also one of our Specialist Eating Freely Therapists.

Deirdre is a fully qualified Counsellor & Psychotherapist, with an IACP Dip in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy and a Professional Certificate in CBT.  Deirdre is accredited with the IACP.

Deirdre works in a integrative and person-centered way; creating a supportive and non-judgmental space where clients can explore their emotions and experiences.  This safe space encourages clients to discover their internal strengths and resources.  Deirdre works with Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Exam Stress, Navigating Life Transitions and Changes, Self-Esteem, Relationship Issues, Grief, Self-Care, and Confidence.

Deirdre is also a Speech and Drama Teacher for over 20 years and brings that experience into her Counselling; particularly around building self-confidence. Deirdre also offers the option of individually tailored 6-8 week CBT courses in both Public Speaking and Communication Skills (including interview techniques).

To contact Deirdre and make an appointment, please call 086 0796981.

Noeleen O’Driscoll,BSc (Hons) Psychology, Dip. Counselling & Psychotherapy

Noeleen 0’Driscoll is a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist who has a BSc (1st Class Honours) in Psychology and a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy. Working from an integrative perspective Noeleen draws on different therapeutic approaches including CBT and psychodynamic in a person- centred approach tailored to the individual client.

Noeleen works in a gentle, empathic way with clients struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, intergenerational family trauma, relationship issues, ADHD, Dyspraxia, ASD, Aspergers, bereavement, grief, chronic illness and pain. Noeleen creates a safe, supportive and accepting space where issues can be explored, and coping mechanisms strengthened.

Noeleen is a member of  the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) following their code of ethics and working towards accreditation with them.  As a pre-accredited member Noeleen offers a reduced rate of €45 per session.  Contact Noeleen directly on 086 3499443.

Chris McConnell, MAPCP, MBACP, MSc Psychotherapy, Dip. CBT   

Areas of Speciality: Anxiety and Depression, Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

 I am a fully trained, qualified and accredited counsellor and therapist. I have 15 years experience working with people to overcome problems, such as depression, anxiety, panic, mental health problems and addictions. I originally trained in psychotherapy through University College Dublin, based at St. Vincent’s University Hospital. I have also trained for two years in London in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Goldsmiths University.

I have extensively trained in and use mindfulness based CBT therapies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP).

Empowering people to free themselves from unhelpful and limiting thinking and beliefs, become more self-compassionate and move towards living richer and more meaningful lives is a central value of mine.

Contact Chris directly on: 086 7833644

Aneta Maliszewska-Billingham, Clinical Psychologist and EMDR Practitioner   

Areas of Speciality: EMDR, Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, CBT, Mindfulness and Workplace Stress

Aneta has over 15 years of experience as a clinical psychologist at Our Lady’s Children Hospital, Crumlin. Since gaining validation from the Irish Psychological Association in 2004 she has worked with many trauma survivors and has contributed to several psychological publications.

Aneta is trained in the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) for adults and children, having noted research on its effectiveness in treating trauma, depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms, panic attacks, eating disorders, addiction and anxiety. She also uses EMDR for well-functioning people seeking to decrease fear and stress to help boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Aneta offers EMDR therapy to enable people to heal from emotional distress and psychological difficulties including addictions.

Aneta’s training as a clinical psychologist and many years of clinical work has provided her with a broad understanding of human behaviour and emotions across their lifespan. She is also trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and trauma-focused CBT.

To contact Aneta directly please call: 087 132 3843 or email:

To make an appointment with one of our counsellors simply email us via our Contact Form or call your preferred Therapist directly. All direct numbers are listed under each Therapist’s details.

Your first session establishes the exact nature of your problem and explains the process and commitments.   If you need help other than anxiety counselling we will refer you to an appropriate agency/counsellor either within or associated with our centre.