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.


Change8 Week CBT Program for Anxiety, Panic and Stress Reduction

In response to enquiries for CBT for stress management, anxiety and panic attack reduction, we formulated an innovative 8 week Anxiety and Panic Reduction Program, which uses CBT to effectively alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, panic and stress.  

A time limited program with specific goals, combining work on both the physiological symptoms you experience in your body, and the mental symptoms you have with thoughts, feelings and negative coping strategies, 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.

Fionnuala Darcy  Fionnuala Pic

BA (Hons) Psych, Chartered MCIPD, QMIGC, GMPSI, MIAHIP

Prof. Cert CBT, Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders

I have been working as a Psychotherapist since 2007 and am fully accredited with IAHIP (Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy)

I hold an Honours Degree in Psychology from Trinity College and a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I’ve also completed specialist training in Eating Disorders, Nutrition and Obesity. I also hold a professional certification in CBT.

I work with adults on a one to one basis helping them deal with in a wide range of issues. My expertise is particularly in the areas of eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating), obesity, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, personal identity and personal growth and development.

Core to my approach is working collaboratively with clients in a gentle way and meeting them where they are at. I believe this helps to bring about change in their own personal lives allowing them to reach their full potential. Fundamental to achieving this is a safe environment where there is no fear of being judged or criticised.

Before undertaking a career in psychotherapy, I worked for many years in Human Resources. My experience of working with people who had issues in their work and personal lives greatly helped me develop in the field of psychotherapy. Combining my experience as a HR specialist and Psychotherapist, I draw on a variety of different practical life experiences and therapeutic approaches.

To Contact Fionnuala Directly Please Call: 086 6064111

Chris McConnell
MSc. Psychotherapy, Dip. CBT (MAPCP, MBACP)
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 extensivley trained in and utilise 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.
Or phone Chris directly on : 086-7833644


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.