ABOUT

About Clara

I am a Psychologist with expertise in the areas of Education, Behaviour management, Positive Parenting, Emotional Well-being, Coaching and sexual health education. I have extensive experience of SEN (Special Educational Needs), having worked for over 15 years in special schools and 5 years as an NCSE advisor (Behaviour and Well-being). 

I have a particular interest in how young people and their families respond to SEN diagnosis. I am passionate about the importance of inclusive and strength based approaches in schools. My goal is to enable young people to realize their full potential through empowering, supporting and informing families and professionals work. 

I work with students in primary and post primary school as well as parents and teachers. I support individuals and groups to deal with anxiety and stress and improve life satisfaction and well being.

I am a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychology Society of Ireland, (PSI).

I am registered with the British Psychology Society as a registered test user (RTQUK BPS). 

I am a member of the European and Mentoring Coaching Council (EMCC)

I am Garda Vetted and a registered teacher with Teaching Council of Ireland

Career

After a long career in the Special Education Sector and having experienced special educational needs and disability from multiple perspectives, I came to the understanding that access to practical, realistic and evidence based support is vital for both parents and teachers in order to support young people to maximize their potential. 

  • Regional Advisor (Behaviour and Wellbeing) National Behaviour Support Service and NCSE
  • Special Education Teacher – Multiple settings including Intellectual Disability, Complex needs, early school leavers and ‘at risk’ youth
  • Lecturer (occasional)- I have designed and taught modules on SEN for Hibernia College, St Nicholas Montessori college and UCC

Education and Training

My doctoral studies examined Intellectual Disability, Stigma and Special Schools. I was awarded a Department of Children and Youth Affairs Research Scholarship and my doctoral research was published in a number of peer-reviewed journals. 

  • Chartered Psychologist, Psychological Society of Ireland (Ch. Psychol. Ps. S.I.)
  • PhD Psychology
  • M.ED.
  • M.Phil
  • B.Sc. Psychology  
  • B.A
  • H.Dip.Ed

Other specialist training includes; 

  • Dyslexia Tutor (DAI)
  • Positive and Coaching Psychology
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) 
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
  • Sensory Regulation- Sensory Processing, Alert program
  • Sexual Health Promotion -HSE
  • Parenting- Family Studies, Parents plus, Working things Out
  • Friends for Life

Conferences and Talks

  • Guest Speaker, July 2020   @ MyOTandMe, Webinar on Sleep and Routine
  • Guest speaker, Inspire 2019  “Parenting through the Exam Process” Charity Event for Pieta House and Jigsaw
  • O’Byrne C (2018)  “From mainstream to special: How do young people with Intellectual Disability experience the transition from mainstream primary to segregated special school at second level?” PSI Conference, Wexford, 
  • O’Byrne C (2015), “A parents journey into the world of Intellectual Disability”, ESAI Conference, Maynooth
  • O’Byrne C (2013), “How do young people with Intellectual Disability experience stigma in a segregated school?” Poster, BPS Social Psychology Conference, UK.
  • IATSE, Irish Association of Special Education Teachers, multiple presentations at annual conference

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