The PsyCare Ireland Core Team
Psychotherapist & Chairperson
Michael is a fully accredited psychotherapist (IACP, IAHIP, ICP Accredited, Msc. in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy). Michael has a background in working in homeless services with clients in addiction and also worked as an advocate for refugees. For the last number of years Michael has run his own psychotherapy service Anxiety Ireland, is a manager in a company that provides Employee Assistance Programs within large organisations and works as a facilitator and psychotherapist with InwardBound Psilocybin retreats in the Netherlands. Michael has enjoyed the Irish Music Festival scene since his late teens and in 2021 he started to volunteer with PsyCare UK. Michael was also a Team Leader for Help Not Harm at Electric Picnic 2022. Michael brought the current team together to form the founding board of PsyCare Ireland. Michael maintains a private practice as a psychotherapist with short and long term clients.
Maria is a Registered General Nurse. Irish, based in London, she has forged a career in critical care over the last decade, both in the intensive care unit and in critical care outreach services, providing life saving intervention to patients needing intensive care support, while supporting those discharged from the ICU with complex rehabilitation needs and Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS).
Maria is currently working towards a MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice and Critical Care, while training as an Advanced Critical Care Practitioner.
She has a Certificate in Gestalt Counselling Skills. As member of an ICU Liberation Working Group, she has a special interest in the impact of delirium and assists in facilitating ICU follow-up clinics, and a peer support group for past patients, while leading an autonomous patient rehabilitation programme.
Maria’s love for people and live music has seen her volunteer with festival medics, drug harm reduction services and welfare at music festivals in the UK and Europe.
Nurse & Member of Psycare UK
Co-founder and former director of The Irish School of Homeopathy, Declan's life and work has been a passionate search for the most effective healing tools for himself and the people he works with. This journey has taken him all over the globe studying Eastern and Western approaches to healing, tantra yoga and traditional shamanic practises. Declan has developed a unique synthesis of these ancient and modern healing techniques and works with individuals and groups to empower deep personal growth and spiritual development. His passion is working with people challenged by non-ordinary states of consciousness, who are undergoing Spiritual Emergency/Psychosis type experiences. He has a particular interest in drug harm reduction and integration work and is a member of the Kosmicare Medical Team at Boom Festival.
Homeopath, Transpersonal Therapist, Shamanic Practitioner
Dr. Kathryn Ledden
Kathryn is a medical doctor with a background in Psychology, Social Care and research (MB, BCh, BAO - RCSI; BSc Psychology - DCU). Kathryn has worked for over 7 years with people recovering from mental and physical health difficulties, addiction, and personal trauma in settings such as hospitals, homeless services, and recovery houses. Kathryn has previously volunteered with Kosmicare in Portugal and as a Team leader with PsyCare UK and with Help Not Harm at Electric Picnic. They have contributed to research into psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, and serve as a researcher and protocol reviewer for a psilocybin retreat organisation. Kathryn’s interest in harm reduction comes from a love of the festival and live music scene, as well as a personal belief in the power of some drug experiences for healing and self-discovery. Between professional and life experiences, they have seen how people use substances to explore themselves, but also to escape difficult emotions and self-medicate; this has led to a passion for education and changing the culture around substance use in Ireland.
Medical Doctor & PsyCare Ireland Secretary
Dave Phillips is an IAHIP accredited psychotherapist who works in private practice in Dublin. He works with people who are experiencing issues connected to developmental trauma, loss and bereavement, and physical ill-health and surgery. By using a trauma-informed approach, Dave believes that what may be overwhelming or debilitating experiences can be safely processed and used to gain insight and growth. His MSc. dissertation explores the role of the therapist in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Ciara Sherlock is passionate about supporting people through significant moments or life transitions. For the last decade she has worked in the psychedelic space, firstly volunteering at psychedelic welfare spaces at festivals, then co-founding psilocybin assisted retreat organisation Alalaho and facilitating retreats for several years. She also founded The Psychedelic Society of Ireland in 2015 and wrote "The Spirit of the Liberty Cap: A Guide to Foraging & Journeying with Magic Mushrooms" in 2021.
Her main role in the psychedelic space now is doing integration work with people to help them bring the lessons they learn from peak experiences into their daily lives. She also now works as a birth doula and weaves her experience of holding intense emotional and spiritual experiences into this work. Trained in bodywork therapy and Shamanic counselling, the way she supports people goes beyond the mental realm and into the physical, emotional and spiritual realms.
Founding Director of The Psychedelic Society of Ireland
Dr Stephen Gavin
BM, BSc, Stephen alternated between holistic and academic training, first obtaining training in Acupuncture principles and Kinesiology, prior to a BSc in Psychology in Maynooth, which emphasised developmental and behavioural models. He later obtained certifications in CranioSacral Therapy, Permaculture Design, Organic Horticulture, and Holistic Massage, prior to completing a degree in Medicine at age 32. He has since worked in Psychiatry and is completing the Basic specialist training. His interest in harm reduction stems from special interest in non-ordinary consciousness as means of psychotherapeutic processing, which can provide low-risk benefits for many problems. Through a variety of holistic training, he works with ordinary and non-ordinary conscious processes as means of improving health and contentment for individuals. He has worked with harm reduction services at Kosmicare, Boom Festival, Portugal, and around Ireland including Life Festival 2007 and Electric Picnic 2015, and has spoken about Transpersonal Psychology at conferences and festivals.
Medical Doctor & Trainee Psychiatrist