I’m Linda Hamilton. I am a fully accredited, qualified and insured cognitive-behavioural therapist, holding a first-class honours Master’s Degree in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Other qualifications and training courses include a Professional Certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness; Teaching Troubled Children: Responding to Social, Educational and Behavioural Difficulties; Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST); and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). I am a fully-accredited member with the Association of Professional Counsellors & Psychotherapists (APCP) (membership number MBR10739-PP09166).
Besides operating my CBT practice, I also work as a training partner with the mental health organisation Aware. I run Aware's Life Skills group programme in Kinsale and Cork and also deliver Aware's Life Skills for Schools programme to schools in Cork city and Cork county. The Life Skills programme helps adults experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety. The Life Skills for Schools programme is designed to help young people aged 15 to 18 to learn new ways to deal with concerns and challenges in life. Both programmes were developed by University of Glasgow Professor of Psychiatry Dr Chris Williams and are based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Over the last decade, I worked with adults with ASD (formerly known as Asperger Syndrome), utilising CBT skills and setting out appropriate treatment interventions. While all clients presented with a primary diagnosis of ASD, many had co-existing conditions such as anxiety and depression. I have also undertaken work with North Lee Mental Health Services in Cork, where I provided CBT interventions for patients with social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), agoraphobia, bipolar disorder, substance misuse, depression, panic, and low self-esteem.
Prior to moving into the mental health services, I worked as a teacher. Besides many years’ experience teaching in private schools and as a State Examiner with the State Examinations Commission, I worked with teenagers who left mainstream education. Mental health difficulties and challenging behaviours can be an obstacle to education. Yet, I was often reassured by how students overcame these challenges, both through practical accommodations (e.g. for dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD) and by adopting a problem-solving approach that motivated students and played to their strengths.
Reflecting my passion for education and for promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, I deliver adult night classes, titled CBT for Stress Control, in Kinsale Community School.
I also write a fortnightly column on CBT and mental health matters for The Southern Star newspaper.
I am an advocate of strengths-based CBT. This means not only identifying a client’s psychological vulnerabilities, but also highlighting their signature strengths. On becoming aware of core strengths and developing awareness of the tools to enact change, people can go on to become more resilient and flourish.
Away from the world of therapy and in order to practice what I preach, I like walking, travel, and enjoying the beauty of Kinsale and West Cork.