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).
I have also completed the four core online courses offered by the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, including CBT for Anxiety, CBT for Depression, and CBT for Personality Disorders. A world-renowned training centre in CBT, the Beck Institute was founded by the father of cognitive therapy, Dr Aaron Beck, and his daughter, Dr Judith Beck, its aim being to provide "exceptional training in CBT to health and mental health professionals worldwide" (1). I have also completed online training in DBT Skills, a course presented and developed by Dr Marsha Linehan, the celebrated psychologist and founder of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a form of CBT which has been shown to be especially useful in relation to improving emotional regulation and distress tolerance skills. DBT aims to help you to reduce emotional arousal and to manage painful feelings.
I also write a fortnightly column on CBT and mental health matters for The Southern Star newspaper.
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).
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 have delivered adult night classes, titled CBT for Stress Control, in Kinsale Community School.
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.