Meet the GirlCrewer #71, Bébhinn Farrell, Psychotherapist
“…kindness is magic – because it makes you feel good whether you’re giving it or receiving it. It’s contagious.”
Looking after your mental health is incredibly important, stress, busy schedules, and life in general, can all take its toll. Voicing your fears and concerns is a good starting point, just saying things out loud can help you to confront them and find a way to cope. For those who are feeling like they may be struggling, GirlCrew Dublin member Bébhinn Farrell, might be just what you need. As a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, with a background in Psychology, Bébhinn has been trained to work with people in choosing the right path for them. But interestingly, she wasn’t always on this path herself. After working for several recruitment agencies, Bébhinn came to the conclusion that the cut-throat environment didn’t appeal, and what she craved was “…the element of my job where I felt like I was helping people – a sort of career guidance role.” During her time at UCD, Bébhinn had completed a year of Psychology and was keen to return to this field. “So, when they economy turned downwards I was lucky enough to not have any ties – no mortgage, no children – so decided to really focus on what I wanted to do with my career. I left a really lucrative career to go back to college full-time as a broke student and have not looked back.”
Now aged 35, Bébhinn has spent the last seven years training, despite there being faster routes available she made this decision in the interest of her patients. “You can get certified as a therapist a lot more quickly than seven years, but it really was important to me to have a degree in Psychology also. I had experience seeing therapists who didn’t understand a lot of different areas of psychology, and just worked from a very specific viewpoint. Mental health is so complex and it was and is extremely important for me to be as informed as possible before seeing clients. This includes the neuroscience of the brain, the various different approaches to forms of therapy, and psychopharmacology.” With a BA in Psychology, and a MSc. in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy under her belt Bébhinn is now building her client list, and mostly works with women in a similar age range to herself. “Women are under extreme pressure in our society and have so much to contend with. Taking an hour to ourselves each week to just work on our inner life – our emotions, our stresses and fears – can make an incredible difference to our well-being. I really do believe in the power of psychotherapy in helping gain emotional strength and resilience. To understand how we tick absolutely impacts on how we move forward in life. My own journey is ongoing and I’m extremely grateful for it.” If you are struggling to cope, or would like to take some time to talk to someone about then Bébhinn might be the right person for you. She’s also offering all GirlCrew members a 10% discount on her services, and you can find out more on her website.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
It sounds cheesy, but I think I learn as much from my clients as they do from me. It’s a constant journey of learning about the human condition and how we relate to one another.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
Remaining non-directive! It’s human nature to want to problem solve, to “fix”, but my job is to help the client come to her own conclusions and make her own choices with confidence.
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Seeing the progress that can be made when people commit to working on their inner, emotional life – it’s extremely moving to see women become empowered and confident in their own abilities. I have seen major changes in clients over the last couple of years and it feels incredible to know that the work we did together helped affect those changes.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Ask yourself “why?”. My very first day in the counselling module of my psychology degree we were told “If you are here because you think you can fix people – you’re in the wrong place”. Thinking we know what’s best for others is about our own ego – if this job is what you want to do you need to relinquish that ego. You can’t “fix”, you can only assist people in making their own decisions. It takes a lot of training, but it’s worth it.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
I always tell my clients that “if someone shows you who they are – believe them”. Particularly for difficult relationships where we wish we could change the other person. My personal motto for both life and work is that kindness is magic – because it makes you feel good whether you’re giving it or receiving it. It’s contagious.