My professional background is in Psychology; I studied in Dublin and soon after finishing my degree moved to the US for 5 years working in a sexual responsibility program for adolescents. From here I moved to the UK to do my MSc in Clinical Forensic Psychology and worked in a medium secure forensic unit. Returning home after my MSc, I spent time working in a community mental health program, an inpatient psychiatric unit and most recently for the last 5 years I have worked in a community addiction project, as well as working in the National Counselling Service. Throughout my career I have worked with victims of sexual abuse, seeing the profound trauma experienced, which is why I believe so deeply in the work that One in Four does.

I started my new role as a Psychotherapist in One and Four only a few weeks ago during this worldwide pandemic. It is definitely not the way I saw things happening, I pictured my first day walking into a new office, meeting new faces, seeing the workspace, listening, and asking lots of questions, how different it was. I met everyone online, saw faces through a computer screen, and talked on the phone to others. It has been challenging getting up and running if I am completely honest, but I couldn't have done it without the support of the team at One and Four. Everyone has been so helpful, warm, welcoming, and extremely supportive which has made this transition a lot easier. When I think about what I have experienced and the emotions I felt starting this new remote way of working I think about the clients I see through the computer screen and what it must be like for them, how nervous and vulnerable they must feel, how different this experience is for them too. 

Only a few weeks in and starting remotely with clients for the first time, I think it's safe to say we are both finding our 'new normal' within the therapy space. If we really think about it the world as we knew it has been flipped on its head, everything has come to a halt, things can seem quite out of our control, all feelings which survivors of childhood sexual abuse know so well. I feel really grateful to be able to still offer clients a safe, secure, welcoming, non-judgemental space every week in these uncertain times. What this is doing for them and how this is helping them is so profound, just having someone to talk to, to express how they are feeling in this moment, not having that 'mask' on and pretend everything is okay means everything. 

I am really excited to be working in One in Four and am really looking forward to this next chapter and my journey ahead not only with the staff but also the clients of the service.

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 Aishling Branagan