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Fri 13 Apr

Psychosocial Interventions in Social Work – Championing our Therapeutic Skills

Full day event

St Patrick's University Hospital, Steeven's Lane

€20 IASW members/€50 non-members

Time: Full day conference
Title: Psychosocial Interventions in Social Work – Championing our Therapeutic Skills
Speakers: Keynote speaker: Ruth Allen, Chief Executive, BASW

Conference organised by the SWAMH SIG 

Price includes refreshments. Please note lunch is NOT included.

Psychosocial Interventions in Social Work – Championing our Therapeutic Skills

Conference Programme


Presentation/ Workshop






Event Introduction

SWAMH survey overview

 Eileen Ni Shuilleabháin, SWAMH Chair

 Lorraine Kelly & Elaine Donnelly


Social Work Practice in Mental Health: our Radical Responsibilities

 Dr Ruth Allen (Chief Executive, BASW)


Coffee Break



National Clinical Programmes in Practice: Social Work Perspective Part 1. BFT

 Martina Kilcommins (Social Worker, BFT Trainer & Supervisors)


National Clinical Programmes in Practice: Social Work Perspective Part 2. DBT

 Elizabeth Gregan & Noel Melia-O’Brien


Social Work’s Core Therapeutic Skills

 Fiachra O Shuilleabháin (UCC Social Work Lecturer)


Panel Discussion









Showcasing Social Work Practice Workshops:

  • Trauma Informed Social Work Practice Eileen Ni Shuilleabháin, Principal Social Worker
  • Perinatal Mental Health Groupwork Cluain Mhuire Service
  • The Power of Hope in Recovery and Change: the Role of Social Workers Ruth Allen

Choose one - Workshops run concurrently for 60 minutes


Showcasing social work skills through report writing and written communication

Mary G Killion & Lorraine Kelly





Conference close



Speaker Biographies

Dr Ruth Allen

Ruth became Chief Executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) in April 2016.  Previously to that she was Director of Social Work at South West London & St Georges' Mental Health NHS Trust and also had a research role with St George’s University of London. She has a particular interest and experience in leadership development in social work and in developing social work’s role within mental health. Dr Allen holds a Master's degree in Social Work and a Professional Doctorate in Education, both awarded by the University of Sussex. 


Elizabeth Gregan (Principal Social Worker)

Elizabeth has worked in KWWMHS since 2007.  She trained in DBT in 2009 in Chester and has been involved in the delivery of the DBT Programme in North Kildare since then.  Prior to joining adult mental health she worked in CAMHS inpatient unit as a Family Therapist.  Elizabeth has also worked as a team leader in child protection and as a housing welfare officer for Dublin City Council.


Martina Kilcommins

Martina Kilcommins is a professionally qualified, CORU registered Social Worker with over 20 years experience in mental health. Martina completed an advance diploma in field work practice and suppervision in 2002 and has extensive experience in a practice teacher role for MSW students. Martina is an accredited BFT worker and trainer and has been involved in BFT training and supervision since 2015.

Noel Melia-O’Brien  (Mental Health Social Worker)

Noel has worked in Kildare West Wicklow Adult Mental Health Service since 2007.  He trained as a DBT Therapist in 2014 and is clinical lead on the DBT Programme in Mid-West Sector currently.  He and his team also deliver WRAP programmes and other recovery orientated interventions.  Previously, Noel worked in medical social work and child protection.


Fiachra O Suilleabhain (Social Work Lecturer UCC)

Fiachra Ó Suilleabháin is a professionally qualified, CORU registered Social Worker since 2002. He joined the School of Applied Social Studies on a full-time basis in January 2017. Fiachra teaches across a number of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level within the School. He lectures on gender and sexualities, GLBTQI matters, social services and welfare practice, child sexual abuse, child protection and welfare, and professional practice. Fiachra has extensive practice experience. He was the manager of a regional multi-disciplinary child sexual abuse assessment unit within the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) from 2009 to 2017. Fiachra has provided a range of continuous professional development training to social workers, social care leaders, medical doctors, nurses, teachers and foster-carers. He is actively involved in research about the experiences of trans youth in Ireland, social work practice in the area of alleged sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviour. Fiachra is a member of a number of practice advisory boards and action learning groups around social work practice.


Eileen Ní Shuilleabháin (MSoc Sc and MA Psychotherapy) is a Principal Social Worker in Adult Mental Health Services in Galway city. She is a Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapist and supervisor and has a Psychotherapy private practice in Galway city. Eileen’s background includes a Masters in Social Science (Social Work); Masters in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy specializing in Psychodynamic, Existential and Gestalt Psychotherapies. She has a diploma in Advanced Reflexive Supervision.

Her work also reflects her additional training and experience in facilitating group work, Gestalt Body Work, Somatic Trauma Therapy ,Attachment and Emotion Focused Therapy. She has completed Jungian training intensives in both London and the Jungian Institute in Zurich and this approach has a particular influence on her psychotherapy based workshops and group work practices. She guest lectures in the National University of Ireland Galway in the School of Social Work on Mental Health and Health Promotion. She has provided consultation nationally on service development in specialist areas such as Peri-Natal mental health services. She is currently chairing the SWAMH special interest group.  She is an accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and CORU.

Stefanie Fobo is a Senior Social Worker who has worked in the area of mental health in Ireland for 14 years. She works on one of the Community Adult Mental Health teams in the  Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Service providing interventions to individuals and families. Stefanie has a keen interest in group work and in conjunction with a colleague developed the Wellness for Mothers group in 2009. She is also involved in running the Family Connections group programme. Stefanie also has a special interest in childhood bereavement & loss and provides support and guidance to service users who are affected by this. Stefanie has also worked as a guest lecturer with the Department of Nursing and Midwifery in UCD.

Adele Kane is a Senior Social Worker with over 16 years’ experience working in the area of mental health in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Adele works part time on Community Adult Mental Health team in Cluain Mhuire Service and also part time in DETECT. She has a keen interest in groupwork and is involved in running Family Connections, Wrap and Wellness for Mothers groups. Adele is the current lead for family interventions in Detect; an early intervention first episode psychosis service is south Dublin. This involves development, management and evaluation of a range of family support services, one of which is a family education groupwork programme. Adele also runs the family peer support project which includes the recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers and family members. Adele has a keen interest in service user and family member engagement.  Adele also works a guest lecturer on the Groupwork module in the MSocSc (Social Work)in UCD and is a practice tutor for UCD. Adele is also a guest lecturer in Trinity on the mental health module.