Choosing A Therapist

At TESSA we aim to provide a therapy service accessible to adopters throughout Northern Ireland. We have a small group of therapists throughout the province, with their own specialisms and areas of interest, and all of whom fit the TESSA criteria for standards of good practice.

Below you will find the profiles of our current therapists and the services they offer.




Siobhan Wilson McGlinchey


Sinead Corey
Service Provided: Accredited Play Therapist

Sinead Corey is an Accredited Play Therapist and a Teacher in a Nurture Room setting. Sinead has over twenty -three years’ experience in a primary school, where her roles include,

  • Nurture Teacher
  • Lego® Based Therapist
  • Head of Nurture
  • Head of Foundation Stage
  • Teacher Mentor and she is a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Pastoral Team.
  • Mental Health First Aider.
  • Delivering ‘Theraplay® Informed Practice’ to groups of young children.

Throughout her career, she has specialised in supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Sinead works within a Nurture Room environment, where, in 2016 she was instrumental in gaining ‘The Majority Boxall Quality Mark Award’ for Nurture provision within her setting.

Sinead has experience in supporting children with Attachment Type Difficulties, Selective Mutism, and children diagnosed with ASD and ADHD. She has supported children experiencing isolation and bullying and has supported children to build resilience and develop social skills with their peers. Sinead has extensive knowledge of working with individuals and with small groups of children/young people and their parents.

As an Accredited Play Therapist, Sinead has worked therapeutically with children experiencing emotional difficulties in a range of areas, such as, anger management, anxiety, school refusal, low self-esteem, peer group difficulties, family separation, domestic violence and bereavement and also with children experiencing Secondary PTSD. Sinead is experienced with working with children who are fostered or adopted and is trained in Trauma Informed Practice.

Sinead has a particular interest in supporting children presenting with symptoms of anxiety and she aims to provide a safe, secure environment, where children can process their emotions within a caring therapeutic relationship.  Sinead appreciates the importance of liaising closely with parents/guardians to nurture their child’s wellbeing. Sinead uses Psychoeducation to empower parents/guardians by involving them in the Therapy process in order to build skills to further support their children/young people.

Sinead belongs to the PTUK membership body and adheres to their strict codes of practice including regular Clinical Supervision sessions, continuing professional development and clinical governance. Sinead is a member of PTUK Accredited register which is regulated by Professional Standards Agency (PSA) and monitors the standards and safety in Play Therapy.

Sinead holds an Enhanced Access NI Certificate and regularly attends Child Protection and Safe-Guarding training.

Contact: Please contact TESSA


Siobhan Wilson McGlinchey


Siobhan Wilson McGlinchey
Location: Limavady, Co Derry
Service Provided: Creative Psychotherapy
About Me:

Hi everyone my name is Siobhan and I am a Creative Psychotherapist specialising in Play, Humanistic Integrative Counselling and Mindfulness coaching.

I am known for my unique intuitive and authentic approach to therapy with the integration of creativity, play, embodiment and talking therapy.

I work intuitively, creatively and energetically to help clients understand themselves at a deeper level. My approach considers the person as a whole – Body mind and Soul.

I specialize in working with parents/carers and children through the healing powers of Play and help parents integrate knowledge with experience. 

My ability to attune and empathize allows me to create a therapeutic relationship where real transformation and healing can occur.

I facilitate individual and group sessions within my private practice, community, Education authority WHSCT, etc.

 A few examples of programs and workshops I have developed are as follows: –

  • The Healing Powers of Play (For Professionals/Parents/carers)
  • Mindfulness & Your Nervous System
  • Nourish to Flourish
  • Transforming ourselves, empowering our children (For Professionals/parents/carers)
  • What About Me (For Professionals/parents/carers)
  • Be Yourself
  • Surfing the Waves (For Teenagers)
  • Body Mind & Bump Connection (Peri-natal peer support training)
  • Healing the Child within
  • Mind Yourself (Teenagers)

For further details of my programs see contact details above.


My Professional qualifications are MAs Creative Psychotherapy (Humanistic and Integrative Modality), PgDIP Play therapy, DipHE Integrative Counselling.


Fully accredited MBACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

MIAPTP (Irish Association for Play Therapy and Psychotherapy)

What I can Help you with

Birth and Developmental trauma, Attachment, Trauma, Addiction, Bereavement & Loss, Adoption, Fostering, Anxiety, Depression, Post-traumatic stress, personal development, Child related issues, Eating disorders, OCD, Spirituality and Stress


Types of therapy

Creative Psychotherapy, Humanistic Integrative counselling, Person centred, Play therapy,


Clients and organisations I work with

Adults, Families, Young people, Children

Groups, Community Organisations, Education Authority, Western Health and Social Care, Doctors surgeries etc..

How I deliver therapy

Long-term face-to-face work, Online counselling, Short-term face-to-face work, groupwork


Please contact TESSA



Dr Kerry Sweeny BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, CPsychol
Service Provided: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)
Biography: Kerry has worked for twenty years in the NHS as a Clinical Psychologist with Children, Adolescents & Families, nearly thirteen of which have been as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Lead for Therapeutic Services for Looked After & Adopted Children who have experienced developmental trauma and neglect. As well as assessment, consultations throughout the network and training, Kerry directly provided therapeutic support to enable children to begin to recover from their earlier life experiences using a range direct therapeutic approaches to children and their caregivers such as, Theraplay, Systemic/Narrative approaches, EMDR, other Trauma based models. However Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy has been the most influential model in her career and she became a Certified DDP Practitioner in 2015. DDP has been so central throughout her practice influencing the system, therapeutic parenting and DDP therapy with children and young people.

What is DDP?

DDP was developed by Dan Hughes a Clinical Psychologist in America back in the 1990’s as he could see how anxious children who had experienced developmental trauma were of connecting with new caregivers, who just wanted to love them. DDP has evolved driven by the desire to connect, understand and help and has been adopted and developed further by a number of Psychologists and Therapists in the UK. It has evolved into three areas.

  • DDP Practice- with professionals and caregivers throughout social care and care giving networks
  • DDP Parenting (see below)
  • DDP Psychotherapy (see below)

DDP Therapeutic Parenting

Therapeutic parenting can be provided to parents to explore the impact of developmental trauma that leads to the children needing a different parenting approach involving PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy). During the therapeutic parenting support, we will explore the meaning behind some of the key concepts such as developmental trauma & brain development, understanding attachment & survival strategies including blocked trust/fear of relationships.

We will consider the different elements of PACE and how they work together to create a parenting attitude. We will think about parenting principles to enable parenting children with insecure attachments. DDP Therapeutic Parenting is provided before inviting the child to DDP sessions and at points throughout the therapy with the child too.

DDP Psychotherapy

DDP Psychotherapy provides a direct therapeutic environment where relational experiences, which were lacking before can be safely experienced. These safe relational experiences are critical for a child’s neuropsychological and relational development.

Through the therapeutic relationships in DDP the child can be enabled to identify, regulate and express emotional states, seek comfort and engage in relational repair. All DDP Psychotherapy is provided with the caregiver present to enable relational safety to develop.


Contact: Please Book for DDP Support through-

Contact Us (


Text BOOK to 66777 (*10% off Adoption UK/Tessa members)


Please contact TESSA



Name: Neil Foster
Location: Belfast
Registered/accredited with:

HCPC, Registered member

NISCC, Registered member

Code of Ethics observed:

BACP Ethical Framework

NISCC Standards of Conduct & Practice


· BA (hons) [Royal Conservatoire of Scotland]

· MMT [City University, Nordoff Robbins, London]



Neil Foster is an HCPC registered Music Therapist currently working with children, young people and adults in the County Down and Belfast area.

Having trained as a classical musician, Neil worked as a session musician, community musician and music educator for a number of years before training as a Music Therapist, gradating with a Masters in Music therapy (MMT) from the Nordoff-Robbins centre (London) in 2006.

Since then he has worked across a range of social care and educational settings as well as in private practice, publishing research on new music therapy approaches within the fields of trauma and life threatening illness, and pioneering new music therapy services for organisations such as Mencap, the National Autistic Society, Combat Stress and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust.

Neil moved back to Northern Ireland from London in 2015 and has since worked locally for Lifeline, Contact NI and Victim Support NI, offering crisis support through creative arts and music therapy for young people and their families, particularly those affected by domestic violence, early abuse and neglect. Through this work, Neil gained several years experience of supporting looked after and adopted children through complex family litigation, working closely with social services and the family court system.

Neil has supported adopted children and families with complex needs in a range of settings since qualifying in 2006. His main areas of specialism are trauma and additional learning needs, and he employs a creative, play based and child centred approach.


 Please contact TESSA



Name: Oonagh Campbell
Location:       Southern Health & Social Care Trust Area
I am registered/accredited with: BAAT, HPC, NISCC & Aura-Soma Academy
Code of Ethics observed: BAAT, HPC, NISCC & Aura-Soma Academy
My qualifications are: Dip Psycho-Social Counselling
PG Dip Art Therapy
Art Foundation Course
BSC Hons Social Work with CQSW qual
Special interest/experience: Art Therapy
I work with: Children
Additional Information: From as long as I can remember making art to communicate has been my passion. Therefore, it is my delight and privilege to have been practicing as an art therapist since 1999 with children, parent(s) adults and groups for greater wellbeing and healing. I am indebted to all of those who chosen to work with me over the years.

Much of my experience has been with children and their families in Looked After Care and Adoption which is where my professional life began as a residential child care worker in 1992. I am skilled at working with participants who are traumatised by identifying the survival patterns they are operating out of and facilitating ways in which they can understand and regulate their emotional states. The need to engage creatively to meet the needs of young people in the care setting was the impetus for me to train as an Art Therapist.

Fuelled by my passion to make art making opportunities available to as many as possible. I established an independent service called, ‘Art – Well-Being for ALL’ in 2014.   The aim of this service is to provide opportunities to make art for therapeutic benefit in settings where this is not currently available. To enable this to happen I do not have a therapy room but liaise to provide therapy in locations that will best serve the needs of the individual or organisation who presents.

My development as a therapist continues to evolve. As a result the services offered by, ‘Art ~ Well-Being for ALL’ emerge from the professional trainings of Social Work, Art Therapy, Aura-Soma®Advanced Practitioner, Vedic Art®, ‘The Just Right State Programme®’ (Eadaoin Bhreathnach), and being a Professional Artist. I have completed training in Capacitar Multicultural Wellness Education which teaches “a core program of energy-based healing practices that awaken and empower people”. All of these methods and techniques are integrated into my art therapy practice in accordance with the needs of the child, parent, adult, group whom I encounter.

I look forward to the journey of working together, witnessing your art and listening together to the promptings and invitations that are beckoning to you at this time.

Name: Sharon Coulter
Location:       Ballymena & 25 mile radius
I am registered/accredited with: I am registered/accredited with: NISCC, HCPC & BADth
Code of Ethics observed: Same as above
My qualifications are: MA Dramatherapy
MA Social Work
BA (Hon) Modern & Contemporary History
Extra Mural Certificate – Community Drama
Post Graduate Certificate – Theatre & Performance Studies
Special interest/experience: Dramatherapy
I work with: children, young people, adults, families and carers, individually and in groups
Additional Information:
I have over 20 years’ experience working with young people, adults and families.
As a mental health practitioner in Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) I have experience in working with parent/child attachment and young people affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
I’m particularly interested in how pre-birth and early childhood experiences affect emotional development and how the effects of negative experiences can be addressed by indirect playful interventions.I am a compassionate and empathetic therapist who believes that people can heal through the use of imagination and creative expression and that therapy has the greatest positive outcomes when there is trust and respect within the therapeutic relationship. My aim is therefore to create a non-judgemental atmosphere providing Dramatherapy structures that promote self-expression and an opportunity for self-exploration and healing.
Name:   Lizzie Devlin
Location:       Belfast/Greater Belfast County Antrim and Down.
I am registered/accredited with: Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
British Association for Art Therapist (BAAT), Member and approved by/registered with BAAT for Private Practice.
Code of Ethics observed: HCPC, BAAT.
My qualifications are:
MSc Art Psychotherapy with Merit (University of East London /Belfast Health and Social Care Trust) 2007-2010
Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Admin (UCD) 1992-1993
BA Honours in Fine Art (Painting, print-making/Art History (Leeds University) 1984-1988
BSL Stage 1, TEFL,Cert Com Dev 1988-1998
Ongoing CPD : Including Art Therapy and Treatment of Attachment Trauma, Level 2 Children Accelerated Trauma treatment and Intercultural Competency.
Special interest/experience: Art Therapy
I work with: Children, adults and groups
Additional Information:

I am a HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registered Art Psychotherapist experienced in working with children,

young people and adults on a one to one and group basis.(MSc Art Psychotherapy, Centre for Psychotherapy Belfast and University of East London, 2011 ). I  have a background in Community Arts and my approach in Art Psychotherapy is Psychodynamic and Integrated.

Using art, play and creative expression is a natural language for children enabling them to communicate difficult and painful feelings.  Art Therapy can be particularly beneficial for children who have experienced early/developmental trauma and attachment difficulties. Art Therapy communicates when words simply cannot.

My experience of working with children includes: Looked After children, Adoption, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD and children impacted by Meningitis.

Specialist areas of clinical practice include early developmental trauma, Troubles related psychological and trans-generational trauma and PTSD.

I work with children and their Care-givers/Parents individually and jointly and with groups in many different settings both in schools and in the community.

Specialist training in trauma and attachment includes:

ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Train the Trainer Course (ACES Level 1 and 2) with the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.

Dyadic Art Therapy training with the British Association of Art Therapists , a joint art therapy approach involving children and their Caregivers/Parents which offers creative and playful activities, which can facilitate communication, discussion and benefit the relationship.

Children’s Accelerated Trauma Technique, Level 2, a child-centred technique for treating traumatic experiences and PTSD  developed in partnership with children and based on children’s rights principles.

CPCAB Level 6 Creative Supervision Across the Ages.

Name:           K Mosley
Location:       Belfast/Lisburn
I am registered/accredited with: BACP, PTUK, IACC
Code of Ethics observed: BACP, PTUK, IACC
My qualifications are: Dip Counselling Supervision
Cert Child Parent Relationship Therapy (filial therapy)
PGDip Play Therapy
PGCert Therapeutic Play
Cert Integrative Counselling
MA Pastoral Care and Counselling
Special interest/experience: Filial therapy
I work with: Children and young people ages 2-18, parents, young adults, therapy students and supervisees
Additional Information:
I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to offer filial therapy via the TESSA project!  I had the privilege of training in Child Parent Relationship Therapy under Sue Bratton all the way back in 2007 and have always found it to be the highlight of my therapy practice.  I have over over 20 years experience working with children and families in the helping professions, 13+ years supervised counselling/play therapy practice, 9+ years experience in filial therapy and 2 1/2 years experience as a clinical supervisor.
I have worked in the voluntary sector at the Oasis Counselling Service as a play therapist/youth counsellor and Children’s Project Co-ordinator and New Life Counselling as a play therapist/youth counsellor and Assistant Community Team Leader with both the OKAY (Only Kids and Youth) and Family teams. I have also run a small private practice called Shepherding Lambs Counselling and Training service since 2008.
I have worked with individual children and young people and groups using play therapy and counselling and do love training as well but the reason I love filial therapy so much is that it combines psychoeducation and practical sessions to teach parents how to do therapeutic play with their own children.  It enhances attachment, helps repair developmental trauma, and builds resilience in children and parents.  And it is all based on parents conducting play sessions with their children for just 30 minutes a week!
The best bit is that because it involves having such a fun, positive experience together, it can significantly reduce the impact of any difficulties you might be experiencing as a family unit.  I have used it not only as a therapist, but also as a mother with my own children so I have seen the positive results first hand.


Name: Norma Patterson
Location: Castlerock and Belfast
Willing to travel? no
I am accredited with BACP
Code of Ethics Observed BACP
My Qualifications are Degree in Psychology
Diploma in Person Centred Counselling
Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy
Diploma in Play Therapy
Certificate in Creative Supervision
Special interest/experience Play therapy/ counselling adolescents/ suicide/bereavement.
I work with Parents and children
Name: Tania Watson
Location: Dromara/ Dromore Co Down
I’m registered/accredited with: The National Counselling Society
Code of ethics observed NCS Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications: Diploma in Trauma & Addictions Counselling Level 4 MNCS (Registered Accredited Member )
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Certificate
Level 6 Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator
Child Protection Training
Special interest/experience in: Fostering & Adoption (Parents & Children)
Adults & Young People
Attachment & Trauma
Additional information: My main areas of work include:
• Attachment focused work with parents and children using Theraplay and Filial Coaching
• Enabling self and co regulation through Sensory Attachment Integration approach.
• Therapeutic parenting support to families
Direct therapeutic work with children
My theoretical approach: Person-Centred, Integrative
I see: Children and Adults
Any other information:
I am registered as a Counsellor & Equine Therapist with the National Counselling Society (NCS) and have full professional membership with NCS. Equine Therapy is an innovative approach to counselling for social emotional & behavioural difficulties in individuals who find room based counselling all too much.   EFP/EFL supports clients of all ages in addressing therapeutic goals, with horses as co-facilitators and teachers, in this process.   Horses are non-judgemental and honest; these are invaluable qualities to have for people who have been through traumatic experiences.
Equine Therapy offers an alternative way of communicating verbally & non-verbally, better understanding & building on relationships, develop self awareness and gain a better understanding how our behaviour impacts on others around us.   Equine therapy also allows clients to express feelings & emotions in a non judgemental & safe environment while enjoying the outdoors.
I have extensive experience working in the Fostering and Adoption sector, working with children and families. I also work as part of a team with other professionals from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust. I have 40 years horse experience, I have enjoyed riding horses out bush in Africa and the outback of Australia.What is the difference between EFP & EFL
EFP uses equine-facilitated activities to explore the way a client sees and relates to themselves and others, their patterns of behaviour and survival as well as their gifts and strengths, and may include the exploration of past experiences and traumas.
EFL uses equine-facilitated activities as a tool for self development and education, with a focus on the present moment. Skills include non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, relationship skills, confidence and resilience.