Martin completed his training as a systemic family therapist in 1993 and has many years’ experience working with individuals, couples and families.
“As a principal of both a primary and a secondary school for over 20 years, I spent much of my time minding children and adolescents. My experience is that they require more and more minding. They are more exposed and vulnerable, have more demands on them and are increasingly anxious trying to cope with those demands. My role is to help them figure out how to figure it out, whatever ‘it’ is that is getting to them and to give them ways of thinking about their experience that reassure them and enable them to feel their way forward if they are feeling low or a bit lost. . My task with parents is somewhat different. Adolescents aren’t thinking that they are having a crisis: what is happening to them feels normal to them. The people for whom it is more often a crisis are the adults! My role is to help the parents to manage themselves so that they can remain adult with their children, be elders to them, be at their side not on their side.”
Martin completed a MSc in systemic organisational consulting in 2003 and a Doctorate in Management in 2008. He works as an organisational coach and consultant in both the private and public sectors in Ireland and internationally and lectures in this area. Due to his therapeutic and organisational background, he specialises in helping people deal with the increasingly complex demands of workplaces and their impact on people’s mental health and their relationships.
“If I was asked what is the biggest difference I have noticed about the adults coming to see me over the last 5-6 years, it is how many of them are experiencing anxiety. This may arise from more precarious and demanding work situations, financial difficulties, disappointments in careers or in not having the kind of life they aspire to , caring for aging relatives or not being sure how to manage children. People don’t have the headspace to think and they increasingly don’t have recourse to a network of family or friends to talk. What I feel they need most of all is for me to take their experience seriously, to get them to describe it in detail, to hear themselves speak and to slow down so they can think more clearly and thus lower their anxiety.”
- Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI)