Posted on April 13, 2015 by in

April 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to our Spring Edition of the Novara Newsletter!

Befitting the season, in which nature greets us with new shoots and blossoms, there are many exciting developments and new services within the Novara Centre.

In this newsletter we want to highlight topics relevant to all our three strands:

1. New team members and services within the Centre

2. Therapeutic support in cases of Adoption and Separation

3. The power of preventative care in the form of kindness and nutrition

4. Our exciting range of new workshops and classes in 2015


1. New team members and services:

We are delighted to welcome new practitioners to our three strands.

– Therapies
Kate McCarthy joins our psychotherapy team and works with individuals and couples. She has a special interest in adoption related issues and developmental crisis, and can also support in the areas of stress, anxiety and difficulties at work. She has written two pieces for this newsletter, sharing her therapeutic experience on the topics of adoption and separation.

Perrine Cahill is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and works closely with children, adolescents and adults who present with a variety of communication difficulties. She adopts a holistic view and delivers tailor made treatment plans to suit the individual client’s needs.

Emma Butler is a Senior Occupational Therapist, specializing in Paediatric OT – in areas such as developmental, intellectual disability and sensory integration.

Kieran Sweeney is a Registered Educational Psychologist who provides Educational Psychological Assessments to children from 7 years up, adolescents and adults.

– Integrated Health
Helen Ryan is a Nutritional Therapist, who takes a functional medicine approach to health and wellness. Along with the consultations she offers advice, support and laboratory testing to ensure you get the best outcome. Skin, digestion/gut, stress, and chronic inflammatory conditions are her areas of expertise and she has a special interest in Mental Health issues – depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism. In this newsletter she offers tips on how to “Blow away your Hay Fever”.

2. Therapeutic support in cases of Adoption and Separation
As these topics have been discussed in the media recently, our psychotherapist Kate McCarthy explores them from a different perspective – the therapeutic and healing one.


Adoption is society’s response to a child’s loss of a biological mother or family. This happens for a huge variety of reasons and there are many people involved in this complex process. The final legalities come at the end of a long and complicated journey. Or perhaps this is not the end but the beginning of the next phase of the journey, which may be even more complex and have no defined end. All hope the journey brings love, care and security for the child and that the parents experience the fulfilment and joy that parenting can entail. However, for this to be a reality, therapeutic support is often necessary and hugely beneficial for the many players.
At present there are almost no children available to adopt in Ireland. This isn’t because there are no babies or children either nationally or internationally who need loving parents, but because of bureaucratic legal and political issues that remain unresolved. This may change in Ireland in the not too distant future as changes in the law allow some children in care to be adopted. At the moment however, there are many disappointed people who have been through thorough and, for some, intrusive assessments, and who thought they have been deemed suitable to adopt, only for their dream of becoming a parent to remain just that. So what of their grief, and that of the many children who so dearly long and need to be part of a loving home?
And then there are those who were fortunate enough in the past ten or fifteen years to have adopted (internationally for the most part). Given that adoption takes place as a result of loss, it really shouldn’t surprise us that it usually carries emotional challenges for all. The adopted child may experience a sense of rejection and loss at the milder end of the scale and at the more serious end s/he may suffer from serious emotional, developmental, behavioural or physical effects of early trauma. The resultant difficulties for child and parents can be hugely stressful and distressing. Many parents attempt to cope alone, fearing that it may be a reflection on their parenting skills. There is also the issue of a very real lack of therapeutic services.
While birthmothers today who choose to place their babies for adoption generally (but not always) have more support and choice in making their decision, there is nonetheless huge loss involved in doing this. In the past however, as the media is now highlighting and films such as Philomena have depicted, the patriarchy and lack of humanity that was shown to women who didn’t conform to the narrow definition of what society and the church saw and approved of as a “suitable parent” have left many women broken, forever grieving and living lives that are filled with regret and pain. They often desperately want to meet their birth children and are utterly terrified by the prospect. At the other side of the story are their children who were adopted and who seek to trace their biological families, to hear their stories and to attempt to put together the jigsaw of their lives. The parents who adopted these children thirty, forty or more years ago may have unwittingly been pawns in a process where transparency and integrity were sacrificed. They may now feel guilt, rejection and an overwhelming sense of bewilderment as their child seeks to meet his or her birth mother or parents.
Psychotherapy provides a supportive, accepting and holding relationship for those who are grappling with the many aspects of adoption. It can be a lifeline for those struggling to cope and come to terms with distressing past and present experiences. It is said we have resolved our core issues and struggles when we can recall and visit them without becoming dysregulated or overwhelmed. It is difficult to reach this point alone. I am convinced that in the accepting and safe setting of a therapeutic context adults and children who are in some way close to the adoptive process can benefit hugely and the best possible outcome can be arrived at.


When a relationship ends, whether by mutual agreement or not, it signifies change in the lives of all involved. And change generally causes us stress and disruption. Individual circumstances add to or decrease the levels of stress. There may be a sense of sadness and loss, anger, feelings of betrayal, a struggle in coming to terms with a change in identity and living circumstances or perhaps a feeling of relief. There are the very practical considerations such as the need to organize the division of property and finances. And if the relationship is one of a couple with children, their needs and care in the long term and also during the separating process may become the focal point. So the issues that require attention during separation can generally be categorized as (i) practical concerns and (ii) the emotional care for both partners and the children.

These are two separate, yet inextricably linked aspects to the ending of a relationship that require attention and energy at this time and I have witnessed that therapy can be of tremendous help in the separating process. Just as our core values, qualities and struggles, and the model of close relationships we witnessed growing up (most likely that of our parents) influence us as partners in our relationship, they similarly affect the process of separating. At the same time, financial issues can become the main focus, the playing pitch on which all the old hurts, resentments and power struggles are rehashed and given new energy. This is to the detriment of all. Instead of any of the issues being resolved in a possible atmosphere of integrity and transparency, levels of pain and complexity are increased as are the financial implications when legal costs and bitter court cases ensue.

While related these aspects require discrete recognition and treatment if they are to influence each other for the greater good. Simply put, we are more likely to behave in an adult and reasonable manner and make better decisions if we are attending to our emotional well-being and are feeling supported. If either member of the couple (or ideally both) can find the courage to enter into a therapeutic relationship and to explore the very difficult issues that are present, the holding and support offered in therapy as well as the invitation to reflect and grieve can provide both parties with the opportunity to engage in an authentic and dynamic process.

In this atmosphere, emotional and practical issues can be ironed out, damage to each other and the children, in the case of a relationship with children, can be minimized and both parties may leave the relationship bruised and sad but with their self esteem more intact than it might have been. They may acknowledge to themselves and each other that whatever mistakes were made during their relationship, they engaged in its ending in an authentic and honourable manner. They will have spoken and been heard and may have gained invaluable self knowledge as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

3. The power of preventative care in form of kindness and nutrition

Several studies show that within ourselves and with the help of natural remedies, we can take action to strengthen our physical, mental & emotional health. Here are some practical suggestions to help you increase your well-being and boost your immune system this spring.

Kindness is its own reward

Did you know that being kind can benefit your health? Many of us might have known it in our hearts already: “Kindness is its own reward.” The giving and receiving of kindness promotes trust, encourages cooperation and strengthens our ties to one another. It is central to achieving mental, emotional and social well being. What’s more, our kindness might create a virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness and altruism. Latest research suggests a “positive feedback loop” between kindness and happiness so that one encourages the other. You can read more about this here:

Blow Away your Hay Fever!!

Sneezing? Itchy, streaming eyes? Runny nose? Irritated throat?  The height of the hay fever season will be upon us in May and for some that can mean staying indoors when we should be outside!! If you do suffer from hay fever our Nutritional Therapist Helen has a few nutritional and practical tips to help get your system in shape to prevent or reduce its severity:

Hay fever is a type of ‘allergic rhinitis’ or inflammation of the nasal passages including the sinuses. This can be due to an allergic reaction to airborne particles such as pollen, spores or mold, dust mites or animal hair. This reaction occurs when the immune system attacks a usually harmless substance, e.g. pollen grain. This pollen or allergen, gains access to the body causing a release of a variety of chemicals, one of which is histamine, from cells in the immune system. These chemicals bring about an inflammatory response to block the influx of further allergens. Histamine causes the normal allergic symptoms such as itchiness, swelling, runny nose and watery eyes.

So, what can you do to reduce the histamine response and reduce inflammation?

The best way is to control the hay fever naturally – by avoiding the allergen that is causing it and taking steps to normalize the immune function to prevent or lessen the symptoms. Controlling an allergic reaction can be done by reducing histamine production and by reducing inflammation of the affected areas.

Food and Nutritional support for Hay Fever:

Quercetin – a phytochemical which is a natural anti-histamine. It is found in green tea, red onions, red apples (especially the skin, so don’t peel your apple!), cherries, capers, and green leafy vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement.

Increase your Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is the main antioxidant of the respiratory passages and will also support the immune system. It is found in citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, parsley, dark leafy greens and cabbage – so fill up as much as possible on these!

Bromelain – a protein digesting enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties. Found in pineapple. Have a slice of pineapple after your meals – also great for digestion!

Take an Omega 3 Fatty Acids from a good quality fish oil or flax seed oil. Omega 3 oils may help reduce inflammation.

Drink Pukka Thee Tulsi tea – a natural anti histamine.

Drink Nettle Tea – a natural anti histamine.

Practical things for reducing or treating Hay Fever:

• Vacuum your bed
• Clean damp areas to prevent the growth of mould
• Don’t hang clothes and bedding out to dry as the pollens can stick to wet or damp clothes
• Remove and wash clothes and have a shower after being outdoors during high-pollen periods
• Have the grass cut 2 inches or shorter so it can’t pollinate.
• Cut the grass before 10am as pollen tends to peak between 5 and 10am.

Anti Hay Fever smoothie recipe:

1/2 large ripe pineapple
3 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber
2.5cm fresh root ginger

Serves 2
Cut the pineapple flesh into chunks and put it in a blender. Wash the celery and cucumber, cut into chunks and add them to the blender. Peel the ginger – scraping off the skin with a teaspoon is a good way to do this – and finely chop it, then add to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric, or more if you like the earthy taste of it!

Blend thoroughly to make a thick, zingy smoothie. Add a small amount of water to help the ingredients blend, or if you prefer a thinner smoothie, add extra water too. Enjoy and Savour!!

4. Our exciting range of new workshops and classes in 2015

2015 is an exciting year for us, as we not only welcome new practitioners to The Novara Centre, but also have an array of workshops and classes planned throughout the year. In addition to our weekly timetable which you can view at, our teen yoga, pregnancy pilates and mum & baby pilates restarted this spring, and we have several interesting workshops and classes highlighted below:


Food Intolerance Talk
Join Helen’s free talk and learn how certain symptoms are linked to the food we eat and what you can do about it! If you would like to get tested, there will be a discount on testing on the day.

Date: April 16th from 4.30 pm to 5:30 pm, Facilitated by Helen Ryan

Do you have a vision for your life? Do you know your “WHY”?
For many of us making the leap from a “successful” corporate career to a soul – fulfilling professional pursuit is terrifying. This powerful workshop is designed to help you connect with your soul purpose, and so clarify your vision for your life through a creative process. It will be a very enjoyable and fun process, including guided Meditation and Visualization, Colour including Aura Soma, Spontaneous Painting, Essential Oils and Mind Maps.

Date: April 18th from 1.30pm to 5pm, Facilitated by Sinead Wyse

Yoga for Emotional Wellbeing and Physical Radiance
Join Orla in a workshop that explores how yoga postures, pranayama and mindfulness meditation can help to bring balance to our emotional and physical bodies. Learn how to use your physical body and your breath to cultivate the ability to be present, to observe and to initiate change where change is needed. Learn to use your practice as a vehicle to emotional wellbeing and physical radiance.

Date: April 25th from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, Facilitated by Orla FitzGerald

A Day of Mindful Living
This day of Mindful Living offers people a wonderful opportunity to recharge and refresh. It is a day for you, a day of peace and stillness. The workshop will include a variety of mindfulness practices and is suitable for those who already have an established mindfulness practice as well as beginners.

Date: April 26th from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, Facilitated by Anne Twohig

Active Birth Workshop
This workshop is aimed at helping expectant mothers and their birth partners to prepare for labour and birth. Participants can expect to leave the workshop feeling empowered and excited about the journey ahead. The workshop will be led by doula and yoga teacher Jan Duffy and facilitated by the Novara Centre’s pregnancy yoga teacher, Lara Dunlea.

Date: May 17th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Facilitated by Jan Duffy and Lara Dunlea

Baby Massage Course
Over 4 weeks you can learn some beautiful strokes and see your baby squeal with delight. Some of the main benefits are: deeper sleeping, relaxing, bonding, boosting the immune system and it is wonderful for colic. You can relax afterwards with other parents / carers over a cup of tea and take in the views of the sea!

Dates: May 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Facilitated by Yasmina Lenehan


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction – An 8 Week Course
The Programme is evidence based and designed to develop skills for healthy emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, and to support integrating Mindfulness into daily life to help reduce stress and deal with anxiety more effectively. We learn to identify the causes of stress and to make wise choices in order to live in a more positive and peaceful way.

Date: June 2nd to July 21st from 7:00 pm to 9.30 pm, Facilitated by Kathryn O’Halloran
incl. a day retreat on July 12th from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm

Uplifting, Energising, Heart Opening, Backbending Workshop
Learn to open your heart in this fun backbending workshop. Recognize that that we
all get stuck in patterns of behaviour that don’t serve us and learn to open your heart to your full potential, cultivating fearlessness and love. Learn to create space in the shoulders and hips to allow you to extend, strengthen and release your spine in this energizing practice. To cultivate balance we will end the practice with a deep yoga nidra to calm and ground the nervous system, and allow the new patterns of behaviours to take root.

Date: June 7th from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Facilitated by Orla FitzGerald
Yoga ~ Mindfulness awareness afternoon
Allow the limits of your body to soften, and like a Summer Breeze dissolve limitations. Explore elements of restorative postures with development of witness mode.
Experience the presence and the senses.
Heighten awareness of form, which entails a different perception of oneself/qualities /attributes.

Date: June 27th from 1:30-4:30pm, Facilitated by Jean McDonald


Acu Yoga for Radiant Health
This workshop integrates two ancient holistic approaches to healthcare: yoga and acupressure.
There are 12 primary Acupuncture meridians or energy pathways running through the body. When the energy flows freely through these pathways the body, mind and spirit are nourished and disease free. Join Orla for a yoga flow in which each posture activates specific meridians or energy pathways and acupressure points, providing a needle-free way to build, restore and renew the body’s innate ability to maintain health.

Date: July 19th from10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Facilitated by Orla FitzGerald

Please visit our website if you would like more information on any of our services or contact us by phone 01-2761745 or email We are always happy to answer your queries with no obligation to make an appointment or a booking. Follow us on

We look forward to sharing part of our journey in 2015 with you.
Wishing you all health and well being this Spring and over the Easter holidays.
From everyone at The Novara Centre
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”