Silvia: I was 'a little bit lost' before online counselling

Silvia: I was 'a little bit lost' before online counselling
Silvia Ribeiro was worried about online counselling but found it helped. File Picture.

Silvia Ribeiro felt "a little bit lost" and turned to MyMind counselling service, which was offering specific sessions for people affected by the fallout from Covid-19.

After completing a four-year psychology degree course for mature students, Silvia's career plans fell through because of the pandemic.

Her interest is in organisational psychology - how people interact at work - and that stemmed from working over 20 years in the hospitality industry.

“I wanted to establish a consultancy firm dealing with the hospitality industry but it has been hugely impacted by Covid-19 so now I have to completely re-strategise," she said.

Silvia, who lives in Lusk, Co Dublin, was born in Brazil and grew up in the US. She has lived in Ireland for 15 years.

While studying at Dublin City University, Silvia worked as a personal assistant with the Irish Wheelchair Association, a job she also enjoyed.

Silvia knew MyMind was offering free online counselling sessions to help people like her who were finding it hard to cope with the challenges of Covid-19.

“I was a bit trepidatious about having online counselling sessions but I found that it was a really good experience.

“I think people think they have to be experiencing serious mental health issues before they get counselling but it is also for people like me who are feeling a little bit lost and need a bit of guidance.

“The therapists help you to tease out what is niggling at you and give you different tools to think about things.”

Silvia had a 50-minute online session with a therapist every week for six weeks.

“The therapist was fantastic; she helped me to put things into perspective and gave me a much more positive outlook at a time when I was feeling really, really lost and uncertain.” 

Therapist, Emma Doyle, who works in MyMind's Cork centre, said Covid-19 had created a lot of uncertainty about the future.

“Working with a therapist gives that opportunity to be truly heard in an impartial setting, allowing the person to be able to move forward,” she said.

The fully subsidised counselling sessions, funded by Sláintecare, are to help people deal with the mental health challenges of Covid-19.

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