"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves"
Here to help you...
If you are experiencing depression, disordered eating, relationship problems, anxiety, grief, self esteem issues or you are finding it difficult to manage your life then psychotherapy can help.
There often comes a time when we need professional psychotherapeutic help for our minds, just as we sometimes require medical help for our bodies. Combining psychotherapy with hiking adds a wealth of benefits to maximise the efficacy of the therapeutic process.
As a fully qualified I.A.C.P accredited Humanistic Psychotherapist I can help you on your journey towards calming your anxiety, exploring your issues and understanding yourself in a more compassionate way.
We will work to heal the cause not just alleviate the symptoms.
Through this process you will exercise both mind and body to discover a way through the challenges you face and find your inner strength and resilience.
Online sessions are also available if preferred.
All About Hiking Psychotherapy
“Hiking is a bit like life: The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other....again and again and again. And if you allow yourself opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit” - UNKNOWN
Hiking therapy is a type of Ecotherapy, where all the interpersonal and evidence based processes of a psychotherapy session take place but instead of indoors we go outside. This way of practicing is relatively new in Ireland, our changeable weather is likely responsible for that but it is becoming increasingly popular globally.
There are many reasons for this including the fact that movement stimulates greater blood flow to the brain and this has been shown to heighten mood, creativity, self-awareness and emotional stability.
Being outdoors has the proven ability to reduce the risk of becoming depressed as well as mitigating the symptoms of depression for those already suffering with the illness.
It reduces stress - even just 20-30 minutes in the outdoors is enough to significantly reduce cortisol levels and lower stress.
Endorphin boost - We experience a physiological effect from exercise due to the body releasing endorphins, this gives us a natural mood boost.
Exposure to natural light has been proven to increase levels of self-esteem and improve mood. It also reduces mental fatigue. These benefits are increased with the addition of physical movement.
Most clients find the natural environment less intimidating - walking side by side means that the intensity of continuous eye contact is lessened or even removed for those who find it difficult, this can be particularly helpful to clients with any kind of neurodivergence. I have specialist training in Autism Informed Therapy and extensive experience working with a variety of atypical neurological presentations..
Hikes or walks will be tailored to your needs, wants and abilities.
For parents of babies or young children you can choose a time when your child is napping and we can use a route that is suitable for buggies.
Dogs are welcome too.
It is your precious time so we will use it in a way that works for you.
Hike Psych is All Inclusive!
Our bodies like our issues come in all shapes and sizes.
Hike therapy is suitable for all levels of fitness, if you have never walked further than 10 meters we can simply start from there or if you can’t or don’t feel like moving we can do a stationary session sitting somewhere peaceful outdoors.
If none of those options appeal or you don't live close enough to partake in hike sessions then we can still work together online.
I am completely supportive of both the Body Positivity and the Health at Every Size (HAES) movements.
All bodies are good bodies and we will only move in a way that is comfortable for you.
Get to know us...
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”
- Albert Einstein
Hi there, my name is Cara & I have always been fascinated in people & the experiences that shape them. I was the kid all the other kids confided in when they were having problems & needed support. My passion for helping others led me to study psychotherapy.
I care deeply for my clients, as an integrative humanistic therapist having unconditional positive regard for every client is an essential element of my therapeutic practice. Together we will work diligently to find the calm & understanding you are seeking.
While researching I was lucky to discover the incredible benefits that being outdoors has on our mental health. So I combined my love of hiking with my passion for psychotherapy & created Hike Psych, Ireland's only Hiking Psychotherapy Practice.
I work with the understanding that you are the expert on you & I am there to help you learn to understand & embrace the real you.
I follow the strict code of ethics set out by the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy of which I'm an Accredited Member. This code of ethics ensures that compassion & confidentiality are of the utmost importance.
Since I began my therapeutic work in 2011, I have worked with a vast number of clients who were dealing with circumstances that are both personal and unique to them however some themes that often arise are;
- Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks
- Disordered Eating
- Sexuality Issues
- Suicidal Ideation
- Family Issues
- Relationship Issues
- Chronic Illness Distress
- Parental Distress
- Emotional Fluency
Masters Degree in Integrative Psychotherapy
Higher Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy
Additional skills & training:
Autism Informed Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Deirdre Reilly - Psychotherapist
Hi, my name is Deirdre.
I have always loved listening to people and supporting them through difficult times, which has led me to study many methods of doing this. I am a qualified Integrative Psychotherapist, Craniosacral Therapist, Reiki Master & more.
I meet my clients were they are in themselves & working from a place of unconditional positive regard, I bring all my skills together to best support my clients in a way that is right for them. I work holistically with the whole person, mind/body/spirit, including the nervous system, & the connection between clients and myself is where healing begins.
The outdoors has always been a source of healing and my love and knowledge of the benefits of nature has grown through my training. Combining the benefits of hiking, psychotherapy & nature is such a great way to help support people.
I am a pre-Accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy & follow their strict code of ethics and supervision guidelines.
I have experience working with;
- Anxiety & Panic Disorder
- Trauma & Birth Trauma
- Family Member Support & Parenting
- Relationship Issues
- Grief / Bereavement
- Self-Worth / Self Compassion
Neurodiversity - ASD, ADHD, ADD
Cara is fully booked currently.
Follow @hikepsych.ie on Instagram for updates.
Cara - Monday - Wednesday mornings evenings available; Dublin and Online.
Deirdre - Tuesday mornings; Meath.
Online sessions are also available if you aren't near our mountain offices.
If none of the available times suit your schedule then just let us know and we can try to find something that does work.
Insurance is not covered by Hike Psych.
If insurance is important to you, it is recommended that you arrange your own personal accident insurance. A high standard of care is guaranteed but clients must be aware that any outdoor activity can involve a risk of danger and personal injury.
Please ensure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Hiking boots/shoes are recommended but not strictly necessary.
Rain gear and water are also a good idea.
Hike Sessions will not take place during active weather alerts.