Graduate Testimonials



Andrea Ragusa – Dublin, graduated 2020

I joined Module 4 having initially trained in integrative psychotherapy. Completing the MA in Gestalt Psychotherapy has been a great experience and applying the Gestalt approach to my practice generally has allowed me to rediscover excitement in my clinical work.

This course has challenged me in a positive way and I have learned so much due to the supportive and encouraging environment. I found the theoretical framework which was applied in the experiential workshops over the last two years of my Masters to be particularly inspiring.  This journey has provided valuable insights both on a personal and professional level and I am very grateful for the level of support, guidance and feedback offered by tutors, my academic supervisor and related peer groups

Monika Deasy – Cork, graduated 2019

I completed my Gestalt training with GII in 2019. I am based in Cork where I run a successful private practice.

When I think about my four years with GII, I think of it as one of the most growthful experiences of my life.  I found my tribe, finally overcame old unhelpful patterns of behaviour gained clear direction for my future and fell in love with Gestalt and its intricacies. When I think about the team of trainers I think – respect, heart, wisdom, knowledge, skills, embodied presence, humanity, integrity, strength and kind holding.

The GII programme is delivered very uniquely via a spiral curriculum. In one sentence – it’s the school I always dreamed of but never had! You start at your own baseline (Yes! Your baseline) and keep on progressing, from year to year, simultaneously in the areas of Personal Development, Skills Development and Theoretical Understanding. That way I gained much more than academic knowledge and practical skills. I gained a total integration of all three areas – self immersed in Gestalt. I have two previous related third level qualifications but only after 4 years with GII did I feel fully equipped to take on the role of professional psychotherapist.

I consider myself lucky to have taken this journey and I would most definitely recommend it to anyone considering training in psychotherapy.

Bernie O Flaherty – Co. Galway, graduated 2019

I joined the GII training programme through the APEL route and completed Modules 1-3 in 2017.  I was then given encouragement and support to dream bigger and continue to the Dissertation (Module 4)

Before beginning the GII training I had no previous higher education experience. The experiential nature of the GII training is what drew me toward it and enabled me to become interested in and absorbed by academic studies. Receiving my Masters in Carlow IT was one of the proudest moments of my life.  I can honestly say that as a result of completing  my qualification with GII, I have found my place, not just in the Gestalt community but in the field of higher education and professional work.


Anne Rackard – Co. Wexford, graduated 2018

When I began my training with the Gestalt Institute of Ireland, I was 56 years old and had a busy practice as a Reflexologist and Facilitator.  Gestalt training was my gift to myself.  Because of the experiential aspect of the training, I felt the learning at a very deep level.  I experienced the ability to be able to sit with myself and to be comfortable with uncertainty and discomfort.  The ability to sit with myself has afforded me the opportunity to be able to sit with another in compassionate understanding and support.

I can highly recommend this Gestalt training. I am now a practicing psychotherapist and have recently applied for my accreditation.

Eugene Stephens – Co. Clare, graduated 2016 

The training and experiences I received from the I.G.C. I consider a gift.  They have afforded me the belief and skills to change my career and I am now a practising psychotherapist and working with families in crisis within my community.  At times during my training I doubted myself.  It was tough, challenging and sometimes frustrating but with support from my trainers and peers I stuck with it.  Throughout I felt held and safe and can honestly say I experienced fun, excitement and nourishment.

I would strongly recommend this training to anybody who wishes to undertake self-exploration as well as acquiring skills and knowledge

Ursula Devaney – Co. Sligo, graduated 2015

I was already a trained Counsellor but wanted to further develop my skills.  The IGC training was recommended to me by someone who had already done it. They said ‘If you want to do something life changing this is the programme for you’.  This was certainly true for me.  This programme is experiential, so for me the learning was on a very deep personal level.  The tutors did everything in their power to help me both emotionally and academically and their trust in my ability allowed me to become truly myself.  I have now been invited to join the IGC personal development staff team and feel very privileged to be a part of this fantastic organisation.  If you are looking for a life changing personal and professional experience you will find it on this course. I did.

Olive Fanning – Co. Carlow, graduated 2014

The teaching method used over the 4 years of the training is really supportive as you learn things both theoretically and practically and the learning develops and deepens as you progress.  The practical element of the programme gave me the vital skills and confidence to be with clients.  I cannot recommend the training enough.  The postgraduate group is a great post training resource training and supported me to get my accreditation with IAHIP.

Fiona Clothier – Co. Limerick, graduated 2013

I chose to train with IGC because of the rich diversity of the people who were on the training programme and the strong emphasis on the personal development of trainees.  I knew how important the latter was because I had previously completed a counselling course in which this was sadly lacking.  The consequences were that when I did secure work as a counsellor, on the strength of having done that course, I became ‘burnt out’ after a year.  My own unaddressed personal issues had come to the fore and I was ill equipped to deal with them.

Having completed my IGC training I find my work deeply rewarding.  My work with clients is rich and varied and my personal and family life has been enriched too.  I now work as an accredited therapist in private practice.

Harriet McGuigan – Co. Kerry, graduated 2013

It’s hard to put into a few lines what I achieved by doing the IGC training!  What stands out most for me in the four years I found my gorgeous beating heart.  My availability to myself and my heart is of great benefit to myself, my family and my clients.

There is huge emphasis on personal development and process on the programme whilst always linking the process with the academic theory.  I feel that I have gained a lot more confidence in my academic ability as a result of doing this programme.  A huge amount of this is due to how I was held, nurtured, encouraged, and supported throughout my years with the IGC.

I am now accredited and working in private practice and cannot recommend this programme enough.


John Connolly – Co. Limerick, graduated 2012

Although the standard is rigorous, this course is not only about the academic side of learning. Some courses could be likened to sitting at a desk, reading and writing about cookery books.  But the IGC course is about getting the ingredients, going into the kitchen, and cooking the meal.  We didn’t just read, talk and write about the subject, we practised it, learning skills through practising under supervision in a very supportive environment.

The way the course is timetabled really suited me.  I could forget about home and work life for a protected time and give myself the uninterrupted space to learn.  With a high ratio of trainers to students, we got excellent tuition, guidance, feedback and support, all of which was tailored specifically to my needs at the time.

I have learned that nothing is too big a challenge and it’s never too late in life to start something newI have gained a new career, moving from working for twenty three years in the construction industry to now working full time as an accredited Gestalt psychotherapist in private practice, just 18 months after graduating.


Dr. Áine Ní Leime – Co. Galway, graduated 2011

The Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy was a fantastic experience!  Its  blend of academic rigour combined with reflective, experiential and personal exploration in a supportive community of fellow students and staff is unique.  I have gained awareness, skills and confidence that greatly enhance my ability to contribute in my current role in third level education and research.  My continuing engagement with the IGC community is a rich source of support, stimulation and friendship.

I recommend the course without reservation for its personal and professional benefits and for the sheer enjoyment and enrichment it provides.

Dr. Áine Ní Leime
National University of Ireland, Galway


Marian O’Donnell-Byrne – Co. Meath, graduated 2010

I can highly recommend the IGC training course.  I was already an accredited practicing counsellor when I decided to do the Gestalt training.  I was well rewarded for my decision.  Having completed the training I am able to work much more deeply and creatively with my clients.  Personally, I got significant insight into my processes.  I feel so much more confident both personally and professionally. Enrolling on that course was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Kate Murphy – Co. Donegal, graduated 2006

I still carry the benefits of the IGC training with me and it gave me a real sense of being part of a therapeutic community.  A great strength of this training is the fact that it is residential.

Living and learning together as a community was so supportive.  I could leave the demands of my life behind and have time for myself.

It is 11 years since I graduated, and I now work for The Irish Family Planning Association as a crisis pregnancy counsellor, and as a therapist for a couple of community based organisations.  I also have a private practice.

I am still involved with the IGC community, so being a part of it did not end when I graduated, which is very positive for me


Emma Gannon – Dublin, graduated 2001

I graduated from the IGC in 2001.  For me the strengths of the programme were the ways in which I learned and grew as a therapist.  I am now able to be with my client without fear in a very present and aware manner.  This allows and transforms the therapeutic relationship by creating a meaningful and supportive space which enables the client to explore their deepest thoughts and feelings without any judgement.

I now work in a hospital setting as a Senior Medical Social Worker as part of a multi-disciplinary team in the area of Oncology.  Training as a Gestalt psychotherapist has given me increased skills and abilities in making meaningful interventions in a measured and holistic way.  It has given me an inner strength to be able to sit with the patient and family members in the many and varied aspects of their cancer journey


Declan Aherne – Co. Limerick, graduated 1992.

My time spent in training with the IGC has been one of the most valuable experiences of my professional life.  All these years later I can still look back with fondness and pride at what we accomplished in our training.  The learnings from then have stood the test of time and form the very core of all that I do in my work up to the present day.  It has been the solid platform on which I have been able to explore and examine the human condition, both for myself and for my clients.  I am eternally grateful to Joan and Hank for all that they invested in creating this space for personal growth and healing.

Dr Declan Aherne,M.A., M.Psych. Sc., Dip. Psych. (Gestalt), Ph.D.,
AFPsSI, Reg. Clin.  / Couns. Psychol.
Clinical Psychologist and Head of Counselling,
University of Limerick