Our Team

The Team inside the Eating Disorder Centre Cork is made up as follows;

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Caroline O’Donovan

Clinical Manager

Caroline O Donovan began working in the Cork Eating Disorder Centre in 2012.
She began her studies in Choice Theory which is primarily a behavioural therapy and works well with teenagers. She then went on to complete a BA degree in Applied Social Studies in Counselling in 2001 in Munster Technological University.

During this time Caroline worked as a mental health facilitator in Shanakiel Training centre. She also worked as a Therapist in Renewal, a halfway house for women recovering from Addiction.

A strong believer in the power of compassion and self-love, Caroline now dedicates her time helping clients recover from Eating Disorders and other similar conditions. During her free time Caroline is a keen hill walker. She also enjoys the fun and connection with others by singing in a community choir.

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Anne Gaynor

Clinical Manager

Anne is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist and has worked in private practice for several years.  She is an integrative therapist who first and foremost focuses on developing a safe working relationship with clients, and then uses appropriate approaches to support the client in the issues they are facing.

Anne originally worked in business as a data analyst having graduated with an Honours Degree in Commerce from UCC.  Always interested in human behaviour and how the mind works, Anne completed an Arts Degree in Psychology with Dublin Business School on a part-time basis and followed this up with a Diploma in Practitioner Skills for Eating Disorders with the Eating Disorder Resource Centre of Ireland, and a Diploma in Business, Executive and Personal Coaching through the Coach Institute of Ireland.  Anne also holds an Honours Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Cork Institute of Technology (MTU) and a Diploma in Integrative Adolescent Psychotherapy.

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Julie Hallissey


Julie joined the Eating Disorder Centre team in 2012, with an Honours Degree in Politics & Social Studies, an Honours Degree in Law from the University of Limerick and an Honours Degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Cork Institute of Technology (MTU). Julie is an accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP) and her experience includes working in both second and third level educational institutions.
Having gained substantial experience in the area, Julie has found she especially enjoys working with teenagers and young adults. Julie is an integrative therapist and uses a number of different therapeutic approaches in her work, placing special emphasis on the person centred approach of Carl Rogers where the person is placed at the centre of the service and treated as a person first and not their condition.
She believes that central to any effective therapy is the relationship, creating an alliance by meeting the person where they are, emotionally and mentally and working from there, pulling on each client’s own inner wisdom, helping them to recognise their potential.

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Lisa Dempsey


Lisa is an Integrative Psychotherapist who has been working with eating disorder clients for over 20 years.  She had worked in the mental health services in the US for a number of years before working as a psychotherapist for clients suffering from various mental health issues.
Her training includes a BA in Psychology from Kings College; an HDip in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and an MA in Integrative Psychotherapy, both from University College Cork; and a Cert in Addiction Studies.


Jean Tobin


Jean is an IACP accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist. Having originally obtained a BA and MA in Public Administration Jean spent many years overseas employed in HR roles and laterally the EU Commission in its Social Inclusion Unit. On returning to Ireland in 2006 Jean spent 15 years in the higher education sector with a particular interest in student welfare. Jean began her training in 2018 and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Munster Technological University in 2022.

Since graduating Jean has worked in private practice, at a suicide prevention charity and a low cost counselling service as Jean is passionate about making mental health services accessible to all. Jean’s approach to psychotherapy is integrative, humanistic and trauma informed and is grounded in the belief that we all and our experiences are unique. Therefore Jean strongly believes that therapy is the client’s space at the client’s pace. At the heart of this is the therapeutic relationship which is bound by a commitment to safety, non-judgement and confidentiality. Jean is an advocate of self-care both in and out of the therapy session but is never prescriptive and encourages clients to discover what works for them. For Jean therapy is about increasing self-awareness leading to more conscious choice-making and therefore greater well-being both within yourself and the World around you.

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Joe is a qualified humanistic and integrative psychotherapist who was trained experientially by the Flatstone Institute (2011-2016) here in Cork. Through this training Joe learned how to sit with people and meet them where they are, wherever they are on their personal journey. He also holds a master’s degree in social work and has recently completed a master’s degree in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Joe started his therapeutic work as a Samaritan volunteer where he spent over ten years listening to and learning from the lonely and despairing. Later having completed his formal training he gained extensive experience working with suicidal and self-harming people through his work with Pieta House. He is also a member of the primary care counselling team with the HSE.

Joe is accredited by the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists (IAHIP). Ultimately, he believes that the true role of the psychotherapist is to build a relationship where a person can speak with their true voice and move closer to self-acceptance.
“Perhaps I myself am the enemy who needs to be loved” (Jung).


Sandra Griffin Ryan


Hello, my name is Sandra, I am a qualified Psychotherapist , with a background in Crisis intervention, Self harming behaviours and Addictions. I have worked in the social care sector for over 20 years supporting individuals in a variety of sectors, i.e. Family support, Homeless sector, Drug Education Programme.

I hold  Masters in Youth Child Care and Law. A degree in intregative pschotherapy,  diploma in intregative adolescent thearpy, advanced certificate in DBT, nearing completion of a diploma in Sandtray Thearpy.i support young people from the age of 12 years upwards including adults.

Specialties : Anxiety, Depression, Trauma & PTSD, Sexual health, Infertility, Eating Disorders, Bereavement, Suicide ideation, Self harming Behaviours, Gender identity, Cancer Diagnosis, Career Clarity. I care deeply about the well-being of others and have always been passionate about supporting individuals. I strongly believe in the resilience of the human spirit and one’s capability to create a sense of autonomy and empowerment in order to contend with whatever life challenges they encounter.
​I work from an integrative perspective which means I don’t believe in a “one size fits all” method, rather I use several different therapeutic modalities. This allows me to work collaboratively with clients to identify their strengths and preferences in order to find a therapeutic style that suits the individual.’


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Caroline Fenton


Caroline Fenton has been working at the Centre as a therapist since 2013. She is a Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapist who trained in the Flatstone Institute, Cork, and is an accredited member of the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists.
Caroline has also completed training in EMDR- a modality recommended by the World Health Organization for trauma. She is a member of EMDR Ireland and uses EMDR in her work with Eating Disorders. Recently she has gained a certificate in Psychosynthesis, which is unique in the way in which it includes the transpersonal in its view of the person.
Caroline’s original background is in Science graduating with an Honours degree in Biochemistry from UCC.Then after completing a Higher Diploma in Career Guidance and Counselling from UCC worked in the Adult Education sector for a number of years.