My husband, daughter, and I have been clients of Sheelagh McCann on two different circumstances. The first time was when our daughter was in National School. She was making unusual involuntary noises at school and it developed into an issue. We had been to speech therapy, ear nose and throat specialists etc and all returned saying it was not their field. The school principal gave us Sheelagh’s’ business card. We rang Sheelagh and straight away she reassured us as parents that we were doing everything possible and she would be able to help us. We made an appointment then to see her personally. I found Sheelagh very reassuring and pleasant on the phone, easy to talk to and very understanding and felt that things were going to get better. As a mother with mental health issues, I was sure I was going to be the reason for all our difficulties, as I have been told numerous times by other professionals, once again!! But to my amazement and delight, Sheelagh said to me, that it was not my fault. I could hardly believe my ears. For once, someone saw me as a concerned mother, rather than, a mentally ill person. I believed in Sheelagh from that moment on.
Our daughter was very shy, quiet and easily upset by loud noises. She was very frightful. She was in first class when her voice became an issue. She used an unusual voice in class and the teacher and classmates commented on it and from then on she was afraid to stop it- up to sixth class. We were afraid it would continue on into secondary school.
We brought our daughter to see Sheelagh for several sessions. She was very pleasant and reassuring to our daughter and made her feel comfortable to stay with her on her own without my presence. I sat in for the last 10 mins of the session, she discussed what our daughter was willing for us to know about her difficulties, and how we as parents could help her. She gave her some simple and very effective homework to do also.
I found our daughter didn’t disclose much to us as parents but I did notice little changes she said she did in school and how it went for her. She became a lot calmer in herself, looking forward to starting a new school and an ordinary voice returned.
On this circumstance, the most important aspect we all got from Sheelagh and her professionalism is BELIEF. She believed that our issue could be rectified and we subsequently believed in her. Our daughter has since started Secondary School with a normal voice and has not looked back since.
Thanks very much, Sheelagh.
Our second circumstance is when our daughter experienced bullying in secondary school.
Our daughter in the first two years of secondary school suffered isolation bullying and all that goes with it- lack of self-confidence, anxiety, no friends, outbursts of anger, nausea, not sleeping etc to the degree that we were considering moving school.
We rang Sheelagh, and straight away she remembered us without me telling her our case history, which I was very impressed with. As it showed me that she took a genuine interest in her clients and that her work was more important than just a job, it was a genuine caring profession to her. Sheelagh was able to see us in a matter of a few days, no hassle. I met Sheelagh on my own again and gave her a brief of our new situation. This time Sheelagh informed me that my daughter would have to be treated more like an adult now. She would have to be respectful to our daughter and only disclose what was allowed by my daughter to a certain degree. Our daughter got exercises to do, challenges to face, to push her boundaries! She did them and found that things were not as bad as she thought- hence self-confidence improved. She calmed down greatly at home and family life is good now. She subsequently stayed in 3rd year at the same school, with no talk of moving, which is great. She is in a group of 5 girls and occasionally 2 boys!! She is doing her mocks this weather, cool calm and collective, thought the mocks would be hell! It is down to Sheelagh, being able to get across to our daughter, in understanding her feelings and being able to teach her the skills to handle them.
We are very appreciative of you Sheelagh for all your help. Life is so much easier and happier.
Wishing you every success in future endeavours.
The R family, Athlone