Psychology

Contact Names/Numbers

All outpatient referrals must be written referrals from the internal referring Consultant or referring team.  External, direct self-referrals or direct GP referrals are not accepted. 

DetailsDr. Valerie Twomey
Head of the Psychology
Telephone: (01) 414 5299
Details

Erika Somers
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Contactable between 8am – 1pm Monday to Friday

Erika co-ordinates the activities of the Psychology Department. She organises clinics and groups and liaises with both patients, Psychologists and Consultants regarding referrals. She assists with the organisation of projects and provides administration support to all the team. Erika has been with the Psychology Department for many years as well as other departments within Tallaght University Hospital. She has years of administration experience and provides information and friendly support to patients and staff. 

For service enquiries please contact Erika.  

Patient Information

Long Covid

Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of Long Covid include significant and disabling fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, shortness of breath and pain, as well as anxiety and low mood. It is very common for these difficulties to have a large impact on return to previously important and valued roles, such as return to work and return to family duties; it is not uncommon for lives to be changed almost beyond recognition. The impact of Long Covid can be, and very often is, extremely distressing for those living it and those supporting them

In this video Dr. Melanie Ryberg, Principal Specialist Clinical Psychologist at TUH, Dr. Ray Owen, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Health Psychologist and Dr. Susan O’Flanagan, Principal Specialist Psychologist, previously with St. Vincent’s University Hospital, who all have experience in working with ‘long haulers’ have come together to talk about Psychological Flexibility and what it might offer those living with Long Covid. The video is an introduction to the principles of ACT, highlighting and discussing key elements from ACT that will give viewers a grounding in basic skills that they can use to help with living with Long Covid. In the video they talk about the challenges faced by those with Long Covid, and how the principles of ACT may help them. This is a self-help resource available to all patients, and made widely available to all. The central importance of the patient perspective is very much acknowledged, and represented in the video. This video was produced with the generous support of the Adelaide Health Foundation.

Meet the Team

Dr Valerie Twomey
Dr. Valerie Twomey, D.Psych.Sc. Principal Clinical Neuropsychologist 
Head of Psychology
Email: valerie.twomey@tuh.ie
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Valerie is the Principal Psychology Manager / Head of the Psychology Department in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH). Valerie has previously worked as a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Manager of the Brain Injury and Stroke Programmes of Specialist Rehabilitation at the Beaumont Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Valerie is an experienced clinician and manager with qualifications in leadership and quality improvement and is passionate about improving access and quality in healthcare for all. Valerie manages and supervises the team of psychologists at TUH who provide clinical psychological services for inpatients and outpatients.

In recent years, Valerie held senior positions in the HSE Clinical Design and Innovation Division overseeing and managing a number of national clinical programmes and the integrated care programme for chronic disease and most recently has been the NRH Lead for the development of specialist rehabilitation services in association with the national office for Trauma and the Mater Hospital Major Trauma Centre.

Services offered are: Psychological Consult, Clinical and Neuropsychological Assessment, Treatment and Psychotherapeutic Intervention. Valerie’s interests are in the areas of Brain Injury and Stroke, Neurorehabilitation, Treatment Burden in Chronic Disease, Quality and Quality Improvement

Orla Spencer
Orla Spencer
Senior Clinical Psychologist: Adult Pain Service
Telephone: 01 414 3104. Valerie McKeever Pain Service Administrator
Orla is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and works as part of the Pain Service in TUH. The Pain Service is a multidisciplinary unit that provides comprehensive rehabilitation and interventional services to those suffering from persistent pain conditions. Orla works closely with colleagues to assess and treat pain conditions using evidence based practice. All new patients to the service are assessed by the team and a plan put together to help them

Orla’s role is to address and treat the psychological distress caused by the ongoing pain. She sees patients individually and also within the flagship Pain Management Rehabilitation Programme, the most comprehensive of its kind in Ireland. She provide an expert assessment service for those needing pre clearance for more complex neuromodulation procedures.

Referrals: referral via Pain Service only  

Dr Garret McDermott
Dr. Garret McDermott
Principal Specialist Clinical Neuropsychologist: Tallaght Institute of Memory and Cognition  
Telephone; 01 414 4599
Garret is the Principal Clinical Neuropsychologist within the Tallaght Institute of Memory and Cognition.  This includes the Regional Specialist Memory Clinic and the National Intellectual Disability Memory Service.

Prior to this, Garret worked in the Neurology service here at TUH and before that he worked in the Mental Health Service for Older Persons in North Dublin among other settings. He recently completed the MSc in Healthcare in Leadership through the HSE’s Leadership Academy.

His current role entails providing assessment and psychological intervention to patients, service development, research, teaching/training and clinical supervision. The role of the Neuropsychologist is to:

Conduct detailed assessments of a person’s memory, attention, and other cognitive skills.  This is called ‘Neuropsychological Assessment’ and is done for a number of different reasons such as tracking change in a person’s functioning over time, to help figure out a diagnosis, or to help the person understand how they can help themselves.

(i)  To support adults with Neurological and Neurodegenerative conditions to understand and manage their symptoms.
(ii) To provide brief interventions to patients as required including Psychological therapies.

Referrals: Referrals are received through the memory and cognition service only.

Dr Melanie Ryberg
Dr Melanie Ryberg
Principal Specialist Clinical Psychologist: Critical Care
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Melanie is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland. She works as part of the multidisciplinary team to provide a psychological service to patients and families in Critical Care, covering the Intensive Care Unit, the Post-Anaesthetic Critical Care Unit, and the High Dependency Unit; this is in recognition of the psychological impact of critical illness on the patient and those closest to them. This service currently extends to follow-up at ward level, as indicated.

Referrals: Psychology referrals are made through the Critical Care team predominantly, but will also be accepted from other teams where the presenting issue is directly related to critical care.

Dr Susan Devoy
Dr Susan Devoy
Clinical Psychologist : Migraine and Headache Psychology Service and Cardiac Rehabilitation
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Email: susan.devoy@tuh.ie
Susan is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and an accredited Integrative Psychotherapist. Susan works as part of the multidisciplinary teams to provide a psychological service to patients attending the Headache Clinic and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service. Her work ranges from psycho-education to assessment and therapeutic intervention for patients experiencing psychological difficulties related to their health condition. Patients may be offered group and/or individual psychological interventions depending on need.

Referrals: Psychology referrals are made through the Neurology Department and Cardiac Rehabilitation Department.

Psychology symbol
Dr. Erica Finn
Senior Clinical Psychologist: Long Covid Clinic
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Erica is the Senior Clinical Psychologist with the Post-Covid Clinic in TUH.  She works as part of a multidisciplinary team providing a psychological service to those affected by ongoing difficulties after recovery from acute covid infection.  Along with the physical affects, some may be impacted by psychological distress including low mood, increased anxiety, difficulties adjusting, or recovering from the trauma of their experiences.  The psychology service offers psychoeducation, consultation, assessment, individual and group interventions.

Referrals: Psychology referrals are made through the Long Covid Clinic.
Erika Somers
Erika Somers
Psychology Secretary
Telephone: 01 414 4599 (7.30am - 1pm)
Email: erika.somers@tuh.ie
Erika is the lead administrator for the Psychology Department and since 2006 has covered both Paediatrics and Adult Psychology.  She has also provided support to the Occupational Therapy and Social Work Departments over the years and has been involved in many external mindfulness projects run by the Hospital in the Community

Dr Damien Lowry
Dr. Damien Lowry
Principal Specialist Counselling and NeuroPsychologist: Adult Neurology Service
Telephone: 01 414 4599

Damien is a Principal Specialist with the TUH Adult Neurology Service since April 2023. This is a multidisciplinary service providing comprehensive assessment and interventional services to those with suspected and/or confirmed neurological disease or injury. Prior to this, Damien worked in the Mater Hospital since 2004, where he provided clinical assessment, delivered best-practice clinical interventions, and innovated clinical research of an interdisciplinary nature, across chronic-pain, gastrointestinal, neurological, and psychiatric domains.

His career in hospital psychology is underpinned by his undergraduate studies at Brown University, an MSc in Counselling Psychology at TCD, and his PhD, under the supervision of Dr Teresa Burke, at UCD. He is a Chartered Member of the Psychological Society of Ireland, occupying the following Officer roles: 2023 Honorary Secretary, 2024 President-Elect & 2025 President. He is a former winner of the PSI Deirdre McMacken Award, short-list candidate for the 2018 HSE HSCP Clinical Innovation and Best Practice Awards, and has a growing list of peer-reviewed scientific publications.

His current areas of interest include: Psychological Consultation within the TUH Neurology inpatient setting, assisting the assessment and clinical management of patients with known or suspected Functional Neurological Disorder, Neuropsychological Assessment of patients with confirmed or suspected neurocognitive conditions, Psychotherapeutic interventions for individuals experiencing significant distress in these scenarios, developing relevant research initiatives, and teaching a transdiagnostic CBT module to TCD D.Couns.Psych student

Referrals: Psychology referrals are via the TUH Neurology Service only.

Seán O’Farrell
Seán O'Farrell
Assistant Psychologist: TUH Psychology Department
Email: Sean.OFarrell@tuh.ie
Telephone: 01 414 4599
Seán is an Assistant Psychologist within the Psychology Department at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH). Recently, Seán completed a B.A. Honours Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a M.Sc. in Applied Clinical Neuropsychology at Trinity College, Dublin. Seán works as part of the team to provide psychological services to patients at TUH.

Services offered are: Clinical and Neuropsychological Assessment, Treatment and Therapeutic Interventions. Seán is particularly interested in Long Covid, Critical Care and all things Neuropsychology.

Description of Department/Service

We are a compassionate and focused team of professionals whose primary goal is to provide psychological care to the patients of Tallaght University Hospital. We understand how important it is to feel supported and understood during a period of illness, which is why we strive to treat each patient as an individual.

We provide a high standard of care to each patient, using both our academic and evidenced based knowledge, in research, assessment and applying interventions. We are committed to maintaining this high standard of care and do so by continually reflecting on our work, while also engaging in further professional development to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide the highest possible standard of practice in psychology to those we work with, in both a professional and empathic manner.

Psychology Department Referrals

All outpatient referrals must be written referrals from the internal referring Consultant or referring team.  External, direct self-referrals or direct GP referrals are not accepted.