Beaumont Hospital

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Psychology Department - Patient Services



The Department of Psychology provides a wide array of neuropsychological services to patients of Beaumont Hospital.  Patients who have had a neurological event such as stroke or an acquired brain injury through an accident or assault are often assessed and treated in our department.  We see patients with significant memory impairments through neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.  We also see patients with epilepsy, ALS (motor neuron disease) and Huntington’s Disease, among others.

We are called upon to assess the needs of patients in neurology, neurosurgery and neuropsychiatry through assessments and interview, as well as through contact with their families and carers.  We often provide advice and guidelines as to what would best benefit the ongoing development and needs of these patients and their loved ones.  Sometimes, we see patients like these for a few hours of assessment, and other times we have more contact over a longer period of time.  We agree our assessment and treatment plans with each patient we see.

If you have been called for an appointment with a neuropsychologist, feel free to ask him or her about why you have been referred, and what you might learn from the appointment.  Don’t forget to bring any eyeglasses you have been prescribed (reading or otherwise!) and a list of your current medications.

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Cardiac Psychology

The psychology service to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme provides a range of services based on patient need.  The Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme was the first of its kind in Ireland and assists patients who have had a cardiac event to recover as quickly and as fully as possible, to ensure they establish a good quality of life and excellent health outcomes.  Psychology plays a crucial role in cardiac rehabilitation because of its impact on stress management, health beliefs, and building confidence.  Patients who come through the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme get guidance from psychology on managing stress levels, challenging unhelpful thinking patterns, relaxation techniques and goal setting.

Sometimes, patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme are offered individual cognitive behaviour therapy or other intervention.  If you think you might benefit from meeting with the psychologist attached to cardiology, you can self-refer at 01-8092451.

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Psychology service to Liaison Psychiatry

The Department of Psychology provides a service to the Liaison Psychiatry Team at Beaumont Hospital located in the Psychiatry Portacabins near St. John’s Ward.

This service sees inpatients and outpatients from many different areas of the hospital who are experiencing significant difficulties with their illness or during their ongoing treatment at the hospital.  Being unwell in any way can cause people to feel very worried or sad about their lives, and frightened or hopeless about the future.  In addition to not feeling well, working with healthcare providers, coming to multiple appointments in the hospital, and having to adjust to new lifestyle limits can trigger very uncomfortable feelings.  Also, people often come to the hospital after a very traumatic event, and although they might be improving physically, they may feel they are getting worse psychologically.  People in this kind of distress often benefit from psychological assessment and intervention.

In this service patients may be seen for an assessment and referred on to another service, or they may be seen for a longer intervention.  If you are called for an appointment to this service, please remember to bring your eyeglasses (reading or otherwise!) and a list of your current medications.  Remember, we know that not feeling well is a difficult situation, and that patients are working hard to feel better.

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Living Related Donor Kidney Transplant Service

The Psychology service offers assessment of an individual’s readiness to donate a kidney, as well as offering psychological support to live kidney donors post-transplant.

Donating a kidney is a big decision, and it can help to have someone to talk to about hopes and concerns.  Providing support to people trying to make that decision is part of what we do, and making sure that they fully understand their decision is very important.

In collaboration with Renal Counselling, Renal Psychiatry and Patient Care Co-ordination services, the Psychology service in Renal Transplant Medicine also provides a support and therapy service.  This service is available on an inpatient and/or outpatient basis for individuals who have kidney problems and to recipients of renal and pancreatic-renal transplant as appropriate.

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Cochlear Implant Programme

A Cochlear Implant is a surgically implanted device which provides access to sound for people with severe to profound hearing loss.  The cochlear implant is used with a processor and can provide access to speech and everyday sounds to aid or improve communication abilities.

The psychology service to the cochlear implant programme provides assessment, therapy and support to individuals with hearing loss and to their families.  Often, children who are in the service can have complex needs that require a multidisciplinary assessment, including a full understanding of how they are functioning at home or school.  The psychologist can work to assess these areas of functioning in partnership with parents, teachers, and other members of the service team.

Adults in the Cochlear Implant programme can also need support or assistance with making the decision about whether a cochlear implant is right for them, and with adjustment following surgery.

The psychology service to the Cochlear Implant programme works with the entire multidisciplinary team to ensure patients in the service have the confidence and support they need.

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Cystic Fibrosis

The Psychology Service provides support to individuals with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), as part of a multidisciplinary care package.

Emotional challenges can accompany CF at different stages of a person’s life. To support people with this, the Psychology service provides assessment of needs as appropriate and support with managing CF treatments and with any aspect of hospital care or adjustment to the emotional impact of CF. Other reasons for seeing the Psychologist include dealing with anxiety or worries, managing anger or relationship difficulties, and learning strategies for stress management and relaxation skills.

Sometimes, all a person needs is a place to speak freely about their experiences or worries.  Other times, more support or help is needed.  Clients in this service can meet with a psychologist for just one session if that is helpful, or they can request a longer term involvement.

Psychological consultation and support is sought through annual review of clients’ medical and psychosocial needs, through self-referral, or through consultation with other members of the multidisciplinary team.

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Memory Clinic

The Department of Psychology provides a dedicated clinic to patients who are having difficulty with their memory.  There are many different types of memory loss, and many different causes.  There are also many ways of managing memory loss to ensure that patients maintain a good quality of life.

Patients can be referred to the memory clinic from neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychiatry, or other specialisms in the hospital when a problem with memory is identified or suspected.

Very often, these patients are asked to participate in a neuropsychological assessment, which helps to establish the type of memory loss they are experiencing, and what might be causing it. 

The psychologists in the memory clinic always explain what they are doing and why.  They give feedback to patients about their findings, and they offer support to patients and their families when needed.

If you have been called for an appointment, please don’t forget to bring any eyeglasses you have been prescribed and a list of your current medications.

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The Department of Psychology provides a range of services to patients with epilepsy. Beaumont Hospital is the National Centre for people with Epilepsy within Ireland. As a department we work both as part of a multidisciplinary team and independently with patients who are referred to our service.

Psychological assessment can be used to identify what might be helpful for patients to achieve their best in school or work environments.  Therapy and support can help patients and their families who are experiencing difficult feelings or who want to make changes in how they are coping.  Our services seek to meet the needs of each patient.

Epilepsy Surgery Programme

Some patients with epilepsy are selected by their neurologists to participate in the epilepsy surgical programme.  Following a range of extensive assessments they can be approved for surgical intervention for the management of their epilepsy. All professionals involved in the patient’s care are represented at a case conference including neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, nursing, neurophysiology, neuropsychiatry and neuropathology to discuss the best options for surgery.

Typically, neuropsychology are involved in testing patients both pre and post surgery to provide accurate and detailed assessments of ability, memory, and other elements of  functioning. The results of these tests help to inform decision making for surgery and also identify future needs.

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WADA Testing

When a patient is selected for assessment in the epilepsy surgery programme, they are often required to undergo a WADA test. This is a specialised assessment procedure requested by a neurosurgeon, neurologist or neuropsychologist to inform very specific aspects of memory and language functioning.

A WADA test is an invasive procedure and is conducted as an inpatient under the supervision of a neuroradiologist and neuropsychologist.  The test is used to determine which side of a patient’s brain has the best capacity for generating language and for memory.  This is important because of the work that has been done up to this point in determining how surgery will help to manage epilepsy.

Before a WADA test, patients are well informed about how the test works and what they should expect.  All results are clearly discussed with patients when the assessment is complete.

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Non Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD)

The department of psychology has a specialist clinic for the treatment of non epileptic attack disorder (NEAD).  Non-Epileptic attacks are episodes that look similar to epileptic seizures but are not caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Patients with NEAD may experience different types of attacks including simple “day dreaming” episodes and more complex attacks with whole body shaking. These events can be variable in length.

The most common way of definitively diagnosing non-epileptic attacks is through the use of video electroencephalogram (vEEG). This procedure involves having your EEG monitored while you are being visually recorded having your usual type of attack. This usually requires staying several nights in the hospital.

An extremely effective way of treating NEAD is through cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).  The specialist NEAD clinic in the department of psychology offers a comprehensive CBT service.  It also offers supportive assistance to the families of patients who have been diagnosed with NEAD.

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Chronic Disease Self Management Programme

The Department of Psychology have partnered with the Department of Gastroenterology and patient volunteers from around the hospital to develop the Better Health, Better Living programme at Beaumont Hospital.  This programme has been designed at Stanford University for use with many different patient groups and has been successful at improving patients’ quality of life internationally.

Self Management involves putting the patient at the centre of their own care.  It encourages people to think about the lifestyle, thoughts, moods, and behaviours that make up who they are, in addition to their illness or disease.

Each Better Health, Better Living programme is facilitated by a health care professional and a patient with a chronic disease.  Beaumont Hospital has four Stanford University trained Master Trainers who provide leader training in the programme.

If you are interested in attending a Better Health, Better Living programme, or being trained as a leader please email

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Stress Management and Relaxation Training (SMART)

As part of the Psychology service to Psychiatry, the Department of Psychology provides a stress management and relaxation training group.  Patients are referred to this group by a psychiatrist or neuropsychiatrist.

Following their referral, each patient is assessed for the SMART group by a psychologist to ensure the group is a good option for them.  The group is discussed in detail and any questions are answered.

The SMART group runs for two and a half hours a week over six weeks, and treats the symptoms of stress and anxiety through the use of cognitive behaviour therapy techniques.  Patients are taught relaxation strategies and work as a group to problem solve.  They are taught ways of managing worry, fear, and negative thinking.

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Huntington’s Disease Clinic

The Department of Psychology provides a specialist neuropsychology service for patients diagnosed with Huntington’s disease.

Patients referred to the service receive a detailed neuropsychological assessment which examines aspects of thinking, emotion and behaviour in line with international guidelines on the assessment of Huntington’s disease. Following their assessment, each patient receives clear and open feedback on what difficulties, if any, have been identified, and what might be helpful.

Patients can also receive supportive psychotherapy and behavioural management where appropriate. A supportive service for carers and family members of patients with HD is also available.

The clinic is currently fortnightly but individual sessions are available by appointment outside clinic hours.

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Psycho-oncology to St. Luke’s Radiation Oncology Centre

The Department of Psychology has a post dedicated to the St. Luke’s Radiation Oncology Centre located on the Beaumont Hospital Campus.  The psychology service to St. Lukes meets patients who are attending currently for cancer treatment, or who have attended the service previously.  Patients can be referred by any professional on the multi-disciplinary team.

Being treated for cancer is a difficult time for patients and their families.  Very often, patients can be worried about their health, and about the impact of their illness on those around them.  There are no easy answers to these worries, but having someone to talk to can be helpful.

During treatment, patients can have side effects that make coping with their illness that much more difficult.  After treatment has finished, many patients notice that their experience of cancer still has an impact on how they are feeling. Working with a psychologist can help identify new ways of coping, and can assist in figuring out how to manage each new transition.

The psychology service is flexible, and seeks to meet patient needs.  Sometimes this means a once-off assessment or discussion, and sometimes patients benefit from a longer involvement for support,  therapy,  or training in relaxation techniques.

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

The Department of Psychology conduct Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses for patients of Beaumont Hospital.  Approximately 3 programmes of 8 weeks run each year.  Patients of Beaumont Hospital can self-refer, or be referred by a health care provider.

 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an 8 week course of meditation training and information about stress.  Programmes are very experiential, and up to 20 participants can attend.  The MBSR programme was designed in University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School and has been evaluated and researched internationally.  Dr. Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh of the Dept of Psychology is the facilitator and she has trained through the Institute for Mindfulness Based Approaches (Germany) and through the Center for Mindfulness (UMass).


All participants for the MBSR are invited to an orientation evening prior to the course to learn about what is covered and to decide if the course is right for them.  If you are interested in attending the MBSR programme at Beaumont Hospital, please email