Marie O'Reilly Duffy Individuals

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced John Keats

Counselling and Psychotherapy for Individuals

I begin by paraphrasing a famous proverb ‘Remember, life has no trial run!’ This phrase reminds us that we are not given a second chance to live our lives; to correct our mistakes; change our decisions. It infers that we should reflect before proceeding, deliberate and make choices from a place that connects us to purpose and meaning before we take action.

As a psychotherapist and counsellor, I believe that life is not about being the best, it is about doing our best and living our life to its fullest potential.


I offer a form of counselling and psychotherapy called Psychosynthesis which has a holistic approach at its core and heart, and is inclusive of the whole being. Psychosynthesis offers a set of models, maps and tools to help empower and embody a human being at every level. It embraces all characteristics and includes and makes reference to body, feelings, mind, spirituality and sexuality. All of these aspects are seen as important dimensions of a human being.

Roberto Assagioli, an Italian psychiatrist working at the beginning of the 20th Century, was the founder of the transpersonal psychology he called Psychosynthesis. A contemporary of Freud and Jung, he developed Psychosynthesis from its psychoanalytical roots to include the spiritual aspects of the individual. He developed a particular map, commonly known as the egg diagram.

Assagioli Psychosynthesis Egg Diagram

The egg diagram provides a symbolic representation of a human being, or a model of a person.

Assagioli suggests that the lower unconscious (1), often described as the cellar or the basement, contains one’s personal psychological past, memories, dreams.

The middle unconscious, sometimes known as the kitchen (2), supports our day to day functioning, where we build patterns, skills, feelings, attitudes forming the infrastructure of our conscious life (4). It’s the area that holds our essence or the I, the deepest part of our being that is truly us (5).

The higher unconscious or the superconscious (3) holds our higher Self and connects us to our aspirations, hopes, dreams and altruistic love and will (6). Assagioli made the shape in the model open and fluid, suggesting movement and energy to reflect that we are ever-changing in every moment.

How I work

I offer a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space for exploration.

As a therapist I work using bifocal vision. I hold the call of the higher self for emerging potential, while listening to suffering at the level of self.

So, I work with an individual at the level of their suffering (usually the reason a person enters the therapeutic space) and hold that they are more than this problem. I will also ask the question: what if the stress, anxiety or grief could be an opportunity for a new way to be in the world? Maybe you have outgrown an aspect of yourself and now need manifest differently.

I usually offer one hourly therapeutic sessions, weekly. When possible, we contract and commit for the same day each week, at the same time. This offers a continuity, providing a sense of safety and containment. I also recognise that sometimes people work with inconsistent time frames and we can negotiate dates and time to suit. I usually contract for an initial interview, to see whether you want to work together, with a follow-up of six sessions. This method provides a therapeutic beginning and helps to uncover what each individual might need. In the sixth session we negotiate your needs. Some people choose a short-term therapy option and complete, while others elect to work longer term.

In listening to your story and your presenting issue/s I get a sense of your needs and will tailor the therapy to suit you. Assagioli likened the therapeutic journey to mountaineering and potholing, where the therapist acts as guide in the client’s expedition of discovery.

Please see my contact page for details of how to get in touch.