As a qualified Speech & Language Therapist, I work with transgender people, helping you to develop your voice and communication skills, self-esteem and resilience, so that you can live a more authentic life with confidence and without fear. I also aim to create more gender inclusive and gender diverse clinical environments through education and engagement.
I believe that everyone has a unique gender journey which should be supported and celebrated by healthcare professionals – by everyone actually! It’s my job to help my clients become more comfortable on that journey, by
providing quality information about gender and about the services and supports already available in the community
which have helped so many people that I have worked with.
Authenticity matters to me. I know that by learning about and embracing our authentic selves, just a little bit more
each day, we become healthier, happier people. This is what I try to do in my own life, and what I help my clients to do too.
I know it’s not easy being different, but with the right support it does get a little easier.
I started providing speech and language therapy (SLT) services to the transgender community in 2011, right after I qualified as an SLT, working alongside Dr. James Kelly, a Clinical Psychologist specialising in transgender care. I quickly witnessed the potential for greatness that sits with each of my transgender clients and I continue to this day to be inspired anew with every client I meet. I have seen and been part of many wonderfully positive journeys of self discovery and self expression and I truly believe that with the right support from family, friends, employers and service providers, all trans people can find their truth and achieve happier, healthier lives.
I founded Express YOUR Gender in 2014 as a social enterprise, so that I could reach more people who needed my help, but for whom private, 1:1 services were not feasible. As a social enterprise, Express YOUR Gender reinvests profits into subsidised community services, which include a group voice and communication therapy programme for trans people, called “Confident Voices”. I am also working on resources and training for Speech & Language Therapists working with trans clients.
While I was setting up Express YOUR Gender in 2014, I worked for award winning Diversity Champions, Deutsche Bank, where I was a member of the steering group for a company-wide LGBT Ally Network. I had the opportunity to attend various inter-organisational networking events and to deliver ‘ally awareness’ training sessions to staff and management within the company. I really enjoyed these insightful and thought inspiring events – they gave me a real insight into the conversations that are currently happening in this space and where opportunities lie for further development. I am a firm believer in the role of language and conversation in achieving social change – there is so much power in the words we use and the messages we communicate. I am now studying for my M.A. in Women, Gender & Society at the UCD School for Social Justice, so that I, and xYg, can be part of (and maybe even changers of) that conversation. My dissertation explores bisexual erasure in Ireland.
In 2015 I was awarded an Elevator Award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, so that I could further develop Express YOUR Gender and expand my reach. You can see my acceptance speech here! It’s a bit embarrassing but it was a very proud occasion for me and very validating of the work I had done to date. You need that sometimes 🙂 In 2014 I completed the Incubator Programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. This course was pivotal in helping me make sense of the big vision I had and in gaining a sense of self-belief as a social entrepreneur.
I completed my B.Sc. in Clinical Speech and Language Studies at Trinity College Dublin, graduating with First Class Honours in 2011. My clinical training and studies helped me develop a therapeutic philosophy which places the client in an expert role and encourages a therapeutic relationship where power is balanced between therapist and client. I believe this is critical to effective healthcare and I continue to explore this philosophy in my clinical work and in my journey through women’s studies at UCD.
In 2007 I graduated with a B.A. in Linguistics, Geography & Sociology from University College Dublin. My humanities background has given me an insight into the power of language as a tool for expression as well as oppression, and into the nature of power and how unequally it is distributed within and across societal institutions, particularly legal, educational and healthcare.
I also have a FETAC Level 6 Certificate in Training & Coaching Skills and a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the London Teacher Training College.
The change in my voice and communication style has been transformative. My voice passes all the time and I never have any concerns about speaking or interacting with people now. I found Rachel a sympathetic and understanding therapist who helped me realise this goal. I would recommend this therapy to anyone undergoing gender transition