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Psychology Department GUH

Hospital Location: 
University Hospital Galway


Welcome to the Psychology Department at Galway University Hospital

Who We Are
We are a growing team of Clinical Psychologists providing a service to specific groups of patients attending Galway University Hospital (GUH). 

We currently provide a service to the following groups of patients:

What We Do
Because our minds and bodies are inseparably linked, when we are physically unwell or in pain, our mental health is equally affected; and when our psychological health is poor this often impacts our physical health. Unsurprisingly, the major benefits of psychological input in acute hospital settings are well-proven in international research.

Here at GUH we provide a range of evidence-based services as part of the health team (e.g. Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers etc.) including:

  • Assessing patients’ emotional and cognitive functioning – this means finding out how they are coping; their motivation and ability to stick with treatment plans and goals; their readiness for potentially life-changing surgeries including bariatric surgery and organ transplantation.
  • Providing individual, evidence-based interventions, for example, for difficulties adjusting to living with a physical health condition and perhaps associated complications; for coping with identity, role, relationship and lifestyle changes; and for processing the trauma of a diagnosis or relapse.
  • Providing education to help patients understand their condition psychologically, including how their thoughts and feelings can influence their physical and mental well-being; coping with palliative care; adjusting to and accepting complications, deterioration or a terminal prognosis; and supporting families and carers too.
  • Providing group evidence-based interventions, for example for self-management and health-promoting behaviours; stress management; and rehabilitation programmes.
  • We also support colleagues in their hospital work, providing training and consultation to help them support their patient’s psychosocial needs. The Psychology-led online programme supports health sector staff with compassionate approaches to self-care, relationships and building a compassionate workplace.
  • And of course we are actively involved in service evaluation to help continually improve the service.

How is a person referred to Psychology at GUH?
A hospital patient attending one of the above named services can be referred to Psychology at GUH by a member of their hospital medical team.

How can I be referred to Psychology if I don’t attend one of the above named services?
At the moment, if you are not a patient attending one of the above named services, then you can ask your GP for other options for referral to Psychology. This might be through Primary Care Services; through Counselling in Primary Care if you are a medical card holder; through the Mental Health Services if you are in receipt of Psychiatric care; or privately through several options available locally. You will find options in the Signposting Booklet to Psychological Resources here. 


We update this resources section regularly and we hope you find the following useful:

Education Mini-Series

Chronic Pain, for people with migraine, head pain and any chronic pain
with Dr. Alison Byrne, Clinical Psychologist, Sláintecare Towards Self-Care in Headache Service, Galway University Hospital
1. Pathways to Pain
2. Helping to Close the Pathways to Pain
3. Living a meaningful life alongside pain

Me, my health and stress
with Dr. Alison Byrne, Clinical Psychologist, Sláintecare Cardiology Ambulatory Hub, Galway and Ballinasloe
1. What happens in the body when you feel stress
2. Ideas for managing stress
3 Beyond stress: Living a meaningful life

    Perinatal video series

    There are lots of supports available to support parents with the major life changes that come with having a baby. The HSE has produced a number of videos to help women and their families through pregnancy and up to baby's first year, find out more about the videos here: 

    1. Normal feelings after the birth of a baby, and feelings in the context of Covid-19
    2. Back to basics: Caring for your basic needs
    3. Taking time to care for your emotional health
    4. Bonding with your baby
    5. Building a happy baby
    6. Understanding Difficult Feelings after you have had a baby
    7. The compassionate model for difficult emotions after having a baby
    8. Baby Meditation: ‘Being with’ your baby

    Emotional Eating 

    Compassion Focused Therapy for Emotional Eating

    Compassion-based Approach to Emotional Eating

    Cardiology Resource
    Guide to Sex and Intimacy for People Living with Cardiovascular Disease
    In 2016, researchers at the University Of Galway carried out a study on the sexual functioning of people following a heart attack or living with a heart condition. They created this very helpful guide which you can look at here.