The Lighthouse Clinic

Dublin Road, 


Co Dublin.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (C.B.T.)

Maria Heffernan is a fully accredited member of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (Ireland) CBTI, a member of The Irish Council of Psychotherapy (ICP), an individual member of The International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy, a registrant on the BACP Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists and an associate member of Early Childhood Ireland. 

Maria Heffernan

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

B. A. (Hons) Psychology

P.G. Diploma Cognitive Therapy

O.A. Diploma Child and Adolescent Counselling

O.A. Diploma Forensic Science and Profiling



Qualified General Nurse

Maria qualified as a General Nurse from St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, with a particular interest in Neurosurgery, worked in St. Paul's Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as an Assistant Matron with The Brabazon Trust, and as an Army Nursing Sister with the Irish Defence Forces. 

Trained in the Montessori Method, Maria opened the first Creche in North County Dublin in 1983. 

Maria has an Honours Degree in Psychology from the National University of Ireland Maynooth, (NUIM), and worked as a Research Psychologist in The Department of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, (TCD). 

The results of a study she conducted on Attitudes towards Age and Aging was published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science and presented at the 60th Annual and Scientific Meeting of the Irish Gerontological Society in University College Cork (UCC).

With a Diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents and a Diploma in Forensic Science and Profiling, Maria also completed a further 2-year Post Graduate training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with the Belfast Cognitive Therapy Centre (BCTC) and also completed ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). 

Maria is a fully accredited member of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Ireland) (CBTI) which is the Accreditation body for Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy in Ireland ,she is an individual Member of The International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy and an Associate member of Early Childhood Ireland, her work is directed towards helping clients who are experiencing difficulties in the following areas;

  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic attacks / Panic Disorder
  • Phobia
  • OCD
  • Health Anxiety (Hypochondria)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Agorophobia
  • Depression
  • Post Natal Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Bulemia & Binge Eating
  • Emetephobia (Fear of vomiting)
  • Relationship Distress
  • Sexual issues
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Stress (Work/School/ Exams)
  • Anger
  • Low Self Esteem/ Lack of Self confidence
  • Retirement (adjustment and enjoyment)

Contact Maria directly on 0868055013 to arrange an appointment.

Data Protection Policy for clients attending Maria Heffernan

From the 25th May 2018 it is a legal requirement under the GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation ) for your counsellor/psychotherapist to make clear to you their data processing procedure. The GDPR made it a legal requirement for you to actively opt in and consent to these arrangements and the handling of your data. The consent of a data subject is one of the grounds on which personal data can be lawfully processed.

Article 4 of the GDPR defines consent as meaning "freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her". The Office of the Data Protection is responsible for protecting your fundamental right to data privacy.

Rules and Obligations The main principles of the Data Protection Acts are summarised in the following eight Data Protection Principles identified by the Data Protection Commissioner:

1) Obtain and process information fairly

2) Keep it only for one or more specified, explicit and lawful purposes

3) Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given to me initially

4) Keep it safe and secure

5) Keep it accurate, complete and up-to-date

6) Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive

7) Retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes

8) Give a copy of his/her personal data to an individual, on request

Why do I collect Personal Data/Information

I collect relevant personal information from clients to enable a working record of contact information, in case of emergencies (outlined below) and for the ongoing work in the therapeutic process. 

Confidentiality . Will I share your Data?

I abide and am bound by the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, and provide complete confidentiality within these guidelines. Therapeutic sessions are strictly confidential, and will not be disclosed beyond good practice guidelines. These guidelines dictate the following exceptions to the confidentiality rule and are set out below.

  • I am required by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) to engage in regular supervision, which is a minimum of 1.5 hours per month. You may be discussed during the supervision to ensure that I am working ethically and safely, and to ensure that you receive the best practice. Your identity remains annonymous ,
  • Counsellors/psychotherapists are required to break confidentiality if you are deemed a serious risk of harm to yourself or to others but then only to the relevant persons or authorities for the purpose of protecting your safety or the safety of others. If I assessed that you were in need of any emergency, medical, or additional support, I may (but am not obligated) to ask for your consent to contact your GP, next of kin or other relevant services.
  • The counsellor/psychotherapist also has a legal requirement to disclose data if you are involved in serious illegal activities such as- but not exclusively - child or adult sexual abuse, exploitation or neglect, drug money laundering, planning terrorist offences or if a Court Order were to be made.
  • An Garda Siochana and other security authorities legally can request access to records of counselling via email, text or records where there is suspicion of illegal or terrorist activities. In adherence to my code of ethics I would not be able to guarantee confidentiality in such circumstances. 

How will my I store personal data and for how long?

 Personal data relevant to the therapeutic process will be as minimal as is possible and will be stored under a coded client Id and under lock and key. Session records will be kept for up to 7 years after therapy has ended and then will be disposed of by shredding any handwritten data and erasure of electronic data. You may request (in writing) that this data is disposed of once our therapeutic relationship ceases or any time thereafter. Your telephone number will be stored on my phone (during the therapeutic process) which is password protected and if lost/stolen I have the ability to erase all data immediately and independently. Telephone numbers are stored solely for contact purposes until our therapeutic relationship ceases, then deleted. 

Your rights under GDPR

You have the right to request access to your client record and receive an explanation of what is held within it.

You have the right to withdraw consent, to request erasure or correction of your client record, to request portability, and to object to or restrict collection and processing of your data.

You have the right to know the source/s of personal data not originating from yourself, and the right to not receive unsolicited marketing.

You would be alerted to any data breaches within 72 hours and compensated for any damage or distress caused by the data breach.

You have the right to complain to The Office of the Data Protection who is responsible for protecting your fundamental right to data privacy.  

In summary

  • Your personal information is collected and stored solely and exclusively to enable me to run my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy practice. This information will include contact information, as well as information about your age, health (mental and physical), sexuality (only if relevant to the therapeutic process), domestic and financial arrangements (solely if relevant) and other special category data. I am able to collect this information upon the legal basis of "Legitimate Interests", as per GDPR regulations.  
  • Your information is stored anonymously, under lock and key and used exclusively to track the progress of our therapeutic work together or to receive reflection and guidance from my supervisor. I will keep this information for up to 7 years whereupon it will be destroyed by shredding any handwritten information and /or deletion of any electronic data.
  • In the event that I am unable to attend a session or from communicating with you directly - such as illness or death - then I have appointed two Therapeutic Executors either of whom would be able to access your contact details solely to inform you should such a situation arise.

This Privacy Statement & Personal Information form which will become part of the existing Consent form to engage in therapy with me will acknowledge that you fully understand and accept the policy for records held, and also gives your consent to use of personal and sensitive personal data solely for the above stated purposes.