About Us

The I Can Centre™ is a psychology, counselling and kindness centre that empowers. Specifically, we help people  understand and manage a range of mood states, incl:

  • low mood and depression 
  • stress
  • social anxiety and confidence problems
  • phobias 
  • panic problems 
  • trauma
  • health anxiety
  • OCD and other compulsions, and 
  • worry habits and  tendencies (GAD). 

We also empower people to develop potential towards the best and finest version of ourselves. This training includes interventions on happiness and well-being, incl optimal development or functioning. For instance, having spent almost two decades studying and researching the lives and experiences of older adults, we know there is much transferable learning to younger generations and a range of psychosocial experiences.  


As highly trained psychologists and researchers (and excellent problem solvers with advanced analytical skills), we are also keen to innovate with evidence-based solutions to health, well-being and/or community challenges. So, alongside our own projects, we may be available for academic, health or gerontological research projects and/or evaluations - please talk to us in confidence.  

Lifelong Learning

At our Centre, we are passionate about lifelong learning, and do not believe that people should have to wait until they are in crisis before learning techniques to manage how they feel. Instead, by gaining insights and techniques early, we believe that a lot of angst and distress can be avoided, and that people can quickly regain quality to their lives and relationships. So, do talk to us about 1-1 support, or about attending any of our CBT courses - even for information and prevention if not support. Or just call us in confidence office hours to find out more about what we do (and if we happen to be in clinic or running a workshop, just leave a message/email and let us know the best time or day to call you right back).

Getting started

The problem

We recognised that negative thoughts and thinking can often underpin the experience of a range of mood states, incl stress, anxiety, anger and low mood.  We also identified “I can't …"  as being one of the most limiting and even damaging of thoughts for people to hold accidentally, e.g. "I can't be happy", or “I can't stop feeling anxious / angry / down" or "I can't stop worrying / smoking / shopping" or I can't do X".  

Our Intervention

In response, we have drawn upon the best available evidence from psychology, gerontology and CBT to set up The I Can Centre™ to improve moods and empower people towards better!  This process can often include teaching people how to manage and change negative thoughts, from "I can't..”  into a strong "I can" - hence the name of our centre.  Our interventions take place via outreach community courses (with almost no waiting times), or through more specialist 1-1 CBT sessions [click here]


We got underway as a social development centre  in the summer of 2015 offering 1-1 CBT supports, plus community courses (such as "Stress Busters"). We hoped these supports would help people make progress towards improved health, well-being and development or functioning.  Findings from pre- and post-intervention survey data, alongside client feedback and testimonials, indicate that we are making progress towards these goals, and towards a better and kinder society.  

Flyer for "Stress Busters" with The I Can Centre - a community CBT course for the general public

Flyer for "Stress Busters" with The I Can Centre - a community CBT course for the general public

"Aging and Development", 2nd Edition Textbook in Psychology by Prof Peter Coleman & Dr Ann O'Hanlon

Director: Dr Ann O'Hanlon

The  person responsible for all our activities and interventions is psychologist, therapist, artist and author Dr Ann O'Hanlon, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD,  Dipl Couns, PG Dipl CBT

  • Ann completed a Masters degree in Health Psychology and a PhD in  Developmental Psychology from The University of Southampton; and five  years of postdoctoral psychology and research training at the Royal  College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). 
  • At Queens University Belfast, Ann also completed a  Diploma in  Person Centred Counselling (with distinction), and a Postgraduate  Diploma in Cognitive  Behaviour Therapy (with commendation).
  • As a clinician, Ann has worked in a range of public and private  healthcare settings, incl the NHS.  As an educator and trainer, she has taught in higher education for over ten years, and presented her  research and insights at more than 400 peer-review conferences and  scientific meetings around the world. 
  • As an author/co-author, Ann has published many scientific journal papers and  books, incl a second edition 2017 academic textbook in psychology (see  picture). 
  • Away from the Centre, Ann has many creative interests. She enjoys music (particularly the piano), photography and digital art (especially art that can inspire and supplement inside-out counselling or CBT change). She also enjoys travel and getting outdoors, and  was a prolific BSAC sports diver for many years, diving in exciting places  around the world as well as the coast of Ireland. Other interests include writing and Ann is rarely without a notebook of some kind. More bio info can be seen on LinkedIn.

Groups we work with

The General Public

CBT; cognitive behaviour therapy with Dr Ann O'Hanlon;  counselling in Newry Belfast and Dublin

We offer a range of psychology, counselling & CBT interventions (incl fun and informal community courses) to men, women and teens  of all ages and cultures.

Find out more

Corporate

We provide confidential, top quality support and training for businesses and organisations. These include stress management training, coaching, and R&D.

Find out more

Clinicians

We support a network for mental health clinicians and professionals incl CBTers, counsellors, psychologists, GPs, and others. Supervision and CPD also available.

Find out more

Respect, Equality and diversity commitment

Equality and diversity at The I Can Centre - a sign with these words

"The I Can Centre" is committed to providing equality of opportunity to all those who enquire about, or  access our services and supports. Within this context, we follow strict ethical guidelines by BPS and BABCP such that all those accessing our services will be  treated with respect, dignity, curtesy and compassion -regardless of background or context incl age, gender, religion or culture. 

  

Specifically, we value and respect all individuals, their diversity, unique identity and backgrounds. As such, our commitment to respect, equality and diversity includes (but is not exclusive to) religious belief; political opinion incl experiences  / views about abortion; community background; ethnic and national origin; sex and/or sexual orientation; disability and/or age. 

Respect from a dictionary page

What you can expect from us

We believe that all clients and staff have the right to a supportive and respectful environment which is free from discrimination of any kind. This means that your welfare is our primary concern, and as such, you can expect to be treated with respect, curtesy and dignity at all times. In the unlikely event any form of discrimination or disrespect occurs, you can expect us to deal with this promptly and seriously.  This can mean getting all the relevant information, speaking to the person(s) involved, getting outside advice as appropriate, and amending and updating our policies and practices. 

Group of people happy and clapping at The I Can Centre

What we expect from you

We expect you to support our commitment to respect, equality and diversity when enquiring about or attending our services (or in the case of staff, when representing our organisation). We expect you to treat staff and peers with dignity, respect and curtesy. If you are not happy about something, please air problems or concerns as soon as possible - we really appreciate any and all feedback.  In the unlikely event you experience any form of discrimination from another, we would ask you to make it clear, if possible,  that you find such behaviour unacceptable. Please alert a staff member who may ask/help you to complete a form, so that we as an organisation can deal with any issues seriously, promptly, and confidentially. 

Steps we take towards respect, equality and diversity

Hands together showing collaboration and cooperation

The I Can Centre™ will make every effort to promote respect, equality and diversity, and ensure that discrimination of any kind does not occur. Such steps include: 

  • Making our statement on equality of opportunity easily accessible and visible 
  • Being available to explain this statement to all staff, service users and visitors 
  • Agreeing and promoting equality at the start of all our training events and community courses 
  • Ensuring that any and all complaints are dealt with seriously, promptly, and confidentially. 
  • Setting a good example by treating all those we meet with fairness, dignity and respect 
  • Being alert to unacceptable behaviour and taking appropriate action where necessary 
  • Seeking to meet best practice standards for promoting equality of opportunity which includes us getting ongoing advice and training.
  • Rotating some of our community courses between church halls of different traditions (only where we have permission for all-faiths-and-none to attend)  in order to encourage people into each other's space in a respectful and structured way. 

Downloads

An information brochure about "The I Can Centre"

The I CAN Centre (pdf)

Download