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Neil O’Connor Wins Research Excellence Award [24/10/22]

Neil O’Connor Wins Prestigious IACP Research Excellence Award

Award Recognises Commitment to Significant Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy

At the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) 7th IACP Annual Conference held in the Galway Bay Hotel over the weekend, Neil O’Connor was announced as a winner of this Research Excellence Award for his article entitled ‘That safety of naming’: exploring internalised homonegativity in LGBTQ+ therapists and its impact on therapeutic work’.

This research was published in The Irish Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy Winter 2020 Edition.

 Speaking today regarding this year’s Research Award, IACP Chief Executive Officer Lisa Molloy stated:

 “I would like to offer my congratulations to Neil O’Connor. Neil’s article entitled ‘That safety of naming’: exploring internalised homonegativity in LGBTQ+ therapists and its impact on therapeutic work’ demonstrates how LGBTQ+ community is subject to discrimination, prejudice and violence, often resulting in internalised homonegativity (IH).

Importantly Neil’s research contributes to the current knowledge of internalised homonegativity. This research underlines the need for cultural competency education for therapists, and the central role played by therapist self-examination and engagement with personal processes.”

 Commenting following the award IACP member Neil O’Connor noted:

“Winning the Research Excellence Award means so much to me. As one of my interviewees so succinctly stated, "You internalise the idea that there is something wrong with LGBTQ+ people. Then you turn out to be one." Seeing my work being read and discussed, and inspiring further work, is really moving.

My research was inspired by my client work, wherein my own internalised homonegativity caused the connection between my client and me to break and resulted in a huge piece of learning. I hope that others are inspired to do further research based on what I uncovered. Mental health in the LGBTQ+ community is a deeply rich topic for worthwhile and important research. I would like to acknowledge the academic supervisor for my research, Dr. Siobáin O'Donnell from Dublin Business School.”

 IACP Research Officer Dr. Ellen Kelly acknowledged:

 “The Research Committee found this piece of research to be timely, of great importance and original - shining a light on the internalised homonegativity experiences of LGBTQ+ therapists while client experiences tend to be the focus more often in this area of research. This piece is a brilliant contribution to the field of counselling/psychotherapy. Many congratulations to Neil O’Connor for winning the Research Excellence Award 2022”.

IACP Regional Award Winners

Eamon Fortune, Western Regional Award
Liam Cannon, Northern Ireland Regional Award Winner
Séamus Sheedy, Midlands Regional Award
Tom Meade, Southern Regional Award
William Egan, Southeast Regional Award
Linda Breathnach, North East Regional Award
Kate Bree, West/North West Regional Award
Maureen Levy, Dublin Regional Award 

Carl Berkeley Memorial Award

Liam Cannon
IACP Public Inspiration Award

James O’Connor 



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