Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Public Inspiration Award 2023 [26/10/23]

26th October 2023

Press Release     

Dr Tony Bates Honoured with the Prestigious IACP Public Inspiration Award

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has honoured Jigsaw founder Dr Tony Bates of Silgo with the 2023 Public Inspiration Award for his life-long advocacy for increased access to therapeutic supports for Ireland’s young people.

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

 “A huge congratulations to Dr Tony Bates, whose commitment to raising the country’s awareness about the importance of supporting youth mental health and helping to shape government policy in the mental health space for decades is an inspiration and truly embodies the spirit of the IACP’s Public Inspiration Award.”

Dr Bates’ accomplished career as a clinical psychologist and author spans 30 years, he was the Head of Psychology at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, and was a lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and the University College Dublin. He then went on to train as a mindfulness teacher in 2001 and founded Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in 2006. Dr Bates now retired, is still active in the field and is focusing on his writing and teaching.

Commenting following the award, Dr Bates noted:

As we have begun to wonder about the real causes of emotional distress, we are moving away from asking people, “What is wrong with you?” to asking, “What happened to you?” Psychotherapy provides a map to understanding and resolving our wounds and our scars. I have always emphasised the need in our support for people to be able to offer competent, safe psychotherapy. I’m delighted to accept this award and commend IACP for producing excellent practitioners who do this every day in every part of this country.”

The IACP Public Inspiration Award  honours a member of the public who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the counselling and psychotherapy profession by creating and influencing projects, or by promoting counselling and psychotherapy development work at local and national level.  

 The annual awards ceremony was held at the IACP’s 8th annual conference on the 21st October 2023 at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

IACP Award Recipients:

Carl Berkeley Memorial Award:  Christine May

Public Inspiration Award: Dr Tony Bates
IACP Research Excellence Award:  Ashley Morgan

Research Bursary Award:  Karen Doyle

Regional Award Recipients:
Dublin Regional Award: Aoife Smith

Midlands Regional Award: Christine Early Moran

Northern Ireland Regional Award: Dr Breda Friel

Southeast Regional Award: Pauline Macey

Southern Regional Award: Marie O’Hahony

West North West Regional Award: Brian Conlon

Western Regional Award: Riona Browne


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the IACP Communications Department at  Nicole Mac Dermott - 087 720 6033 or Wayne Tobin - 089 214 2276.

Notes to the Editor:

About IACP:

The IACP was established in 1981 to identify, develop and maintain professional standards of excellence in counselling and psychotherapy. Our work promotes best practice and the development of the profession. The IACP represents more than 5,600 members based in communities all over the country and is the largest counselling and psychotherapy association in Ireland. For more information please visit

About the IACP Accreditation Committee:

The committee enhances the process of assessing applications for first time IACP accreditation and annual re-accreditation by providing expertise and impartiality. In addition to the high volume of applications that come before the committee, members provide advice and guidance to both IACP members and others working towards accreditation.



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