The ins and outs of being an introvert

Published: Irish Examiner
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

Geraldine Walsh was never shy as a child, rather an introvert. That has its pros and cons as it’s followed her into parenthood.

When I was in school a teacher remarked to my mother, “Geraldine is very shy. She never puts her hand up in class.”

My mother was not impressed. Having never liked the term ‘shy’, since it tends to come across as a negative trait, she retaliated with, “My daughter is not shy. She is quiet, reserved, and listening. She is taking everything in, watching and learning.”

As a child, I was quite happy to let my more extroverted friends take the limelight. But I was not shy.

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From CBT to CFT: Therapy explained by the pros

Published: RTE Lifestyle
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. RTÉ’s new two-part series, Stressed, looks at the science of stress and how it’s impacting negatively on Irish society.

Catch up on episode 1 of 2 on the RTÉ Player now. watch the second episode tonight on RTÉ One at 10.15pm.

During the show, we’ll get the results of the ‘How are You Ireland?’ survey of mood and well-being – developed by the Science Foundation Ireland Insight Centre for Data Analytics in UCD.

Throughout the show, you may hear words like ‘mindfulness’ and ‘anxiety’ or terms such as ‘CBT’ and ‘CFT’. To help break down all this jargon, we have Psychotherapist and Counsellor Siobhan Murray and Clinical Psychologist Dr Mallie Coyne.

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Are we stressing our children out?

Published: RTE Brainstorm
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

Opinion: parents mean the best for their children and would never consciously intend to cause them stress, but do they do so inadvertently?

The Stressed documentary followed the trajectory of five adult volunteers who felt overwhelmed by their busy lifestyles and wanted to “be in the moment” more rather “doing” all the time. As therapist to one of the volunteers, I found that using the link between daily living patterns and the three emotional regulation systems (i.e. drive, threat and soothing) from Paul Gilbert’s Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) was a really powerful way of conceptualising and working with stress.

Read article on Stressed documentary with clips embedded

How to build a happy baby

Published: RTE Brainstorm
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

Opinion: infant mental health is an important public health issue, as research shows the quality of the early relationship builds the foundation for virtually every aspect of human development

Babies are hardwired to develop a social connection with their primary caregiver, usually their mother or father. Without this relationship, they would not survive. We learn about who we are through our relationships. It is within the sacred crucible of the most important first relationship, the parent-infant bond, that our sense of self and the world develops. “Infant mental health” refers to the child’s healthy social and emotional development in the first three years of life within the context of this “attachment” relationship with the primary caregiver.

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Are online ‘friendships’ with strangers taking over for stressed-out parents?

Published: Irish Independent
Author: Jen Hogan
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

Since becoming a mother, I’ve often found myself reminiscing about how different things were when I was growing up. And though the perspective of a child is very different to that of an adult, memories of one parent taking turns to walk all the children who lived on the road to school, and waking up to find a neighbour’s child in my bed because her mother had gone into labour overnight, are to the fore of my mind.

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The Impact of Parental Alcohol Misuse

Published: drmaliecoyne.ie
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

Partially derived from:

http://www.askaboutalcohol.ie/helpful-resources/leaflets/your-family-and-alcohol.pdf

We need to increase awareness of the impact of parental alcohol misuse on children’s developmental, physical and emotional outcomes and support parents in giving their children the best head start in life.

The impact of alcohol misuse on a child can be devastating, which can range from emotional abuse to physical abuse to neglect and even death. It can also have a profound impact on the parent-child attachment, family relationships, on the child’s development, sense of identity, self-confidence, and overall emotional wellbeing.

However, blaming and stigmatizing parents is NOT the way forward.Continue reading

Volunteer for a better LIFE

Published: Irish Independent
Author: Áilín Quinlan
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

Getting involved in his community brought Mark Gaffney friends, helped his family settle into a new country, supported him through a period of unemployment – and even helped him find a new career.

The challenge of relocating his family from London to the West Cork town of Bantry 16 years ago was a major one so, in a bid to settle in, Mark embarked on a cycle of community activism and volunteer work.

“The only way I could get to know people was to volunteer, because I didn’t drink!” he quips.

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How to help your child deal with bullying

Published: RTE Brainstorm
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

No matter how much you try to protect your child, they will cross paths with someone who bullies. Humans are a social species with an evolutionary drive towards finding their positions within a pecking order which can often involve conflict, be it in a playground, online or at the office.

As a clinician encountering concerned parents, raising awareness about how bullying can affect children is hugely important, especially given how pervasive and devastating it can be. It affects the child’s sense of belonging which is one of the most basic human needs. Who doesn’t want to belong?

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What can we do about ‘negativity bias’? – the science behind being sound

Published: The Irish Times
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

Why does negativity stick so damn much? You do something you’re happy with, everyone says you did a great job, but it’s that one comment that’s less than positive (“Why didn’t you do it this way?”) which keeps replaying itself over and over in your mind and taints your whole perception of it.

Turns out there’s a very good evolutionary reason for this called the “negativity bias”, which means that negative experiences weigh more heavily on our brains than others. Since the days of the caveman, we’ve evolved to be fearful and heavily attuned to the strong possibility of a threat to sustain our survival, whilst totally underestimating our resources to deal with them. Bloody typical! Left unchecked, the negativity bias can become a serious hindrance to emotional wellbeing and positive mental health, as negative thinking is often synonymous with anxiety and depression.

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How to support the mental health and well-being of Irish children

Published: Irishcentral.com
Author: Frances Mulraney
Interviewee: Dr. Malie Coyne

“October 9 – 14 marks Mental Health Awareness Week in Ireland and so, IrishCentral is this week highlighting various groups and individuals doing extraordinary work in Ireland and Irish America, ending stigma and offering crucial help and resources.

Today we hear from Dr. Malie Coyne, a Clinical Psychologist, and NUIG Lecturer, who is also the Mental Health Lead on A Lust for Life’s Board of Directors. Dr. Coyne speaks to IrishCentral about the effects of immigration on your mental health and wellbeing, the current problems with mental health services in Ireland, her work with A Lust for Life, and how we can support the emotional wellbeing of our children.” 

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Burnout is nothing to be ashamed of: Mental health in the workplace

Published: alustforlife.com
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne
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To mark the importance of ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’, which is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017, here is my podcast with the amazing Ciara Plunkett on KFM’s Kildare Focus show in August 2017. In it, I speak about how we need to change the conversation about mental health in the workplace, in terms of employers prioritizing proactive strategies to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, which will enable employees to feel more valued, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the long-term.

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Are holidays becoming a time to show off rather than switch off?

Published: The Irish Times
Author: Leonie Corcoran
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

“Are you more interested in showing off or switching off on holidays? In a recent travel trends survey, almost half of the respondents (47 per cent) said social media is driving up the need to experience “more” on holidays, with almost a third (30 per cent) booking trips based on whether they think the destination or activity will impress on social media. The survey, carried out by online travel company Travelzoo, also found that travellers are conflicted about whether to show off or switch off while on holidays, with many desiring to be disconnected from the digital world.”

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For every troll or road rager there are countless more ‘sounders’

Published: The Irish Times
Author: Tanya Sweeney
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

“Is it just me, or have people become a bit more combative with each other than before? Perhaps it’s the affect of call-out culture on social media, where minor infractions and differences of opinion get amplified into full-blown spats. It could be that we’ve become apathetic towards others in a world brimful of hate, violence and tragedy. Or maybe it’s just that we’re a little more protective of, what little personal physical space we have in the world. Either way, it’s made for a tense and occasionally defensive atmosphere, both online and off.”

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The Science of Sound

Published: alustforlife.com
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

In the context of an alarming increase in mental ill health in Ireland and urgency around how we are going to tackle the real pain faced by many, we need to focus our energies on “being sound” and promoting overall wellbeing, which is at the core of positive mental health.

Why does negativity stick so damn much? There is a very good evolutionary reason for this called the “negativity bias”, which refers to the way in which negative experiences weigh more heavily on the brain than others. We’ve evolved to be fearful and heavily attuned to the strong possibility of a threat in order to sustain our survival, whilst underestimating our resources to deal with them. Left unchecked, the negativity bias can become a serious impediment to good mental health, as it has been found to be synonymous with anxiety and depression.

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Me and my mentor: Celebs on the importance of role models

Published: Irish Examiner
Author: Áilín Quinlan
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

“PJ GALLAGHER is a household name: His TV performances have made him one of Ireland’s best-known comedians and he’s been described by Ryan Tubridy as “an inspiration”.

Yet, says Gallagher, had it not been for the influence of his role model, mentor, and fellow comedian Jason Byrne, he’d probably never have stepped inside the doors of a comedy club.

Role models are an important source of inspiration and guidance for children and young people.”

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Is your child starting primary school this year?

Published: layahealthcare.ie
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

It’s that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and there are whisperings of an autumn breeze marking the closing weeks of summer. Back to school will be upon us soon, and for parents of children beginning primary school there will certainly be a lot of mixed emotion. On one hand, you are delighted that your child is making such an important transition in their lives, one which will bring with it so many enriching learning and social opportunities. But on the other, you may experience this transition with some trepidation as it marks the end of an era and brings with it the reality that your little one is growing up.

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How to Strengthen Your Child’s Endurance During Exams

Published: layahealthcare.ie
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

For many parents, having a child who is sitting the Junior or Leaving Cert can be quite a daunting experience and a difficult one to navigate. Similar to a marathon, exams are an endurance test of body and mind, where teenagers can often hit a ‘wall’ mid-way through. This is when things go from being a bit challenging to being really, really challenging. It is the exact point where their bodies and minds are simultaneously tested, the perfect intersection of fatigue and diminished brain functioning. How teenagers handle ‘the exam wall’ can make or break their performance, which is where your role as parent comes in.

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How to deal with student exam stress

Published: Irish Independent
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne

“If an exam goes badly…

If your teenager seems unhappy about how an exam has gone, it is important to meet them where they are at by acknowledging and reflecting their feelings back to them. You could say something like “I notice that you aren’t so happy with your English paper today, how did you feel it went?””

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Website provides outlet for people with stories of abusive parents

Published: Irish Examiner
Author: Áilín Quinlan
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

They f*** you up, your mum and dad/They may not mean to, but they do/ They fill you with the faults they had/And add some extra, just for you.

THIS extract from the famous Philip Larkin poem is what the controversial new website, myhorridparent.com, is about.

However, unlike the poem, the website also offers hope and help to the children of “horrid” parents. It provides different techniques for dealing with toxic mums and dads, whose faults, it emphasises, are most definitely not caused by their offspring.

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Should we tell children about terrorism?

Published: newstalk.com
Author: Jack Quann
Expert Opinion: Dr. Malie Coyne

“London, Paris, Berlin, Nice and Manchester – just some of the terror attacks that have hit Europe in recent times.

The Manchester attack has again catapulted terrorism to the top of the news agenda and our social media feeds.

With all the uncertainty and unpredictability, should parents be explaining terrorism to their children?”

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