About Sinead

About Sinead

My name is Sinead Twomey. I was born in the Philippines and later raised in Ireland. As my father’s job was primarily based in Asia, growing up, I experienced first hand the difficulties of having family members on opposite sides of the world. Although challenging, this has allowed me to gain insight into the dynamics of an expat family.

The apple did not fall very far from the tree, as I then became an expat myself when I was 18 and moved to the Netherlands to study Psychology. My own personal experience as an expat student has enabled me to recognize the daunting experience of immersing yourself in another culture, whilst also trying to balance making friends and a demanding study schedule.

Quite some time ago when I was around 15 years of age I decided that I wanted to study psychology. I found comfort in the fact that I was the person my friends would turn to when they were going through some difficulties and needed someone to listen to them in a non-judgemental way. I could always understand different perspectives and had an inherent ability to rationalise various points of view even if it was different from my own. I always wanted to understand why people behave in certain ways and have specific thought patterns. I found that the best way to do that is to try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their experience.

By nature, I’m an empathetic, people-person, so I knew Psychology was the right choice for me. My own personal experience as an expat student, has enabled me to understand the sometimes daunting experience of immersing yourself in another culture, whilst studying.

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During my undergraduate studies, I conducted research into the field of sex work and human trafficking, where I worked with marginalised and stigmatised women to better understand their story. This was a pinnacle moment for me in my experience thus far, as it further illuminated the hardship that some people face. I saw first hand that people can be dealt extremely difficult cards in life and we should show empathy to anyone who is having a difficult time.

From my point of view, it is also essential that we try to understand and disentangle the factors that can contribute to the distress in any person’s life. When I was completing my masters degree in Clinical Psychology, I began volunteering at a halfway house for vulnerable women. This has allowed me to better communicate and understand victims of trauma, as well as gain insight into their challenges.

This experience has cemented my desire to work in the field of psychology and help others learn skills to deal with problems when they arise in their lives. This is also why I have the priority to ensure that anyone who talks with me feels heard and understood. In addition to this, I draw on my Irish culture to ensure I create a warm and welcoming environment for individuals to ensure they feel at ease when talking to me about issues in their lives.