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Valerie O’Brien


IASW Supervisors

Name: Dr Valerie O’Brien

Type of Work/Specialism: Social worker and family therapist with experience of working with individuals, couples, families, and teams in a range of settings and across the life cycle. Specialist in child welfare, adoption, foster care, and mental health


Telephone: 087 205 5523

CORU Registration Number: SW014398

Region/Location: Dublin / Online

Charge per hour: € 90

Description of relevant experience/profile:  

  • Dr Valerie O’Brien is a Social Worker, Family Therapist and Supervisor. She maintains an independent practice as a clinician and supervisor alongside her work as an academic and researcher. In a professional career spanning over thirty-five years, she has worked in and provided supervision services in health, social care, and the voluntary sector, working with individuals, teams, and organisations.
  • Valerie is currently programme Director of Family Therapy Programme in UCD and is the Chair of the IASW’s Social Workers in Foster Care Sub-Committee.
  • She has particular expertise in systemic supervision and uses this framework and her skill base to assist social workers at every level of organisations.
  • She works collaboratively to enable supervisees consider how context, relationships, systems, meaning-making and our own personal and professional biography influences our work - enabling complexity to be simplified and fresh perspectives to be gained while placing self-care and reflexivity at the centre of the process. She focusses particularly on the interface of commissioning, mandate, resources, ethics, and values.
  • Her interests include the linkage between practice and research; change processes; best practice and professional/ workforce development. Other interests include music, cycling, her family and friends.

Qualifications: PhD; MSc; CQSW, Dip Systemic Supervision

Professional registrations: CPRU, Family Therapist / Psychotherapist FTAI and EAP

Extra skills:

  • Systemic Supervision for professionals working with individuals, couples, families.
  • Consultation / supervision of complex cases – especially those with statutory involvement.
  • Consultation / coaching for people in organizational and management roles.
  • Team supervision and facilitation.
  • Service Delivery - Innovation, review, and evaluation.