In 1978 I qualified as a Home Economics teacher (B.Ed. H.E) via Sion Hill and Trinity College Dublin. Home Economics was a very practical subject which I enjoyed teaching for 6 years in Cobh Vocational School Co. Cork. During those 6 years I began studying Health Education with The Cork Social and Health Education Project and qualified in facilitating Health Education classes-which I did as part of after school studies with my senior students.
This gave me a hankering to develop an “awareness raising” side to teaching cookery; I wanted my students to have an awareness of the politics of food!!! So I took myself back to Dublin and studied Development Studies for 1 year in Kimmage Manor. And instead of returning to Cobh to put my unknowing students through the politics of food I got waylaid by the Lourdes Project in the North Inner City of Dublin where I was asked to teach cookery to adults and from there to design and develop Personal and Social Development courses for women.
Whilst there I also trained in organisational development and participated to certificate level in Group Analytical Process.
All this finally took me to Connemara and the place I now call home. I worked as a community worker specialising in training women in Enterprise and Assertiveness courses with the Forum Project.
From there I joined Community Action Network (CAN) and travelled the length and breadth of the island of Ireland facilitating community groups in all types of development work.
As part of my work in CAN I was sent on an in-service course Called Women’s Work: Wisdom, Balance and Influence run by the Tavistock Institute in Devon, England. Here I met and fell in love with the 5 Rhythms. I had always loved dancing yet thought of it as a “non work” activity and something I would love to do in another life-namely my dream was to be another Gene Kelly!!!
On my return I introduced the staff to my first ever “Body Parts” class at the staff meeting- they were a very broad minded staff- and lo and behold they were so taken they asked me to continue learning the 5 rhythms and to integrate it to the National Training Courses we were offering in Organisational Development! And I did!!!!
With Gabriele Roth’s blessing I found all the different ways I could introduce movement into a theory based course. I really learned fully how to deal with resistance to change on these courses which has stood to me ever since. And I learned the pure joy and challenge of putting theory into movement….
That encouraged me to apply for training in the 5 Rhythms to Gabrielle and the Moving Center core faculty in California. I become the first accredited 5 Rhythms teacher in Ireland in 1997/98. In 2007 I completed the advanced teacher training in Heartbeat, the emotional side of the 5 Rhythms. Since qualifying I have taught in every county in Ireland-North and South and in Switzerland and Holland.
In 2008 I began what has now become a true passion for exploring the links between neuroscience-the brain- and the body. Thus my new website is called Embodied Brain and my work is called Embodied Presence.
I participated in Sensorimotor Trauma and Development training from 2010 to 2014.
In 2014 I became a working member of Open Floor International, a school of embodied movement practice.
I wrote my one and only book- Against The Wind, from Endurance to Enjoyment” based on my 2760km cycle of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland in 2017.
“I’ve found that you are safe and so I have learned what safe is like, and the safe space you hold allows me to go safely into me to meet me and feel my life. The more I dance the more I realize I need compassion and acceptance not judgement and it’s from the dance floor I learned to give myself just that. Dancing in the space you hold has brought me to places I never felt possible, I’ve learned to connect with others at a deeper level, a place beyond words. The old stories that held my back from connection are losing their grip and I no longer feel like it’s just me against the world.” Gail Ramsay Ratcliffe
“Caitríona is a much respected and well-liked teacher who holds a very safe space, injected with a gentle compassion and great humour that reassures and helps to anchor workshop participants. She skilfully applies an embodied approach to steadying the mind, opening the heart and meeting life’s challenges with resilience, grace and courage.”
Liz Gleeson MirrorMe Dramatherapy
“Your warmth and candor, humility and humor carried a clear tone through the morning and afternoon which I hope to one day emulate. You are indeed a student and a master, a teacher and a lovely human being.”