Director, Adventure Therapist
Philip is passionate about the potential that professional adventure therapy can offer individuals with a range of complex needs. Philip learned early on in his career that an emphasis on the quality of design and delivery of specialised programmes yields the best results for the client. He saw this directly through his practice as a personal trainer, and his interest in health and physical activity led him to embark on an Outdoor Instructor Traineeship where he gained a range of instructor qualifications on both land and sea. He quickly appreciated the power and respect commanded by nature, especially the sea, and the adrenaline that comes with adventure pursuits.
With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for the outdoors, he embarked on a B.A. (Hons) in Adventure Tourism Management at IT Tralee. His final year dissertation was a unique primary research project titled, "The Use of Adventure Therapy with At-Risk Teens". This was the first time that primary research was conducted in a secure residential setting in the Republic of Ireland.
Philip secured a place on a Research Masters programme in IT Tralee which enabled him to carry out a review of the cooperative and competitive nature of the adventure tourism industry in the region. His thesis, "Enhancing the Irish Adventure Tourism Product Through Networking" was completed in 2015.
Despite a strong leaning towards management, Philip continued to work at the coal-face of social care in a specialised setting. He has been a Social Care Worker in Coovagh House since 2009. Coovagh House is a special care unit for young people at-risk, and Philip saw first-hand the benefits that outdoor and adventure activities can bring to young people in this setting. With 8 years’ experience in this high-risk setting, and following the results and recommendations of a number of peer-reviewed papers on adventure therapy, Philip decided to continue with his education and train to become a Social Worker.
He completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies in Trinity College, Dublin and immediately secured a place on the Master of Social Work (MSW) programme in University College, Cork. His two professional placements on the MSW were in child protection and mental health. These placements provided a unique insight into current practice and allowed him to work with a range of individuals, families and professional teams. He wrote his final year dissertation around the potential for adventure therapy in the Irish mental health system, "Adventure Therapy as an Intervention in the Context of Mental Health Recovery in a Structured Social Work Setting.”
Philip qualified in 2017 and is now fully registered with CORU and Nagalro and is currently practicing as an Independent Social Worker and Adventure Therapist.