Celebrating over 20 years of changing the way we care

Irish Educator Team

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Christine Longaker, International Trainer and co-founder of the Spiritual Care Programme.
Former director and staff trainer of the Hospice of Santa Cruz County in California, Christine has provided hospice training internationally since 1978. She is the author of Facing Death and Finding Hope: A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying, which is translated into nine languages.



Kirsten DeLeo, International Trainer

Drawing on over 20 years of experience in accompanying the dying, Kirsten leads seminars and retreats for healthcare professionals and the public around the world. Kirsten has served as a hospice and nursing home volunteer co-ordinator and spiritual counselor and has been a pioneer in the development of online learning for caregivers. She currently works as staff supervisor at the Sukhavati Center for Spiritual Care/ Germany and is on the faculty of “Authentic Presence Contemplative End-of-Life Care”, a US-based certificate program launched at Naropa University in 2003. Kirsten is trained in the Hakomi mindfulness-based somatic approach to psychotherapy and has been immersed in contemplative practice and study for many years including attending a three-year meditation retreat. Kirsten is a passionate writer and has published numerous articles on the contemplative approach to care.



Rosamund Oliver, BA, Dip Psych, ECP, International Trainer

Rosamund Oliver qualified as registered psychotherapist and supervisor in 1996 and trained psychotherapists for five years at the Karuna Institute in Devon. As a UKCP psychotherapist and supervisor, she had a large practice for private clients in North London for many years. She also worked in psychiatric care focusing on bereavement with the elderly.

Her education work includes tutoring at St Josephs Hospice, teaching meditation and mindfulness skills, creating a prison meditation project and three years developing the first Buddhist-based psychotherapy training in South Africa.

She has done extensive training in meditation since the 1970’s with various teachers and schools.



John Douglas is a Senior Meditation Instructor and Spiritual Care Educator and facilitates courses and workshops including Facing Loss and Healing Grief, Deep Listening and Healing Relationships. John is also a Pre-Accredited member of the IACP, working in private practice as a Counsellor in Castletownbere and in ARC Cancer Support House in Bantry as well as being part of the care team supporting guests at the Care Centre at Dzogchen Beara, Ireland.



Bernie Jeffrey is an accredited member of The Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy who works in private practice and with individuals and groups through the work of The Social and Health Education Project. Her background is in nursing and midwifery. She also trained in Therapeutic Massage. Shas co-facilitates Meditation courses in Cork and is an Educator in the Spiritual Care Programme. She is also a founder member of Educate Together National School in Cork.



Katie O’Connell, CNS, MSc. Interdisciplinary Palliative Care, End-of-Life-Care (EOLC) and Spiritual Care Educator/Trainer. Katie facilitates NMBI accredited EOLC and Spiritual Care training modules for care-assistants, nurses and allied health-care professionals.




Alvina Cassidy, MBSR / MBCT Teacher, Mindfulness Supervisor, Spiritual Care Educator, Cert. in Counselling (CCPE, London), Cert. in Bereavement Counselling, B.A (Hons) Soc/Psych.

From 2000 to 2011, she worked at Dzogchen Beara Meditation Centre, as National Co-ordinator of the Spiritual Care Programme. She project managed the first international conference on Compassion and Presence in Killarney in 2009 and event managed the International Forum on Buddhism and Medicine, in France in 2010. Alvina has co-presented many seminars and training on meditation and compassion for the public, for health and social care professionals and for specialised groups. She currently works as a counsellor and mindfulness teacher in The Cork Clinic with people living with chronic illness and is a volunteer at ARC Cancer Support Centre holding a weekly meditation drop in. She also runs the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) which is open to anyone. Alvina has practiced meditation for over 20 years and completed a one year meditation retreat.