Illegal Birth Registrants Therapeutic Support Course

31 January 2023 6:30pm - 8:30pm Barnardos Head Office Christchurch Square Dublin 8, D08 DT63


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Running on Tuesdays for six weeks from 31st January to 18th April 2023. This course is designed around therapeutic group practice, a reflective therapeutic space for those whose births were illegally registered. Developed for those who discovered this information either in their childhood or more recently as adults.

Course dates:

  • 31st January 2023
  • 14th February 2023
  • 28th February 2023
  • 14th March 2023
  • 28th March 2023
  • 18th of April 2023

The six weeks have been tailored to meet your needs at whatever stage you are at in learning that your birth is illegally registered. During our weeks together, you will learn how to resource yourself and come understand your feelings and emotions whilst gathering support from the group who have experienced the same situation of being illegally registered at birth.

The group is a small closed group of max 8 with confidentially underpinning each session. The group exercises are tools of expression to guide the group but will not take precedent over the sharing circle and the opportunity for participants to tell their story and be heard and supported by the group and the therapeutic facilitators.

The format of each week:

  • Welcome exercise to create safety and focus for the 2 hours for the group
  • Short input by the facilitator on the topic for the night
  • Group sharing
  • Individual or group exercise on topic
  • Ending exercise led by the facilitators Celine Keogh and Sarah Corby.
  • Tea/Coffee on arrival: Participants will be invited to bring comfort foods, transitionary objects and comfortable clothing.


Week Topic
Week 1: Beginnings  Experiential exercises in learning to resource the self, sharing our stories, open group forum for each person to share, establishing group guidelines, and goal setting.
Week 2: Navigating our Emotional World Teaching input on feelings and emotions, experiential exercises on exploring feelings in the now, exercise on being present / in the now. Group sharing on where we are in relation to our experience.
Week 3: Atlas of the Heart Experiential exercise in noticing how we react or act or what we do when emotions arise and how we support ourselves places we go with emotions, learning what ‘Being With’ is and how to cultivate this practice.
Week 4: Transitioning through and Transcending Shock, Secrecy, Shame, Rejection Teaching input on Understanding, Shock, Secrecy and Shame, Future options, experiential exercise exploring these feelings.
Week 5: Who Am I – Honouring the Known and Unknown Teaching input on explicit an implicit memory, individual reflection exercise, group sharing and exploration.
exploring the meaning of family to me – ‘being with’ a new family tree, how it is to have discovered new previously unknown family connections
Week 6 - Moving to the Next Steps Integrating the learning and discoveries on this course. Group sharing, information provision and creative exercise to mark this ending and next stage.


*Places are limited to eight participants, essential in order to fully benefit from the process. It is imperative that you aim to attend all 6 weeks of this course.

Booking Form

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Map to course location