Orla trained as a Clinical Psychologist and Dramatherapist and has worked as a Rehabilitation and Wellness facilitator in the area of mental health for 25 years. Somatic studies, authentic movement and being a Community dance teacher have also been areas of exploration.
Meditation and mindfulness have been important to Orla as far back as she can remember. However it was 33 years ago as a psychology student that she began to formally meditate. For many years she wished to integrate her practice into her work, and in the last few decades as science and mindfulness have come into a beautiful and fruitful dialogue, this became possible.
This development brought Orla to train as an MBSR and MBCT teacher with the German Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She also completed her training as a mindfulness - based compassionate living (MBCL) teacher with the same institute. Further training includes the practicum in mindfulness - based stress reduction with Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo Meyer from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has completed a foundational teacher training in mindful eating / conscious living with Jan Chozen Bays and is a mindful self compassion teacher having trained with Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff. She also has an interest in neuroscience and has attended professional training in positive neuroplasticity with Rick Hanson. She is currently a teacher in training with Irish Tai Chi Chuan Association having trained as a Taoist meditation teacher and Quantum Coherence Therapist. Orla attends Dzogchen Beara Retreat Centre Co. Cork regularly, has a keen interest in compassion and loving kindness practices, including a number of retreats with Sharon Salzberg. These experiences have greatly enhanced her working approaches inspiring a desire to share the many benefits of a mindful and compassionate approach to living.