Co-founder and Managing Director
BSocSc, MSW, MA
Shirley is a Nature and Wellbeing Consultant and a Director of both Nádúr and Ecowellness Consulting. She holds master’s degrees in Health Promotion and Social Work, specialises in mental health across the lifespan, and has over 20 years’ experience working in health and social care in the public and private sector.
Shirley was the first Certified Forest Therapy Guide in Europe, after completing her training in the United States with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) in 2014. She was a mentor and trainer with ANFT before founding the Forest Therapy Institute in 2019 and Nádúr in 2021. Shirley has trained over 300 individuals in nature-based interventions in 30 countries over the last 5 years. She sits on the Interim committee of Ecopsychology and Ecotherapy Association of Ireland, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas specialist advisory group for health and wellbeing and is an Ambassador for enterprises offering nature-based solutions for health in Europe. In addition, she recently addressed the United Nations in Geneva on the topic of forests and human health.
Having previously designed Forest Therapy Institute’s methodology and the 5×5 Model of intervention design, Shirley became acutely aware of the need to evolve Forest Therapy practice, prioritise mental health, rigorously evaluate interventions, and deliver ethical and sustainable training programmes for interventions that can be integrated into the health system. To address this need, Shirley co-founded Nádúr with Dr Donal O’Keeffe.
Shirley is an international expert in Forest Therapy and nature and wellbeing and has presented her research and practice at conferences in Switzerland, Greece, Austria, Ireland and England. Her work has featured in international press such as BBC World News, Psychology Today, and Forbes.
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Centre for Integrative Forest Therapy
71 Lower Baggot Street