Athlone, Dublin & Galway

A Learner Reflection – by Eileen Kelly


At the beginning of all classes at ICPPD, a Learner will ‘gather’ the group together to invite them into the learning environment by offering a 5-minute max. reflection. Learner’s Reflection can include – poetry, chants, music, blessings, silence, and other creative ways to ‘pause’ us to become more ‘present’ to ourselves, our peers, tutor and to the learning already happening. This supports the Holistic ethos at ICPPD.


Eileen Kelly is a Learner in Year 1 of the BA (Hons) in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy programme, and she has kindly given permission for us to share her morning reflection.

I had played part of “The Dive” from my Holosync App that I use for relaxation. I read the following – 

Thank you for being here this morning.  I invite you to find a comfortable way to be for the next few minutes.  Take advantage of being at home and the freedom this offers you. 

Now that you are comfortable, if it feels safe, I invite you to close your eyes.  Put your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly.  Take a deep breath in through your nose and deep into your lungs.  Notice how your belly expands.  Now let that breath out slowly through your mouth.  We will do this again – 5 times.

I would like to take you all back to Thursday, whatever time it was when you saw the e-mail from Ann-Marie, Academic Director, informing us that our learning was moving completely online till the end of January review date.  Think about how you felt upon reading it and take a quiet moment to consider why you felt this way.  Perhaps you even feel guilty for all that it brought up, and that’s perfectly OK.  Whether it is that you’ll miss the journey, perhaps it’s being in the company of our wonderful tribe in class, or you’ll miss seeing your friend or relation that had invited you to stay with them on course days.  

I invite you to offer thanks for all these wonderful experiences that you will enjoy again in the future.

In our response, our thoughts may have been difficult to manage.  I’d like to offer you some things to consider that may help you move forward to make the most of our new situation.

  • Perhaps you feel zoomed out – Think about how zoom allows us this amazing opportunity to continue our studies and keep on schedule
  • Now we can connect in a very meaningful way when we see our faces which is something we lose with masks
  • What about the opportunity offered by break-out rooms – we can talk with our peer(s) without the distraction of background noise
  • Aren’t we fortunate to have this unique opportunity to significantly reduce our risk and contacts currently?
  • Think about how much more secure our class schedule is now and how we can turn up from our own home even if we are a close contact or feeling unwell 
  • Did you ever think you would get to choose your own classroom setting and the level of comfort you experience, not to mention having all your own little things around that bring you comfort close at hand

Let us finish by giving thanks that we have this huge opportunity to study with a college and tutors who practice what they preach.  Many times, we have heard the questions “How do you care for yourself?”.  Thankfully we are learners of this college who model to us everything they want us to achieve by putting each one of us first from a safety and self-care perspective.

With a smile on our faces, now let us take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth – 3 times.

When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and come back into our wonderful group for this exciting weekend when we start two new modules. 

Thank you.


Learner Reflection by Eileen Kelly