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Our Staff

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Declan Harrigan ND Bsc (Hons) PGDip

Founder / Clinical Director

Declan began his career in corporate sales while studying Social Policy and Sociology at Magee, University of Ulster. After University and spending an additional 4 years training as a therapist he now has experience in supporting and counselling young people for over 10 years both in the North of Ireland and since 2012 in West Lothian, Scotland.

His experience in counselling began in the North of Ireland where he worked specifically with those people affected by self-harm or suicidal thoughts / ideation. However, in addition to this work he has also worked with issues such as bullying, sexual orientation, depression, anxiety, bereavement, relationship issues, abuse or post Northern Ireland conflict prisoners affected by PTSD to name but a few.

Declan worked extensively on anti-sectarianism projects with the young people involved using various counselling approaches in groups to help change their negative thinking about each other and encourage them to look at the similarities instead of the very minimal differences.

He then moved to Scotland in 2012 where he took up the position as a project co-ordinator working with similar groups and co-ordinating a youth unemployment strategy while supporting these young people to address their barriers and re-engaging positively into their community again.

Declan is married with one boy and says that “my wife and son are the driving force behind the work that I do. I love my job and being a part of the S.M.I.L.E Team is more than just a job, it’s like a family. We are all passionate about delivering the best service we can for the children and young people of West Lothian and hope to be an integral part of the community work for many years to come”.

Laura Ferguson
Bsc (Hons) Dip

Volunteer Counsellor

Laura left Queen Margaret University in 2014 with an honours in Psychology. She is a practicing Hypnotherapist and Counsellor.

She has worked with people of all ages and with a variety of issues including substance misuse, stress, anxiety, anger issues and self-esteem. Laura has worked casually for many years as a support worker, helping individuals with learning and physical disabilities throughout Edinburgh and the Lothian’s.

Jenni Morris

Administrative Assistant / Counsellor

Jenni has worked with children and young people since leaving school. Starting out as a nanny and volunteering for local youth projects in Edinburgh, Jenni moved into childminding after having her own 3 children and loved the unique bond this created with families, which led her into studying child development. Once her own children were grown, Jenni moved into working with children in the care system.

Jenni completed her  PG Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy in Edinburgh in 2019 and currently works as both an Administrative Assistant and Counsellor with us.  Jenni volunteers with her own charity, Anam Cara Fasgadh and the charity Pregnancy Counselling and Care.

Margaret Gray

Volunteer Childrens Counsellor

Margaret has recently graduated with a PGDip in Psychological Wellbeing, Counselling and Psychotherapy and is a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Margaret works within the Person Centred framework providing clients the opportunity to explore and understand their own unique personal experience.

She works with a variety of clients who have experienced issues such as anxiety, stress, illness-related change of life experiences, cancer, bereavement, domestic violence, rape and depression.

Margaret’s family includes her partner of 20 years, their 11 year old daughter and two energetic dogs. Relaxation is found through hillwalking, photography and canicross.

Louise Scott

Trainee Counsellor

Louise is currently studying a Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. She is also a practicing hypnotherapist.

Louise is committed to helping clients reduce confusion and gain a different perspective on how to cope with life’s challenges, which in turn will allow them to make positive changes when, where and how they choose to make them.

Prior to retraining, she spent over 20 years working in Human Resources, latterly focusing on Executive Coaching, Learning & Development and Functional Leadership.

She is married with two children aged 13 and 11.

Lisa McGarry

Trainee Counsellor

Lisa is currently studying at Diploma level in Counselling and Psychotherapy in Edinburgh, and is training in the person-centred approach. She believes that giving people the opportunity to work through their problems in a place where they are truly listened to and accepted for who they are can be life changing.

Lisa lives with her partner of 20 years and their 2 children. Their daughter is 11 and their son is 7. Before retraining, Lisa worked in design and technical roles in the clothing industry. Since having children, she has been juggling looking after them with volunteering and fundraising for their school, and working freelance in clothing design.

She sees it as a privilege to have the opportunity to work with people to help them through any struggles they have.