Martina S. Breen
1-1 Spiritual Wellbeing, Counselling & Discovery
I am delighted to be given the opportunity to write a few words of endorsement for John Doherty. I met John through my search for Spiritual Direction in early 2021 and have been working with him since. I am an accredited psychotherapist and Spiritual Director myself and wanted companioning on my journey of exploring and deepening my Spiritual life path.
My immediate experience of John was that he was authentic, honest, direct and knowledgeable. John offers deep listening, Spiritual insight and gentle informed guidance. I experience Spiritual Direction as Soul-work; The primary intention of my work with John is the deepening of my relationship with myself and the movement of Spirit in my life.
We all have moments in our lives where we are in need of meaning-making or time of needing to make significant decisions. We need a space for our deepest desires and struggles to be spoken in the presence of another person. In relationship with John as spiritual director, there is a safe place to share innermost thoughts and feelings. This, I feel, is where discernment is important as opposed to deciding or getting advice. John supports this discernment process through deep listening, gentle challenge, contemplative grounding and insightful guidance.
As a therapist, John works ethically and professionally at all times. His candid sharing of his insight to his own life experiences has the ability to deepen the work whilst staying firmly rooted in the humanistic principles of Spiritual Direction. There is a mutuality and intimacy in the relational work of spiritual direction that is not always present in psychotherapy and I experience both of these qualities emanating from John in his work as Spiritual Director.
Psychotherapist, Supervisor & Integrative Health Coach at VHI
Artist and Holistic Therapist
Last year December 2016 my usual New Year’s retreat was cancelled and quiet by chance I got a place on John’s. I was soon to realise that someone up there was really looking out for me because it was a fantastic experience from beginning to end. I enjoy any gathering of like minded people but add to that John’s good humour and reverence for ritual, his mindful structure for the whole retreat and his attention people’s needs made it all so much more meaningful. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the times of silence but I found the reality comforting and restful to be with people without having to talk. The grounds and surrounding area is beautiful. The accommodation is great, the food is great. No the food is fantastic! Jo adds so much to the experience with her thoughtful planning of every meal and her easy style of presentation that informs you into a new way of engaging with food. I chose to stay for the four days and was so glad I did. It felt like two different retreats as the last two days dropped the whole experience to a deeper level. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed very appropriate to have a different feel to the first days of the year and what a way to start. I can happily recommend this retreat and will be delighted to do it again myself this year. Hopefully I’ll see you there. =)
John has provided external supervision and coaching to our group of up to 10 Guidance Professionals in Blanchardstown Local Employment Service for the last 9 years. I have found John to be very professional, insightful and supportive of the work and any issues faced. John uses various tools and techniques to support self exploration. He brings a wisdom and a light hearted humour to the space that he holds.
Blanchardstown Local Employment Service
John is great as my Supervisor. Be it in person or via Skype, the work and support is terrific. He has a great way of imparting his observations and his listening skills are phenomenal.He is 100% ethical and non-judgemental. His ability to see your blind-spots without jumping in with comments! along with his observation and questioning style is truly remarkable. I thoroughly would recommend John as a supervisor and also for group work and mindfulness workshops and retreats.
Acomplish Change Clinics
I have been in Supervision with John since about 2011. From working with him I have gained valuable insight into the way I work and why this is so. I have always felt supported even when challenged. The benefits of being in supervision with John are that my awareness has deepened both about myself and the work I do with clients and this has been invaluable. I have learned to challenge myself with good impact on clients. When I returned to the UK in 2012 I was employed as Team Leader in an addiction and psychiatric service and started Skype supervision with John. When I left that service to take up the post as Clinical Manager at Promis London I continued Skype sessions every two weeks and these remain an important part of my support and development as a therapist. I cannot begin to thank John for his support whist working within a difficult team which helped me to be able to move forward in my career. John is a true professional demonstrating years of experience which he brings to my supervision. I have grown in confidence as a therapist as well as a person and I attribute this to my continued work with John.
Promis Addiction Clinics UK
John provided a thorough, professional and tailored mindfulness programme for the organisation. He put time and attention into assessing our needs and continually checked in to see if adaptations were needed to ensure the audience received the most beneficial programme. The breadth and depth of experience that John brings to mindfulness theory and practice was very evident. It was a pleasure to work with John and to benefit from his programme.
Gorta Self-help Africa
I had been in workshops with John in All Hallows and asked him to work with our Aftercare recovery group on our annual retreat in Termonfeckin.The group really enjoyed his session and they found as I do that he is able to really help in understanding the relationship between painful experience and addictive processes as well as making clear the benefits of meditation practice to those in recovery from substance use. John,s warmth and good sense of humour always come across and I do believe any organisation looking to help those in addiction would benefit greatly from his input.
FAST - Finglas Addiction & Support
I attended a day long detachment day retreat delivered by John. It was a truly wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone. It is clear that John is truly happy and practices what he preaches. This gives him great credibility when he delivers the content. The content itself has taught me a great deal about mindfulness, compassion, love, kindness and meditation practices. Even though I only attended the course over a month ago I can still hear John's voice sharing those key messages. Thanks John! Keep up the good work and spread your insight far and wide.
I took a meditation class with John in Milltown Institute in Dublin over ten years ago. I am still reaping the benefits of that class. John is an excellent group-worker - patient, non-judgmental, a great teacher who knows his material. I've recommended his classes to many people.
The Milltown Institute of Theology & Philosophy
I attended John's The Power of Now workshop in The Sanctuary, this time was just short workshop but all the information and practice given was well worth! We learned about connecting with our inner-self and how to quiet our mind, observe our thoughts, feelings and pain. Absolutely brilliant for anyone, working in the office or a busy place. Attending this course has been beneficial to both my personal and professional life. John is very welcoming and warm person. I cant wait to go to all John's courses!
John has facilitated a number of team-building days for our LCDP team at Blanchardstown Area Partnership. The latest of these days took place three weeks ago and was a great success. John is a pleasure to work with - professional, flexible and will build the experience according to the needs of his clients. I look forward to working with John again soon
Blanchardstown Area Partnership
John Doherty facilitated the Google Detachment Day in Dublin, September 2014. His calm and very friendly nature made it easy for everyone to adapt and follow his guidance. John has a great way of visualizing complex things so we all could learn a lot by experience which is much more powerful than listening to words. I also really enjoyed his presence and energy that even convinced people who have never meditated before. The whole day with John was absolutely valuable, relaxing and made it easy to detach from daily business or thoughts. Would definitely recommend everyone to join his course and if I would not live in Germany I would attend every week.
YouTube Space Berlin
Fr. Eugene Curran
John has presented his courses in Art of Stillness and Deep Stillness and Sacred Stillness in All Hallows College for many years both at non-accredited and at degree level. Participants at all academic levels sing his praises. He is a dedicated and creative teacher and has made spirituality accessible to many. I have been particularly impressed by his flexibility of approach which is allied to a depth of understanding and knowledge.
All Hallows College
John Doherty has been providing lunchtime mindfulness and meditation lunchtime sessions for the staff of Our Lady's Hospice & Care Services, Harold's Cross for many years now. His sessions are always well attended and have had a positive effect on our staff, increasing capacity and impact of the important work that they do. He has also provided one day sessions in the Education and Research Centre which have been positively evaluated by participants. A wonderful man, an encouraging mentor and someone who can make a real difference to individual and organisational practice and performance. Highly recommended.
Our Ladies Hospice
I actually would have no hesitation to recommend John in facilitating groups in the field of mindfulness and addiction to anyone. I believe who ever will have an experience of attending John’s groups will benefit immensely. John did facilitate groups for Rehab in Dublin Simon Community for couple of years. I have been present at some of his groups. Every time I was amazed at a level of a skills John has. His groups were one of the most favorites among our clients. Possibly he had the best attendance by the people as well. I have learned as professional a lot about how to facilitate groups on mindfulness and addiction. As a human being I always felt at peace after those groups. There was a lot of compassion, understanding and challenging in a very tentative, person centered way in the groups facilitated by John.
The Simon Community Rehab Services
Sr. Joan Howard
The Open Door
John led the Art of Stillness course at All Hallows College for over 10 years. A personal enrichment course in contemplative living, it was consistently one of the most popular of our community and lifelong learning courses. Participants’ feedback from the course spoke of John’s wonderful facilitation skills, his passion for his subject as well as his obvious knowledge and experience in the Mindfulness field. Personally, I have always found John to be very personable and professional to deal with, bringing fresh ideas and imagination to his facilitation and teaching style.
All Hallows College
Dr. Edward Kelly
My wife and I really enjoyed John’s recent mindfulness and meditation retreat in Wicklow. This is not my first time attending one of John’s retreats and won’t be my last. He is a great teacher and facilitator and the food, they don’t tell you enough about the food, it’s just fantastic. Well done Joe, what a treat. John is not just a very good facilitator though, he is also a very good teacher. His 25 years experience as a teacher and meditator comes from him very naturally. For instance, I welcomed his distinction between ‘Mindfulness, Meditation and Contemplation’. As he explained, with Mindfulness you are developing your observation of yourself, others and the world around you. With Meditation you are letting go of the habitual thoughts and feelings, moving from thinking to sensing, from head into connecting with the heart. And with Contemplation you are investigating at a deeper level, listening into yourself and your underlying patterns, while also connecting into to something other than yourself. I look forward to the next one.
The Third Act
I was lucky enough to get a place in John Doherty's New Year Mindfulness Retreat, a month on and I'm still feeling the benefits. For me, this retreat was powerful, from both the perspective of the timing (goodbye 2015, hello New Year 2016) and the format of the retreat and his teachings/practice.
John did an amazing job at leading a group of people who were at different places in their lives and their spiritual practices. For me it wrapped everything together and helped me deepen my understanding of what I already knew and bringing in some new perspectives. Weeks later and some of the key messages come back to me daily. Thank you so much John, for creating this beautiful time and space for us and helping me to connect more deeply to who I truly am!