Dr Saoirse Mac Cárthaigh
B.Sc. M.Sc., Psy.D. C.Psychol., Ps.S.I.
Specialist Assessment & Therapy

Laois      |      Offaly      |      Kildare      |      Dublin

Available for children aged 6-16



Local €550  |  National €600

This assessment evaluates intellectual functioning. It assesses visual-spatial skills, memory, verbal comprehension and reasoning skills. This assessment can also identify giftedness.



Local €700  |  National €750

This assessment evaluates cognitive and academic skills. It is a diagnostic assessment for learning disabilities. It can also screen for autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other mental health difficulties.

Chartered Educational & Child Psychologist

Waiting list currently closed

€100 per session



It's normal to feel anxious occasionally. But for some children, anxiety interferes with school, home and social life. This is when professional help may be needed.  Anxiety disorders can be effectively treated with therapy.



Depression causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities.  It can cause emotional, functional and physical problems.  For most children and teenagers, depression symptoms ease with psychological treatment.



Professional help may be needed if insomnia interferes with daytime functioning.  Specialised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can effectively treat insomnia.  This treatment is only available for adolescents.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) causes uncontrollable recurring thoughts and behaviours. Professional help may be needed if OCD symptoms interfere with daily living.  OCD can be effectively managed with psychological treatment.


Tic Disorders

Tic disorders result in sudden, repeated movements or sounds.  Symptoms can cause distress and interfere with social functioning.  In this case, professional help may be needed.  Tics can be minimised with psychological treatment.


REcurrant Abdominal pain 

Childhood recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) describes pain without organic cause.  RAP can be effectively treated with therapy.  Before beginning treatment, a gastroenterologist must rule out an organic cause of the pain. 


Hi, I’m Dr. Saoirse Mac Cárthaigh, Chartered Educational and Child Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland. I specialise in educational psychology assessments for children aged 6-16.


My training has given me the skills to help my clients to thrive. I received the Best All-Round Student Award in a Psychology and Learning Disability masters degree. In 2021, I was awarded the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

For 10+ years, I have supported young people in schools, universities and psychological services. My goal is to support lifelong change for my clients. 


My research skills allow me to apply only the most evidence-based therapies to support the wellbeing of my clients. ​I received the Karl Nunkoosing Prize for Outstanding Research and have published widely in peer-reviewed journals. For a list of publications, click here

Autism advocacy is a cause which is close to my heart. I have been involved in advocacy work for AsIAm, Ireland's national autism charity. Learn more here.​

Get in touch to see how high-quality psychological services can help your child to thrive.


Thank you for your submission. I will respond promptly.

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What is an educational and child psychologist?

Educational and child psychologists have extensive doctoral-level training and experience working with children and young people. They apply psychological research to understand thinking skills, feelings, behaviour and relationships.

What is the purpose of an assessment?

​An assessment may be needed... • ...if you are concerned about your child's ability to learn, remember or follow instructions. • ...if you are considering placement in a specialist school or classroom. • ...to identify disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or intellectual disability. • ...to allow other professionals to confirm a diagnosis of dyspraxia. • ...to identify gifted students who may be eligible for additional supports. •...to determined whether your child is eligible for assistive technology or accommodations during certificate examinations. •...to support an application to the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme.

What is a cognitive assessment?

A cognitive assessment (or intelligence test) is used to determine an individual's general thinking and reasoning skills, also known as intellectual functioning or IQ.

What is an educational psychology assessment?

An educational psychology assessment involves an assessment of cognitive (intellectual) ability and an assessment of academic skills (literacy and mathematics). It may also involve an assessment of daily living skills.

How can I make an appointment?

Please get in touch by phone on 089-4266-477, by email on info@smcpsychology.ie, or through this contact form. Early booking is advised due to high demand.

SMC Psychology is open Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Do I need to submit documents before the assessment?

Yes. You will be asked to complete a detailed online questionnaire before the assessment. You will also be asked to provide copies of any relevant reports from other professionals (e.g., psychological reports, occupational therapy reports or school reports).

Should I tell my child that they are meeting a psychologist?

This is dependent on many factors, including your child's age. Some children feel more comfortable knowing what to expect. Other children may feel nervous if they are told in advance. If a class observation is needed, it is better if your child is not expecting this. Observations are conducted discreetly to ensure that neither your child nor their classmates know who is being observed.

What will an assessment with my child involve?

The assessment always involves these components: • 1 hour interview with the parent(s) / guardian(s), which is conducted remotely via encrypted video conference.
• 1-3 hour assessment with your child at the clinic in Portlaoise / Dublin. One parent / guardian is required to remain present for the duration of the assessment.
• Feedback of assessment results (30-60 minutes), which is conducted remotely via encrypted video conference.
• Provision of a detailed psychological report.

Sometimes, the assessment involves these components: • Questionnaires completed by parent(s) / guardian(s) and teacher(s).
• An interview with teacher(s).
• A school observation.

Where will the assessment occur?

The assessment is usually conducted at a clinic in Portlaoise / Dublin. If requested, it may be possible to complete the assessment during a home visit. It may also be possible to conduct the assessment at your child's school. One parent / guardian is required to remain present for the duration of the assessment.

What assessment tools are used?

A variety of scientifically-supported assessment tools are used, including:

  • ​Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V): This tool is internationally recognised as the gold standard cognitive assessment tool.
  • ​​Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, (WIAT-III): This tool gives the most reliable and comprehensive assessment of language, literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales: This is the leading tool for supporting a diagnosis of intellectual disabilities.

Will the report have recommendations for home and school?

Yes. Whether your child is found to have a disability or not, the report will describe in detail the strengths of the child and what areas need to be addressed at home and at school.

How long does it take for the report to be completed?

Generally, the report will be dispatched within two weeks of the assessment. In some cases, if the assessment is more complex, the turnaround time may be longer. If this is the case, you will be informed in advance. The report cannot be dispatched before payment is received.

Is remote assessment possible?

The interview and feedback components of the assessment are conducted remotely. Remote assessment with the child is not possible. During the assessment, all HSE guidance in relation to COVID-19 is adhered to.

I am afraid my child will be labelled. What are the benefits of identifying a disability or giftedness?

While there are some possible problems with being "labelled", the benefits far outweigh the risks. First, your child and their classmates likely already know that he/she has a learning difficulty. Getting an appropriate diagnosis can assure your child that they are not "stupid", as many children with learning difficulties assume. Rather, they can realise that they are just like everyone else: there are some things they are good at and some things they need support with. Furthermore, having a diagnosis makes it more likely that your child will receive the educational accommodations that they need.

How will assessment information be stored?

Assessment information is stored securely, in accordance with data compliance legislation.

What are the fees?

  • Cognitive Assessment: Local €550, National €600.
  • Educational Psychology Assessment: Local €700, National €750.
  • Letter Fee: €60.
  • Consultation: €100 per hour.
  • ​Online Therapeutic Services: €100 per 55-minute session.
All prices are inclusive of travel fees.

How can I pay for services?

Payment may be made in cash or via bank transfer or Revolute. The report cannot be dispatched before payment is received.

Are assessments accepted by the HSE and the Department of Education etc.?


If my child is assessed privately, will we still be able to avail of public services?


Can you recommend assistive technology, special school placement etc. for my child?

Yes, provided that the assessment results meet the criteria established by the Department of Education and Skills.

Are educational psychology assessments tax deductible?

Yes, if conducted by a qualified educational psychologist, educational psychology assessments are tax deductible. For more information, visit Revenue.ie.


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