Today I’m talking with Cara Byrne – an integrative humanistic psychotherapist based in Ireland. She is the founder of Hike Psych – offering walking and talking therapy in nature for her clients, combining her love of nature and psychotherapy, and Cara also works online. Cara has always been fascinated by other human beings and the experiences that shape them. As a child, she was the person that people confided in with their problems if they needed support. Cara’s interest and enthusiasm to support others, led her to train in psychotherapy.
Cara also has her own food healing journey. Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 3; this understandably led to a focus and preoccupation with food, with carbohydrates needing to be counted and portions weighed to balance blood sugar levels and to manage insulin doses. Anyone listening that has experience of type 1 diabetes will be truly empathetic to the chronic burden of living with diabetes and how tricky it can be to manage your relationship with food. It’s hard to be relaxed and spontaneous with all the tracking and detail focus required.
Growing up, Cara also experienced being in a larger body in a naturally slim family. Cara’s family relationships were warm and accepting however she did experience some judgement and weight stigma outside of the family. In her late teens, Cara struggled with restrictive eating and inevitable binge eating, which then worsened following the birth of her first child. In the last few years, she has been on a healing journey in her own relationship with food and her body, leaning towards intuitive eating principles and finding a greater level of body neutrality and acceptance, all whilst navigating this around type 1 diabetes management.
Since she began her therapeutic work in 2011, Cara has worked with a vast number of clients dealing with many different issues across the mental health spectrum however has a specialist interest in food, body image, type 1 diabetes, Health At Every Size and neurodiversity. In this conversation today, you will hear about Cara’s healing journey, and the ups and downs along this road. She also explores how she supports her clients today. There are not many psychotherapists who combine walking and talking therapy and Cara shares some interesting insights on this.
I hope that you enjoy the episode.
To find out more about Cara: -