Psychologists in Primary Schools


"The inclusion of the [PIPS] service within the school is the best thing I have done in the last 5 years" - Mr. Barney Sheedy, Former Principal, Scoil Colm.

"As the principal of a DEIS school, I am only too aware of the constraints on finances and the often difficult behavioural challenges that we are presented with on a daily basis. The funds spent on PIPS, in my opinion, is money well spent. It is, quite simply, an invaluable service for schools such as ours. Not only do we have on site access to the services of an assistant psychologist who can assist already over-burdened teachers by providing counselling for pupils with emotional behavioural difficulties, anger-management and various psychological issues, but we also receive necessary support in obtaining the required resource teaching and SNA allocation for our pupils." - Claire Ní Chianáin, Principal, Scoil Colm

"Excellent service, immediate on site access for children in emotional need to see an Assistant Psychologist who can counsel and prepare necessary SNA reports" - Sr. Bernadette Sweeney, Principal, St. Agnes Primary School.

Mission Statement

Psychologists in Primary Schools (PIPS) provide accessible psychological services for all children in participating schools. We aim to ensure that all children in our program receive their full support entitlements including, Counselling, Resource Teachers and Special Needs Assistants.

For children that are not in our school program we provide a free counselling service at 8 St. Mary's Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12. (Opposite the Crumlin Children's Hospital). For more information please visit

Our Values

We strive to maintain the highest standards of excellence in our clinical work, research and behavioural interventions.

What We Do

PIPS has 8 Assistant Psychologists in 8 schools. We offer support sessions for children who are referred by teachers or parents. We provide a sand play room which is a safe, non-judgmental space for children to come to talk or play.

Sandplay involves placing objects in a sand tray to represent or express any issues or experiences in a child’s life. The child can place figurines in the sand which may be symbolic of unconscious processes that are manifested in the sand. The Psychologist is a safe presence witnessing the healing play that is taking place. There is no need for the child to talk about their creations in the sand. Just “playing” in the sand activates a self healing mechanism. Indeed, much of the work undertaken involves ‘just playing’ with an attentive adult who witnesses the child's process.

The use of sandplay also facilitates the child and psychologist to build up a relationship of trust so that the child can feel able to talk about their anxieties, problems and difficulties. PIPS follows the Child First Guidelines when working with children, and when possible a family approach is always adopted.

PIPS also conduct behavioural and educational assessments for clients. Psychological assessments include tests for Aspergers, Autism, Depression, Dyslexia, and PTSD.

In special cases the following psychometric tests may be conducted by the supervising Clinical Psychologist: The Conners-3 Rating Scale for ADHD and the Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist, the British Ability Scales, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV). These assessments can be used individually or as a combined battery of tests depending on the child's needs. Reports are written to apply for Special Needs Assistants and Resource Teaching Hours.

Twinned with KASA, an orphanage in Kabali, Uganda.