Melissa Hogan

  • Primary School Class & Resource Teacher, St James’ Primary School, South Inner City, Dublin
    Founder of the multi award winning ‘Early Focus Project’, Dublin 2.
  • Braincalm Intensive Programme Attendee 2016
  • Consultant to the Braincalm Team (Understanding developmental & sensory issues caused by difficult & challenging environment, trauma & attachment).
  • Experience: 30 years in Education
  • Passion: Wellbeing of children in difficult socio-demographic areas; the impact of trauma & lack of attachment on the development of children

I have worked in the area of education for 30 years and have been with St James’s Primary School, in south inner city Dublin for many of these years.

I began coordinating the Early Focus project in St James’s PS in 2001. This project came to life as a result of the principal of the school at that time, Sr Rita Wynne, recognising that the children needed access to nurture based approaches and holistic methodologies in order to help them be in a better place to actively engage with their educational process.

I have always had a keen interest in human development. I am persistently curious about the blocks that hinder us from being able to be our true selves and passionate about engaging in actions and approaches that allow us to have more flow and ability to express ourselves authentically as we travel through life.

The education process can be an absolute challenge for so many children. Our modern society places lots of pressure on us all to perform and achieve.

Increasingly over the years I have been witness to an increase in anxiety and deregulation in children…across all demographics of society. I observe how TRAUMA plays a huge role in shaping the lives of our children and ourselves. In the busy -ness of our daily lives we have become accustomed to ignoring our basic needs and may need gentle reminders to slow down and put into practice heart centered self-care.

Over the past 30 years I have trained in many modalities that offer repair and restoration to my own nervous system and also to those I work with….Psychotherapy, Mindfulness Practices, Emotional Freedom Technique, Brain Gym,
Story Massage, Therapeutic Play Skills, Theraplay amongst others.

A number of years ago I became aware of Brenda’s work and commissioned her to help our school look at ways of supporting children’s regulation. Brain Calm came about as a result of this. Our school utilises Brenda’s training in our approach to teaching. In addition to SET and SNAs engaging in Braincalm, we have accommodations in all our classes (wobble cushions, fingers, slanted boards etc,) as well as awareness of the importance of movement breaks. In addition, we have many other Wellbeing strategies in place also …. our aim being to help our children regulate with ease and feel cared for, nurtured and regarded during their time with us.

A regulated nervous system is a wonderful thing! I work with children, staff and parents with that goal in mind.