About Being There Course

Practical counselling for everyone!

An NMBI CEU and RCSI CPD accredited course.

This new Interactive Programme is the culmination of  Dr. Derek Smyth’s work over the past 30 years as a psychotherapist, and a teacher. It provides training to professionals and laypeople in basic and essential counselling skills.

If the Covid-19 global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that none of us are immune from emotional stress or anxiety. It can and does take us by surprise! We reach out to a friend or even a work colleague and they feel helpless. It is evident that they would like to offer support but faced with a lack of experience they feel paralysed, afraid to say anything in case they make things worse. Yes, they want to help, but they don’t know-how.

But it does not have to be this way. While we could never replace the qualified psychotherapist, we can learn basic ‘emotional first-aid’ skills that could prove life-saving when someone is experiencing emotional distress. We can learn to be there for someone when they need us to be. You may be the first point of contact for someone in distress. How you respond may determine whether they choose to seek help or struggle on, alone. Our level of skill in this area can make a real difference. By keeping all these factors in mind Olive Group has introduced ‘Being There’ to offer you the skills and understanding to be a support for those in need.

Course Highlights

‘Being There’ teaches essential skills when dealing with loved-ones or colleagues who need emotional support.
The course is based on the highly-sought after in-person workshops that Dr. Smyth has been giving internationally to organisations, institutions and individuals.

The mission of the programme is to equip everyone with basic ‘emotional first-aid’ skills to support others in distress without becoming overwhelmed ourselves.

Delivered entirely online through video and interactive content, the course is not reliant on in-person training which is particularly useful in our post-Covid lives.

About Dr. Derek Smyth

Dr. Derek Smyth is a graduate of University College Dublin, The Angelicum University Rome and the Institute for Creative Counseling and Psychotherapy. He has also received his Doctorate in Psychology from CCU. Dr. Smyth began his career as a teacher in Plunkett High School, Dublin. He was later appointed senior dean of residence at University College Dublin. Having emigrated to the United States, Dr. Smyth worked as director of Emmanuel House in Palm Desert California. This agency provided psychotherapy, and supportive group work. Outside his work as a therapist, Dr. Smyth has worked extensively in the United States and in Europe, conducting workshops on human development. He is also author of “Defusing the Bomb” an anger management training programme and co-author of Being There.

You get 7 CPD/CEU points on successfully completing this 7 hours online course.


The Care Experience

Many believe they are good listeners mostly because hearing comes so natural. But, without the training to listen actively, the natural process of hearing is not sufficient enough if the goal is to Be There for someone you care for. This module deals with the importance of care experience.


Hearing is not “Listening”

None of the core qualities of the care experience can be realized unless listening skills have been developed and in this unit, we explain the importance of listening actively, the natural process of hearing.

The Core Qualities of The Care Experience

Caring requires an understanding that the skills to care aren’t necessarily natural for most of us. It requires identifying and building upon the core qualities for providing an effective care experience. This process can help them attend to their core pain, fear, or distress

The Five Pillars of a Caregiving Experience

This unit deals with qualities that are more innate, intuitive, if you will, and, in a sense, deeply personal. This unit assists a person who has a call to care to go deep inside themselves and tap into the core of how to Be There.


In this unit, we explore the importance of cultural awareness and the impact of cultural prejudice when caring for someone and the influence of culture in skilled listening.



In this unit, we will raise your awareness level of how to help someone who is experiencing loss and processing their grief. Whether it’s financial, personal, physical, emotional, or familial, loss affects people in different ways and can manifest behaviourally in a variety of ways as well.

What Is Self-Esteem?

This unit explores how having self-esteem is central to an effective care experience. Through personal work on self-esteem, one can learn to support such people and help them gain or regain their self-esteem.


Crisis Intervention

This unit explores how having self-esteem is central to an effective care experience. Through personal work on self-esteem, one can learn to support such people and help them gain or regain their self-esteem.

Self Care

This unit explores the importance of self-care for anyone who is being leaned on. It also helps you identify signs of burnout and gives you practical ways to implement self-care in your life.