About Sugru

Welcome to the home of the award-winning SUGRU – Psychological Well-being Services, where each child’s voice and integrity is at the heart of everything we believe in. At Sugru you will find a range of therapeutic services which are selected specifically for the individual needs of each child. Sugru’s practitioners operate contextually, which means that the environment of every child and family is considered, rather than assuming difficulties originate only from within the child themselves. Sugru adopts a multi layered approach to gaining psychological well-being; as such Sugru practitioners operate on a number of levels – with the child individually, with parents individually, with a number of family members as a group, and with children, parents, or professional groups.

This hub of child centered, family focused psychological wellbeing is a treble award winning social enterprise, which is directed by a child psychology expert and author of the series of books entitled  #100happydays4kids, Arlene Naughten.

Sugru opened its doors in Athlone, Co Roscommon in 2014 and in October 2015 Sugru was recognised as one of the most innovative and impactful enterprises by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland for the work carried out with children, families and parents. Are you curious to hear what all the fuss is about? Well Sugru was initially founded as a direct response to a lack of accessible effective psychological services for children, young people and families in Ireland and now provides individual and group psychological therapies to children and families in centers in Dublin, Athlone, and Athenry, County Galway.


Additionally, Sugru provides workshops and tailored services across Ireland and the UK for parents, workplaces, professionals and special interest groups.

The element that Sugru has to be most proud of is that they are forging the way forward for psychological therapy which respects the individual and their unique experience of the world. Working within an existential framework is inherent within the truly person-centred approach of Sugru’s ethos.

Sugru differs from traditional services in that recommendations are never assumed after a single meeting with the child or parents, as this is not a true representation of the child’s emotions for a number of reasons – parents may assume they know the cause of distress or the child may be anxious upon meeting a new person in a strange environment. As such, the parent/s will arrange an initial consultation with Sugru’s Clinical Director, Arlene, where they describe issues they have experienced within the familial context. Here it will be decided between the parent/s and Arlene if the best course of action is for the child to attend for individual therapy or instead to engage in a parent led intervention.  For the first phase of children’s sessions, the child attends Sugru once a week for three weeks, where rapport is built-up between the child and their therapist, any issues can be discussed in detail and a fuller picture can be painted pertaining to their presenting needs. Following from this phase, the Sugru team comes together to discuss the best therapeutic plan, customized to the particular needs of each family. This recommended plan is discussed in detail with the parent, who is invited to contribute to or modify this as per their preferences, experience or circumstances. As the child embarks on their therapeutic journey, the parent is kept fully and wholly involved in the process and will attend for a parent consultation at regular intervals during the child’s time attending Sugru. Additionally, if the parent wishes and if suitable for the child’s presenting needs your Sugru practitioner can liaise with the child’s school to provide a collaborative approach to supporting the child’s needs. Research has shown that treatment and intervention which are targeted at different components of a child’s life are far more successful than those that do not.


Once the child and family have come to the end of their individual piece of work, they will remain as part of the Sugru family and will regularly be informed of upcoming Easter and summer camps, social clubs, workshops, classes, and events such that they can be supported into the future.

The team at Sugru recognises that not every child requires individual therapy services, but may have psychological, emotional, or behavioural needs which still need to be addressed. This is why the hardworking team at Sugru have carefully researched and innovatively devised fun and interesting ways of delivering many therapeutic benefits via specialised groups such as workshops, social clubs, camps and mindfulness classes that are accessible for ALL children to attend. In line with Sugru’s contextual approach the parents are never forgotten, and can avail of a range of parenting workshops.  Additionally, the Sugru team have designed a number of dual workshops whereby the parents and the children attend. Sugru’s Dysplay Programme is one of the organisations most sought after workshops which integrate empowering parents of children with dyspraxia to learn how to nurture emotional wellbeing at home, while the child engages in therapeutic activities with some new friends in the next room.

For information about all of Sugru’s events and to stay up to date fill in your details here to get a monthly newsletter delivered directly to your inbox and avail of early bird booking rates for workshops and programmes where applicable.

If you are still wondering how you can get in on some Sugru action yourself never fear, because we have a range of workshops available for groups and workplaces, too. For example, our early year’s expert, Arlene, loves to deliver Mammy & Baby Wellness workshops around antenatal wellbeing, attachment parenting and skin to skin bonding, Mammy’s emotional wellbeing and adapting to the big changes. Arlene also endeavors to help reduce burnout and absenteeism by facilitating Sugru’s range of workplace wellness programs, which educate attendees about the harmful effects of stress, the benefits of mindfulness and exercise, and the importance of supportive leadership.

More about Arlene