ABOUT

Welcome! Continue reading to learn more about Beth as well as some of what's inspired & informed her work over the last 3 decades. We begin by looking at her academic background, professional training & experience followed by her relevant personal perspective.


''How we experience life depends entirely on how we experience ourselves. Our intimate relationships, firstly with ourselves & then others, are the crucible in which all other aspects of our lives spring from.

When we feel powerful, strong & self-determining in relation to our sexuality, this translates itself to empowered relationships with others, therefore also supporting strong communities & a way of being in the world that is deeper in rich & satisfying relationship with everything rather than feeling separate & disconnected.

Our ancient ancestors from the Celtic world to Egypt, from China through to India, the Americas & many other parts of the world knew this & built temples, created rituals & practices to cultivate, honour & celebrate this aspect of who we are, not as something separate from the rest of our lives nor something shameful, but sexuality as something foundational to our humanity & woven into, & indeed powering, the very fabric of life itself.'' 


Academic Education,
Professional Training & Experience
Beth's field of professional expertise over the last 33 years is extensive including graduate studies in Applied Psychology from University College Cork & postgraduate professional certification in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, an established form of psychotherapy, from Manchester University, as well as some postgraduate explorations in Forensic & Criminal Psychology focusing on the treatment of those engaging in sexual offending behaviours.

In 2015 Beth undertook some postgraduate study through the School of Management at Yale University & adds to that many qualifications in several forms of counselling, Personal & Community Development, Training & Group Facilitation as well as a 33 year professional work history on the ground, at senior management level & in self employed consultancy mostly with non-profit social justice agencies in Ireland, the UK, Canada, several European countries & MENA countries, (Middle East & North Africa).

Beth is currently progressing through The Gottman Institute's levels of training in The Gottman Method of couples counselling as well as ongoing training with Modern Sex Therapy Institutes in various aspects of sex therapy accredited by AASECT (the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors & Therapists).

The field of sex & sexuality is where Beth has gained & shared experience with organisations such as the Belfast Rape Crisis, HIV Ireland for almost a decade as its' Education Officer and currently a company member for nearly 30 years, the Irish Family Planning Association as a consultant on both community & professional training programmes & many more.

Beth also adds to this experience with time spent as a consultant to, & in various forms of partnership with, the corporate, governmental, university & community development sectors, including; the HSE (Irish Government Health Services Agency), several Dublin Drugs Task Forces, the Irish Hospice Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, UCD, UCC & many more. Beth was an active member, from 1998 to 2000, of the representative committee tasked with the establishment of the Irish Equality Authority, now known as the Irish Human Rights & Equality CommissionFor six months of 2019 Beth enjoyed the challenges of living & working in the Middle East, focusing on FGM & child marriage, & is continuing this connection with other MENA countries with several organisations, including Free Hearts Free Minds.


Beth has enjoyed working with many diverse communities & issues, including but not limited to:

Reconciliation & conflict resolution, including 2 years cross community youth & community work in Northern Ireland.
Sexual Assault Counselling with Belfast Rape Crisis Centre.
Addiction.
Social Inclusion in relation to many communities, particularly the LGB & Irish Traveller communities.
Sexual Offending.
The treatment of personality disorders.
Personal & Community Development.
Training Trainers & Group Facilitation.
Sexual Health & Reproductive Rights in several contexts.
Dying, Death & Bereavement, including holding Death Caf├ęs.
Teaching & Training in many formal & informal settings from small community groups over a period of years to lecturing 1000s in postgraduate university environments, including the William Stokes Postgraduate Centre.

The prevention of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) as well as the support of women who've survived FGM, & the prevention of child & forced marriage as well as the support of women who've survived child & forced marriage in rural desert communities in the Middle East.
Supporting ex-Muslims living in Muslim majority countries.

***

Listed in GCN in 2001 as one of Ireland's top 40 influential LGBT people Beth has a long, and not always loud nor public, history of voluntary activism & professional work in Ireland that has had social justice & equality at it's core. Notably, Beth served as Chairperson of LOT (Lesbians Organising Together) in the late 1990s. LOT was, & remains to this day, Ireland's only ever national organisation dedicated to the service of the country's lesbian & bisexual women's communities; at it's height, during the time Beth was Chairperson, it employed a staff of 9 & received very significant European, Irish state & other funding. Beth was also the first woman in Ireland to 'come out' in the mainstream media, on national TV in 1994, as bisexual.

***


 Beth was Founder & Director of Bliss Festival, a non-profit project in Ireland that created events for 1000s of people promoting ''Sexual Freedom, Health & Pleasure in Mind, Body & Spirit' between 2012 & 2015. Event participants traveled to attend Bliss events from the west coast of the USA, New Zealand & many places in between. The festivals were, at that time, the world's largest event of it's kind. It's estimated that in the course of its lifetime the project, through a variety of means, reached over 6 million people.

***


In addition to other interests & achievements Beth is also a twice published author, once in Ireland & once in Canada, once under her own name & once under a pseudonym. Beth has also been published in several national & international media outlets on themes of sex, sexuality & adult relationships. She has been a TEDx speaker & is regularly asked to present at webinars & conferences on various themes relating to her work or personal experiences. Beth is currently working on two collections of poetry & short stories as well as a collection of online courses.




Location
Beth is currently available to individual & couples clients internationally online via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom.
Email info@bethwallace.org to inquire

Visit the Events page to learn about any upcoming in-person events & sign up to the newsletter here or the Facebook page here to keep up to date with current events & travel.


Current Affiliations
Beth has been a company member of HIV Ireland since 1994, she is also an ex-board member. Beth is member of the Irish Family Planning Association & a psychotherapist with the Canada-based charity Free Hearts Free Minds where she provides weekly mental health supports to ex-Muslims living in Muslim majority countries.




Personal Story
Beth's story is similar to 10s of 1000s of women who grew up in Ireland in the 1970s & '80s. It was a time of great oppression & repression in relation to sexuality by church, state & society, while also being a time when the fight for individual freedoms in relation to these parts of our lives was gaining strength & momentum; a fight Beth would join in her teens in the 1980s.

Born at the very tail end of the 1960s in a Mother & Baby institution to an unmarried mother, Beth lived in an orphanage for a time & was later adopted as a small child, unfortunately this was to a family in which she was subsequently sexually abused. These experiences & this start in life shaped much of Beth's perspective on Ireland in relation to how it treated & discussed sex & sexuality, as well as how oppressing & repressing sexuality impacts upon us as individual human beings, on our relationships with others & on us collectively as communities & countries & our relationship with life as a whole.

''When a person's sexuality is controlled & shamed their very life-force is diminished; Ireland has a long history of attempting to control the sexual expression of it's people, this is not just by the state on behalf of the churches but also by the people of each other; this is something we are navigating right now in a period of great change in Ireland, & in many parts of the world. 

It's crucial that when we seek to have a healthy attitude towards sex & adult relationships that we not only focus on the in
dividual, but also the families, communities & nation in which that individual lives. Otherwise it is not a holistic approach & the individual will struggle to swim against the stream of those around them when it's the stream we should seek to change too so that it supports people to be fully & freely themselves, to engage in the consensually pleasurable adult relationships of their choosing.''


Beth went on in adulthood to a lifelong interest in, passion for & career learning & teaching about adult human sexuality & intimate relationship. An Applied Psychology graduate & professionally qualified psychotherapist, she draws both on a deep well of personal experience combined with 33 years of professional training, academic study & professional practice in the field of personal & community development & relationships, with a strong focus on sexuality.


''I am in a unique position not just in Ireland but in the world in that my personal life has been deeply impacted by the effects of what happens when sexuality is attempted to be controlled, when it's abused & used against people. I have paid a high price for that learning, but, it has also been invaluable in terms of the wealth of information & empathy it gives me, that together with a robust academic education & professional training, informs my work.

I am cognisant, too, that a responsibility comes with that to not project my own experience onto others, to be transparent about my own motivations & to use my own life experience together with professional expertise to leverage a positive outcome for as many people as possible, individually & collectively.''


Spiritual Seeking
In her personal journeying Beth began conscious & active ‘’spiritual seeking’’ from the age of 14, deeply & extensively exploring paths such as Christianity - particularly feminist & liberation theology, Wicca, Judaism & Kabbalah, as well as the native Irish paths, though she has also received, without asking, initiations from Peruvian & Siberian indigenous Shamanic practitioners as well as practitioners of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.

Her most comfortable spiritual home was found at the age of 23 in Tibetan, specifically Tantric or Vajrayana, Buddhism, where she studied & practiced with many Tibetan & western teachers including Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, with whom she took vows, Sogyal Rinpoche.

In more recent years Beth has explored the Hindu traditions, particularly Advaita Vedanta & both Hindu Tantric paths, particularly the lineage of Swami Satchindananda, and dipped her toes, briefly, into neo or western tantra, following on from Osho.

~

After decades of searching both outside herself & her own land of Ireland, where her ancestral roots can be traced back as far as records allow, Beth comes home more each day to the deep richness of that which is to be found in the history, myth & story of the land upon which she comes from & lives on - these are not currently the same place.

It is in our relationship to our ancestry, our relationship with the land of our blood & bone as well as the land upon which we live, which may not be the same place, that we find our place in the world with the most fundamental of relationships - the nature of our belonging, both to ourselves & each other, as well as, ultimately, belonging to & relationship with life itself.


Last updated: 19/08/21