Dr. Katriona O’Sullivan : From extreme poverty to award-winning lecturer

Topics covered : Poverty, heroin addiction, neglect, abuse, childhood rape, dysfunction, shame, positive influences, kindness, breaking negative cycles, therapy,  recovery, attachment, opportunities, motherhood, education, academia, love, compassion, forgiveness, healing.   


This week I speak to the phenomenal Dr. Katriona O’Sullivan.

She lives in Blanchardstown in Dublin and is married to Dave and she has 3 boys, John who’s 30, Seán who’s 18, and Tadhg who’s 15 and she’s also a proud grandmother.

She is a senior lecturer in Maynooth University in the department of Psychology and is the author of bestselling memoir ‘Poor’.


Katriona’s childhood growing up in Coventry was often chaotic; as one of 5 kids to Irish parents living in a home shaped by heroin addiction, she experienced extreme trauma from an early age, which included being raped as a 7 year old and being pregnant and homeless, as a teenager.

In this conversation she speaks about the extreme neglect she experienced in childhood, the people who were a positive force in her life, the importance of opportunities and education, and the power of healing.

It is an eye opening and challenging conversation at times but I highly recommend you stay with it until the end.


Book – ‘Poor’ is available in all good bookshops and online and is also available as an audio book.


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