Become a Compassionate Hero this April


Have you got what it takes to be a Compassionate Hero? If so Orla Burchael, who has trained as a clinical psychologist and drama-therapist and Michael McCabe, who has an M.A. in Dramatherapy shed some light on the topic before their upcoming retreat this April.



This creative retreat invites us to take a new path. It assumes that all of us are on a journey, charting a direction for our life, whether we are aware of this or not. By being conscious of that journey rather than a specific destination or goal, there arises the possibility of living with greater joy, strength and compassion.

We will draw on the tremendous resources of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way”, Clarissa Pinkola Estees’ “Women who run with the Wolves” and “The Creative Fire” and primarily Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s journey”.

Joseph Campbell the renowned mythologist underwent a profound study of myths, legends and folktales across cultures and time. He discovered a single template that appears in some form in all stories. He believed that there was only one Hero with an infinite number of faces. That is why stories speak so deeply to us, because the journey of the Hero is encoded in our DNA, our very souls.

A Hero whether in myth or modern day is one who responds to a call and follows it. The quest is to distinguish between the pseudo calls of our modern day ( e.g advertising and the media) and the call that comes from the deepest level of our being, the place of true knowing. The path of the Compassionate Hero demonstrates how in each moment we can be a hero to ourselves. And the secret is if you can be a hero to yourself then you can be of greatest value to others and to the world.

On this retreat we will facilitate using movement, dance, drama, stories, Stillness, creative visualisation, mindfulness and compassion practices, journaling, drawing and silence. The weekend will involve a gentle quest to rediscover what it is that enhances our wellness and creativity on the life path. It is a personal journey drawing on practical creativity to resolve the significant challenges of adult life

In the myths and legends of old, the Hero inevitably met his demons. We will gently shift our perspective from seeing our demons or challenges as hindrances, problems or failures but as “tests” on the path in the great school of life, opportunities to call on personal strengths and wisdom we may not yet know we have.

During the course of the weekend we will gather and identify our own unique wellness tools, the “magical potions” paving a journey of self-compassion and self-care, actively rippling out to other people and the greater world.


Michael McCabe

Michael McCabe is a M.A. (honours) graduate in Dramatherapy from the National University of Ireland. Michael has been working as a theatre lecturer at the Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin Institute of Technology, as a Dramatherapist for the HSE, St Michael’s House, St. Peter’s boy’s national school, Scoil Chiarian special needs school, and the Dyspraxia Association of Ireland. He lectures in theatre part time in Bray Institute of Further Education, and in Dramatherapy at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

His extensive theatre appearances include ‘The Ginger Ale Boy’, (Corcadorca Theatre Company), ‘Lives Worth Living’ (Graffitti Theatre Company), ‘A Day With Daghdha’,  (Daghdha Dance Company),  ‘Macbeth’ (The Abbey Theatre), ‘City Of Clowns’ (Barabbas Theatre Company), and ‘Pagliacci’ (The Everyman Palace Theatre) which won best opera in The Irish Times Theatre awards 2013. Michael was awarded a bursary to train with the internationally renowned theatre director Anne Bogart, in New York in 2014.  


Orla Burchael

Orla trained as a clinical psychologist and dramatherapist and also as a community creative dance teacher. Somatic studies and authentic movement has been another area of exploration. Currently she works as a rehabilitation and wellness facilitator in the area of mental health.

This development brought Orla to train as an MBSR and MBCT teacher with the German Institute for Mindfulness based Approaches. She also completed her training as a mindfulness – based compassionate living (MBCL) teacher with the same institute.  Further training includes the practicum in mindfulness- based stress reduction with Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo Meyer from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has completed a foundational  teacher training in Mindful Eating / Conscious Living  with Jan Chozen Bays.  Orla attends regular retreats in Dzogchenbeara and has a particular interest in compassion and loving kindness practices. She has attended a number of retreats with Sharon Salzberg and one with Dr. Christopher Germer. All of these experiences have enhanced Orla’s working and personal life and renewed her desire to share the many benefits of a mindful approach to living.



The Compassionate Hero with Orla Burchael and Micheal McCabe runs on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of April, from 10am – 4pm.  Book your place here for €120

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