Our Mission

Our mission is to offer thought-provoking and reflective solutions for workforce development to organisations. We aim to assist them in delivering services that are dignified, compassionate, safe, respectful, person-centered, and therapeutic, benefiting both individuals receiving services and frontline practitioners. Our goal is to equip them with the necessary skills to effectively navigate complex situations involving distressful behaviour. We emphasise balanced responses that are professional, ethical, therapeutic, and legal, ensuring the well-being and dignity of all involved.

PETMA™ is designed to enhance the competency of both organisational teams and frontline practitioners in effectively managing distressed behaviour in children or adults. It offers a diverse array of responses, commencing with the establishment of conducive environments, fostering therapeutic bonds, comprehending service users' needs, and cultivating empathy. Through solution-focused methodologies, PETMA™ endeavours to mitigate distress through prevention, prediction, detection, conciliation, recognition, and ensuring safety during escalating situations, alongside building staff’s capacity and resilience when actual or potential verbal or physical distressful behaviour occur.



Martha McGinn

Martha McGinnMartha McGinn is one of the Company Directors of the National Institute of Intellectual Disability Studies. Martha completed her Higher Diploma in Learning Disability studies at UCD and is a Registered Nurse for people with Intellectual Disabilities (RNID). She has a B.Sc.Hons Degree in Professional Social Work specialising in working with People with Intellectual Disabilities. Martha also studied under Valarie Sinason (a World-renowned psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in the field of Intellectual Disability study), completing a specialised course in Psychodynamic Therapy at the Tavistock Centre London. Martha’s practical experience includes working with both children and adults with complex needs, such as those who have or who live with:

  • Severe to profound Intellectual Disabilities 
  • Behaviour which is challenging 
  • Are on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder 
  • Superimposed mental illness

Martha also specialises in working with families and is a winner of a BILD International Award for Research and Innovation for her work's direct impact on their family lives. She also has a Professional Management of Violence and Aggression degree from the Dundalk Institute of Technology. This is the only HSE-endorsed training in Ireland. This training has provided her with the skills to undertake intense Expert Training Need Analysis of organisations to review every aspect of why service users may become aggressive.


Bernie Kerridge

Bernie KerridgeBernie Kerridge has 40 years of nursing experience and is one of the Company Directors of the National Institute of Intellectual Disability Studies. She holds a certificate in Community Nursing for People with Intellectual Disabilities (ENB 806) and has worked with children, adults and their families as a community nurse in the East end of London for nearly a decade, assisting them in undertaking medical and clinical complex tasks in their own home.

Bernie was a Director of Nursing for over seven years in a large residential respite and day centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities and a Nursing Home for Older People. She has a dual qualification in Nursing, RGN (Registered General Nursing) and RNID (Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability.) She also successfully holds a Diploma in Management and Industrial Relations awarded by the National College of Ireland.