Yesterday, one of the UK’s top psychiatrists told the Belfast High Court that the families of the victims of the Omagh tragedy had received inappropriate treatment. This is week six of the trial and Dr Nicholas Cooling, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist of more than 25 years, suggested to the court that, had the right treatment been available, many of these families would have been able to move on.

Dr Cooling said that many of them suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression and the counselling that they had received had not been beneficial. Dr Cooling recommended that therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy with psychotherapy would have been much better than the counselling they had received.

“Unfortunately the help available was not effective. None of these people had any effective psychotherapy intervention,” he told the court.

Psychotherapy can be extremely effective when dealing with deep issues, in particular where distress is being caused from past situations including traumas.