Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Counselling & Psychotherapy?
- Counselling and Psychotherapy are terms that sometimes overlap and are often used interchangeably. However, Counselling tends to focus on current issues or difficulties of recent origin, and is usually shorter in duration. Psychotherapy tends to go deeper and often requires more time to heal issues originating in the past, but which may be persistent or recurring in the present. Generally, Counselling and Psychotherapy can happen simultaneously, as long-standing issues may be found to be underlying current difficulties. The aim of both Counselling and Psychotherapy is lasting change brought about through increased insight.
Who Is Counselling / Psychotherapy For?
- Counselling / Psychotherapy is for anyone who wants help to alleviate, resolve or work through issues or difficulties; or to better understand themselves, their lives, their behaviours, their thoughts or their feelings.
Why Do People Seek Counselling or Psychotherapy?
- People seek assistance and support in times of change or crisis; to find new possibilities; to make clear decisions; for reasons of personal development; to develop greater emotional, psychological, relational or spiritual self-reliance; or to improve the quality of their lives by tapping into their own inner wisdom. Working with life’s challenges in a creative way may not always involve a specific ‘presenting problem’. However, Some Common Issues People Seek Help With Include: Relationship or Family Concerns; Bereavement; Depression; Loneliness, Hopelessness or Despair; Suicidal Thoughts or Feelings; Cancer or other Serious Illness; Unresolved Issues from the Past; Stress; Anxiety; Panic Attacks; Fears; Phobias; Trauma; Childhood Trauma; Sexual Abuse; Sexual Assault; Loss; Issues around Separation or Divorce; Issues around Adoption; Anger Management; Adolescent Issues; Self-Harming; Addiction(s); Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviours; Sex-Related Issues; Sexuality Issues; Low Self-Esteem; Lack of Confidence; Social Inhibitions; Bullying; Difficulty Coping; Persistent Nightmares; Poor Sleep; Feelings of Guilt or Shame; Feeling Alone; Feeling Rejected; Feeling Unheard or Feeling Confused.
How Can Counselling/Psychotherapy Help Me?
- Simply being listened to and heard in a safe, confidential, impartial and empathic environment can be healing for many people. Having a regular time to think and talk things through in order to clarify issues and situations can often lead people to new insights and awareness; to better coping skills, and to a reduction of conflict in their lives. A sense of freedom and self-acceptance can emerge through becoming more able to feel, identify and express emotions as they arise; and through shedding old fears and hurts. New ways of experiencing and communicating can be developed, and life can be lived more freely and expressively with greater peace of mind, self-confidence and contentment.
What Theoretic Approaches Are Used?
- A range of individualised processes facilitate my clients to find new approaches to living and learning, and to dealing with difficulties they may be experiencing. My approach is Integrative. This means I use a range of short and long-term Psychotherapy techniques and modalities including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Gestalt, Mindfulness, Humanistic, Psychodynamic and Existential Therapies.
How Often Will I Need To Attend Counselling/Psychotherapy?
- The general consensus is to begin with six weekly sessions and to consider then whether to plan further therapy. It is important to remember that the duration of counselling / psychotherapy is always your choice. Some people find that they benefit most from short-term, Solution-Focused Counselling; while others find that they need Longer-Term Psychotherapy. It is not always easy to predict initially whether presenting issues have deeper underlying causes as these may only come to light as the therapy proceeds.
What Can I Expect?
- Therapy sessions last for one hour and usually take place on a weekly basis at a mutually agreed time. Many people discover that Counselling / Psychotherapy can be hard work and are glad of a Collaborative Working Relationship with their therapist. It may take a few sessions for this relationship to build, and for you to establish yourself as an Active Participant in your own healing. Thus, it is important to be patient with the process, and also to know that some pain may accompany change.
What Should I Be Aware Of When Choosing A Counsellor/Psychotherapist?
- Ensure that your Counsellor / Psychotherapist has completed Professional Training in an Approved College; received Professional Accreditation to practice from a Registered Professional Body such as the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP); attends Regular Clinical Professional Collaboration / Supervision; participates in on-going Personal and Professional Development; abides by the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice of their Accrediting Body; is committed to providing an Excellent Professional Service, and has worked with a Broad Range of issues. Expect your therapist to hold Strong Boundaries and to Always Treat You with Respect.
Maybe My Issue Isn’t That Major?
- If it is causing any anxiety or upset, Counselling or Psychotherapy can help. Things don’t always improve by themselves, and Clarifying feelings, thoughts and behaviours usually increases Insight and leads to Positive change.
Is There Complete Confidentiality?
- Absolute confidentiality – a keystone of Counselling and Psychotherapy – is assured under most conditions. However, there are certain circumstances where limits to confidentiality are dictated by law as well as by the IACP Code of Ethics and Practice. This means that pertinent information must be passed on to the relevant persons in the following cases:
- If you are at risk of causing harm to yourself or others
- Where you allege or disclose clear, identifying, concerns or information regarding sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse or emotional abuse of a child or vulnerable adult that has not already been reported (‘Children First Bill 2014’).
- Where there is a subpoena for clinical notes from a court
Only that information which is absolutely necessary is passed on, and only with client knowledge, consent and direction where possible.
The IACP code of ethics and best practice requires that psychotherapists attend regular professional case collaboration/supervision. Client confidentiality is maintained at all times: no identifying details are revealed – “only that information which is relevant for the purposes of best practice.”
All information held on file by me complies with the requirements of Data Protection and Freedom of Information. Case notes are brief, factual accounts of what happened in each session. My clients have the right to access their own files. Should you wish to do so, I have a procedure in place.
- Please note: I do not provide Validation Services or Reports for court or probation services, or for any other agency.
What If I Need To Cancel A Session or Do Not Keep An Appointment?
- Appointments may be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to meeting. Except in the case of an emergency, the full fee is due when less than 24 hours notice is given.