Counselling and Psychotherapy FAQ...
What issues can counselling and psychotherapy help with?
Therapy can help with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, bereavement, traumatic experiences, life crisis, identity issues, low self-esteem, relationship/attachment difficulties and more.
However, you do not need to have a specific issue in mind to use the counselling and psychotherapy process effectively. Some other common reasons that people seek support are general feelings of confusion, ‘stuckness’, overwhelm, or an ongoing sense of dissatisfaction with life. Counselling and psychotherapy are available to talk about whatever is important to you.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
The term ‘counselling’ is usually used to describe a shorter term process that includes active listening, understanding, non-judgement, and emotional support, which may be provided during a difficult time in a person’s life, or during a period of life crisis.
The term ‘psychotherapy’ is usually used to describe a deeper process that may be longer in duration. It can include exploration of the past and the present, and may also involve exploration of how a person relates to others, to his/her environment, and even how they relate to the psychotherapist. This kind of exploration can be helpful in deepening our self-awareness (awareness of how we are living and interacting with others) and can help us in making new, more fulfilling choices in our lives.
You may have found that the terms are often used together and this may be because there is a lot of overlap betweem them. In reality, the process of self-exploration often includes both periods of support and periods of deeper work, as needed.
What can I expect to happen in a session?
Each session is an open place to talk about and reflect on what is on your mind, whether it is concerns about the past, present or future. Talking about what is going on for you, and being listened to in this, is an important part of what happens. While periods of reflection on what is being said, how it is being said, and exploring what personal meaning it has for you are an essential part of the process too. These periods of reflection are what help us get to know ourselves and develop new insights into our difficulties. You can expect me to listen to you at a deep level, to provide support and safety, and to facilitate reflection with genuine feedback.
What if I haven’t had any major traumas in my life, can I still go to counselling and psychotherapy?
Yes, psychotherapy and counselling are open to anyone to would like to gain a deeper understanding of themselves or live with a greater sense of satisfaction and ease. It is not ‘what’ your experience has been that is important, rather it is whether you feel ready to explore ‘how’ you have been living, that makes the difference.
How long does counselling/psychotherapy take?
The answer to this is different for everyone and there are many factors involved. Every person who comes to counselling is at a different stage in their process, so how long it takes will be different for each person. Developing a deeper understanding of ourselves does take time, and how long it will take to achieve this for you will most likely become clearer as the therapy progresses.
Will the counsellor advise or tell me what I should do?
No, counselling and psychotherapy are not about giving advice, they are about helping you to find your own answers, as one of the core beliefs in therapy is that your answers are likely to be the best ones for you. This can take a bit of getting used to at first, but the idea is that developing the ability to connect with your self, your values, and your experience, is something that you can take with you throughout your life and continue to develop on your own after therapy ends. The goal is that you will become your own expert.
Is the counsellor/psychotherapist professionally qualified?
Yes, I have core training in counselling and psychotherapy to degree level, and I am an accredited member of the IACP (Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I also have two years post-graduate training with the Dublin Gestalt Centre, and continue to train in Gestalt therapy internationally.
How long are sessions and when would we meet?
Each session lasts for 50 minutes, and we would usually meet at the same time each week. Sessions times are agreed in advance, and there are both afternoon and evening times available.
How frequent are sessions and what if I need to cancel?
Sessions take place on a weekly basis, and it is important to keep the number of missed sessions to the minimum to give the psychotherapy process the best chance of working for you. Of course, sometimes things happen that are genuinely out of our control and that is understandable. However, for counselling and psychotherapy to be really effective, it does take commitment, so turning up regularly and making this time a priority are important. I do have a cancellation policy which I discuss in the first session, and should help to keep the boundaries clear.
Where do sessions take place?
All sessions take place in professional, comfortable and private consultation rooms. My counselling practice is based at Lower Abbey Street in Dublin 1, conveniently situated just off O'Connell Street in Dublin City Centre.
How do I make an appointment?
You can contact me by phone or email to make an appointment, or if you would like any further information. If you are contacting by email to make an appointment, please include a contact phone number.