Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve prepared some answers below to questions that you may have. If your query’s not covered here please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to answer you as soon as possible.
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What kind of people go for counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy is for anyone. Some people experience difficulties in life that are hard to deal with alone. Perhaps you’ve tried talking with your friends and family and they’re too close to the issue to help or maybe they’re part of the problem. Perhaps it’s very private and you don’t want to talk about this with people who know you. Other times you may realise that your issue is complex or difficult and that you need someone who is trained in helping with problems like the one you have.
I work with adults who are intelligent, curious about life and want to bring about a change in their life or in themselves.
How long do I need to go?
The number of sessions required depends upon the individual’s needs and the issues being addressed. Usually we start off by agreeing to meet for 6 sessions and then review our work together in week 5. During this session you can decide whether to finish up at the end of session 6 or whether you would like to continue with a more open-ended arrangement. Some people go to therapy for just a few sessions, some people go for years – it’s up to you.
Are sessions completely confidential?
Your privacy and confidentiality is a very important part of our work together and this will be protected. However, in Ireland counsellors and psychotherapists practice under legal and ethical obligations. This means that for issues such as child protection, the protection of vulnerable adults or concerns about plans to harm yourself or others, in a very small number of cases there are exceptions. This will be explained fully to you in your first session.
What if I tried therapy before and it didn’t work?
When therapy works well it can make a huge difference to how you feel and how you experience life. However, just like in the ‘outside’ world, sometimes a therapist and a client just don’t click. Perhaps the timing wasn’t quite right or you thought you were ready but realised after starting that you weren’t; perhaps other life events intervened and took your therapy off-course. Whatever the reason, it’s worth trying again. Even though you may not have got to where you hoped to go last time, this may be the right step in the right direction this time.
Will therapy work for me if I find it hard to talk about myself?
It’s my job to help you to open up and to learn to talk about yourself. Many clients start out in therapy not knowing how to do that. It’s important that you know that this will be done at your pace. Every client is unique and some clients actually don’t talk a lot. I’ve been trained in a variety of different forms of psychotherapy and counselling and can integrate these in a way that should help you to express yourself in way that works for you.
What happens during the first session?
The first time we meet will be a chance for us to have a no-obligation chat about you and your reasons for considering therapy. We’ll talk about what happens in a session and I’ll answer your questions about what it involves and how I work with clients, so that you have more understanding of the process. Also, we’ll get a sense of how we get along together. We then decide whether or not we’re going to try working together. You may know straight away or you may want a couple of days to think about it.
How often are sessions?
We meet on the same day each week and at the same time. People’s circumstances can change and so some flexibility is possible. However, experience and studies show that clients experience greater success and quicker results if sessions are frequent and organised in a reliable and predictable manner.
How long is a session?
Each session lasts for 50 minutes.
Do I need a GP referral?
No, you don’t need a GP referral. If however you’ve been referred to me by a GP I’ll write to them to acknowledge the referral and to confirm that you’ve started therapy.