What issues do you work with?
I am experienced in helping people with a wide variety of issues, including, but not limited to: anxiety, bereavement, depression, existentialism, general counselling, grief and loss, identity, LGB, loneliness, men’s issues, personal growth, relationships, sexuality, self-harm, shame, and uncertainty. I counsel adults.
What type of counsellor/ psychotherapist are you?
Whilst I take an integrative approach, my central threads are CBT and person-centred counselling mainly applying the tenets of Carl Rogers. I integrate many different approaches and techniques depending on the clients I see. Other theorists I adhere to are William Glasser, Irvin Yalom, Dominic Davies, Charles Neal, Steve Biddulph, Bruce Perry, Viktor Frankl, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Eckhart Tolle, John Gottman, R.D. Laing, Brian Thorne, Martin Buber, to name a few. I counsel individuals (adults) one-to-one.
How long is a session?
Sessions last 50 minutes.
How much do you charge?
Session cost €60. I ask that they are paid for at the end of each session and through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Receipts are given upon request.
How do I make an appointment?
If you would like to make an appointment, or to seek more clarity about my work, you can contact me by leaving your name and a message by email or by phone 085 147 30 40 (if I don't answer you can leave a message with your name and number on my voice mail). All modes of contact are only accessible by me. Please note that due to the nature of the work, I am not always available but I will aim to reply to your contact within 24hrs.
What should I expect in the first session?
Mainly, you'll talk and I'll listen. Initially, I'll take some of your background details from you and explain how I work. We’ll go through our contract and I’ll then ask you to outline and explore why you have come to counselling and what you would like to get from it. This takes 50 minutes and contains no obligation to proceed. At the end of this stage I’ll ask if you think we would be good to work together and I’ll share my feeling on that too. If we are happy to proceed, we'll arrange ongoing sessions at a pace that suits you. Naturally, if you would like more time to decide whether or not to proceed in therapy with me that is ok too.
How frequent are sessions?
Ideally, sessions take place weekly and missed sessions are kept to a minimum. Best outcomes occur with consistent and regular meetings which will help us to connect more and make the process more fluid, trusting, and meaningful. Naturally, life events get in the way of attending every week; however, commitment is an important feature of success in therapy.
How many sessions should I do?
It depends on what brings you to therapy and what may arise during it. What is it you want to work on? How is it impacting on you? What level of understanding do you have of yourself or the issue at hand? However, Short-term Therapy is often appropriate for a specific problem (perhaps one that has recently arisen), to help reclaim control in life, and usually entails 6-12 sessions to be truly effective. Long-term/Open-ended Therapy is often appropriate for difficult, historical, and on-going issues to facilitate a deeper exploration and awareness of the problems, possible solutions, understandings, and/or acceptance. I often “check-in” with clients during sessions to see how we are getting on and how the therapy is working. These mini reviews help to see if we are on the right track and how things need to be altered if not.
With Covid-19, what ways are you working?
I offer telephone and online video counselling. I hope to return to face-to-face therapy soon, in Teach Bhride, Tullow, Co. Carlow (see here).
Is Telephone/Online Therapy as good as Face-to-Face Therapy?
Yes. Both online video and telephone therapy have become increasingly popular in recent times and they have some benefits that face-to-face counselling doesn’t have. However, the choice is individual. Consider some advantages of online video and telephone therapy:
Are sessions confidential?
Yes, my counselling is confidential; however, there are some limits to this confidentiality as laid down by the IACP Code of Ethics and the Children's First Act 2015. These include:
Additionally, to aid effectiveness, I keep summary notes of sessions. In accordance with the Data Protection Act (GDPR 2018), notes are encrypted to maintain confidentiality. Notes and administration sheets, which are available on request, are securely stored in my personal office. Records are destroyed after 7 years or upon your request.
Why should I go to you?
I will provide you with a safe, confidential place to talk about the things that are troubling or confusing you. I will listen to you, empathise with you, and support you. I will not advise, judge, diagnose, or in any way dis-empower you from finding your own solutions. From time-to-time I will provide some theoretical insight. Hopefully, through our working together, you will find a way to change what is possible and/or accept better that which you can not change. Hopefully, by our working together, you will find your way to better live your life.
What if I tried counselling/ psychotherapy before and it didn't work?
Although counselling can be monumental when it works, sometimes it doesn't work. It’s unfortunate if you tried counselling before and it didn't work for you. I encourage you to consider giving therapy another go but to also consider why it didn't work for you. Was the therapist right for you? Was how the counsellor worked right for you? Were you ready at that time for therapy? Whatever the reason, explore this with a phone call or in the initial consultation with which ever counsellor/psychotherapist you decide to call or meet.
Will counselling/ psychotherapy help me?
Chances are that if you are on this website, there is something in your life that is causing you concern or confusion. Perhaps there is something you want support with and/or clarity on. However, I can't say that counselling/therapy will definitely help you. What I can say is that the vast majority of people who I've seen have benefited from our work (Click here for testimonials). Naturally though, not every therapist is compatible with every possible client. So it depends...It depends on how well clients and counsellors connect; mainly, how well they communicate. Does the therapist have experience with the issue you want to deal with? Does it feel like a "good fit" between you and the (potential) counsellor? Are you willing to explore and take the risk to share and be open? Are you ready to work? If you answer yes to any of these questions, I reckon therapy could be good for you.
Will counselling/ psychotherapy work for me if I find it hard to talk?
Counselling/ psychotherapy can help us to express ourselves more clearly, more precisely, or indeed, for the first time. It can help to find the words as well as the feelings. It can help to explore our own value systems and beliefs too. Whereas a therapist with whom you can connect can ask you the right questions at the right time to help you explore, a therapist may also know when to say nothing to give you a comfortable space for you to more easily find your words to express yourself. A part of my job is to help clients find their way to express themselves; to go to the place at the pace of the client.
Does counselling/ psychotherapy work for men and women?
Yes. Society dictates what “male behaviour” and “female behaviour” is. Traditional rules require men to be tough, independent, and unemotional and women to be soft, dependent, and emotional. However, things are changing: whereas modern rules coming to the fore, permit men to ask for and to receive help, to be stuck and to be unsure, to have and to express emotions, these new rules also permit women to be strong and in charge of themselves. Society has changed. As such, reasons for attending counselling, experiences in counselling, and counselling techniques can vary with men and women. However, regardless of sex, counselling can support you and help you understand yourself better and help you deal with the confusion or difficulty being experienced. Counselling can help you express your values, beliefs, concerns, and feelings, and therefore give you clarity in your life. Doing counselling is a strength.
Is there a difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Yes (and No). Psychotherapy is considered to be work used for broader issues, exploring further with clients than counselling does which is considered to be shorter-term work that does not explore as deep or broad. As such, psychotherapy can require more theory (on behalf of the therapist) and include more sessions than counselling would. In the main though, there is little difference between the two which incorporate many similar techniques and theories and require exploration of a client's inner world-view and feelings. Indeed, some organisations, e.g., the IACP, do not distinguish between counsellors and psychotherapists.
Whilst I use the terms counselling and psychotherapy interchangeably, I more frequently refer to myself and my work in terms of counselling as it seems to be more accessible with people but I consider myself to be a counsellor and a psychotherapist.
Can I use medication and see a counsellor/ psychotherapist?
Whether or not you are on medication does not preclude you from attending therapy with me. Furthermore, I will not advise you on the best course of action regarding your use or not of medication. I will, however, be willing to explore with you your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc. on any issues you are experiencing in this area if this is relevant.
What if I have another question that isn't asked here?
I'd be happy to give more clarity or answer any other questions if I can. As above, you can contact me by email or by phone 085 1473040.