What is Counselling and Psychotherapy?
'Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing” (BACP, 2015)
Why seek Counselling and Psychotherapy?
For many, Counselling and Psychotherapy can be of great support in times of crisis or change. It involves the provision of professional assistance to people who are experiencing personal issues, in order to help alleviate those difficulties and enable people to affect positive changes in their lives. We all face challenges and difficulties in our lives at times. But sometimes difficulties can become overwhelming. Stress over family relationships, anxiety and uncertainty over the future, bereavement and loss, problems over addiction or difficulties in work are just a few of the many reasons why people feel they can benefit by talking to a professional Counsellor or Psychotherapist.
How does it work?
Professional Counsellors/Therapists offer caring, expert and non-judgemental assistance that may help you to identify your problems and also assist you in finding the most appropriate ways to cope with them. This may involve changing behaviours that contribute to the problem or by finding constructive solutions to deal with a situation that may be beyond your own personal control.
Counselling involves setting aside time in order for you and the therapist to look at the issues or difficulties that you are facing. This might include talking about life events, (past and present), feelings, emotions, relationships, specific ways of thinking and recurring patterns of behaviour. A professional counsellor or therapist will assist you to look at these difficulties, and to identify the most appropriate course of action for you, in order to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find better ways of coping. Talking about these things can take some time, and will not necessarily all be included in one session. The number of sessions offered may be limited, and so it is best to ask about this in advance, for example, brief therapy or short term therapy might provide a maximum of 6, 8, 10 or 12 sessions. However, many individuals benefit greatly from a short term therapeutic work.
Counselling Bodies in Ireland
Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP)
The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) is a national organisation which sets, maintains and develops standards in the practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapist’s Website (APCP)
APCP provides potential clients information on registered counsellors and psychotherapists working in their locality and the type of supports available to them.
Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP)
IAHIP is the professional body in Ireland for humanistic and integrative psychotherapy. Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy has its roots in humanistic philosophy, which emphasises human dignity and the human capacity for fulfilment.
The Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI)
The Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI) is the professional organisation which represents family therapy and therapists in Ireland. They connect those who seek the professional services of a family therapist with their qualified, experienced, practicing therapists. The FTAI is a registering body, with a code of ethics that sets professional standards in order to encourage and maintain best practice among therapists and provide clients and patients with the confidence and reassurance that their therapist is well-trained and experienced.
The Addiction Counsellors of Ireland
The Addiction Counsellors of Ireland is a long established professional association that accredits counsellors working in the specific field of addiction.
What is Psychology?
Psychology is the scientific study of thought, emotion and behaviour. Psychologists examine the various aspects of human experience, such as human emotions, thoughts and actions. They apply their understanding of people in a variety of professional, including clinical, counselling, educational, organisational and academic settings. (PSI, 2015)
Who is the appropriate regulatory body for Psychologists in Ireland?
The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is the learned and professional body for Psychology in the Republic of Ireland. Its primary objective is the advancement of psychology as a pure and applied science in Ireland and elsewhere. The PSI has helped cultivate a high standard of psychology in Ireland which is visible in both academic and professional settings. These high standards provide psychologists who study and work in Ireland with the qualifications and experience that is needed to gain membership with the PSI.
Mental Health Services
Mental health services involve the use of a number of various professionals, often using a multidisciplinary approach, where different professionals offer their particular skills in a co-ordinated and complementary way. Such Professionals include:
- Family doctor (GP)
- Clinical psychologist
- Community psychologist
- Counselling psychologist
- Behavioural therapist
- Cognitive behavioural therapist
- Addiction counsellor
- Psychiatric nurse
- Mental health social worker
- Occupational therapist.
- Vocational supports trainer
More comprehensive overviews on the roles of these professionals can be found here: