Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling is all about providing you with non-judgmental support as you work through emotional difficulties. These difficulties vary considerably e.g. depression, anxiety and this naturally influences how you are supported. Broadly speaking the main aims of counselling and psychotherapy are to:-

Provide you with a confidential, supportive and safe place in which to express your difficulties Help you to identify your patterns in thinking, behaving and coping that are negatively impacting on your life Support you in identifying changes that are realistic i.e. help you to work through your choices When we are distressed, we often become very muddled and confused, which can impact on how we make decisions, behave and think.

Counselling can give you the space to see problems more clearly Enhance or adapt your coping skills, using your resources to help you get through difficult times Empower you to be the best that you can be within your own resources.

What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

The difference is that counselling relates to more short-term work and tends to focus with the problem(s) that you are faced with now. Psychotherapy involves longer-term work as it helps you to explore difficulties that relate to your past that are still continuing to influence how you are today.

Do normal people need counselling?

It is a common misconception to think that only seriously ill people need counselling help. Studies show that over eighty percent of people can benefit from counselling at some time in their lives. Therefore, it is normal to need counselling when special concerns or difficult feelings arise.

Most people have a problem at some stage in their lives with anxiety, depression, stress, relationships, negative automatic though processes, etc. Therapy can be the most life changing experience and begins with just a single step. If you are considering it, this is an indication that you probably could benefit from the experience.

What happens in counselling?

Generally, you will meet for therapy regularly for about fifty minutes usually at the same time once each week. The goal of counselling is to learn about our habits and patterns of feeling and behavior and how they cause us problems. We can then learn new habits and patterns which will be more successful for us. Counselling provides a special setting in which we can learn about ourselves enabling us to be more effective in our relationships with others and with ourselves.

Do I really need counselling? I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, you may benefit from extra support at this time. By engaging in counselling or psychotherapy you are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation.

How can counselling or psychotherapy help me?


Therapy provides you with a safe, confidential and supportive place to explore the difficulties you are facing in your life. It can provide long lasting benefits, giving you the self-knowledge and tools you need to avoid triggers, to change patterns that aren’t helpful for you and to support you in whatever challenges you face.

For more information on what therapy can do for you, click here

How do I find the right Counsellor for me?

This is a really important question. How do you find the right Counsellor? Often we find our friends, family and work colleagues will openly recommend dentists, solicitors, teachers for grinds etc. from first hand experience. You might feel that looking for a psychotherapist is a more private matter, especially in times of vulnerability. Qualified and professional counsellors are listed on the Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ACPC) and (BACP) websites. You will also find plenty of therapists by searching online using keywords like Counsellor, Clonmel or Limerick, BACP, ACPC Psychotherapist, or words like ‘depressed’ or suicidal or anxiety etc. The key to finding the right Counsellor or Psychotherapist is to look for qualified professionals as well as finding the right ‘fit’ for you.

My advice is to phone a few counsellors and ask them how they might help with the reasons you are considering counselling. Doing this will guide you in two ways. Firstly, it will inform you of the counsellor’s approach to therapy, that is, their professional training and background as well as their individual style. Secondly, it will give you an initial gut feeling as to whether you feel they are right for you.

This can be reaffirmed and tested in the initial meeting. During the first meeting try to discuss what questions come to mind regarding your decision to start counselling, including what it would mean to work with this therapist and any doubts you may have. It is very important that you feel confident that you are in the right hands, professionally and personally with your counsellor or psychotherapist.

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot always be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behaviour patterns that are not helping us.

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy can be the right course of action. This involves working collaboratively with your medical Doctor.

What does ‘Confidentiality’ mean in Psychotherapy and Counselling?

I provide a consistent, safe and private space where I hope you will feel able to talk about whatever is on your mind. To do this all personal information is treated in the strictest confidence. I believe that confidentiality and understanding the limitations of confidentiality is an essential prerequisite to effective professional and ethical counselling and psychotherapy.

I am also bound by the BACP and IACP Code of Ethics and Practice for Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Supervisors which includes the Limits of Confidentiality. At the first meeting I will clearly explain about the rare occasions when confidentiality might be broken with or without your consent. If at any stage you are unclear or do not understand these limitations I will be happy to explain them further.

How many sessions does it take?

The number of sessions or the length of time people attend counselling varies according to the individual needs of the person. During our first appointment we can discuss this.

How much does counselling cost?

The fee is €50 per session for individual consultation. As circumstances differ with each person, I offer a reduced cost counselling service in addition to a student counselling and supervision service.

There are limited places, please mention this when calling or contacting me to arrange a first appointment. See Appointments & Costs for more details. Click here.

Persons requesting Reduced Cost Counselling & Psychotherapy must hold a valid medical card, or a full-time student identity card, and for those who are unemployed job seekers allowance documentation will be requested. Fees are payable at the end of each session.

I have more questions that are not covered in this section.

Please feel free to contact me directly by calling 087 2461462 and I will be happy to answer your questions in confidence.

Or you can use the email / enquiries facility on the Ask Your Question Page 

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