At certain times in our lives, we all encounter difficult or challenging situations. Family and friends can be a great support yet occasionally we may need someone more professionally skilled, to talk to. Many people seek counselling because they have identified specific goals or issues that they wish to work on. Counselling is an issue focused process attended by clients on an appointment basis. Individuals who wish to attend me can contact me directly by phone or by email, to set up a suitable appointment. I work from my professional consulting rooms located on Trinity street in Drogheda, Co. Louth.
During the initial session the client describes the nature of their concerns along with their possible hopes and expectations from the counselling process. I then discuss with them the relevant therapeutic support I can offer. If the client decides that they would like to continue, we then agree a suitable appointment time to meet on an ongoing weekly basis. While some clients may wish for something less frequent, this is not something that I offer. In order to fully and effectively address concerns it is important that sessions are set at no less than weekly intervals. This provides strong containment and continuity of focus. Attending for counselling requires a prioritised commitment. This facilitates the development of a strong therapeutic relationship, which is the most powerful support and resource within the process, and through which clients can experience positive change.
The counselling approach I use is person-centred. I draw from cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic and gestalt models. The focus of the work is on the concerns that the client describes, while at the same time noticing the particular experiences and impact that these concerns have created. Through the process of counselling, which is primarily short term and issue focused, there is particular emphasis on identifying thoughts, feelings, behaviours, assumptions and perceptions. This part of the process creates the ground for identifying alternative perspectives and possibilities which can then underpin different ways towards addressing concerns. The impact and disturbing experiences of the client’s presenting concerns are worked on as we progress towards management and resolution. It is not unusual for current difficulties to be framed from older less conscious patterns and experiences. Counselling can be very successful at addressing immediate specific concerns, however if there are deeper underlying aspects the client may wish to consider psychotherapy for deeper longer term resolution.
The confidentiality of the service begins from the initial phone call or email you may make. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of the counselling process and it’s efficacy depends on this. There are however, two particular dilemmas that though extremly rare, can present a potential conflict for confidentiality. The first of these relates to any legal action that the client may be involved in. It is important to state that Irish Law does not permit counsellors a right to refuse to attend court if subpoenaed. Likewise counsellors cannot refuse to comply with a legal ‘order of disclosure’ on any notes they may have. The second dilemma can arise where there is an immediate or imminent threat of serious harm disclosed by the client, this will need to be addressed and worked with as a priority. It may be concluded that additional help or support is required but it is usually the case that the issues of concern are worked through within the process. If it is the former my priority is to support the client in taking any further steps identified.
You can make an appointment for counselling by contacting me directly by phone or email. You do not need a referral from a GP. It might be helpful for you to be aware that Revenue have indicated that fees can be claimed as a medical expense against tax in cases where there is a GP referral. It is important that you contact Revenue to clarify such possible tax relief in regard to your own circumstances.
The cost of counselling can vary and the reason for this is generally related to the level of skill, experience and expertise of the therapist and their professional approach. The fee I charge per session is €80.