The Counselling Session
The difference between counselling and psychotherapy
I am often asked by clients where the line between counselling and psychotherapy is drawn. Typically counselling focuses on a specific issue that you are working through right now (e.g. a bereavement, difficulty in a personal relationship) and helps you to manage the issue with awareness about how it is making you feel and compassion for yourself. Psychotherapy involves exploring your past and finding keys to unlock the mystery behind why you behave in certain ways, attract certain things or people to you or why your life generally isn’t living up to your expectations. There is no need to distinguish where counselling and psychotherapy begin and end as your reason for being in therapy can change as we move through the process. As I am a fully trained counsellor and psychotherapist I can work with you at any level of depth that you feel safe and comfortable with and will always take your lead on where your journey takes us.
What to expect
If you are looking at this website because you are considering entering therapy then well done for having the courage to begin this journey. Many people are not sure what to expect when they first sit into the chair as a client and it is normal to feel anxious as you embark on this process. One of the first things I will discuss with you is what your expectations of therapy are. You bring your own agenda to counselling; the pace reflects what you’re comfortable with. What I ask of you is that you come with a commitment to moving forwards and bringing change into your life; even though you may not know what that change will look like yet! The goal of our work together will be to remove the blocks that have gathered throughout your past and allow you to see your options and choices and, through the mini-world that is created in the therapy room; to experience a different way of being in the world. I believe that the relationship between the client and the therapist is vital in bringing about change in a client’s life. It is perfectly understandable if you want to attend an initial session with a couple of counsellors to ensure that you find the right one for you.
My therapy room is located on Trafalgar Road in Greystones (see map). A warm, intimate, welcoming room just moments from the sea; it is an ideal space for your journey of self-discovery.
Fees and forms
The fee per session is €70. We will meet at the same time each week and your session will last one hour. The full fee applies if you cancel a session with less than a week’s notice or if you don’t arrive for your session. In order to retain your weekly slot you must be available to attend at least five out of every six sessions (excluding annual holidays).
Payment is by cash or cheque only as there is no facility for credit/debit cards. If you have private health insurance it is worth checking with your provider if you are entitled to claim any money back on your policy.
Sometime during your first couple of sessions I will go through a registration form with you that will include your contact details and information about the confidentiality of your sessions. I will give you a copy of this form to keep.
Length of time in counselling
Counselling that deals with a specific, known issue (e.g. a difficulty in a personal relationship) may last a number of weeks. An initial presenting problem can lead us to deeper work that looks at the roots of the issues you are experiencing in your life. I have worked with clients on a short-term basis (6-12 weeks) and also have clients who have been with me for much longer than this. You can trust that you will know yourself how long you need. We will review our work together every six weeks to ensure that you feel therapy is benefiting you and that you are moving in the right direction.