I am a fully accredited member of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). I work from a humanistic and person-centred stance, but I also incorporate many other therapeutic models in my practice. I believe in working collaboratively with clients as I believe the client is the expert in their own life stories and experiences. I have a broad range of experience in working with individuals in a one-to-one and group setting, and I have gained extensive clinical experience working for organisations such as One in Four, Pieta House, The Men’s development Network, Heads Up and St. Aengus Community Action Group.
There are many ways in which counselling and psychotherapy can help you. The way in which I work will provide you with options, so that you can decide, with support, on what best suits your particular circumstance. Some of the issues that my clients often choose to focus on include:
- Talking through an issue in order to make sense of what has happened and to put it into perspective
- Making sense of a problematic event that sticks in your mind
- Problem solving, planning and decision making
- Changing behaviour patterns that are getting in the way of living the life that you want to lead
- Acquiring new strategies and coping skills
- Negotiating your way through a life transition or developmental crisis
- Dealing with difficult feelings and emotions
- Finding, analysing and acting on information
- Undoing self-criticism and enhancing self-care
- Dealing with difficult or painful relationships.
Talking things through with family and friends is hugely beneficial but sometimes it might be necessary to seek additional support. The main difference and benefit of seeking professional support with a counsellor/psychotherapist include:
- They are outside of your daily life
- They will not judge, criticise or make assumptions
- They are neutral
- Some things can be difficult to share with family and friends
- You may want to think and talk things through before you speak to family and friends
- You may need space to talk in an environment without pressure.
There can often be a degree of uncertainty about how the counselling and psychotherapy process works, what a counselling space looks and feels like, how it might possibly help and indeed, what a counsellor looks like is like to talk to! It is a big investment in both trust, time and money. The first meeting is hugely important to me. There is no charge for this first meeting and there is no obligation to stay for the full hour should you choose not to. It is an opportunity for you to decide if you might like to do some work together. Should you choose to work together, the meetings / sessions will usually be every week or fortnight and you will be the person who ultimately decides how many times we will meet.
I understand that people's lives are often quite busy and it can be hard to keep track of all of your daily commitments. I use the scheduling platform 10 to 8 to notify all of my clients of their appointment times. This is a safe and confidential service, and has proved very beneficial to clients. You can however opt out of this free service if you so wish.
If you have referred yourself for counselling then no one apart from myself would know you have attended or what was discussed. If you feel that someone may need to know information about your counselling sessions then I ask you to make this clear at the beginning of the sessions. For example, if you have been referred to me by another party it may be in your interest for there to be some liaison.
As part of my professional standards, from time to time I may need to share and discuss some of the information in our sessions with a qualified, accredited supervisor, always under a strict confidential and professional framework. The client identity is always kept anonymous.
Where written confirmation may be required to be passed on to a third party, this is restricted to a minimum. I am not able to provide in-depth reports on the sessions or give opinions or diagnosis.
In certain circumstances, we may have to make exceptions to the general rules of confidentiality. The IACP code of ethics state clearly that confidentiality can be broken:
“only where required by law, or where there are grounds for believing that clients will cause physical harm to themselves or others. Where feasible, practitioners shall endeavour to obtain the client's consent, and consult their supervisor or an experienced colleague, in advance of any such disclosure. However, in emergencies, practitioners shall make their own judgment as to what action is best.”
My policy is to keep minimum notes and records. The information I do store includes:
- Personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address etc;
- Background information that might be relevant to the counselling process;
- Your signed/agreed contract with us;
- Confidential case notes (describing the main focus of the session with any important information);
If you have any concerns about my policy on confidentiality and note-keeping,
you're welcome to discuss it fully with me.
Influence of alcohol or substances:
In order to make best use of our time together, sessions will not take place if the client is under the influence of any misuse of alcohol or other substances.