Your guide to Ireland's alternative, complementary & holistic therapies & therapists
What is Counselling?
Counselling falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows people to discuss their problems and any difficult feelings they encounter in a safe, confidential environment. The term can mean different things to different people, but in general, it is a process people seek when they want to change something in their lives, or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth.
A counsellor is not there to sit you down and tell you what to do. Instead, they will encourage you to talk about what's bothering you in order to uncover any root causes and identify your specific ways of thinking. The counsellor may then look to create a plan of action to either help you reconcile your issues, or help you to find ways of coping.
Counselling can give you the time and space to work through any problems, issues, or worries you may be experiencing. Through working with a professional, impartial, experienced counsellor or therapist, you have the opportunity to open up about things you may feel uncomfortable or not ready to speak about with a loved one or friend.
How can I access counselling?
Counselling does not come in a set format and each session is generally tailored to the individual. There is flexibility within this type of therapy that allows for a variety of counselling formats, including:
Face-to-face: This is when you make an appointment with a counsellor to see them in person. Face-to-face sessions are one of the more popular therapy formats because they provide an opportunity for you to react to any emotions that arise there and then.
Individual or group: You may choose to see a counsellor by yourself, or if you prefer you could join a counselling group with people experiencing similar issues. Going to a group counselling session can be helpful if you want to discuss your issues with people who are going through similar problems and you may even gain yourself a support network. Alternatively, you may wish to see a counsellor alone to preserve your privacy and concentrate on your own feelings.
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Telephone counselling: For some, telephone counselling offers a helpful alternative to face-to-face counselling. This involves talking to your counsellor over the phone instead of in person. This form of counselling can be particularly useful for those too busy to attend face-to-face sessions and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home. This format also tends to be more flexible and can potentially reduce waiting list times.
Online counselling: Some people prefer to speak to their counsellor remotely, using video calling technology or emailing their counsellor instead. Video calling removes the barrier of distance, allowing you to choose a counsellor regardless of location and speak to them from a safe space. Online counselling is an increasingly popular option, with more and more therapists offering it as an option.