Counselling Psychology

our office

At SDP, we offer clients a counselling psychological service consisting of weekly, one-hour sessions. During sessions, clients can relax and discuss their concerns regarding a wide variety of issues.

Such issues can include (but are not restricted to):

  • Relationship issues and difficulties
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress
  • Past or present abuse
  • Bullying
  • Addictive behaviours
  • Making more informed choices in life
  • Dealing with anger more effectively
  • Assertiveness
  • Mental health difficulties.

It is impossible to state in advance exactly how many sessions are required to deal with such a broad range of presenting issues. As a general rule, we suggest that committing to at least eight sessions would be advised for any substantial progress to be likely. Following your assessment session, your therapist can advise you on the likely course of therapy (i.e. approximately how long it will take) as well as answer any further questions you may have of what might be expected to occur over the course of your sessions, and can make an informed choice as to whether or not the service at SDP is what you’re looking for.

Counselling psychology rather than counselling or psychotherapy?

When considering whether or not to attend counselling sessions (often referred to as ‘therapy’), clients are often left with the puzzling question of which type of professional to consult. At SDP, the service to clients is provided by counselling psychologists. A counselling psychologist typically provides a service which is very similar to that provided by a counsellor or psychotherapist. However, a counselling psychologist in Ireland will have undergone a minimum of 6 years of training. A substantial part of this training involves conducting one’s own counselling research and being critically aware of how to interpret the counselling research of others such that the service provided is more likely to be evidence-based.

Furthermore, the term ‘psychologist’ will soon be protected by law in this country, meaning that anyone who uses the term will have to have undergone training accredited/recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a new regulatory body currently being established. Whilst there are many capable and very effective counsellors and psychotherapists out there, no such protection exists regarding those terms. In theory, anyone can claim to be a counsellor or psychotherapist with little or no training. Regardless of whom a client ends up going to see, it is advisable to ask the professional in question about his/her professional recognition and experience. You have every right to ask.

Clients attending sessions at SDP can rest assured knowing that they are working only with those professionals who are fully registered and experienced graduates. We believe that peace of mind and a trust in one’s therapist is vital. Such trust is aided by knowing that they have undergone a minimum of 6 years of training (spanning primary degrees and professional qualifications). Further experience has then been achieved through work in a number of posts in the public and community sectors. Finally, clients should know that the psychologist with whom they work is fully recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and/or the British Psychological Society (BPS). We are also committed to continuing professional development and further training is never far too away in our schedule!

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Depending on the issues experienced by the client - and which are assessed during the initial session at SDP - it may be determined in consultation with the client that an approach called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or CBT) might be useful for him or her. This therapeutic approach is characterised by rather structured sessions, active collaboration between therapist and client in completing tasks and working towards goals, engaging in 'homework' between sessions, and altering clients' negative thinking patterns so as to bring about a more realistic, adaptive way of handling various situations in life.

Two difficulties which seem to respond well to CBT, according to many research studies, include depression and anxiety. However, the approach can also be useful in working with other issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), problems with stress, perfectionism, and more complex problems such as personality disorders. If you are interested in exploring the CBT approach with your therapist, please mention this when booking your first session or during the assessment itself.

Phone and Online therapy

SDP also offers clients the possibility of working with a therapist over the phone or online. Phone-based and online sessions are one hour long (as with our face-to-face sessions) and can be arranged following an initial assessment session at the office.

Advantages for some clients of working from a distance include greater convenience and no travel time necessary for sessions, a greater ease for some clients in 'opening up' over the phone or online compared to in person, or a simple preference for communicating in this way. The price for such sessions is the same as for face-to-face ones (please see our 'Service Prices' webpage for more details)

Psychological Assessments and Reports

Assessments and Reports can be offered for Educational, Occupational and Legal purposes by very experienced registered psychologists. Fee structure is on a case by case basis. Please contact us for further details and to arrange an initial session.

floatation therapy

At SDP, we are the first counselling psychology service to offer clients the option of combining counselling sessions with flotation therapy at the nearby Harvest Moon Centre. (Pease see our page of Flotation for more details).

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