Having trained as a counsellor in the UK, when I returned to Ireland last year I was struck by the lack of affordable therapy services available in Dublin. Given the unfortunate but very real rise in anxiety and depression in Ireland, I am also aware of the absolute necessity of therapy services. And as a practicing therapist, I did some research into affordable options.
I felt it may also be beneficial to relay some information on what to expect from your first appointment and the therapy process thereafter.
What happens during the first appointment?
If you have never had counselling before, it’s very normal to feel apprehensive about it. Many clients come into the first appointment feeling nervous and unsure of what to expect. In most counselling centres, you will be offered an initial assessment. This will mainly comprise of you and a counsellor discussing things such as availability, request for male/female therapist and the main reason you are coming for therapy. It is a good idea at this point, to consider how you might like to use the therapy space to benefit you. During assessment you can also negotiate a fee.
Most counselling services have waiting lists, but this really varies from service to service. When a slot becomes available you will be offered an appointment and attendance is usually on a weekly basis.
What can I expect from counselling?
People come to therapy for different reasons and will vary in how they want to use their weekly session. Some prefer to use it as processing space, to understand their own behaviours and gain some self-awareness. Others prefer to have a more solution focused approach and focus on specific issues such as how to manage their anxiety or developing healthier coping strategies. It is important that you and your therapist are on the same page about this. So, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your therapist when you first meet and throughout the therapy process.
Several therapists are trained in different modalities and will borrow from these where necessary. For example, some may use aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or mindfulness in their work to help someone experiencing anxiety.
The most important aspect is the therapeutic relationship. It’s vital that you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist and it can take up to several sessions for this to develop. It’s useful to check in and ask yourself ‘is this someone I feel comfortable communicating my feelings too?’ Remember the therapist is there to help and is open to discussing this with you.
Below is a list of services that offer low cost counselling, most of which are located in Dublin City Centre. Please be aware that this list does not include specialist therapy providers (such as eating disorder clinics, addiction services etc.) I hope you find the right therapist for you (“,)
- Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) offer low cost counselling which is facilitated by therapists in training (€10 – €25)per session regardless of income http://www.pcicollege.ie/counselling-service/lowcostcounselling-Dublin City Centre
- The Oasis Centre – contribution based regardless of income http://www.oasiscentre.ie/– Seville Place, Dublin One
- Insight Matters – €25 per session with a senior trainee therapist for low income earners http://www.insightmatters.ie/– Mountjoy Square South, Dublin One
- Access Counselling Clinic – €20 per session with a trainee and €40 with accredited therapist for low income earners http://www.accesscounselling.ie/ – Drimnagh, Dublin Twelve
- The Dublin Counselling Centre – €20 per session regardless of income. http://dctc.ie/-– 41 Gardiner Street Upper, Dublin One
- Dublin City Counselling – €40 per session with qualified/ accredited therapist for low income earners. 18 Dame St, Dublin Two http://www.dublincitycounselling.com/affordable-counselling/
- Pieta House – free therapy with qualified/accredited therapist for people experiencing suicidal thoughts and/or engaging in self-harm.http://www.pieta.ie/– Various Locations
- Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC) via GP If you are a medical card holder, you can obtain 8 sessions of free therapy with an accredited therapist via your G.P. Available at Various locations throughout Dublin http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/Mental_Health_Services/counsellingpc/
- My Mind – Offer sliding scale €30 if in part time employment, €20 student or unwaged, €50 full time employment with qualified therapist. Based in Dublin Six, Dublin One, Limerick and Cork. Bilingual counsellors available who can offer therapy in up to 15 different languages.Offer online and face to face therapy. https://mymind.org/–