Frequently Asked Questions

Psychotherapy is an evolutionary process that helps a person look at long-standing attitudes, thoughts, and behaviours that have resulted in the current quality of one’s life and relationships. It goes deeper to uncover root causes of problems, resulting in more dramatic changes in perspective regarding oneself, one’s life experience, and the world in general. Ultimately, psychotherapy aims to empower the individual by freeing him/her from the grip of unconscious triggers or impulses through increased self-awareness.
Counselling normally helps a client process powerful emotions such as grief or anger, deal with immediate causes of stress and anxiety, clarify values and identify options when making important personal or professional decisions, manage conflicts within relationships, develop better interpersonal and communication skills, or intentionally change unproductive thoughts and behaviours.

The Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP) requirements are consistent with European and Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP) requirements. The criteria by which eligibility for accreditation shall be judged involves four aspects:

  1. Training requirements
  2. Practice as a psychotherapist
  3. Supervision of practice
  4. Continuing professional development
  5. Insurance
Most people report their experience of a therapy relationship feeling vastly different to a discussing problems with family or friends. Your therapist is neither. Most people don’t see a therapist with the sorts of issues they feel comfortable sharing with friends or family. Usually, people come when repeated patterns of behaviour or ways of relating seem to be causing more harm than good, or if a traumatic event has occurred which triggers certain reactions.

For others, it is a more elusive but pervasive sense that something is wrong and they feel ready to address it. These things are often beyond the remit of friendships and kindness from those that care for us. .
Psychotherapeutic support is different to support form a friend in that it is a structured approach to how the situation under exploration. A major difference is that friends correctly hold their personal view of the world including their own values, beliefs, prejudices and opinions.

We know what is acceptable to one may not be acceptable to another so we make choices about who we speak to about certain issues which fragments the picture for us and our friends. There are also differences in levels of trust and reliability with friends and because they don’t want to hurt us, friends may also avoid painful truths.
Therapists are trained to cut through all sorts of issues having spent many years in therapy themselves learning to separate their own experiences and from that of the client, leaving their own issues out of the therapy encounter. Therapists are also trained to work with painful material as it comes through in the therapy work at a safe and supportive pace.

Importantly, the client is always in control of where and what they will discuss in therapy and are not dragged or pushed off topic as with well-meaning friends and family, a feature that seems simple but is actually complex and important.
Many people attend therapy when life strategies or coping mechanisms no longer work and sometimes have even become destructive to the person or within their relationship. A trained therapist has a coherent theoretical framework to look at these patterns and the skills to safely explore the feelings, thoughts and even fantasies underlying these patterns and the structure to work towards a goal of change.

The therapist makes a concerted effort to fully attune to the clients unique story and experience and does not make assumptions. This is a complex skill. The therapist does not approach the client with a preconception about how and why things are happening. Your therapist will believe your story, people don’t usually pay out good money to tell lies.

Therapy is a non-sexual and non-friendship kind of intimacy created between the client and therapist. An environment of safety, trust and mutual respect requires clear boundaries to be set up so the relationship is close but within strict limits.

Boundaries distinguish the balance of power between client and therapist and are essential to any effective and ethical work to be carried out. These boundaries are not usually seen relationships with friends and family where power struggles are common.

All professional therapists adhere to codes of professional conduct for their respective professional groups and this includes ethical responsibilities including, within legal limits, a client’s absolute confidentiality. This sets the scene for consistent behaviour and values among therapists, something that can’t be expected of friends or acquaintances. IAHIP code of professional conduct https://iahip.org/code-of-ethics.

Integrative Psychotherapy refers to the process of integrating the whole person by taking disowned, unconscious, or unresolved parts of the self and making them part of a cohesive healthy functioning person. This is achieved firstly by decreasing the use of defence mechanisms that prevent natural flow and limit flexible problem solving. Secondly, by increasing healthy and positive ways of relating to others, and re-engaging the world with full contact. It is the process of making whole.
Through integration, it becomes possible for people to face each moment openly and freshly without the protection of a pre-formed opinion, position, attitude, or expectation.
In order to be accredited by IAHIP, therapists must have completed a comprehensive course of training as well as a minimum of 600 hours of supervised practice. Members must have completed a Postgraduate Equivalent qualification over a minimum of four years, 200 hours of person-to-person psychotherapy and/or counselling training and 120 hours of supervision relating to 400 hours of client contact.
Most session are 50 minutes in length, although some counsellors may offer longer sessions.

On average, most people attending counselling weekly, although different therapists will have different policies and approaches. It’s best to speak to your therapist about your individual needs. People that attend counselling regularly tend to have better outcomes in therapy than those that attend sporadically.

If you’re ready to make an appointment, go to our appointment booking system and book an available time that suits you.

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