Individual counselling

There are times when people need to talk to someone about their problems, and go to individual counselling or therapy to get help and advice.

If you think counselling/therapy is something might be helpful for you, you first need to decide who you’d like to to talk to. This may be a counsellor, social worker or psychologist

How to find a therapist

Counselling Directory has a list of different services in lreland and in your area. You could ask friends or your GP if they can recommend anyone. Before you have your first appointment, be clear about whether the service is free or not – that way there won’t be any surprises.

If you need to access a free service, take a look at the HSE website, call their helpline (1850 24 1850), or talk to your GP to find the best way to do this. It might take a while to get an appointment, but don’t give up, you’ll get one.

If you need to talk to someone straight away, call Samaritans on 1850 60 90 90. 

Different counselling approaches

At the first appointment, it’s normal for both the client and the counsellor/therapist to talk about what the client wants from the counselling or therapy – what your goal is. Different counsellors use different approaches to help you get to that goal, to sort out issues or manage mental health problems, such as depression or bipolar disorder

Read up on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT therapy), which some people have found very effective. 

Ask questions

This is an important time, so ask how the counsellor or therapist works. You can ask these questions when you make the appointment, or at your first session. Some things to ask, if you feel comfortable enough:

  • What training or experience does the counsellor or therapist have?
  • Do they belong to a professional association?
  • How many sessions do they want you to have?
  • How often do they want you to make an appointment?
  • Do they feel comfortable discussing your particular dilemma or concern?
  • Will they be discussing your case with anyone else?

Counsellors or therapists will often suggest a short term course of counselling to begin with, eg every week for a short period of time. Sessions usually last around an hour.

Deciding to continue

Within the first few sessions, you’ll know whether you want to continue seeing a counsellor/therapist, and if so, whether this one is the right one for you. Sometimes a few sessions can make all the difference and sometimes it takes a little longer, which is fine.

Make sure you feel comfortable enough with the person you’re seeing. If you’re not, do try someone else. Don’t let a first experience put you off if it doesn’t go quite right, there are loads of different counsellors and you’ll find one you like.


Helpful sites

Comments Show all comments

  1. Fenella (Admin) says:

    Hi Sunku,

    If you want to change from an engineering course to a psychology course, the best thing to do is talk to someone in your college or university about it. Every college/university has different policies about changing courses, so you'll need to get the information direct from them. If a psychology course is not offered in the college/university you currently attend, you'll need to do a bit of research to find a university that does offer courses in psychology.

    Many colleges and universities have career guidance advisers who you can talk to about this. They will have dealt with similar situations before and can let you know what steps you need to take. I would suggest you get in touch with them as soon as you can to talk things through.

    Changing course is a big decision so I hope you have friends or family you can talk to about this as well.

    Take care,

  2. sunku says:

    I want to become a psychologist but now I'm in engineering course in 1st year.can you pls suggest me what should I do to become a psychologist

  3. Thomas says:

    Hi Neena,

    It sounds like you've a tough decision to make and the only person who can really answer the question is you. However, it might help to take a look at your life in the longer view. What do you think the best thing would be for you further down the line?

    If you can work (which you say you need to do to support your studies) and still study, but on a different course then that might be worth considering.

    It depends why you're hesitant to switch courses? Is it because you feel the new course isn't as good, or it will affect your grades? Or is it the idea of change and leaving friends that makes you hesitant?

    Change is often difficult, but it's something we all experience in our lives. It's worth remembering that if you do decide to switch courses, you'll still have your friends, it might just mean making a little more effort to see them - which can strengthen a friendship.

    If you feel the new course wouldn't be as good for your future, is there any way you can stay on the course you're on now and maybe find a different job to support yourself?

    What do your friends and family say about this? Getting different opinions can help. Is there a career guidance teacher or a counsellor you can talk to at college who could maybe give advice?

    I hope some of this makes your decision a little easier.

    Best of luck,

  4. Neena says:

    Hello i m neena from india i need conselling i m studing in 2 year my funds are not sufficent to meet my acedamic and daily expense. I have a job offer they pay a handsome amount which can easily cover my expenses. My coaching class timming are from 10am-12pm nd office timming are from 7am-12pm. I m average in my studies. If i skip my class for this job. I will have to change my coaching classes and join another which i don't want. I will also be distant from my friends. Plz suggest.i want to stay in this coaching only and also want money. what to do? Will be wating for your mail.

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