What is counselling?
In counselling you work closely with a counsellor, to enable you to explore thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that affect your life negatively. Through counselling you are given the support and safety to explore and understand these thoughts, beliefs and behaviours in the strictest confidence. The personal growth that can then take place can free you from the limitations of old patterns. This can allow more realistic and effective ways of improving the quality, contentment and satisfaction of your life to emerge. You can benefit from counselling at any stage in your life. However, it is more usual that you are likely to consider counselling when you are seeking to make changes, events or transitions in your life, or when you are facing a personal crisis.

What issues can counselling help?
You can talk to your counsellor about any issue that is of importance to you. Many of the
common issues include:
• Depression
• Anxiety/Panic
• Obsessive compulsive disorder
• Phobias
• Family/relationship difficulties
• Abuse
• Low self-esteem/self-image
• Emotional crisis
• Suicidial ideation
• Job loss and work issues
• Bereavement

How do I access the service?Simply contact the service by phone between 10am and 1pm
at 01 880 0509 or email info@fcs.com

How many sessions will I need?During your first session you can discuss this with your counsellor.  Often it is agreed to work together for about 6 sessions and then review whether to continue further.

How long is a counselling session?The length of a session varies slightly, but is between 50 and 60 minutes long, depending on which therapist you attend.

How much does it cost?

There is no set fee.  Clients are asked to make a donation of whatever they can afford to the service.
How often will I need to attend?Generally speaking, sessions are held on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This facilitates the development of the relationship between the client and counsellor.  Research indicates this is
the essential element in effective counselling. 

My GP has suggested I go for psychotherapy - is there a difference between
counselling and psychotherapy?

This causes a lot of confusion for clients and that is mainly because counselling and psychotherapy can often describe a similar experience. Broadly speaking, counselling is often used to describe
where a client is working on a particular issue that is currently happening in their life and may be for a shorter period of time. Psychotherapy is often used to describe where clients work on issues that often relate to events that may originate in their past but are also affecting the person in their life now, and so can require deeper explorations. In reality, it is often hard to distinguish between the two approaches and all of our therapists are trained to work according to what the client needs and wants.

Can I be sure counselling is confidential?Counselling is a confidential service in almost all situations. However it is important to point out that in certain circumstances ethical and legal obligations must be considered. There are limits to confidentiality in the following circumstances. Where a person presents as a risk to themselves or others or discloses abuse of children or vulnerable adults.  Where feasible the counsellor will engage with the client to agree an appropriate response.  Counsellors subscribe to Children First and are committed to protect the rights and welfare of children, minors and vulnerable adults. The counsellor will fully explain confidentiality to you in the first session.

What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?It is important you attend regularly, however if you need to cancel an appointment you should contact your counsellor directly.  She/He will give you their contact number during your first session.  If possible give your counsellor as much notice as possible of your need to cancel.  It is important to note there is a waiting list for our service so people who miss over two sessions in succession will be contacted to check why they are not attending and the place will be allocated to someone on the waiting list.

Is my counsellor qualified?All of our counsellors are qualified and are accreditted members or working towards accreditation with the main counselling professional associations i.e. the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP or the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

What can I do if I want to make a complaint about the service?FCS is client-focused and aims to provide a quality service.  Feedback forms are available in the counselling room but we also have a grievance procedure.  If you are not happy with the service you can ask to speak in confidence to a member of the FCS Management Committee.  Depending on the nature of the grievance you will be advised on the next steps of the process and on your options for escalation of your complaint, if appropriate.