Eamonn Meaney Counselling & Psychotherapy
  

FAQS

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counselling and/or Psychotherapy?

The terms counselling and psychotherapy describe a process taking place in a safe non-judgemental space. Your therapist facilitates individuals (adults, adolescents, or children), couples and families in constructively examining and exploring their current perspectives, options and actions regarding any issue impacting upon their quality of life.

Attending Counselling or Psychotherapy is sometimes misunderstood as going along to have something done to you. Nothing could be further from the truth! Research from every popular therapeutic orientation outlines a successful working alliance between client and therapist as the greatest single factor promoting positive change for the individual.

Therapy is therefore a warm, structured environment enabling you to work with a trained professional to take back control of what you are in control of, or to accept what you cannot or do not need to be in control of!

What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Some parties assert that the world of therapy can be divided into two distinct levels: Counselling can offer effective supports in dealing with very specific issues that are overtly problematic in the here and now, whereas psychotherapy can be more beneficial in tackling longer term and more complex, deep-rooted difficulties that may even function beneath the surface of our awareness.

However the terms counselling and psychotherapy are now used interchangeably throughout society and even within Ireland’s largest accrediting therapist body, the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). Although I have been awarded a First Class Honours BSc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Middlesex University, I generally refer to myself as a counsellor to minimise the confusion that these terms can generate!

What is CBT?

Cognitive theory revolves around the basic cognitive principle that rather than any specific or random event causing an emotional reaction, how individuals feel and behave is actually determined by the meaning individuals attach to events (Westbrook et al., 2013). CBT claims the interrelationship between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours determines how well we can feel physically within our bodies.

The same problematic patterns tend to manifest in the same environments, giving rise to familiar but unwanted feelings of distress, fear, anxiety, panic, anger, depression and negativity.

CBT can enable a person to gain awareness over the nature and sequence of these patterns allowing them to strategise and actively reclaim control of what they are in control of, whilst letting go of what they no longer, or perhaps never needed to be in control of!

 

What type of therapeutic approach do you practice with your clients?

My initial core training encompassed family systems, humanistic therapies, CBT, psychodynamic and attachment-based approaches, with additional study concentrated in the areas of sexuality, loss, bereavement and abnormal psychology.

Whilst holding particular preference for scientific and evidence based cognitive behavioural therapy methodologies, I believe the therapeutic benefits available to clients can sometimes be enhanced by combining cbt with timely and appropriate elements from a range of other orientations. Consequently my work with clients now largely involves a 5 level integrative cbt approach (Stephens, 2012):

  • Therapeutic Alliance, Therapeutic Relating
  • Behavioural Intervention, Practical Problem Solving
  • Cognitive Restructuring, Cognitive-Emotional Relearning
  • Developmental Exploration, Schema Change
  • Existential, Evolutionary Acceptance, Embracing the Human Condition

Do you prepare court reports or reports for employers?

I do not prepare court reports or offer feedback which may infringe upon employee’s rights of confidentiality. However I do provide Employee Assistance Programmes  that offer structured and effective pathways for those willing to engage in a constructive manner in the therapeutic process.

Does Counselling and Psychotherapy work?

Yes there is much evidence pointing to its effectiveness. Lambert’s review of the research to date concluded that the average treated person is better off than 80% of those without counselling (2005). Earlier reviews by Smith and Glass collating 475 controlled studies across 18 therapy types, also revealed an average treated person was better off than 80% of those who had not participated in psychotherapy (Smith et al., cited in Barkham, 2003, p.34).

What are your qualifications?

I hold a First Class Honours BSc (Hons) in Counselling in Psychotherapy and I am fully insured to work with adults, adolescents and children. Full details profiling my experience and training can be viewed here.

Why do people attend counselling or psychotherapy?

People of all ages and from every walk of life attend counselling for many different reasons. Individuals may find it easier to speak with a stranger who has distance from their problem or they may want to bring clarity to their lives by working on themselves or a particular issue with a professional therapist. A sample of these issues can be viewed here.

Do you offer consultations?

Yes I offer all clients a free 15 minute free consultation that can be undertaken over the phone or via Skype. This enables me to answer some of the queries that you may have and it also allows the individual to get a sense of whether they would like to schedule an appointment to work with me on an extended basis.

What can I expect from my first appointment?

Our initial meeting will lay the ground work for future therapy sessions. The structures of the work will be laid out and this provides an opportunity for an in depth explanation about the processes involved. Your motives for attending counselling will be outlined and reference will also be given to the hopes and goals you envisage from the work.

It is standard during this time for me take some brief notes but this will be the only occasion on which I will do so. The fee for your first appointment is charged at the same rate as all future sessions. If you are satisfied that you would like to continue at this point we will verbally contract to meet for a minimum of 6 sessions on a pay-as-you-go basis.

What does a typical therapy session involve?

There is no such thing as a typical therapy session! You are free to set your own agenda and bring whatever you want to the counselling room. Sometimes if a person is unsure of how to unravel their thoughts I will make some suggestions about how we can approach their issues from a different perspective but this entirely up to the client.

Sometimes we will continue a piece of work from the previous week, whilst other times clients will no longer deem this as necessary due to work undertaken both inside and outside of the therapeutic space! We review the work completed every 6 sessions but this is also an ongoing process. Occasionally it may be appropriate for me to refer a client to another service but this is always fully explained and discussed with the individual.

How many sessions will I need?

We are all wired in a different way and we process our problems and issues at a different pace at different points of our lives. It is therefore impossible to declare a textbook quota of therapy sessions as being the correct number! Some people may attend therapy over a prolonged duration whilst for others 2 sessions may suffice.

This may be largely dependent on the nature of the issue that brings you to therapy, your levels of emotional resilience and your access to practical external supports and resources. Generally it is recommended that a person attends a minimum of 6 weekly sessions before reviewing how they might proceed from there with their therapist.

How long does each session last?

Therapy sessions are 50-55 minutes in duration.

How often are appointments?

Appointments take place on a weekly basis usually at the same time and on the same day. This regularity is very important for productive therapeutic work. However it is sometimes possible to arrange ad-hoc appointments whilst some people’s schedules may be better suited by Skype and phone sessions.

What are your confidentiality policies?

The cornerstone of the work undertaken in counselling is the therapeutic alliance between the client and the therapist. Developing trust in this relationship is crucial for the quality of work entered into and the client’s process. Nevertheless in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Practice laid down by The Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy there are a couple of important limitations to the confidentiality of the therapy:

One exception would be if I believe you are going to cause harm to yourself or others but I will endeavour to obtain your permission before a breach of confidentiality in this circumstance. Similarly we would also discuss the best way to proceed if I am informed of unreported child sex abuse where the abuser is still alive, as I am legally and ethically obligated to report this, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Regular supervision ensures the quality and effectiveness of my work is maintained and supported, with any personal details which might make the client identifiable to my supervisor being withheld.

For privacy purposes case notes containing very brief factual summaries of each session are stored in secure filing cabinets independently of client names and addresses. Client files are the property of Waterford Counselling Centre and are retained for 7 years. I am the only person with access to this information but under the Data Protection Act (1998) you can access your own file by following a specific procedure.

Please note that beyond the stringent measures taken to protect my clients’ privacy I can accept no responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality due to unsolicited contact made via any means of electronic communication.

What are your fees and payment methods?

Beyond your initial free 15 minute consultation, the fees below will be applicable for all appointments including your first session:

Face-to-face Individual Sessions: €60 (Adults, Adolescents & Children)
Couples Counselling: €75
Family Counselling (3+ People): €100
Phone/Skype Individual Sessions: €50
Phone/Skype Couples Counselling: €65

All adult sessions are 50-55 minutes whilst child and adolescent appointments are a maximum of 45 minutes in duration.

Face-to-face session fees are paid at the end of each appointment by cash or cheque. Waterford Counselling Centre does not currently carry a credit card facility.

Phone/Skype sessions are paid for in advance via PayPal only

Do you offer concessions or reduced rates?

Clients producing photographic medical, student, social welfare or OAP cards will be eligible for therapy at a fee of €35 per session.

Please note that full rates are payable unless you can show photographic ID upon your first appointment proving your status as a job seeker, OAP, full time student, or medical card holder (Out of date cards, cards or documents unrelated to the concession you are claiming for or non-photographic ID are all deemed ineligible for the reduced rate). Fees are payable at the end of each session and unfortunately no exceptions can be made. Clients must state their intention to avail of reduced rate fees during our initial phone conversation in advance of your first appointment.

For those holding private health cover please contact your insurance provider to check if your policy allows you to claim against therapy fees.

What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?

Maintaining regularity in your appointment attendance is absolutely crucial for productive therapeutic work to take place. My own availability for private client work is often limited and there may be a waiting list for appointments so if you cannot attend it is very important that you provide me with as much notice as possible.

Please note that if you cancel your appointment within 48 hours of your scheduled session time you will incur a charge of 50% of the full fee. This amount will be payable upon our next meeting in addition to the standard session fee for that day. If you provide notice exceeding 48 hours that you are unavailable to attend, then no extra charges will apply.

What are your appointment times?

Available appointment times vary so this can be discussed upon initial contact

Do I need a referral from my GP or psychiatrist?

I can accept either self referrals or formal referrals from your GP, psychiatrist, or from other health professionals. Clients aged under 18 years will require written permission from their parents or guardians before therapy can commence.

How do I know if I should attend counselling?

If you there is a problem or issue that you perceive to be interfering with your quality of life, then therapy may be beneficial for you. Many of the issues that people attend counselling and psychotherapy for are listed here. Once you establish contact we will have a brief chat to ascertain if therapy is right for you.

How do I book an appointment?

You can seek an appointment by contacting me via email, phone or through the contact form. Before scheduling an appointment we will have a brief chat over the phone conversation to determine if counselling or psychotherapy is appropriate for you at present. At this point we can arrange your initial session or if you prefer you can avail of a free 15 minute phone or Skype consultation.

During your consultation I will provide you with in depth information about the counselling process but the business of therapy will not commence until your initial session. Face-to-face appointments will be paid for at the end of each session, whilst phone or Skype counselling sessions must be paid for in advance via PayPal.

Do you accommodate phone or Skype sessions?

Yes my approach and commitment to the therapeutic process is exactly the same as if I were working face-to-face with a client. However there are some distinct differences. I only work with clients over 18 for phone and Skype sessions, whereas I see individuals of all ages in person. Pricing varies slightly also. Detailed information on phone or Skype appointments can be found here.

 

Where is Waterford Counselling Centre located?

I am centrally located just 5 minutes’ drive from Waterford City centre. I am also located on a main bus route with stops situated just 50 metres from my premises. Full details and directions will be supplied once an appointment time is arranged.

Waterford Counselling Centre also provides Phone and Skype Sessions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counselling and/or Psychotherapy?

The terms counselling and psychotherapy describe a process taking place in a safe non-judgemental space. Your therapist facilitates individuals (adults, adolescents, or children), couples and families in constructively examining and exploring their current perspectives, options and actions regarding any issue impacting upon their quality of life.

Attending Counselling or Psychotherapy is sometimes misunderstood as going along to have something done to you. Nothing could be further from the truth! Research from every popular therapeutic orientation outlines a successful working alliance between client and therapist as the greatest single factor promoting positive change for the individual.

Therapy is therefore a warm, structured environment enabling you to work with a trained professional to take back control of what you are in control of, or to accept what you cannot or do not need to be in control of!

What is the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Some parties assert that the world of therapy can be divided into two distinct levels: Counselling can offer effective supports in dealing with very specific issues that are overtly problematic in the here and now, whereas psychotherapy can be more beneficial in tackling longer term and more complex, deep-rooted difficulties that may even function beneath the surface of our awareness.

However the terms counselling and psychotherapy are now used interchangeably throughout society and even within Ireland’s largest accrediting therapist body, the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). Although I have been awarded a First Class Honours BSc (Hons) in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Middlesex University, I generally refer to myself as a counsellor to minimise the confusion that these terms can generate!

What is CBT?

Cognitive theory revolves around the basic cognitive principle that rather than any specific or random event causing an emotional reaction, how individuals feel and behave is actually determined by the meaning individuals attach to events (Westbrook et al., 2013). CBT claims the interrelationship between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours determines how well we can feel physically within our bodies.

The same problematic patterns tend to manifest in the same environments, giving rise to familiar but unwanted feelings of distress, fear, anxiety, panic, anger, depression and negativity.

CBT can enable a person to gain awareness over the nature and sequence of these patterns allowing them to strategise and actively reclaim control of what they are in control of, whilst letting go of what they no longer, or perhaps never needed to be in control of!

 

What type of therapeutic approach do you practice with your clients?

My initial core training encompassed family systems, humanistic therapies, CBT, psychodynamic and attachment-based approaches, with additional study concentrated in the areas of sexuality, loss, bereavement and abnormal psychology.

Whilst holding particular preference for scientific and evidence based cognitive behavioural therapy methodologies, I believe the therapeutic benefits available to clients can sometimes be enhanced by combining cbt with timely and appropriate elements from a range of other orientations. Consequently my work with clients now largely involves a 5 level integrative cbt approach (Stephens, 2012):

  • Therapeutic Alliance, Therapeutic Relating
  • Behavioural Intervention, Practical Problem Solving
  • Cognitive Restructuring, Cognitive-Emotional Relearning
  • Developmental Exploration, Schema Change
  • Existential, Evolutionary Acceptance, Embracing the Human Condition

Do you prepare court reports or reports for employers?

I do not prepare court reports or offer feedback which may infringe upon employee’s rights of confidentiality. However I do provide Employee Assistance Programmes  that offer structured and effective pathways for those willing to engage in a constructive manner in the therapeutic process.

Does Counselling and Psychotherapy work?

Yes there is much evidence pointing to its effectiveness. Lambert’s review of the research to date concluded that the average treated person is better off than 80% of those without counselling (2005). Earlier reviews by Smith and Glass collating 475 controlled studies across 18 therapy types, also revealed an average treated person was better off than 80% of those who had not participated in psychotherapy (Smith et al., cited in Barkham, 2003, p.34).

What are your qualifications?

I hold a First Class Honours BSc (Hons) in Counselling in Psychotherapy and I am fully insured to work with adults, adolescents and children. Full details profiling my experience and training can be viewed here.

Why do people attend counselling or psychotherapy?

People of all ages and from every walk of life attend counselling for many different reasons. Individuals may find it easier to speak with a stranger who has distance from their problem or they may want to bring clarity to their lives by working on themselves or a particular issue with a professional therapist. A sample of these issues can be viewed here.

Do you offer consultations?

Yes I offer all clients a free 15 minute free consultation that can be undertaken over the phone or via Skype. This enables me to answer some of the queries that you may have and it also allows the individual to get a sense of whether they would like to schedule an appointment to work with me on an extended basis.

What can I expect from my first appointment?

Our initial meeting will lay the ground work for future therapy sessions. The structures of the work will be laid out and this provides an opportunity for an in depth explanation about the processes involved. Your motives for attending counselling will be outlined and reference will also be given to the hopes and goals you envisage from the work.

It is standard during this time for me take some brief notes but this will be the only occasion on which I will do so. The fee for your first appointment is charged at the same rate as all future sessions. If you are satisfied that you would like to continue at this point we will verbally contract to meet for a minimum of 6 sessions on a pay-as-you-go basis.

What does a typical therapy session involve?

There is no such thing as a typical therapy session! You are free to set your own agenda and bring whatever you want to the counselling room. Sometimes if a person is unsure of how to unravel their thoughts I will make some suggestions about how we can approach their issues from a different perspective but this entirely up to the client.

Sometimes we will continue a piece of work from the previous week, whilst other times clients will no longer deem this as necessary due to work undertaken both inside and outside of the therapeutic space! We review the work completed every 6 sessions but this is also an ongoing process. Occasionally it may be appropriate for me to refer a client to another service but this is always fully explained and discussed with the individual.

How many sessions will I need?

We are all wired in a different way and we process our problems and issues at a different pace at different points of our lives. It is therefore impossible to declare a textbook quota of therapy sessions as being the correct number! Some people may attend therapy over a prolonged duration whilst for others 2 sessions may suffice.

This may be largely dependent on the nature of the issue that brings you to therapy, your levels of emotional resilience and your access to practical external supports and resources. Generally it is recommended that a person attends a minimum of 6 weekly sessions before reviewing how they might proceed from there with their therapist.

How long does each session last?

Therapy sessions are 50-55 minutes in duration.

How often are appointments?

Appointments take place on a weekly basis usually at the same time and on the same day. This regularity is very important for productive therapeutic work. However it is sometimes possible to arrange ad-hoc appointments whilst some people’s schedules may be better suited by Skype and phone sessions.

What are your confidentiality policies?

The cornerstone of the work undertaken in counselling is the therapeutic alliance between the client and the therapist. Developing trust in this relationship is crucial for the quality of work entered into and the client’s process. Nevertheless in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Practice laid down by The Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy there are a couple of important limitations to the confidentiality of the therapy:

One exception would be if I believe you are going to cause harm to yourself or others but I will endeavour to obtain your permission before a breach of confidentiality in this circumstance. Similarly we would also discuss the best way to proceed if I am informed of unreported child sex abuse where the abuser is still alive, as I am legally and ethically obligated to report this, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Regular supervision ensures the quality and effectiveness of my work is maintained and supported, with any personal details which might make the client identifiable to my supervisor being withheld.

For privacy purposes case notes containing very brief factual summaries of each session are stored in secure filing cabinets independently of client names and addresses. Client files are the property of Waterford Counselling Centre and are retained for 7 years. I am the only person with access to this information but under the Data Protection Act (1998) you can access your own file by following a specific procedure.

Please note that beyond the stringent measures taken to protect my clients’ privacy I can accept no responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality due to unsolicited contact made via any means of electronic communication.

What are your fees and payment methods?

Beyond your initial free 15 minute consultation, the fees below will be applicable for all appointments including your first session:

Face-to-face Individual Sessions: €60 (Adults, Adolescents & Children)
Couples Counselling: €75
Family Counselling (3+ People): €100
Phone/Skype Individual Sessions: €50
Phone/Skype Couples Counselling: €65

All adult sessions are 50-55 minutes whilst child and adolescent appointments are a maximum of 45 minutes in duration.

Face-to-face session fees are paid at the end of each appointment by cash or cheque. Waterford Counselling Centre does not currently carry a credit card facility.

Phone/Skype sessions are paid for in advance via PayPal only

Do you offer concessions or reduced rates?

Clients producing photographic medical, student, social welfare or OAP cards will be eligible for therapy at a fee of €35 per session.

Please note that full rates are payable unless you can show photographic ID upon your first appointment proving your status as a job seeker, OAP, full time student, or medical card holder (Out of date cards, cards or documents unrelated to the concession you are claiming for or non-photographic ID are all deemed ineligible for the reduced rate). Fees are payable at the end of each session and unfortunately no exceptions can be made. Clients must state their intention to avail of reduced rate fees during our initial phone conversation in advance of your first appointment.

For those holding private health cover please contact your insurance provider to check if your policy allows you to claim against therapy fees.

What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?

Maintaining regularity in your appointment attendance is absolutely crucial for productive therapeutic work to take place. My own availability for private client work is often limited and there may be a waiting list for appointments so if you cannot attend it is very important that you provide me with as much notice as possible.

Please note that if you cancel your appointment within 48 hours of your scheduled session time you will incur a charge of 50% of the full fee. This amount will be payable upon our next meeting in addition to the standard session fee for that day. If you provide notice exceeding 48 hours that you are unavailable to attend, then no extra charges will apply.

What are your appointment times?

Available appointment times vary so this can be discussed upon initial contact

Do I need a referral from my GP or psychiatrist?

I can accept either self referrals or formal referrals from your GP, psychiatrist, or from other health professionals. Clients aged under 18 years will require written permission from their parents or guardians before therapy can commence.

How do I know if I should attend counselling?

If you there is a problem or issue that you perceive to be interfering with your quality of life, then therapy may be beneficial for you. Many of the issues that people attend counselling and psychotherapy for are listed here. Once you establish contact we will have a brief chat to ascertain if therapy is right for you.

How do I book an appointment?

You can seek an appointment by contacting me via email, phone or through the contact form. Before scheduling an appointment we will have a brief chat over the phone conversation to determine if counselling or psychotherapy is appropriate for you at present. At this point we can arrange your initial session or if you prefer you can avail of a free 15 minute phone or Skype consultation.

During your consultation I will provide you with in depth information about the counselling process but the business of therapy will not commence until your initial session. Face-to-face appointments will be paid for at the end of each session, whilst phone or Skype counselling sessions must be paid for in advance via PayPal.

Do you accommodate phone or Skype sessions?

Yes my approach and commitment to the therapeutic process is exactly the same as if I were working face-to-face with a client. However there are some distinct differences. I only work with clients over 18 for phone and Skype sessions, whereas I see individuals of all ages in person. Pricing varies slightly also. Detailed information on phone or Skype appointments can be found here.

 

Where is Waterford Counselling Centre located?

I am centrally located just 5 minutes’ drive from Waterford City centre. I am also located on a main bus route with stops situated just 50 metres from my premises. Full details and directions will be supplied once an appointment time is arranged.

Waterford Counselling Centre also provides Phone and Skype Sessions.

Get in touch