03 Sep 2015

We all need someone to talk to

Jane's Story

My name is Jane McCarthy. I am a counsellor and psychotherapist based in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

I understand that considering beginning therapy can be a big decision. The reasons people come to therapy vary greatly and no problem is too big or too small.

What problems do people present with?

People come to see a counsellor for many reasons – anxiety (including panic attacks), anger, depression, relationship issues (current and past), bereavement, low self-esteem and confidence, emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder – the list is as varied and individual as each person is. The common thread surrounding all the issues that people bring to therapy is loss. We struggle emotionally because of losses throughout our lives, big and small.

What is the first session like?

Many people are not sure what to expect when they first sit into the chair as a client and it is normal to feel anxious as you embark on this process. I ask all my clients what their expectations of therapy are – you bring your own agenda to counselling and the pace reflects what you are comfortable with. We complete a short registration form that includes your contact details and information about the confidentiality of your sessions. Any previous experience that you have had in counselling is relevant as it helps me to understand what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. It is perfectly understandable if you want to attend an initial session with a couple of counsellors to ensure that you find one that you are comfortable with and that can meet your needs. Trust your own instincts around whether or not a counsellor is right for you.

How does therapy help people?

As an integrative therapist I use different approaches with different people. No matter what my clients are struggling with the goal of my work with clients is to remove the blocks that have gathered throughout their past and allow them to see their options and choices more clearly. Too often we live our lives inside our own head battling inner-critics and judges and lack the compassion for ourselves that allows us to run our lives in a way that works best for us and those around us. Through the mini-world that is created in the therapy room you can experience a different way of being in the world. I believe that the relationship between the client and the therapist is vital in bringing about change in a client’s life. One of the most healing elements to the therapeutic relationship is giving someone a space where they feel understood, validated, heard and seen. Therapy raises awareness and self-compassion and stops us living on auto-pilot; running fast to stand still.

How regularly should people attend?

It is important to attend weekly to maintain the flow of the process and not have to re-connect and settle back in each time you walk in the door. When a client is getting ready to close their work we will sometimes meet every two weeks for a period of time, until they feel ready to finish up.

How much does it cost?

Fees vary around the country and from therapist to therapist. I am based in Greystones, Co Wicklow and my fee is €70 for an hour-long session. You can expect to pay between €60-80 for therapy in Wicklow. Other areas of the country may have different rates.

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