Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a selection of the most common questions we get asked. Click on the question and the answer will be revealed:


What’s the Difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

None, really. Sometimes counselling is taken to mean short-term treatment of an immediate crisis, and psychotherapy can refer to longer-term deeper therapy. But the words counselling and psychotherapy are interchangeable, in reality.

What’s the Difference between Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists?

As above, there is no meaningful difference between the counsellors and psychotherapists. Psychologists usually have more formal training, i.e., university, and more academic or theoretical training. A person referred to as a psychologist usually has at least a Master’s degree in psychology and often a PhD., or doctorate. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in mental health and who have the training to prescribe medications.

Cóilín has a B.A in psychology, an M.A. in psychotherapy, and a PhD in developmental psychology.


How can I tell which type of therapy is right for me?

In most cases, I use a blend of the techniques on the Therapies page. The particular blend of therapy used is tailored to your needs.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions varies with the individual. I can give you a rough idea on your first session. You don’t have to commit in advance to any fixed number of sessions.


Can I use my medical card?

No. To receive treatment on a medical card, you must be referred by your G.P. and see someone within the HSE system.

Can you bill insurance companies directly?

No. There is no such facility at present.

Do you have a sliding scale?

No.  My cost structure doesn’t make it feasible for me to charge any less.

How much does therapy cost?

The cost is €65 per 50 minute session.  Sessions are usually held weekly and the number of sessions needed varies from person to person.


How long is a session?

Each session is 50 minutes long.

How many sessions will it take?

The number of sessions required varies with the person and the problem; there is no fixed number of sessions. A short course of therapy consists of about 10 or 12 sessions, deeper work takes about 6 months and occasionally therapy can be considerably longer.

Is therapy fully confidential?

Cóilín is self-employed and does not report to anyone. All sessions are fully confidential with the following very rare exceptions:

If you tell me that a child is being abused in the present time, I will report that to the authorities in order to protect the child. If you have serious intentions of killing someone, I will report that, and if you were imminently suicidal (absolutely determined to kill yourself), I would endeavour to prevent that happening. (Bear in mind that it is not unusual for clients to be somewhat suicidal, i.e, thinking you would be better off dead, and that degree of suicidal ideation is something that we work through in therapy).

In addition:
Children’s First Act 2017: With effect from the 11th December, 2017, I will become a ‘Designated Person’ meaning that I will have a legal duty to report child abuse including ‘Historic’ child abuse. That means that if you disclose to me that you were abused in the past, I must report that to the Tusla. More information on this can be obtained from Túsla at

What if I can’t think of what to say?

Don’t worry. It is the therapist’s responsibility to keep things moving along. You will find that you have plenty to say!


How can I tell who is properly qualified?

It can be confusing trying to figure out all the different qualifications and organisations. The easiest way to determine who is properly qualified is to look at the membership lists of the most recognised professional organisations in the field. They are the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP), the Irish Association of Integrative and Humanistic Psychotherapy(IAHIP), and the Psychological Association of Ireland (PSI). A therapist who is a member of any one or more of these organisations is legitimate. There are, of course, good therapists who are members of other organisations.

Is the therapist supervised?

Cóilín is supervised by a supervisor accredited with the IACP. Supervisors are very experienced and knowledgeable therapists who act as advisors for practicing therapists.

Should I see a male or female therapist?

It is really a matter of preference. The most important aspect of the therapeutic relationship is that the client and the therapist are a good match with regards to personality.