Are Psychotherapists and Counsellors subject to statutory regulation?

While there is currently no state regulation of the professions of psychotherapist and counsellor this landscape is expected to change significantly in the coming years.  In 2017, Simon Harris, Minister for Health announced that the government will proceed with statutory regulation of both psychotherapy and counselling as two separate and distinct professions under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act (2005). Essentially, once statutory regulation is in place, CORU will have a separate register for (a) Psychotherapists and (b) Counsellors. 

What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?

Broadly speaking counselling tends to be short term in duration and deals with a particular issue primarily based on the client’s conscious experience. This differs from psychotherapy which tends to be longer in duration as it requires deeper exploration of the challenges, issues and the conscious and unconscious processes experienced by the client.
A distinguishing feature between psychotherapy and counselling is the depth and length of the training and education undertaken by psychotherapists including the requirement for personal therapy and reflective practice.
As noted above the Minister for Health has recognised psychotherapy as a distinct profession and once statutory regulation is in place CORU will have a separate register for (a) Psychotherapists and (b) Counsellors.

What kind of client do you work best with?

I work best with someone who is willing to take responsibility for their feelings and behaviour, who has a curiosity and a willingness for self-awareness, with a view to exploring and discovering possibilities that might create choices, choices that might create the desired change. 

What professional bodies are you accredited and affiliated with?

I am accredited with IAHIP (Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy) which was formed in 1992. IAHIP sets and maintains the standards of relevant psychotherapy training and practice in Ireland and represents humanistic and integrative psychotherapy at national and international levels. As an accredited member of IAHIP I am required to adhere to their Code of Ethics and Practice.

I am registrant with ICP (Irish Council for Psychotherapy) which represents over 1,500 fully accredited psychotherapists in Ireland.

I have been awarded the ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy) by EAP (European Association for Psychotherapy). EAP was established in 1991 to create a comprehensive European wide standard for psychotherapy education and training.

What is the IAHIP Code of Ethics and Practice for Psychotherapists?

The purpose of the Code is to establish and maintain standards for accredited psychotherapists of IAHIP and to inform and protect members of the public seeking and using these services.

The therapist-client relationship is the foremost ethical concern and the Code seeks to provide a framework for ethical and practice related issues.  Therapists have various responsibilities including the following:

  • setting and monitoring boundaries in the therapeutic relationship;
  • clear contracting, informing the client of the therapeutic approaches and methods, terms on which psychotherapy is offered;
  • confidentiality and the limits to confidentiality are discussed when first meeting with a client
  • the protection of children and vulnerable adults and
  • attending supervision on a regular basis.