Mary Murphy Counselling, Psychotherapy and Career Services in Cork

Counselling & Psychotherapy

Here I hope you will find the information you need to help you make whatever decision you are contemplating. I will try to address some questions you might have in advance of deciding. If you haven’t tried counselling previously you may want to know a little more about counselling and psychotherapy and you may be wondering what the difference between them is. Let me see if I can address at least some of what you may be interested in.


What is Counselling?

Put simply it is a listening relationship, where the listener is present to serve the client. Counselling is what happens as the therapeutic relationship develops. It is an experience rather than a set of skills or actions.

As a counsellor I am responsible for providing a safe experience for you to talk openly. Without safety, there is no trust, and without trust there is no counselling. Building trust in one of the foundation stones of relationship building and it takes time to build. I will listen with empathy and humanity and assist you to tell your story, ask probing and clarifying questions, reflecting back and summarising what I hear. I will try to get it and understand how you feel about what you are telling me.


What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, like counselling is a talking therapy and involves many of the same elements. Often there is a natural, unnoticeable blend between counselling and psychotherapy. The difference between them is primarily one of depth. Counselling tends to focus on identifying ways to manage and cope with life events and current issues. While psychotherapy asks the big question, who am I? Bringing the unconscious into our awareness is a central aspect of addressing who am I, as is exploring the relationship between the past and the present moment, and how experiences and events of the past, long forgotten, are impacting on life today.


Will Counselling/Psychotherapy help me?

I can neither say it will help you or it won’t. It might help but still not be the help you want. It might be a step on your journey. What I do know is that it is important to choose the right person for you to work with. Client and therapist need to be a good match. As a client we need to feel safe, feel able to talk in relative comfort and feel cared for by the one who is listening, otherwise we won’t be able to reveal ourselves to ourselves.


Why seek Counselling/Psychotherapy?

In general feelings and symptoms of dissatisfaction and pain are what prompt us to think about talking to someone. Alternatively, we might come to the realisation that the life we have is not the one we want. Sometimes we lose ourselves in pursuit of the life we think we are supposed to have but we don’t realise that has happened until we are deep into the forest. Symptoms of disconnection and disturbing life events can bring us to our knees and push us into a search for relief and maybe an alternative way to live. Loss of a loved one, of identify, of work, of home, of faith, of direction can manifest in a multitude of ways: sadness, longing, anger, anxiety, hopelessness, meaninglessness, tiredness, fatigue, fuzziness, numbness, insomnia, lack of concentration, energy and/or appetite.

We all need help and support at different times in our lives. Today you might be the client, tomorrow it could be me. Essentially, we all serve each other in this life.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”


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