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Brian O’Donovan Advanced Dip Counsellor, BA Psychology, MA Existential Coaching

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens in a counselling session?

As a counsellor I am trained to listen and reflect, to provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues. With most types of therapy you are free to discuss what you wish, from everyday events, dilemmas, feelings, and thoughts, to regrets, aspirations, memories and dreams.

Other, shorter-term forms of therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be more structured and provide practical exercises to help you understand your thoughts and actions.


The issues counselling help with?

  • anxiety (generalised anxiety problems, panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety, claustrophobia)
  • workplace issues (stress, work-life imbalances)
  • relationship issues (breakups, divorce, affairs, choosing inappropriate partners, loneliness, life adjustments, marital problems, arguments, jealousy, wedding and premarital issues)
  • depression (including suicidal thoughts, low mood, social withdrawal)
  • low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • sexual problems (impotence, internet/pornography/sex addiction, loss of desire)
  • trauma (including post-traumatic stress disorder from accidents, rape and other attacks/incidents)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder – OCD
  • eating problems
  • phobias and fears
  • addiction and substance misuse
  • abuse (including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse)
  • bereavement/grief/loss. Grief and loss may be related to a range of circumstances, such as a decadal birthday or retiring.


What kinds of people seek counselling?

There is no barrier to whom counselling can assist. I welcome you, regardless of your background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and culture or employment group. Counselling can benefit adult and adolescents at different stages of their lives.


Which counselling approach is most suited to me?

There are many kinds of established therapeutic approaches nowadays, including humanistic counselling (also called 'person-centred'), psychodynamic psychotherapy and existential therapy, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Don't worry if you are unsure which approach is suitable for you. In our first appointment together we will assess your issues and the type of therapy that might helpful. I am an integrative trained therapist, meaning I am trained in several types of therapy and can blend elements of different approaches to support you.


How long is counselling?

The length of your therapy depends upon your unique circumstances and needs, I suggest an initial six sessions after which we review. It also depends on the type of therapy you choose to try. The duration of therapy is always to suit your needs, it can be short term, for example 6 weeks, however, it may last for many months perhaps years.

Therapy is in part an explorative process, and once your sessions begin, issues may arise that you were not aware of and wish to consider. You may also find that during your therapy you see improvements quicker than you thought.


Is counselling confidential?

Counselling sessions are confidential, however, should it become apparent that you are a danger to yourself or others, then the relevant parties would be informed.


What are the frequency of sessions?

It is standard to have weekly sessions to support your cumulative progress and to be able to reflect and integrate change. There may be times when two or possibly more sessions per week are seen as beneficial, this is something we would discuss at the time.


How do I make a start

You can contact me here


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