Your questions about starting therapy answered 2 months ago

Your questions about starting therapy answered

Brought to you by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

You asked, we answered.


We all know that minding our mental health is just as important as minding our physical health. Whether we're stressed out from work, our relationships or we're going through a tough time with anxiety or depression, seeking help from an accredited mental health professional can really help us out.

Having said that, the idea of starting your therapy journey may seem a bit daunting. To make finding a therapist easier, we've teamed up with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy to answer your most frequently asked questions about therapy and counselling.

So whether you're curious about what therapy really is, or you want some tips on handling pre-therapy nerves, we're here to point you in the right direction.


What advice would you give to find the right therapist for you?

Start by looking on an accredited website like It is really important that your therapist is accredited which ensures that they are qualified to the correct standard, have experience, are Garda vetted and are working within a code of ethics. The IACP have a 'find a therapist' tool which lets you search by location and see which areas of expertise the therapists work with. After that it is about personal preference and connection. Shop around, talk to a few different therapists and see who you feel most comfortable with before committing.

Have you any tips on getting over nerves before attending your first session?

Start by reminding yourself why this is important to you. It is completely normal to feel nervous so it can be helpful to try and balance any fear-based thoughts with compassion. Create a mantra for yourself that is soothing, for example, 'I am doing this for me, it will be worth it'. Remind yourself that therapy is a neutral, safe space without judgement.


What’s the standard rate for one session?

This can vary, however an IACP survey has shown that the average cost for a session across the country was approximately €60. In general, fees range from €50 - €80. When you use the 'find a therapist tool' on, each therapist's fee will be listed, so you can make an informed decision before choosing the right therapist for you.

How many sessions do people usually do?

This varies from person to person. Usually your therapist will contract with you for 6 sessions after which you can review how the sessions are going and how many more you might like to attend. For some clients it can be helpful to take the sessions week by week, others will commit to a longer timeframe. If you are attending through an employee assistance programme within your workplace, this will generally be for 6 sessions whereas in a private practice setting you can negotiate that with your counsellor based on what is working best for you.


Is therapy really judgment free advice?

Therapy is most certainly judgement free, but it is not advice. Your therapist will work with you to empower you to navigate the outcomes and develop the coping skills that best serve you. Rather than telling you what to do, they will work with you to help you figure that out. Although it might sound cliché, you do have the answers inside yourself and your therapist will walk alongside you, without judgement, as together you uncover what they are.

You can learn more at

Brought to you by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy