Q: What is counselling?

It is a process where a trained professional enters into a relationship with you, in order to help facilitate change and growth. It involves the individual/couple and the counsellor sitting in a room talking, and that is why it has been referred to as "the talking cure".

Q: What is my approach?

My approach is practical, empathic and caring. I work from an integrative model which includes: humanistic, psychodynamic and psychosynthesis theories. My model emphasises the importance of the therapeutic relationship in achieving long-lasting change for my clients.

Q: How do I set up an appointment?

There are a couple of ways, so you can choose the option that’s easiest for you. You can call me on 086 269 2223 and if I don’t answer simply leave a voicemail and I’ll return your call on the same day. You can send me an email at info@dianemcdonald.ie or alternatively, you can contact me through my online form. If you provide me with your contact details, I’ll call you back for a free 15-minute phone consultation. There is no obligation to book an appointment once we have spoken.

Q: What can I/we expect at our first session?

Taking the first step towards counselling can be daunting so let me outline the process step-by-step. Once you book an appointment with me, I will send you an email with directions to my office and a confirmation of our agreed date and time. On arrival at my office on the day of your appointment, I will come down to greet you and bring you up to my office. The initial session will involve filling in an intake form with me. I will look for contact details and a brief outline of your background. This form generally takes half an hour, after which you will have time to tell me what has brought you into counselling. Our first session also provides an opportunity for me to outline the counselling process, discuss how we will work together, and for you to ask any questions that you need to know. All going well, we will then decide how often we will meet for therapy and what issues we will work on.

Q: Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes. Once you provide me with your contact number and a time that suits you, I will call to discuss your situation and how we might work together. This 15-minute consultation is completely free and there is no obligation to book an appointment once we’ve talked. If I am not the right service-provider for you, I will endeavour to refer you to a more appropriate service. Please note that if I am not in a position to offer you an appointment (due to being booked out), I will text you back to let you know this rather than provide you with a 15-minute phone consultation.

Q: How long does counselling last?

As a general rule, we will contract to work together for 8-10 sessions, meeting once weekly for 50 minutes. After this time you may decide to continue with counselling, or you might decide you have gotten all you need from it. Each client/couple is different and has differing needs, therefore the length of time we work together is entirely up to you. Your presenting issues, your counselling goals and your personal circumstances will all determine the length of time we will work together. Therapy is rarely a quick fix. It requires a significant commitment on both our parts and I ask that you fully consider this before entering into the process. Being realistic and patient are crucial to therapy, however it is an enriching and life-changing journey that will reward you for taking the risk in getting to know yourself (and perhaps your partner in respect of couples work) more deeply.

Q: How much does it cost?

Sessions are priced at €90 for couple counselling and €80 for individual therapy between Monday and Friday. Saturday sessions are €95 for couple counselling and €85 for individual therapy. Payment can be made in cash, by bank transfer or via PayPal. If you have questions about my fee, please contact me on T: 086 269 2223 E: info@dianemcdonald.ie or through the online form on this site.

Q: Where are you located?

My office is at Shoestring House, Chapel Hill, Lucan, Co. Dublin. Click here for directions.


Q: What does confidentiality mean?

Our initial session will clarify the importance of confidentiality and the instances in which it may be breached. Confidentiality is the assurance that what you disclose to me in counselling cannot be disclosed to a third party without your permission (unless required by law, unless I feel you may do harm to yourself or another, and/or should you disclose any instance of childhood abuse). Also, when you book an appointment, your details are treated in the strictest of confidence. Please note that in couple counselling, I cannot agree to keep secrets. Information revealed in individual sessions during the couple counselling process are likely to be discussed in subsequent couple counselling sessions.

Q: What should I/we talk about in the sessions?

Any number of issues are talked about in a counselling session. You can talk about whatever you feel comfortable with. There will be no pressure to talk about anything you don’t want to. Counselling may bring up past issues but as the client, you set the pace and tone for each session. The session is completely yours and will be tailored to suit your needs.

Q: Is our counsellor professionally qualified?

Having received the IAHIP Certificate of Professional Training in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy, I am qualified to offer counselling and psychotherapy to both couples and individuals. I am insured (OBF) and am fully accredited with the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy (IAHIP) and the  Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP). Please click the 'about' page for more information about my qualifications.

Q: What if I/we need to cancel?

My cancellation policy will be outlined in our first session. Generally, I need at least 24 hours notice in advance of your scheduled appointment time. In the event that you give me less than 24 hours notice, the missed session will be payable in full.

Q: How long is each session?

50 minutes

Q: I have more questions that are not covered here.

If there is anything more that you need to know, you can avail of my free 15-minute phone consultation where you can ask me anything you want. Just enter your details in the 'Request a Callback' form below and I will be in touch to arrange a time and date that suits...

Q: Does my health insurance cover counselling or psychotherapy?

LAYA: I am an approved LAYA healthcare psychotherapist/counsellor under therapist ID: 99747. Clients with 360 care or 360 care select plans under LAYA healthcare will be reimbursed for their sessions on quoting this ID. number and providing receipts.
Irish Life Health: Psychotherapy and Counselling benefit is available on 5 plans - 4D Health 2, 4D Health 3, 4D Health 4, 4D Health 5 and Better Select ILH. It covers 50% of the cost of up to 12 visits and is capped at €1,000 per policy year. A member with this benefit needs to submit their valid receipts to claim. 
VHI: VHI offer a counselling benefit to many of its policy holders through a range of their health insurance plans. The counselling benefit covers up to six sessions of solution focused brief therapy and is managed on behalf of VHI by Optum International. 

For all healthcare insurance companies,  you will need to contact your insurer directly to enquire if your plan covers counselling. Please inform your provider that I am both IACP and IAHIP accredited.I am also registered with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. In addition, I am a registered affiliate counsellor for Spectrum.Life/Laya Healthcare and Optum International/VHI.

Q: Do you offer online therapy?

Yes. In these times of uncertainty with the coronavirus and as we all follow the guidelines around limiting social contact, I am available to meet you online. Using the user-friendly software ZOOM, I will send you an e-invite at the commencement of our appointed time. Once you click on this, you will be directed step-by-step to join me online. Meetings are encrypted to ensure the privacy our sessions. Payment can be made by bank transfer or via PayPal. Payment for online sessions are priced at €90 for couples and €80 for individual therapy. There is a €5 surcharge for Saturday appointments.

Q: What safety measures do you have in place for face-to-face counselling & psychotherapy?

Please contact me via email and I will send you the updated Health and Safety document for my practice.Clients will be informed on the procedures to ensure safety once an appointment is make. A Risk Assessment is carried out with each client prior to every session.

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