Mary Murphy Counsellor Counselling & Psychotherapy Services in Cork

Counselling & Psychotherapy

I hope I can provide some useful responses here to the questions you might have about counselling and psychotherapy. 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 is between them.


What is your expertise?

I am professionally trained to listen, observe, reflect and hold a safe, confidential, objective and non-judgement space allowing you to get to know yourself, develop self-awareness and self-responsibility and discover how you contribute to the creation of your own life. I am not an expert with answers to whatever problems you are experiencing in your life but I will work with you to help you find your own answers to your difficulties and dilemmas.


What does a counsellor do?

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.

Counselling is what happens as the therapeutic relationship develops. It is an experience rather than a set of skills or actions.


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 and often they go hand in hand. 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.


How does Counselling help?

It is a space and a support during difficult times. The things we cannot say about ourselves for fear of burdening others or fear of being misunderstood, those things we can say to a therapist. To say what cannot be said and experience the different parts of ourselves, including giving a voice to those parts we would prefer to hide is a great relief when we are not judged for what we have said. We don’t have to wear a mask or operate from a persona in the counselling room. The potential benefits are many and are different for different people at different times. It depends on what we need and value most.


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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