How to make sure your Therapist is accredited

In Ireland at present, you can do a one year course in counselling, or a psychology degree focused on brain chemistry, and still stick a sign on your door and begin practising as a therapist. The rules and regulations aren’t streamlined yet, and it’s important to be informed about who you are seeing, and what their qualifications are. From personal experience, I know that my Psychology Degree alone absolutely wouldn’t have prepare me to work one on one with people, nor would a one year course I did in counselling prior to that. Training is so incredibly important, and I would not advise anyone to see a practising counsellor/therapist who is not accredited, or working towards accreditation while in the process of completing their qualifications.
Many courses need expect their trainee therapists to see clients, while under supervision (this does not mean that a supervisor is present, it means that the trainee must report back to make sure they are handling things as well as possible) and will charge much lower fees, if any. They’ll still be working towards accreditation however and their college will be covering this. Make sure to ask them what accreditation they are working towards.
In general, IACP is the most commonly accredited in Ireland at the moment, with most counselling degrees and masters working towards it. I’m working towards APPI via a 2 year MSc in Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy, but studied humanistic counselling for a year prior to my psychology degree. I’ll create another blog post discussing the different types of therapy. However, what is most important is that you find someone who is accredited that you feel COMFORTABLE with, as opposed to which approach to counselling or school of therapy they come from.
PSI (Psychological Society of Ireland) membership is given when you receive your psychology degree. This does not mean that a person with PSI membership has any therapeutic training whatsoever, so watch out for that. A psychologist is not a psychotherapist, and vica versa. If you can meet someone who has studied both, however, then that is pretty great! (Yes, I’m biased….)
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialised in the brain and can offer medications and diagnoses. They are not talk therapists though and have not been trained in the area of psychotherapy. However, there are some amazing psychiatrists out there who are wonderful to talk to. And then there are some that aren’t. Because that’s not the main part of their job or training. So if you are looking for someone to talk to, here is a list of the accrediting bodies in Ireland that you should look out for:

• Irish Association for Play Therapy (IAPT)
• Irish Institute of Cognitive & Humanistic Psychotherapy (IICHP)
• The Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI)
• The Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists
• The Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI)
• The Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy (ICHP)
• The Irish Analytical Psychology Association (IAPA)
• The Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP)
• The Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors (IAAAC)
• The Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy. (IAHIP)
• The Irish Constructivists Psychotherapy Association (ICPA)
• The Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP)
• The Irish Forum for Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy (IFCAPP)
• The Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP)
• The Irish Group Analytic Society (IGAS)
• The Irish Psychoanalytic Association (IPAA)

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