Making The Leap

Recognise that there is an issue
Contact us for an initial chat
Choose a therapist
Come in for your first meeting
Spend time with your therapist
THE FIRST THING TO DO is congratulate yourself for recognising that there is an issue. It can be a very difficult task to acknowledge that we are struggling with some part of our life. Although things are improving culturally in Ireland, there can still be stigma associated with mental health. Over the last five years in particular, we are seeing an increase in younger men presenting. This is a sign that things are changing, that young men in particular are opening up and recognising that it is ok to ‘not be ok.’

It is very easy for us to brush our mental health under the carpet and dismiss issues that will fester. It takes courage to talk to a friend, to ask for help, or to contact a counsellor. Well done for taking that step.

The issues that people present with are frequently mild. There is no ‘level’ or ‘bar’ to reach before you can contact a therapist. Many people are experiencing some mild anxiety due to an upcoming event. Some people are finding work a little bit stressful. Although you may feel that other people have it worse, and that you have no right to moan. This is not the case. Therapy can help guide you through these testing times.

Sometimes, people are experiencing more serious difficulties in life. These issues can be debilitating; they can really hamper your life. Severe anxiety and depression are common issues that people face. Relationships with friends, family and partners can be hampered. Although these issues are stark and obvious, many people still choose to ignore or bury them. It takes courage to acknowledge these issues and seek help and guidance with a trained therapist.

In some extreme cases, people are finding life so difficult that they are self-harming or considering suicide. Issues can cause some people to fall into a cycle of alcoholism or substance abuse. While stuck in these cycles, it can be extremely difficult to seek help and understand that there is a way out of these difficulties.
MAKING YOUR FIRST CONTACT can be a daunting part of the process. For many people, that initial contact is what keeps them from embarking on a journey of counselling or therapy. For the team here at Bath Avenue, making our clients feel welcome and comfortable from the very first contact is an absolute priority. There is no judgement. There is no pressure. There is no obligation on you.

You can contact Bath Avenue in a few different ways. The important thing is that each individual uses whichever way makes them feel more at ease. For some, they can just pick up the phone and call us. For others, discretion is crucial, and you may wish to arrange a phone call for a time when you can have full privacy. For others, an exchange of emails may work in the initial phase while the trust and comfort builds.

Our website has a host of information for you. You can explore some of the issues that you may be facing, scan through the various services that we offer, or see profiles of our therapists. There is also a Contact Form where you can put any questions to us that you may have.

We have a presence on social media also: see links below. The best way to contact us would be by phone, email or through our website.

When you call us here at Bath Avenue, we will have a quick conversation about why you have called us. This gives you a chance to settle in and get comfortable with the process. There is no pressure to answer questions you are not comfortable answering at this stage. We just cover some things such as how you are feeling now, and for what reason you called us. We may discuss what you feel that you want to get out of a counselling or therapy service.

Also, this initial conversation serves a crucial purpose, it gives us a chance to understand more about you with a view to matching you with the right therapist.

Points of contact:
CONTACT
BATH AVENUE COUNSELLING CENTRE was founded and operated by Valerie Kilkenny and Eamonn Boland, two therapists with combined experience of more than 40 years. As Clinical Directors, Eamonn and Valerie will diligently consider which therapist at Bath Avenue Counselling Centre is best suited to your needs.

In order to make this decision, Eamonn or Valerie will have a conversation with you about the reason that you are calling. For example, you may feel under stress in work and that it is adversely affecting your private and professional life. For others, it may be an issue with depression or relationships. We will carefully ask questions and listen to your thoughts. For some people, they feel that they would be more comfortable with a female therapist. The crucial part is that we get a feel for which therapist will be a good fit for you.

Sometimes, clients are quite reticent about beginning therapy and can have concerns about finding the right fit for them. In some of these cases a phone call isn’t quite enough. Then it can be a good idea to have an exploratory consultation free of charge. In this scenario, you can come into Bath Avenue Counselling Centre to meet with either of the Clinical Directors for a brief conversation about how therapy works, and about which therapist may be best suited to you. It is not a therapy session, it more of an informal conversation about you and your wishes.

It is also important to consider the time frame. For some people, the issue that they are facing can be quite serious and time sensitive. In urgent situations, it may be appropriate to set up an appointment at very short notice. For many others, they are happy to find a slot that is convenient to begin the following week. Valerie and Eamonn will have this discussion with you and find the most suitable appointment date. Here at Bath Avenue, we do our absolute best to avoiding waiting lists so that you get to begin your therapy at the most appropriate time.

Typically, therapy takes place on regular intervals such as weekly. It is also best practice to keep the same time slot every for each session. For example, when we arrange your first appointment, it is with a view to maintaining that time slot on a regular basis. Therefore, we fully consider the time constraints of work and your family schedule.
When you speak with Eamonn or Valerie, careful consideration is given to finances.

Typical individual therapy is €70-€80 per hour. However, some people are not in a position to commit to such a course of therapy. As part of our team here at Bath Avenue, we have Pre-Accredited Therapists and Trainee Therapists. The fees for Student Therapists start from €25 and are dependent on availability.
IT MAY BE A nervous time for some people to attend a therapy session for the first time. Therefore, it may be of help to you to fully understand more about how your first appointment plays out.

We are located above the Credit Union on Bath Avenue. When you arrive at our door, which is located directly to the left of the Credit Union, just press the bell and you will be buzzed in. Go up the stairs and take a seat in the waiting area. Your therapist will come to meet you there, give you a warm welcome and bring you to the room.

Once you have settled into your room, you will have a more detailed conversation with your therapist about why you contacted Bath Avenue Counselling Centre. In a sense, this is a preliminary session that allows you and the therapist to delve into the presenting issue. It gives the therapist an opportunity to fully understand your needs and begin to form a path to move forward.

As well as discussing your needs and what you want to get out of a course of therapy, it also gives both you and the therapist a chance to discuss some of the boundaries of therapy. For example, the length of the sessions and method of payment.

THERAPISTS sometimes refer to the counselling process as a ‘collaborative conversation’. This can be a good way to look at therapy. Other therapists refer to the process as ‘an invitation to talk.’ This means that there is no agenda set out by the therapist. You are not under any pressure to perform, or to behave a certain way, or to achieve any particular goals.

Having had your first session with your therapist, you begin to settle into a working relationship. This is where the collaboration comes into effect. It is not up to the therapist to dictate how many sessions you will have. Instead you work with your therapist over time.

Having said that, it would be typical to take on 6 sessions to explore the issues that brought you to start therapy. It gives a chance for you to build a relationship and trust with your therapist. It also gives you a chance to explore the issues in more detail. It can be very difficult for people to open up about their issues. For many people, it just takes time. It takes a few sessions of exploring the issues as you delve into them with your therapist.

As the process continues with your therapist, you can have open and honest discussions about how you feel therapy is going. You work with your therapist to decide how many sessions you would like to have.

For some people, they feel that a handful of sessions is enough. Perhaps there was an issue in work that you were struggling with. A short course of therapy might have helped you through this patch until the problem at work was resolved. For many others, therapy can be a very valuable process to continue for a few months. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and each person works in collaboration with their therapist about how long therapy will continue.

In some cases, therapy can continue on for a year or more. Some people enjoy the benefits of counselling and therapy over a long term. It may be a case of you working in a stressful job that you also love. It may be that you find therapy helps you manage your daily life with more ease and fulfilment. As we have said, everyone is different, and you are never under pressure to commit to something you’re not comfortable with.

First Floor, 13 Bath Avenue
Sandymount, Dublin D04 K386
(right above the Credit Union).
OPENING HOURS
Monday to Friday: 8am to 9pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
CONTACT

E: info@bacc.ie
Ph: (01) 678 8864
Mobile: (087) 981 1988
Disclaimer: Bath Avenue Counselling Centre operates as a referral agency. We provide facilities for mental health professionals that practice independently of Bath Avenue Counselling Centre. Each therapist operates as a sole trader with their own relevant insurances and accreditations.
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