What training is involved to deliver the talking therapies?

Many clients are often confused as to whether they are talking to a psychologist, counsellor or psychiatrist when reaching out for support. Training is extensive for each but also very different.

Phrases like “I need an assessment” or specific queries linked to a psychiatric diagnosis using terms like “personality disorder, psychosis or serotonin inhibitors can form part of this dialogue.

Often many of these clients just want to talk and have not given much thought to the different disciplines. This article from the Irish Times looks at the different trainings and some of the differences between a psychologist a psychotherapist & a psychiatrist.

Talk Therapy Dublin is a counselling & psychotherapy service but can provide referrals and links to allied professionals like Psychology, Mental Health OT & Psychiatry. Please make contact if we can be of any help.

MDMA & Psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD

Since, sharing an article a number of years ago I have been receiving some enquiries for MDMA assisted therapy linked to treatment of PTSD here in Ireland.

It is worth noting that this is NOT available as a treatment option in Ireland and all the article described was good outcomes in small clinical trials in the USA.

MDMA is still a class A illegal drug and while promising results were noted more research is required by the international research community. It would also require specialist training of therapists to deliver this form of treatment so is likely a long way off actual use in practice.

There are other trauma focused therapies available to clients (such as EMDR and Sensorimotor therapies) and specialized practitioners as well as therapists with additional training in these models are available for clients in Ireland.

This 2019 article gives some information on the current situation with MDMA assisted therapy for PTSD, as does this article from John Hopkins University.

Please make contact with us if you require any more information on the above.

Relationship breakdown, Divorce & Mental Health

The upcoming referendum has made discussion of relationship breakdowns, separation & divorce very topical.

This article from clinical psychologist Dr. Maureen Gaffney gives an insightful look at the topic in particular highlighting the mental & physical health costs to couples.

She highlights early intervention as key, as early as prior to marriage. Many clients I have worked with have described situations where relationship counselling & mediation were left until far too late and thus were ineffective or in some case made things even worse.

If repair & healing is what the couple want to work toward together, helping them gain understanding on relationship issues & patterns of negativity as well as learning new less destructive ways to communicate are some of the things that can be explored in therapy. Support can also be very useful for those going through the stress & turmoil of a difficult separation & divorce if a decision the end things is made.

The risks of delays & difficulties accessing counselling services in Ireland

While mental health is certainly very much part of the national conversation these days it is disturbing to hear regularly how many aspects of our mental health service remain many years behind.

A clear illustration of this in a recent Irish Times article describes a situation where over 6000 individuals are awaiting counselling services through the HSE with over 1200 waiting 3 months or more. There seems to be particularly disturbing backlogs in the West of Ireland & North Dublin. Many of these individuals could be extremely vulnerable and may not have the resources to access private or alternative services.

Recently in my own practice I became aware of an individual who recently made a serious attempt to complete suicide but through complete chance was prevented.

This vulnerable person ended up being referred by a GP to the A&E department of a major hospital where they ended up walking out due to pure frustration waiting. They were to be contacted by phone as a follow up to this visit which apparently, unbelievably, has still not occurred weeks on. This individual & his network were not aware of the alternative free supports available even those provided by well known organizations such as Pieta house.

Luckily in this instance friends and family have rallied around and got the information & support required shoring up this deficit but for such a high risk individual’s life to be left to chance is extremely disturbing and seems to highlight the vestiges of an archaic, disconnected system with regards to identifying appropriate care for vulnerable people and their mental health.