Counselling Centre and Family Support Service


Types of Counselling Adults

There are various approaches to the counselling process, which can be summarised as follows:

  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy
  • Systemic & Family Therapy
  • Addiction Counselling


Psychodynamic therapy focuses on difficulties arising from early childhood that remain unresolved.The Counsellor helps the client to resolve the conflict by creating the environment where the person feels safe enough to talk about their early life and to express feelings and thoughts that have not been released before, and which have resulted in dysfunctional behavioural patterns and relationships.

This form of therapeutic intervention typically takes some time in the region of 1-2 years of weekly sessions of one-hour duration.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses specifically on behavioural patterns that have a negative impact on mood. This is achieved by focusing on the thoughts behind behaviours and the development of a treatment plan to enable the client to change the thoughts and consequential behaviours. The changes are usually targeted in the client’s environment where triggers are identified and managed effectively.

This form of intervention is typically short-term with a treatment plan identified when a clinical assessment has been carried out.


Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy is based on the philosophy that the client has the ability to integrate their life experiences when facilitated in a safe, confidential environment. The counsellor provides a non-judgemental, unconditional approach and environment which enables clients to grow in their acceptance of themselves and a belief in their innate ability to achieve balance in their life.

This form of psychotherapy is usually long-term (20+ sessions)


Systemic & Family Therapy considers the distress of the individual client in the context of relationships within the family unit and society. This form of therapy focuses on the interaction of the individual with others and seeks to discover meaning and understanding of self and wider system.

Typically this form of therapy is also longer term.


Addiction Counselling The role of the Addiction Counsellor is to provide a professional counselling/therapy service to communities, families and individuals in the area of addiction and HIV. This work requires the ability to work in a variety of settings i.e. clinical treatment services, communities, residential and rehabilitation

These benefits of multidisciplinary teams for service users are increasingly recognised. In the consultation exercise undertaken by the Mental Health Commission (2005a) on what constitutes a quality mental health service, one of the key themes to emerge from all stakeholders was the importance of multidisciplinary teams.