Psychology seeks to help people with a range of personal difficulties. Often, these problems cause distress or difficulty in how someone is feeling, thinking, behaving or learning. Psychologists are trained to apply their knowledge in practical ways to help people understand their difficulties and explore ways of making positive changes. Professionally qualified psychologists will hold accredited undergraduate and post graduate qualifications in areas such as clinical, counselling and educational psychology.
Clinical Psychologists: Are trained to provide services across the lifespan and offer a range of specialised assessments and interventions to support psychological wellbeing.
Counselling Psychologists: facilitate people, across the lifespan, to address their emotional, psychological, behavioural and physical needs with the aim of improving well-being and lessening distress. Counselling psychologists also provide psychological assessment and specialised psychological therapy.
Educational Psychologists: Focus on supporting learning and development in schools and in some disability service settings.
Often, people contact psychology when their difficulties become more intense versions of troubles most people experience to some degree at certain times in their lives. At these times, people often find that their usual ways of coping no longer seem effective; they may feel overwhelmed in some way and experience feelings of anxiety, depression or relationships troubles. Whilst these difficulties can develop after particularly traumatic or difficult experiences such as bereavements, illness, relationship break-ups or loss of a job, often there may not be any obvious cause or the causes are difficult to understand.
The following are examples of some of the difficulties a psychologist may help with:
Stress and tension
Anxiety, panic attacks, phobias and obsessions
Memory and attention problems
Coping with physical illness
Bereavement or divorce/separation
Traumatic experiences in childhood
Self esteem issues
What to expect when you visit a psychologist
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Accessing psychology services:
A G.P. may refer you to a Community Mental Health team in your area. The Community Mental Health team then makes a decision about whether to refer you to psychology or to another member of the team, who can best meet your needs.
If you are thinking about arranging a private appointment with a psychologist, ask whether they are registered with an accrediting body such as the Psychological Society of Ireland. You can find a registered psychologist and arrange a private appointment via www.psychologicalsociety.ie/find-a-psychologist/