Kildare Offaly Counselling

Counselling · Psychotherapy · CBT · Mindfulness · Art Therapy · Compassion

Carbury, Co. Kildare · Tels: 0873977828 / 0862272917


Free Initial Consultation


"And suddenly you know…

it's time to start something new

and trust the magic of beginnings" 

Eckart  Tolle 



Why a free consultation?

Starting psychotherapy can be a little scary, or maybe you are not sure if this is the type of service you need, or if one of us will be the person that you will feel comfortable with. Our own personal experience was that, when looking for a therapist, the only way to find out whether a therapist was the type of person we wanted or not, was to make an appointment and pay for a full session. Whereas we understood and fully respect that people making a living from therapy like ourselves are totally entitled to be paid for their time, we felt that, based on our own beliefs, we would like to offer people a chance to meet us first at no charge, as that is what we would have valued ourselves as clients when looking for therapy for ourselves. We both really believe that it is wise to shop around until you find the right match, as therapy can be a big commitment of your time and money. Before choosing someone to do work in your home, you would probably get them to come to your house and give you a free quote, so why not expect that when it comes to your mental health? As therapists working in private practice, we have both found that, in the long run, having this opportunity to meet first with no sense of  commitment to further sessions or of money being exchanged benefits not only the people that come to us, but ourselves too. It feels good to give people that opportunity as, having been clients ourselves, it would be something we would value.


Maybe it's your first time ever trying something like this and you might have a lot questions about the whole process and how it works or maybe you've done this before and want to begin again with a different person, for whatever reason. The purpose of the free initial consultation/assessment is to provide a space where you can meet one of us and decide whether the service we offer is what you need right now. Likewise, it is a space where we can formally assess your situation and decide whether we can actually help you or not. 


What exactly happens?

The initial meeting lasts about an hour and is completely free of charge. What happens is up to you. After perhaps looking at our details on the website, you can meet with either Antonia or Damien and ask any questions you might have (about our training, working style, how the sessions work, etc.), or we can give you a formal assessment (where we ask you what you want to get from therapy, ask you to complete a questionnaire that measures distress and get a little of your history), or you can do both! You decide. You don't have to do anything that feels uncomfortable or answer any questions you don't want to. 


What kind of questions will I be asked if I decide to get assessed in the free consultation?

We will first ask you to complete a questionnaire that measures your current level of emotional/psychological distress. It takes 3-4 minutes to complete and you do this by yourself by writing down your own answers, and we will score up the results afterwards. The questionnaire we use is widely recognised and was developed in the UK. It is used in the psychological therapies in the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and other places in Europe. The purpose of filling in this questionnaire is so that we can get a clear idea of exactly where you are at when you arrive, and also to get a sense of what areas of your life might need most attention at the moment. If  you decide to begin therapy, we will be asking you to complete the same questionnaire every few sessions, so that we can see whether the level of distress is receding or nor (this helps us evaluate whether the work we are doing is working or not). Other questions you will be asked in the free initial consultation are: whether you have received therapy before, if so what worked and what didn't, whether you are taking any medication, whether you are attending any other services at the moment or nor (psychiatrist, psychologist, group meetings, etc.), what your symptoms are and when they started, to tell us a bit about your personal/family history, etc. Again, you don't have to answer any question that you don't feel comfortable with. 


What happens after the initial consultation is over?


You do not have to decide whether you want to start therapy with us or not there and then. Hopefully after the meeting you will have a clearer idea of what kind of therapy is offered, what typically happens in a session, what it feels like to talk to one of us, whether you feel we can help you or not, etc.  We put no pressure at all on you after the consultation to start therapy, as we believe it is crucial to find a therapist you feel comfortable with and to shop around until you find the right person.  Some people are certain they wan to begin after the first meeting, so we make an appointment there and then and work out a therapy plan. Other people are not sure, so they leave and have a think about it, or meet other therapists to "shop around" - We would really encourage this! And other people know after the meeting that the service we offer is not for them, so they never return and that is okay. Sometimes, either myself or Damien might feel that the service we offer is not suitable for what you need, and then we can give you the name of either another service or another more suitable therapist in the area.After the initial questionnaire, I will ask you questions such as: if you have received therapy before, whether you are on medication, a little about your personal history, to tell me more about the problem that has brought you hear, how long you have been struggling with it, what has


What happens with my information if, after leaving, I think about it and decide not to start?

If you decide to get assessed, and after the consultation want to take some time to think about whether you want to begin or not,  we will hold on to the forms for two weeks. If we don't hear from you after two weeks, we will shred all the information you gave me in the assessment, including the questionnaire. If, after the consultation, you us me know that you don't want to go ahead, we shred all the information we have written down immediately.