Do you experience sudden episodes of intense and overwhelming fear that seem to come on for no apparent reason? Read More

Can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) help me?

Extensive research on Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies has been carried out.
It has been shown to be an effective form of treatment, particularly for the following:

Obsessional OCD

Obsessional OCD

Here Jackie describes this distressing problem. Obsessional OCD is a form of OCD that people are often very frightened of or are too embarrassed to talk about.

How can I find a good therapist?

Please read the following very carefully. This information explains and emphasises the need to ensure that the therapist you choose to attend is accredited or registered specifically in CBT with a professional organisation. Recognised organisations with CBT registers include:

Irish Council of Psychotherapy (ICP)

British Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP)
Search “Republic of Ireland” on the county list

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (Ireland)

CBT has long been established as an effective, evidence based form of psychotherapy. However, it has achieved wider recognition and publicity in more recent years. This has been significantly influenced by more effective dissemination of information amongst related professions, but also by the publication of the NICE guidelines in the UK.

Its increased popularity has resulted in a demand for services exceeding availability. In the UK the government is trying to address this via the Improved Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT)

No such programme or investment currently exists in Ireland.

Specialists in the field of CBT in Ireland are very aware that our current supply of expertise does not meet the demands and that access to quality CBT is often limited or even unavailable, expensive or involves lengthy waiting periods. Whilst training issues are being addressed and improvements have been made, the lack of government investment hampers progress in this regard.

Despite this there has been a huge increase in the unregulated availability of CBT especially on a private basis. CBT is frequently offered by counsellors, psychotherapists and/or psychologists. Professional Certificates in CBT can be obtained in some cases with just 5-days training. The area of counselling and psychotherapy is currently not subject to statutory regulation or registration and there is increasing concern about the standards, levels of expertise and experience, demonstrated by some people currently offering and providing CBT. This has implications not just on the reputation of CBT itself, but also generates serious concerns about the welfare and safety of members of the public receiving these unregulated interventions.

Accreditation/qualification in other forms of psychotherapy/psychology does not guarantee competency in CBT
and many CBT training courses provide only basic training at a level unsatisfactory for unsupervised work at a specialist level. It is highly recommended that professionals practicing this demonstrate sufficient competency to do so through accreditation with a reputable CBT organization. Whilst accreditation or registration in CBT is not compulsory, it is voluntarily available and provides assurance to referrers and the public in general of the achievement of minimum requirements to practice CBT.

Psychotherapists who appear on the CBT section of the Irish Council of Psychotherapy register or CBT/UK register  or Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (Ireland) are all accredited practitioners specifically in CBT, meaning they have met established minimum training and practice standards in CBT. They must provide evidence of ongoing competent practice with appropriate clinical supervision and ongoing professional development in order to maintain accreditation requirements. A person not currently on these registers is not automatically unfit to practice CBT but may not reach the established minimum standards required for accreditation in CBT, despite high levels of competency or even accreditation in other areas of counselling or psychotherapy.

The ICP currently estimates that statutory regulation for psychotherapy will not happen before 2022.  When it happens, it may not resolve this issue completely.
An example of the concern is that in May 2018 there were 37 accredited CBT therapists on the ICP register.  However, if a member of the public searches the list for someone declaring a “specialist interest” in, for example, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD),  334 names come up. Yet the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK identify only two effective treatments for OCD; Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Medication. 

Practitioners accredited/registered in other areas of counselling or psychotherapy will still be free to offer CBT without the need to be accredited/registered specifically in that field. Referrers and the general public are therefpre strongly advised to pay close attention to the level and quality of CBT service they access.

Contact Information

If you want any further information or would like to arrange an appointment, please contact me.

Jackie O’Kelly,
Heather Edge,

Mobile: 086 0530445