The Irish Online Counselling & Psychotherapy Service (IOCPS) was founded in 2011 by Mary McHugh and Donijka Monk
It's main purpose at the time was to offer a professional and boundaried counselling service to those in need, who may not be able to access conventional support services, due to issues such as anxiety, disability, family/work commitments, geographic location. Since its foundation the IOCPS has grown beyond the domestic need in Ireland and we have become increasingly aware of the need for a home based support for the Irish diaspora. Over 50% of our clients are Irish people living and working abroad. Our service allows them to access a home from home counselling service with flexible times (office hours are 6am - 10pm GMT) and convenient medium choices (instant chat, telephone call or video call). So regardless of whether someone is traveling to different locations within the same country, or to different countries, their counselling support remains a constant, allowing us to be with them wherever they are.
Counselling sessions are one hour in length and clients can choose from three mediums through which to work:
All sessions are traditionally conducted via Skype but alternatives can be arranged for those in countries where Skype and its use is restricted.
The choice of mediums allows the client to enter into the therapeutic relationship though a way of communication that they feel most at ease with. The mediums are not fixed but are interchangeable to accommodate the changing needs of the client as therapy progresses and a trusting therapeutic relationship is established. So, for example, a client who begins with instant chat may move to instant chat with the video on, but sound off and then to full video sessions where they see and are seen, hear and are heard.
We work with individuals and couples and in the case of couples counselling, it has been our experience that online counselling offers a much needed service to couples in need of support who may due to circumstances be living in different locations or indeed, different countries. Through the services of the IOCPS they can both come into counselling sessions together no matter where they may be geographically.