Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy

Fully accredited

CBT Therapist with BABCP & CBTI

BA(Hons) Counselling
Dips Addiction,
Counselling & Stress Management Instruction

call +353868045221

dm @corkcbt

Contact Me


Frequently Asked Questions

What is it like Beginning in Counselling? Is it Realistic to Believe that Therapy will have an
Immediate Instant Effect?
How do I make an appointment for counselling? How Long Will the Treatment Last?
What can you do to Maximise the Benefits of Counselling? How Will I Know if the Treatment is Working?
How Often will I Need to Attend Sessions? Confidentiality and Ethics
What’s a Typical CBT Session like? When is Medication Used?
What is my Role as the Therapist? Finding the Correct CBT therapist
Why is Home Practice between Therapy Sessions Important?

What Age Range do you work with?


How much do I charge per session per hour?



What is it like Beginning in Counselling?

The decision to go for counselling is an important and brave step and ultimately very rewarding. At first you may find it a little difficult to talk about issues in your life that are not going as good as you would like them to be presently. Many people feel nervous when they try something new.  Most clients will feel some anxiety before their first session. This is a normal human response. The vast majority of clients quickly become relaxed when they experience counselling as a safe supportive environment. It helps to think of your therapist as a caring person whom you can trust and who has an objective point of view. As an experienced professional I will not judge you or tell anyone else what you talk about (see confidentiality).
Making a decision to talk about issues or concerns and desired changes with me is the first brave step towards dealing with what’s worrying you. I am trained to listen and help you make better sense of what’s going on in your life.



How do I make an appointment for counselling?

Please ring me directly on 086 8045221 or email to make an appointment. Your first appointment will give us a chance to discuss your individual needs and requirements for counselling, and for us to get to know each other, so you can see if you feel comfortable working with me.



What can you do to Maximise the Benefits of Counselling?

Between your first appointment conversation and before your first session commences I suggest you consider the following:

  • Think about what you want to gain specifically from counselling/therapy
  • Think about how you will know if the therapy is working for you
  • Think of what benchmarks you could use to let you know that your sessions are working
  • Imagine that you have completed your counseling and try and picture how your life would be different in specific pragmatic terms

During your therapy sessions:

  • I welcome your active participation in each session.
  • If you have any concerns or unsure of something simply just ask me, or if you don’t understand or agree with something I say, I would welcome you sharing this as I need to know how you are feeling to provide the best help for your successful resolution of your issue

How Often will I Need to Attend Sessions?

CBT sessions normally and particularly at the beginning of therapy, where feasible should be once weekly. However if this does not suit you for whatever reason, sessions can be pushed to once fortnightly. For people who work shift work or maybe travel a lot in the course of their work, I offer a tailored appointment schedule to meet your needs.  As you wind towards the end of your sessions, some clients like to phase out gently by coming once monthly.



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What’s a Typical CBT Session like?

Sessions are clearly structured, normally of an hours duration, with a gentle definitive beginning, middle and end. I am conscious from my own experience that it can be difficult to locate a CBT therapist with a specific post graduation qualification in CBT particularly in the Munster area.  Many of my clients travel long journeys to attend their sessions with me in Cobh.  In an effort to maximise your travel time I also offer hour and a half sessions if that suits your needs. You are usually given home practice to do between sessions.


What is my Role as the Therapist?

My role is to help you bring about the changes you want to make in your life. In the beginning, through what we call psycho education I will teach you about issues such as how CBT works, where our thoughts beliefs/ assumptions about ourselves, others, the world and the future normally come from.
I will support and encourage you, but also I will challenge you and ask difficult questions in order to help you view your situation in an alternative way. I will help you to increase your understanding of recognising and challenging unhelpful thoughts/beliefs and to develop resourceful ways of living in order to bring about change in your life.



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Why is Home Practice between Therapy Sessions Important?

Home practice or some therapists call it Homework is about you doing some therapy related task between sessions. These tasks are designed to help you get the most out of your therapy, and practice the skills you are learning.  If you think about it the more you practice the faster you will be adequately skilled to satisfactorily deal with you issues on your own. If you have difficulty completing these tasks, talk about it with me – together we will be able to find a solution.


Is it realistic to believe that therapy will have an immediate instant effect?

No: It’s important to remember that normally therapy won’t change things for you overnight after one session. It is my view that counselling operates on the principles of “what you sow is what you reap”. Therapy involves a lot of hard work on your behalf but the end outcomes for most people are hugely rewarding.


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How Long Will the Treatment Last?

CBT is often referred to as a "short term", therapy that primarily focuses on current issues. The actual length of treatment will vary for individuals. A session of counselling lasts normally for one hour. Factors that may determine treatment duration include variables such as problem severity and complexity, as well as the effort you put into it. While many problems are successfully treated in one to two months, duration of six to twelve months is more typical. The initial session will consist of an appropriate assessment of your specific problem, followed by a specific personal Treatment Plan.  The latter part of therapy normally consists of you fine-tuning the cognitive and behavioural skills you have learned in order to maintain the gains you will have gained in therapy.



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How Will I Know if the Treatment is Working?

There will be an ongoing evaluation of your symptoms or moods etc from the beginning (baseline) to the end of your therapy in order to ascertain if you are making progress and getting better in counselling. Objective improvement measures, like questionnaires my own sense of gains you have made, coupled also with your own sense of benefits since commencing counselling would usually be typical types of benchmarks used in counselling to gauge if counselling is actually making a difference to your life. One major benefit of regularly measuring lets say a client’s level of depression is that such information can lead to us fine-tuning a treatment plan to ensure that we are maximising the opportunity to efficiently and effectively create a positive change that will last.


Confidentiality and Ethics

I adhere to all the ethical requirements of practice and standards of The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BABCP).

In general, what you talk about with me remains confidential.

If I need for example to discuss your case with for example your GP or another health professional I will only do so with your expressed permission.  I am obliged to attend clinical supervision normally on a monthly basis.  Here I discuss my client work with a more experienced therapist in order to insure that I am working in an ethical way. Supervisors are also bound by confidentiality and I only use first names of clients when discussing my casework.
On very rare occasions, if I have serious concerns for say your safety, or the safety of another person, or if the law has been broken, then I am obliged to break confidentiality.


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When is Medication Used?

Studies show that CBT is as effective as medication in the treatment of anxiety, panic, worry, and depression. At mild to moderate levels of severity, evidence shows that medication may be unnecessary. However, clinical wisdom suggests that more severe or prolonged problems may best be treated with a combination of CBT and medication. I advocate a collaborative approach, mainly involving you, me as your therapist and say a Medical Practitioner to discuss the potential requirement of medication should that issue ever arise. However I always respect your right to be the ultimate judge of what works best for you.



Finding the Correct CBT therapist

CBT is becoming an increasingly popular therapy and accordingly on many therapy websites you will find many therapists offering CBT to clients although such therapists may have only completed possibly a five day course in CBT. Many of these therapists will also be accredited therapists but not necessarily in a CBT specific organisation.

In doing your research I suggest that you ascertain the therapist’s CBT specific qualification as well establishing if they are actually accredited to a CBT specific organisation (meaning they have met established minimum training and practice standards in CBT).


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What Age Range do you work with?

I only work with clients who are aged 18 and up. Unfortunatley I don’t work with children or teenagers.



How much do I charge per session per hour?

Session are €80 an hour. Please feel free to shop around but it is vitally important that if comparing prices look for accrediation with BABCP or CBPI as a major benchmark as well as the experience of the therapist you wish to attend. I do not operate a Sliding Scale.


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