Community-Based Counselling

What is Community Therapy?

  • Professional counselling and psychotherapy
  • Governed by strict quality standards
  • Diverse: ranging from early intervention to support in highly complex situations
  • Responsive to emerging local needs
  • For everyone in the community
  • Welcoming
  • Affordable
  • Client-led, not system-led
  • Delivered by not-for-profit organisations
  • Complementing statutory and private providers

“Community-based mental health care is not a single entity but involves a range of services and interventions in order to provide for the different support needs of people, in particular crisis support, ongoing treatment and care, and community living and inclusion (WHO 2021)”  (1.)

Community-Based Counselling is a unique Specialist Service and a dynamic and vital part of any mental health system. Community-Based counselling services provide wide-ranging support for individuals experiencing mental health difficulties, including capacity-building and training programmes, information and signposting, resource centres, peer support groups, counselling and other talk therapies. 

“A key strength of the voluntary sector is its capacity to respond in an agile and flexible manner to evolving situations.”  (2.)

Community Therapy Ireland’s community-based counselling services are recognised by Tusla as important services within local communities. Community Therapy Ireland is an integral part of the wider range of statutory and voluntary services and operate through strong interagency relationships and partnerships locally, regionally and nationally. Cross referral is an important feature ensuring that clients access the most appropriate service in their community. 

While the focus of Community Therapy Ireland’s members is general, a range of specialist skills have evolved over many years of service delivery. Community Therapy Ireland’s counselling services include individual, couple, adolescent, family therapy and play therapy. Specialist skills are available in the areas of couple counselling, bereavement, adolescent development, trauma, risk assessment and management. It is important to our members to work within their competencies. 

Fourteen Community Therapy Ireland members deliver psychoeducational programmes, support groups and workshops in the areas of anger management, sexual health, life skills programmes, parental support, and male specific programmes. Three members have responsibility for their county’s Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service. Three Community Therapy Ireland members deliver professional clinical training including Degree Level Qualifications, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes and Supervision training.

For information on our member services, click here.

For further information on accessing professionally qualified counsellors across Ireland, click here.


2. Thomas, D (2021). Building a New Relationship between Voluntary Organisations and the State in the Health and Social Care Sectors: Paper for the Dialogue Forum with Voluntary Organisations National Economic & Social Council (NESC).