Counselling Services for Young People

If you think you need some extra support with your mental health, here is our advice and information about counselling and where you can get help.


How can counselling services help?

Counselling and other advice services can help young people talk things through, support them without making them feel judged, and in confidence (unless they disclose that their personal safety is at risk). Advice services can make a positive difference to their lives.

The range of advice services for young people includes face-to-face counselling, one-to-one phone calls, webchat, email, forums and face-to-face sessions.

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How counselling can help young people?

Counselling is the most common form of talking therapy and is sometimes available through a referrals made by the GP to a H.S.E service, or through school-based counselling. It can help young people deal with issues and events and the effects they are having on their mental wellbeing.

Counselling could be recommended for young people who are basically healthy but who are struggling with a mental health disorder such as depression or eating disorders; it can address problems with anxiety, bereavement; bullying, anger, relationships, low self-esteem, and self-harm. The counsellor will help explore the problem, the symptoms and strategies for coping.

Different types of counselling

There are different types of counselling, but the most common ones recommended for young people are:

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The approach of CBT is about thinking more positively about life, looking at how you can get stuck in patterns of behaviour and ways of changing these rather than dwelling on past events.

There are typically six or 12 weekly sessions and the therapist sets goals with the young person, often with ‘homework’ to do in between.

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Mindfulness is often combined with CBT and helps a young person to focus on difficult thoughts and feeling, rather than avoiding them, so that the fear of them gradually lessens.

Therapists can also include meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.

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This is a more long-term therapy and involves talking about the effects of past events and can be more helpful with long-term problems such as depression or eating disorders.

NHS psychotherapists work in clinics or hospitals; some private psychotherapists work from home.

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Family Therapy

The whole family works with the family therapist to try and understand the problems they are all having.

It can help improve communications between family members and issues such as children’s behavioural problems, disability, family breakdown, addiction and domestic violence.

Where can I find a counsellor?


A GP might try to refer a young person to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for counselling, but  waitinglists can be long. 

However, they might know about alternative local counselling provision for young people.


Schools can also refer young people to CAMHS.

In addition, many schools have their own counsellor on site and young people can often benefit hugely from having this kind of support in school.


Charities offer opportunities for young people to get advice, support and solidarity from helplines, group forums and message boards, email- webchat- text- and email services.

The HSE supported website offers accredited, online counselling support specifically for young people.

Counsellors & Therapists

Counsellors and therapists are available privately – it can seem quite overwhelming trying to find someone you think is suitable.

Check on bona fide directories, look for recommendations, and make sure they are accredited to one of the national accreditation bodies below and have regular supervision.

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Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

A comprehensive online directory of all accredited IACP  Counsellors / Psychotherapists in Ireland can be found at

A Telephone Referral Service providing information on all areas relating to Counselling & Psychotherapy: 01-2303536, 9 am –5 pm, Monday to Friday.

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Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy

A comprehensive online directory of accredited IAHP Psychotherapists can be found at

Jigsaw mental health

Jigsaw Online Counselling

Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, are a team of professionals, volunteers and campaigners, who are passionate about supporting young people with their mental health.

Online Counselling

Video Chat

Phone Counselling Service

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Phone Counselling

Live Chat


Face to face

Jigsaw believe that early intervention support and prevention can make a massive difference to the mental health of Ireland’s young people. To make their services more accessible, Jigsaw provide mental health support through video, phone, live chat along with their face-to-face services.

Online Services with Jigsaw

Young people in Clare can access the video, phone and online services for free through this link.

One 2 One with Jigsaw

For young people seeking 1:1 support, the 1:1 live chat service runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-5pm, and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-8pm.

Group Chat with Jigsaw

They also run regular Live group chats for young people between 12 and 25 years-old. Check out the calendar of times and how to register here.

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Tusla funded counselling supports

The Child and Family Agency provides funding to voluntary organisations offering the following types of counselling/psychotherapy and support services:

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Marriage & Relationship Counselling

Mental Health

Child & Adolescent Counselling/Psychotherapy

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Rainbows peer support programme for children

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Bereavement Counselling and Support

A voluntary organisation is described as being a group providing low cost services to the community on a not-for-profit basis. Check with your nearest Family Resource Centre to see if you can avail of counselling supports they may have.

Contact details for the Co. Clare Family Resource Centres can be found here: www.tusla/clare

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