Marriage & Relationship Counselling

Will couples counselling help?

For couples who wish to build a happier and healthier relationship couples counselling can be a significant support. For couples who wish to separate couples counselling can help them to do so in the most constructive way possible for themselves and for their children.

How long will counselling last?

The period of time a couple or individual attends for counselling will vary as there are many variables to be considered such the nature of the difficulty or difficulties, the frequency of sessions, and if a specialised service is indicated. Each couple and their situation is unique and counselling can take a number of months or longer as needed. Clients who have completed counselling can return to ACCORD should they require support with their relationships in the future. They can return as a couple or only one wishes to return he/she can return as an individual.

What if counselling is finished and further down the road we/I experience the same / other problems, can we/I come back to ACCORD?

Yes, Clients who have completed counselling can return to ACCORD should they require support with their marriages/relationships in the future an individual can return on their own if they wish to if both partners do not wish to return.

What if things don’t get better between us?

Generally when couples attend counselling they gain a better understanding of their difficulties, themselves and their partners. Increased understanding coupled with a commitment and a desire to do what is necessary to resolve the difficulties identified usually results in the situation improving. However during the process of counselling couples can report a lack of improvement initially as problems are being identified, explored and discussed. This can be a difficult experience for couples. However as counselling progresses there is usually improvement when both individuals are prepared to work on addressing the difficulties. In circumstances where one or both individuals are not willing to consider or make changes in their relationship then attending counselling is not likely to improve or resolve their difficulties.

Can a relationship survive an addiction?

Yes a relationship can survive addiction. The person with the addiction needs to acknowledge it, its impact on their partner and family, support themselves not to engage in that behaviour and attend support and aftercare programmes as appropriate. When the addiction is acknowledged ,understood and appropriately managed the relationship can be focused on again and couples can begin the work to resolve the impact of the addiction and rebuild their relationship and family life.

Can a relationship survive an affair?

Yes, a relationship can survive an affair. Following an affair trust needs to be rebuilt if both partners wish to continue in the relationship. If both are willing to work on the relationship the trust can be rebuilt over time. The individual who engaged in the affair will need to acknowledge their breach of trust, take responsibility for it, its impact and be prepared to work to rebuild trust and be very honest, open and transparent in the process.
They will also need to listen to the impact of their affair on their partner. The partner will need to be open to building trust and a different and improved relationship.

Will we always be seen together?

Generally couples will be seen together. However in some circumstances i.e. Domestic Abuse counselling it may be appropriate for couples to be seen individually for a period of time or for the duration of counselling.

Is the service confidential?

ACCORD maintains the highest standards of privacy & confidentiality at all times. However there are limitations to confidentiality in some circumstances in the interests of the safety of children and adults. Confidentiality will be limited if the counsellor has any concerns relating to the possibility of harm or potential harm to any child or adult. . Accord clients will be asked to sign that they accept and understand the nature of the confidentiality and its limitations offered by ACCORD before counselling commences. All Accord couples and relationships counsellors are mandated persons and have a duty to abide by the Children First Legislation (enacted in 2017).

Does it matter that we’re not married?

Clients don’t have to be to be married to access ACCORD counselling.

My partner says everything is my fault, will the counsellor see it this way?

ACCORD counsellors are , understanding , empathic and non- judgemental in their approach. They are on both of your sides and the on the side of the relationship also. Your counsellor will want to help both of you explore, understand and work to improve your relationship. The couples counsellor will focus on the issues affecting the relationship and how they can be manage or resolved by both of you.

What if my partner does not want to come with me?

ACCORD works with both couples and individuals. If a partner is not agreeable to attend counselling the other partner should feel free to attend as an individual. Even if you are disappointed that your partner will not come with you, coming to ACCORD on an individual basis can benefit you and your relationship.

How much will counselling cost?

ACCORD is a non-profit organisation, but we do incur overheads in providing our service. To cover some of these costs we invite clients who are in a position to do so to make a voluntary donation based on their ability to pay. The voluntary donation per session will be agreed at the Needs Assessment Session. No one is turned away from ACCORD due to lack of money.

What if we/I can’t make a session?

ACCORD understands that on occasions couples and individuals may not be in a position to attend pre arranged counselling sessions. In such circumstances clients are asked to give as much notice as possible preferable 24 hours if possible, by phoning the centre. Cancellation of sessions is discussed with clients before they commence counselling with ACCORD.

How often do we/I attend?

Initially sessions tend to be weekly and last one hour. Longer breaks occur between sessions as deemed appropriate and agreed by clients and counsellor.

How long will we/I have to wait for an appointment?

If you wish to attend in person counselling it will depend on the demand for appointments in the centre you contact. Centres make every effort to organise appointments to commence the assessment process as soon as possible after the initial contact with ACCORD. Clients may also be offered an opportunity to attend another ACCORD centre (if convenient for them) if the waiting time is shorter in that centre.
Accord also offers online counselling which can be accessed by emailing Overall the waiting time for an appointment can be very short and is usually no longer than a couple of weeks.

Do we/I have to be Catholic to avail of ACCORD’s Counselling Service ?

No. ACCORD’s couples and relationships counselling service is a professional counselling service and accepts and values clients irrespective of their religious beliefs or none.

What if we/I find we/I can’t work with the counsellor assigned to us/me?

It is very important that couples establish a good therapeutic working relationship with their ACCORD Counsellor. Research in the field of counselling and therapy indicates that a positive therapeutic relationship enhances the outcome of counselling for clients. ACCORD selects and trains individuals who can work with clients in a non judgemental, warm, respectful, ethical and professional manner. If ACCORD clients find they feel unable to establish such a relationship with the counsellor who has been allocated to them, they are free to discuss any difficulties they are experiencing with the counsellor or request that another counsellor works with them.

Does ACCORD provide couples and relationship counselling to same sex couples?

Accord is open to all couples who need professional support for their relationship difficulties, opposite sex, same sex and couples of other gender identities.