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Marriage & Relationship Counselling

Will counselling help?
Research carried out by ACCORD in 2002 indicates that counselling helps both males and females to explore, discuss, understand and manage difficulties in their marriages and relationships and ease the levels of stress experienced. Anecdotally feedback from ACCORD clients is very positive on their experience of counselling. Close Answer
How long will counselling last?
The period of time a couple or individual attend for counselling will vary as there are many variables to be considered such the nature of the difficulty/ies, the frequency of sessions, if a specialised service is indicated. Counselling is intended to be shorter term rather than longer term. Generally counselling will be ongoing for a period of 6- 14 sessions. Clients who have completed counselling can return to ACCORD should they require support with their marriages/relationships in the future. Close Answer
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.

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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 often report lack of improvement initially as problems are being identified and explored. This can be a difficult experience for couples. However as counselling progresses there is usually improvement if both individuals are prepared to work on addressing the difficulties. In some circumstances where one or both individuals are not prepared to look at their own role in their relationship difficulties then merely attending counselling will not resolve their difficulties. Close Answer
Can a marriage/relationship survive an addiction?
Yes a marriage/ relationship can survive addiction. The person with the addiction needs to acknowledge it , 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 work to resolve the issues existing between them. Close Answer
Can a marriage/relationship survive an affair?
Yes, a marriage /relationship can survive an affair. Following an affair trust needs to be rebuilt. If both spouses/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 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. Close Answer
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.

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Is the service confidential?
ACCORD maintains the highest standards of privacy & confidentiality at all times. However ACCORD confidentiality will be breached if the counsellor assesses any client or adult to be in danger or if there is a child protection issue. Clients will be asked to sign that they accept and understand the nature of the confidentiality offered by ACCORD before counselling commences. Close Answer
Does it matter that we’re not married?
Clients don’t have to be to be married to access ACCORD counselling. Close Answer
My partner/spouse says everything is my fault, will the counsellor see it this way?
ACCORD counsellors are non judgemental in their approach. Your counsellor will want to help both individuals to explore, understand and work to resolve their difficulties and will focus on the issues between couples and how they can be resolved by both of you. Close Answer
What if my spouse/partner does not want to come with me?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

It will depend on the demand for appointments in the centre you contact. Centres make every effort to organise appointments to have a Needs Assessment session as soon as possible after the initial contact with ACCORD. Client may also be offered an opportunity to attend another ACCORD centre (if convenient for them) if the waiting time is shorter in that centre. Overall the waiting time for an appointment can be very short and is usually no longer than a couple of weeks.

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

No. ACCORD accepts and values clients irrespective of their religious or ethnic background.

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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.

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