Athlone, Dublin & Galway

Tel: 353906470484  Email:

Exploring How to Become a Counsellor: My Personal Journey (Part 1).


As an experienced counsellor/psychotherapist/supervisor and educator at ICPPD, I’m frequently asked about my journey into this field. The answer is complex, as my personal and professional life experiences guided me towards becoming a Counsellor/Psychotherapist.

My first experience with counselling was during my 30s, when personal challenges led me to seek therapy. This period allowed me to reflect on my life, feelings, and needs, enabling me to make healthier choices for myself and my family. Undergoing counselling was transformative and led to noticeable improvements in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing and this positively impacted my family.

How to Become a CounsellorThe value of my counselling experience sparked a curiosity within me, prompting me to further my education and attend personal development workshops and courses. My therapeutic journey, combined with my love for writing, made journaling a particularly effective tool. As I developed trust in my Counsellor and more importantly, in myself, I began to experience deeper self-awareness, confidence, and self-compassion.

During this time, I delved into self-help literature, with Virginia Satir’s “Self Esteem” being the first on my list. This book still holds a place on my bookshelf today, and our BA in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Learners at ICPPD study Satir’s theories as part of their curriculum. Satir’s words, particularly her poem “I Am Me,” have been instrumental in our Certificate in Personal Development course, which aims to re-discover self-worth, build self-esteem, enhance self-confidence, improve communication skills, and overall support mental health.

For those considering how to become a Counsellor, my personal journey can offer some insights. Taking ownership of my personal growth and committing to change through counselling was a critical part of my decision to pursue a career in this field.

Counselling and Psychotherapy are powerful tools for individuals seeking to improve their emotional health, manage life’s challenges, and achieve personal growth. Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy is a comprehensive approach that treats the individual as a whole: mind, body, heart, and spirit. This broader form of therapy combines traditional talk therapy techniques with a holistic perspective, considering the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and existential aspects of life.

I remember my interview for a place on a professional training course over 25 years ago, and it still feels an important moment in my life. I decided to embrace a thorough substantial training that involved firstly, a commitment to the development of myself as a person.

I considered the other requirement of finances, time, effort, academic criteria, personal therapy etc. I remember thinking this felt right in my bones, and nothing would deter me from commencing this training as a professional counsellor/psychotherapist. Enrolling on this course at that time, gave me meaning and purpose in my life also.

From interviewing hundreds of applicants for a place on our BA in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy course at ICPPD, I can honestly say that I experience the same enthusiasm to make a difference, passion, commitment and a ‘knowing’ that this is the right time, and this is the right course for them.

For anyone wondering how to become a Counsellor/Psychotherapist, ICPPD offers a 4-year part-time BA in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy in Athlone, Dublin, and Galway.

By Christine Moran