"where ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference"

Student Experiences


“I initially chose to study here as it was part-time and this gave me the flexibility I needed.  I particularly liked the experiential style of learning that was done in a group session.  I can find academic learning quite difficult and this course allowed me to learn in a different way.  Tutorials were conducted by previous students and there is one person designated as an academic tutor should you require additional support in this area.  I really enjoyed attending my own personal counselling (a requirement) while studying for the diploma.  It helped me with my own development and allowed me to become a better trainee counsellor.  The workshops allowed me to train in an environment that was encouraging, respectful and safe.  I would highly recommend training with Cork Counselling Services as I feel equipped now to work with my own counselling clients”

Amanda Murphy

“I want to highlight the residential weekends, they are a wonderful opportunity to really connect and get deep, not just with the theme of the weekend but also with facilitators and students. I really value them. Furthermore, one exercise included clay modelling which was incredibly powerful and moving, in ways that hours of therapy couldn’t provide.”

Linda Brennan

“The course feels fresh and relevant, but with the quality of decades of experience. The course felt challenging and safe at the same time. There were constant invitations to address any blocks I had, and I felt supported in it. The milestones and assessment criteria were clearly defined, but there was also a lot of flexibility if the plan needed to be interrupted for some reasons. The course has helped me reflect on my position in the world, and how I want to participate. It was reaffirming to learn that the mission statement isn’t just a pretty line on the website. You absolutely walk the talk. Thank you for everything so far, and I’m very happy that my time at the Cork Counselling Services hasn’t come to an end just yet! Also, I have received feedback on my assignments from a wide range of markers. It helped to be presented with different perspectives. There was a richness to it. And the detail of the feedback was humbling. Thank you for making the logistical side of the course so very effortless. The course manual was detailed and user friendly. Communications timely and clear. And your response to all my requests were instant and friendly. The course is definitely supported by a well-oiled machine! Finally, my experience of you as a team is that you work well together. When one of you is on leave, the other takes over. This too adds to the experience of a highly professional, well-functioning team. This is a challenging course, and being able to rely on you so much really, really helps. Thank you!”

Marilien Romme

“I found it tough going at times as what we discussed and learnt really did stir me for days after the workshop. I love the experiential learning process and would say it is the best learning experience I have ever had. Please ensure you keep that aspect of the training up. The attention to detail and the flow of content worked. The time flew by so quickly and while it was hard work, it was rewarding. And I have only positive to say about the staff.”

Simon McAuliffe

“I doubt any other course can compare with the experiential nature of this course. It’s fantastic. Sometimes I think I’d like more theory but to be honest if that took the place of the experiential learning I would have been disappointed. Everyone I have come into contact with from the Centre has been kind and considerate.”

Laura Dennehy

“Overall, this is a very good course that is inclusive of all levels of academia and supports professional and personal development. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in pursuing a course in counselling.”

Patricia Murphy

“I am extremely impressed with the structure of this course, its detail and its content. It is very well thought out and the level of planning and care applied, I feel would be way beyond what’s available in similar courses <..> The experiential learning and training, along with my own personal therapy is for me paramount in making me the best Therapist I can be. This, I have always understood is our trainers’ aim. This could never be achieved in a “lecture setting”. I have learned and grown so much from this experience and I feel it makes me more available as a human, less triggered by my own story around conflict and anger and less judgemental. I feel the combination of experiential learning coupled with academic a ssignments and presentations is excellent. The student also acquires a concrete knowledge of theory, in the research element of these assignments, and this is fundamental in the delivery of best practice. The experiential nature of this training would be very difficult to find elsewhere. I am very happy with this course. I can see all the preparation and thought that goes in to delivery and the content is excellent. There is also room made for deviation from “the plan”, depending what comes up in the group and this is accommodated in a, welcoming attitude by both Trainers. This is the plan but let’s see, and when the plan goes out the window, it is not a big deal. This is a very honed skill by both trainers and I admire their level of “acceptance of the unknown”! This is an excellent course, well thought out, well planned and well executed by the Training Team. I feel it would be very hard to match the level of training delivered. Fun, is a huge and very important part of training also at Cork Counselling Services, and I feel this must be acknowledged in my feedback as it is most welcome, on such a challenging journey. Thank you all for your support, your time and your energy, it is greatly appreciated. On closing, all the Cork Counselling Services staff are extremely supportive and helpful.”

Peggy Griffin

“I feel the course was structured really well in terms of guiding us through the year. Although the workload was heavy. I felt the trainers broke each assignment and task into smaller chunks that we could digest at each workshop and I always felt so supported. On a personal level I have learnt and grown so much since the start of the course. I feel that the course doesn’t need any big changes. It is really structured to help students explore and connect with themselves in a safe and secure environment. It does this by phasing things gently with each weekend and challenging us also when needed. I felt the skills workshop was excellent and this really gave me confidence with my triad work. I really enjoyed the Triad work and learned so much from each session. The psychodrama exercises were amazing and on a personal level I really felt I connected on a much deeper level. I don’t think I had experienced this in first year as far as I remember but I would have loved to have seen more of this creativity in other weekends. The use of clay and the films that we watched were also really helpful in terms of helping me connect with the topic of the weekend. I really felt after each weekend my confidence grew and I also learned so much from the supervision feedback. I feel the facilitators really worked well together and really judged the energy of the group well. They were excellent at being flexible in terms of what we were able for if it had been a long day the pacing was done really well. I felt the training team were extremely committed and demonstrated integrity, respect and kindness at all times to all of us. I felt so supported at all times.”

Martina Daly

“I really enjoyed the experiential nature of the training <..> The creativity in the course has to be one of the parts I will remember the most. The dramas provided the perfect spaces to laugh and regroup after heavy workshops. I really never imagined I would enjoy them as much as I did and I had proper belly laughs during them. It was also a great way of seeing other group members in expressive way <..> The residential workshop have been exceptionally rewarding for me. <..> I have also become very comfortable with silence in the past couple of years and the personal reflections have aided this greatly.”

Nuala English

“The emphasis on how my personal story impacts my work as a professional has been incredibly powerful. You constantly adhere to all confidentiality requirements. I have very much enjoyed the autonomy awarded to us as a way of readying us for our roles as professional counsellors. I understand the organisation it takes to manage all of the individuals connected to the Centre and it cannot be underestimated.”

Kate Roberts

“I like the consistency of the training.  I found that at all times we were encouraged to learn, experience and explore for ourselves.  The fact that there is an abundance of support but no hand holding I feel is consistent with integrative humanistic counselling and models a healthy process.”

Shirley, 2nd Year Student

“The aim of the course is to create learning conditions which foster personal and professional development, give meaning to life and help to realise potential.  For me , that aim is something the course definitely achieves.  I found the course to be very fulfilling, challenging, engaging and fun.”

editing website“I found the experiential nature of the course to be a very effective training process.  The focus on personal development, and developing a congruent way of being is a very important and beneficial aspect of the course.”

Terri, 2nd Year Student

“The facilitation of the course over the last 2 years has been excellent.  The warm, expert, supportive styles of the delivery created a safe but challenging learning environment.”

Teresa, 2nd Year Student

“I believe the institute is guided by the principles of ethical counselling in everything it does.  It sets a high level of professional and personal competence for all its facilitators and students. The facilitators are professional in the work they do, they live their roles in their everyday life and they are real.  They appear to me to be vocational as opposed to employees. The institute is open to feedback and encourages it, a sure sign of an organisations self belief and confidence. The institute provided me an opportunity to train as a counsellor, to develop personally, to discover the real me and give me the confidence to live as me. This I will forever be grateful.”

Jimmy, 2nd Year Student

“The course is very professional, offering theoretical knowledge, skills practice, opportunities for in-depth personal development and opportunities for change. It commands very high standards. The facilitators are well trained and support is given to all participants.”

Catherine, 1st Year Student

I feel this is the highest quality counselling course in Ireland and the centre produces counsellors of a high calibre.”

Lorraine, 1st Year Student

“It has been an honour for me to be part of this training course and have an opportunity to learn so much about counselling and myself under the guidance of excellent facilitators.”

Jimmy, 2nd Year Student