Irish Group Analytic Society

Group Analysis, or Group Analytic Psychotherapy, was developed in England in the 1940s by Dr S.H. Foulkes, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, while working with soldiers from the Second World War. It is derived from psychoanalysis, as well as systems theory, developmental and social psychology, and sociology.

At the heart of Group Analysis is the belief that human beings are fundamentally social in nature, living their lives with other people in family, friendship and other social groupings. The sources of many problems encountered by individuals can be found in their relationship with the groups they grew up in, as well as the groups of which they are now a part. Foulkes believed that on this basis, people’s problems and difficulties are best explored, understood and addressed in a group context.

Group Analysis is now well established in most European countries, and is the main form of group therapy in the mental health services in a number of these countries, including Denmark, Norway, Portugal and the UK.

Who might benefit from group analytic psychotherapy?

Group Analytic Psychotherapy is a useful and productive way of addressing personal difficulties. It has supportive, problem-solving and psycho-educational functions, with the overall aim of achieving lasting personal change through a non-directive free-associative therapy.

As a form of psychotherapy which emphasises the essentially social nature of human experience, Group Analytic Psychotherapy is a valuable therapy for people with a wide range of difficulties, and can be helpful for:

      • Individuals who experience relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, social isolation, low self-esteem;
      • People who have already been in individual therapy may further benefit from group treatment regarding issues such as difficulty with intimacy and relationship problems;
      • Others who come into therapy, not because of any particular difficulty, but because they want to understand themselves in a deeper way.

How do I go about joining a group?
All those interested in group therapy are first met with, on an individual basis, by the group conductor over a number of sessions. This provides an opportunity for assessment of the individual’s suitability for this form of therapy, as well as providing a period of preparation for joining. As the process of developing insightful change is slow, people are encouraged to commit to a minimum period of one year in group, although in practice most stay longer.

How does Group Analytic Psychotherapy work?

      • The group meets once or twice weekly.
      • Each group session lasts for one and a half hours.
      • Group membership is limited to 8.
      • New members may join the group when vacancies occur.
      • In this stranger group, people do not know each other before joining, and are asked not to meet by arrangement for the duration of the group.
      • Strict confidentiality regarding what takes place in the group is maintained.
      • In the space of the group, people are encouraged to talk about themselves and their concerns, and to engage with and respond to others in the group.

Some of the benefits of Group Analytic Psychotherapy

      • The work of the group is to provide members with a dynamic opportunity to experience, reflect on and identify the causes of and solutions to their problems and difficulties.
      • In the group, one’s habitual ways of thinking, feeling and relating in the external world are often replicated. This provides an opportunity to reflect and understand the origin and nature of these patterns, and to allow the possibility of developing and establishing more productive ways of functioning.
      • Participants can discover that they share similar experiences with others in the group, which can significantly reduce feelings of shame and isolation.
      • Groups provide an opportunity to experience, reflect on and struggle with conflict.
      • A developing understanding of group interactions can become a powerful way of learning about the self.
      • Through the group experience and with the help of the group members, including the conductor, people can come to an understanding of how they operate in groups, what happens to them and why. People are supported to change and develop healthier methods of relating.

Applications of Group Analysis

Group Analysis has many therapeutic applications in the health sector. Group Analysts provide, support, train and facilitate the delivery of therapeutic support groups to adults and adolescents in a range of services including addiction, disability, mental health, and child & family services. In addition, groups are provided for carers in these services.

The principles of Group Analysis are also widely applicable in non-clinical fields, including the education and community sectors. Having an understanding of how groups work, what gets in the way of groups working well, how and why people operate in groups, what roles they take on, as well as the ability to identify and work with group dynamics, are essential tools for people working with a range of work tasks.

Services offered by Group Analysts include:

      • Clinical group supervision.
      • Consultation to organisations and staff teams.
      • Staff support and process groups.
      • Team development.
      • Training courses, seminars etc

Address: IGAS Global House, 29 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1



Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

The IFPP is one of the accrediting bodies in this country for psychoanalytic practitioners working with adults, and is one of the six members of the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. Membership is in line with the European Association of Psychotherapy standards; it is restricted to those with an appropriate formal training in psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy or analytical psychology.

All full members of the IFPP should be eligible to receive the European Certificate of Psychotherapy which is awarded by the European Association of Psychotherapy.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is a process which takes place in a relationship between psychotherapist and client who work together to explore the client’s distress and difficulties. The psychoanalytic approach is based on the understanding that memories and feelings that were too painful or disturbing for the person to bear were repressed in the unconscious where they continued to exert a powerful, but hidden, influence on the individual’s life. We may become aware of this phenomenon in our lives when, to our dismay, we discover that we have been repeating over and over again, patterns of relationships or life choices that we belatedly recognize were destined to bring us pain from the outset.

The psychoanalytic process opens up an ongoing revelation of our hidden selves. In practice, it takes the form of the client talking, encouraged by the psychotherapist to say whatever comes to mind. The therapist listens with great care to what is being said. As the therapy proceeds, this experience of freedom to speak leads to increased spontaneity and ease in the client who becomes more able to acknowledge and express feelings and thoughts that had been deeply buried and link these to current experiences.

Activities of the IFPP:

Regular clinical meetings and seminars are given by members. Speakers from home and abroad are also invited. Meetings of more general interest are held and are open to the public. The IFPP publishes a journal with articles of theoretical and clinical interest in psychotherapy which offers an opportunity for discussion and the exchange of views between people of different trainings and background.

Fully registered members of the IFPP offer psychoanalytic psychotherapy to:

  • the general public
  • trainee psychotherapists and counsellors
  • supervision is available to psychotherapists, counsellors and mental health workers and others who may present from related fields of work.

Contact us for more details about:

  • the organization
  • our events
  • membership
  • any further information

Address: “Westminster”, 36 Glendale Drive, Bray, Wicklow A98 KN24

Tel: 086 173 2238



Irish Analytical Psychology Association

Analytical or Jungian psychology is based on the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung, (1875-1961). Son of a Swiss pastor, Jung, a psychiatrist, became a disciple of Freud in 1906. After an initial close working relationship, (during which Jung was elected President of the International Psychoanalytic Association), the friendship ended acrimoniously in 1913 when Jung developed several ideas which departed from Freud’s views. While there is some overlap in areas of common interest, – the concept of the Unconscious, the complexes, and much of the early developmental approach -, Jung’s emphasis was different.

For example Jung saw the unconscious as complementary to and communicating with consciousness, rather than solely a repository of repressed experience. Equally he was less interested in the causes of neurosis than in its meaning and significance within the framework of the personality. These ideas led to his outlining a model of Personality Types (where Jung introduced the terms Introvert and Extrovert), which accounted for the variety of attitudes found within the range of ‘normal’ personality. His interest in the transformation of the personality and his belief in the in-built tendency of the psyche to strive towards wholeness, (something Jung felt emerged more in the second half of life), led to his developing the concept of Individuation.

As well as the Personal Unconscious, another area which interested Jung was that of the Collective Unconscious, which he regarded as the repository of people’s psychic heritage and possibilities. These ideas led him to a life-long study of the images and symbols found in humanity’s myths and religious beliefs.

A comparative study of these led Jung to the theory of Archetypes, innate images that operate as transformers of psychic energy which has its source in the instincts. Seeking for the historical roots of his Analytical Psychology, in the final decades of his life Jung was led to the study of Alchemical texts.

Such theoretical researches went hand in hand with a busy analytical practice, which led Jung and his followers to several innovations in psychotherapy – from new approaches to Dream Interpretation, and the use of Active Imagination, to the current use of Sand-Play therapy and the dramatic enactment of Fairytales.

Jungian Psychology in the Irish Context

The Irish Analytical Psychology Association was founded in 1996 to represent and promote the understanding and development of Analytical Psychology in Ireland. Two years later the I.A.P.A. became affiliated with the International Association of Analytical Psychology (I.A.A.P.), Zurich, where its status is that of a Developing Group. It is hoped that when there is a sufficient number of Analysts the I.A.P.A. will become a fully accredited training institute.

In 2000 the association became a member of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, as representing Analytical Psychology professionally in Ireland, under the umbrella of the Psychoanalytic Section.

The I.A.P.A. has two categories within the list of Full Members whom it recognises as competent to practise in their profession: I.A.A.P. Analyst Members and Analytical Psychotherapist Members.

Contact Address:

Jean Fitzgerald, Mount Ambrose, St. Margaret’s, Swords, Co. Dublin

Tel: 086 355 7862



Irish Forum for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

This therapy aims at helping children and adolescents learn a greater degree of self-understanding in the setting of a secure therapeutic relationship. Children are helped to learn, not only self awareness, but also how their pattern of relationships has been formed and how this may influence present experiences.

Children in therapy are also afforded the opportunity to experience a new type of relationship in a safe, therapeutic setting. Such therapy can happen through a mixture of talk, play and activity.

Tel: 086 173 2238



Complaints Procedure

Each organisation of the ICP must have published a Complaints Procedure. The purpose of a Complaints Procedure is to ensure that practitioners and their clients have clear information about the procedures and process involved in dealing with complaints.

All psychotherapists on the ICP Register are required to adhere to the Complaints Procedure of their own organisation.

MAKING A COMPLAINT: A client wishing to complain shall be advised to contact the Member Organisation.

RECEIVING A COMPLAINT: A Member Organisation receiving a complaint against one of its psychotherapists, shall ensure that the therapist is informed immediately and that both complainant and therapist are aware of the Complaints Procedure.

APPEALS: After the completion of the Complaints Procedure within an organisation, provision must be made for an appeal, stating time limits, grounds and procedures.

REPORTS TO THE ICP REGISTRATION BOARD: Organisations are required to report without delay to the ICP Registration Board, the names of members who have been suspended or expelled.

COMPLAINTS UPHELD IN ANOTHER ORGANISATION: Psychotherapists are required to inform, without delay, each Organisation of which they are a member, if any complaint is upheld against them in another Member Organisation.

CONDUCT OF COLLEAGUES: Psychotherapists concerned that a colleague’s conduct may be unprofessional, should initiate the Complaints Procedure of the relevant Member Organisation.

RESIGNATION: The resignation of a member of an Organisation shall not be allowed to impede the process of any investigation as long as the alleged offence took place during that person’s membership.


Psychological Forum Meetings

Over the past year, the ICP has taken an active part in the continuing dialogue with other counselling and psychotherapy organisations which began in 1995. The Forum participants have gathered information and put together a matrix of information on accreditation standards and requirements. In so doing, areas of commonality and difference began to emerge.

In September 2006, following much research and debate, the Forum put forward the following proposal: –

That the Registration Board should have the embracing title of “Psychological Therapies”‚ and that two titles, that of “Psychotherapist” and “Counsellor”‚ would be protected under this Psychological Therapies registration Board.

All organisations represented were asked to vote on this proposal and 20 of the 22 organisations agreed. In November 2006, a letter was written to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Tim O’ Malley, outlining our proposal.

The Forum then began the task of separating out the baseline qualifications currently accepted by Counsellors and Psychotherapists, together with required hours of theory, supervised practice, personal therapy etc. At our March meeting, it was agreed that the two groupings would now meet separately to look at the information gathered and to try to agree a baseline that all psychotherapy organisations can agree to, with counselling groups doing the same.

At this point, there will need to be a lot of negotiation and diplomacy, but ICP is firmly committed to maintaining the standards set by the European Association of Psychotherapy, in order that our registration criteria will be accepted in Europe and practitioners who have achieved the European Certificate in other countries would be able to practice here.

The Forum aims to try to complete this task and bring further proposals to the Minister by the beginning of Summer 2007.


‘The Irish Council for Psychotherapy prioritises the continuing development of ethically responsible and self-reflective psychotherapists. The ethical practice of psychotherapy requires that practitioners be responsible for their part in the therapeutic alliance. The work of psychotherapy is based on the principles of alleviating suffering, promoting the well-being of clients and fundamentally not doing harm.’ Taken from The Irish Council for Psychotherapy’s Ethical Guidelines

ICP Ethical Guidelines


Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy Ireland


The philosophy underpinning this approach is that a person learns to act and think in certain ways as a result of their lifetime experiences and how they perceive those experiences. This learning is a life-long process.

Usually what we learn is adaptive and functional – we learn to become active participants in our lives, our society and our culture. However, occasionally we learn ways of thinking, feeling or behaving which hinder us in our development and prevent us from achieving our potential.

Sometimes a single event such as being bitten by a dog, or a car crash, will have major repercussions or, more often, experiences which stretch over a longer period of time, e.g. being bullied or being unemployed, can affect us emotionally in the long term. Such negative experiences and our responses to them can lead us to develop low self-esteem, unhappiness, bitterness, anxiety, passivity, aggression, perfectionism and so on. These, in turn, colour the way we perceive new experiences and at worst, if unchecked, can lead to such disorders as anxiety, clinical depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder.

Clients seek help for a variety of reasons. Clients experiencing stress and anxiety with marked avoidance behaviour (i.e. behaviour that postpones an anxiety evoking event and can lead to handicaps in every day life), can change their way of behaving by becoming more outgoing and combat their fears with the help of individualised tailored cognitive behaviour therapy programme.

They may have to confront repeatedly what they fear, e.g. contamination fear where the sufferer avoids certain perceived contaminated objects, progressing from the least feared object to the most feared. Motivation to complete homework assignments is a key to success and recording their progress between sessions, facilitates the carry-over into their daily lives of the skills and insights achieved by the client during therapy.

This intervention and the willingness to explore new coping strategies are the ingredients for success.

Cognitive behaviour therapists also work with clients who have an intellectual disability. Each individual has the same rights and needs as everyone else in society. In the process they are helped to play a full part in society by extra teaching for the individual through a process of behaviour analysis. Sometimes problems can be compounded by physical disabilities, behavioural problems or communication deficits.

Within particular contexts treatment methods are used consistently, by all of those involved with the client, including the carer of the client. Carers may also have their own needs on a practical and emotional level that need addressing. This approach examines people’s behaviours in their living environment. It identifies the function of challenging behaviours, identifies how it benefits the individual, the source of the behaviour and what maintains it.

Cognitive behaviour therapists postulate that people can achieve change by working directly on their own patterns of thinking and behaviour. Due to negative lifetime experiences many individuals have learned distorted patterns of thought (patterns which hinder rather than help), so in therapy they need to learn more helpful and functional thought patterns.

How we think impacts on every aspect of our lives, from hopefulness regarding the future, to personal relationships, to how we see ourselves today. The emphasis in therapy is to loosen the hold a particular negative belief has on the client and engaging them in a re-evaluation of their perceptions and assumptions.

The progress of the therapy is interactive. The client and therapist work together developing hypotheses about the accuracy and or coping value of a variety of thoughts and behaviour. They often work together developing a healthier style of thinking, building coping skills, and reversing unproductive patterns of behaviour. Cognitive behaviour therapists are typically more active than those who practice other forms of therapy. They help structure sessions; give feedback, and coach clients on how to use CBT methods.

People who experience interpersonal difficulties can benefit from group work and some CBT therapist run:

  • Anger management groups
  • Assertiveness groups
  • OCD groups
  • Stress management
  • Social skills training

Assessment is individualised for each client. It involves detailed questioning and the use of psychological questionnaires to enable the client and therapist define accurately the problem and set the goals of treatment. It focuses on the here and now, and is practical and pragmatic. The aim of therapy is to provide the client with the knowledge and techniques, which he/she can use now and in the future, and in effect, making the therapist redundant. Each client is given a detailed account of treatment options and their consent is sought before embarking on therapy. Registered practitioners adhere to a code of ethics and are committed to research and the development of theory within this sphere.

Overall, practitioners use the developing pool of knowledge in this field to resolve problems of living for any person, irrespective of intelligence or insight.

Address: 2 Winton House (The Lighthouse Clinic), Miltonsfields, Dublin Road, Swords, Co Dublin K67 KW54



Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Psychoanalytic Section (ICP)

Address: 23 The Willows, Monkstown Valley, Monkstown, Dublin

Administrator: Melanie Taylor




These are the seven associations that make up the psychoanalytic section of the ICP:


Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI)

APPI began life in 1993 and rapidly developed into a Professional Association comprised of members whose clinical work is based upon the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy from a Freudian-Lacanian perspective.


Irish Analytical Psychology Association

The Irish Analytical Psychology Association was founded in Ireland in 1996. Its main aims are

  • To promote information about Jungian psychology in Ireland.
  • To act as an accrediting body for Jungian analysts and Jungian psychotherapists in Ireland. It is a member of the analytic umbrella group of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.
  • To provide opportunities for continuing professional development for its members. It does this by having a regular programme of lectures and seminars.


Irish Forum for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is a relatively new discipline in Ireland, although it has been practiced widely in Europe and North America for fifty years.

Most therapists working with children in Ireland have been trained under the auspices of the Irish Forum for child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Trinity College, Dublin


Irish Forum for Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy

The Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP) was founded in 1986 to provide a focus for people with an interest in advancing the study and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

The organization aims:

  • to inform the public about psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
  • to promote psychoanalytic psychotherapy in mental health and other settings.
  • to set and maintain ethical, academic and training requirements of the IFPP to meet international standards of professional competence.

Membership is in line with the European Association of Psychotherapy standards; it is restricted to those with an appropriate formal training in psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic psychotherapy or analytical psychology.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is a process that takes place in a relationship between psychotherapist and client who work together to explore the client’s distress and difficulties. The psychoanalytic approach is based on the understanding that memories and feelings that were too painful or disturbing for the person to bear, were repressed in the unconscious where they continued to exert a powerful, but hidden, influence on the individual’s life.

The psychoanalytic process opens up an ongoing revelation of our hidden selves. In practice, it takes the form of the client talking, encouraged by the psychotherapist to say whatever comes to mind. The therapist listens with great care to what is being said.

As the therapy proceeds, this experience of freedom to speak leads to increased spontaneity and ease in the client who becomes more able to acknowledge and express feelings and thoughts that had been deeply buried and link these to current experiences.


Irish Group Analytic Society
Group Analysis is an established method of group psychotherapy which was developed by Dr. S. H. Foulkes, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, in England in the 1940s. At the heart of Group Analysis is the belief that human beings are fundamentally social in nature and that the source of many of the problems that individuals encounter can be found in their relationships with the groups they grew up in and are part of.

On this basis, Group Analysis believes that, for many people, their problems and difficulties can be usefully explored, understood and addressed in a group context.


Irish Psycho-Analytic Association

Founded in 1942, the Irish Psycho-Analytical Association is the oldest psychotherapeutic body in Ireland. Its founder, Jonathan Hanaghan, was sent here in 1926 by Freud’s friend and biographer, Ernest Jones: “It will take a Celt to start up psychoanalysis in Ireland.”


Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations

The Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations was inaugurated in November 1990. A registered charity and a limited company, it aims to provide a forum for the discussion and advancement of psychodynamic approaches to the understanding of personal and social difficulties.


Constructivist Therapy

Constructivist Psychotherapy (ICPA)

When people seek psychotherapy, they have a story to tell. It may be a troubled, hurt or angry story of a relationship, or of a life in distress. For many, it is an account of difficult life events, which work against the person’s sense of well-being, self-confidence and effectiveness.

There are many ways of responding to a client’s story, and different schools of therapy emphasise and engage differently with the presenting issues. A therapist working from a Constructivist standpoint will be informed by the philosophies and practices of Personal Construct Psychology, and other frames of thought which focus on daily living.

Perhaps the clearest hallmark of Constructivist and related schools of therapy, is the adapting of an invitational mode of enquiry, which assists clients in making sense of their experience. It is also a respectful theory, offering validation of the client’s own experiences. The therapist aims to understand the anticipations, both conscious and unconscious, which clients are using in their lives and which may be problematic for them. The therapist then works with the client(s) in a joint experiment, to develop alternative, less problematic anticipations and ways of acting.

George Kelly, founder of Personal Construct Psychology, articulated in 1965, a fundamental belief of therapists who work from a Constructivist perspective, “no one needs to be a victim of their biography”. Constructivist therapists work in a variety of settings with individuals, couples, families, organisations and wider groups.

Contact address:
The Secretary,
73, Quinn’s Road,
Co. Dublin.
Tel: 01-2722105