Psychology Department

Welcome to the Psychology Department




What are the aims of the Psychology Department?

The psychologists in the Department work with individuals, families, staff and groups to help reduce distress, address problems, improve wellbeing and increase a person’s ability to enjoy and find meaning in life. They also work towards ensuring and improving the quality of mental health services and development of discipline of psychology.


Who is the service for?

The psychology service is for adults, older adults, adolescents and their families or carers who are referred to the Psychology Department during their admission to the adult or adolescent services of St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview.


Working in partnership

When you are referred to one of the psychologists, he or she will first make sure that you agree to be seen by a psychologist and will explain what this involves. It is important that you understand why you are being seen and that you consent and are willing to be involved in working with the psychologist.


Psychological assessment

Once you have agreed to work with the psychologist, he or she will start by helping you to identify your needs, difficulties and strengths. This usually involves hearing from you about your life history, significant events that have occurred to you and your family, your current circumstances, difficulties and concerns, how these are affecting your life and how you would like things to be different. Sometimes psychologists use questionnaires or other tools to help assess particular areas, for example, your personality, your memory, your cognitive ability, or your levels of depression or anxiety.

The assessment leads to developing a shared understanding with you about the issues that have led to you seeing a psychologist. Sometimes people only attend for assessment and it may not be necessary to see the psychologist again. On other occasions the assessment leads an agreement about a psychological treatment plan, which is part of your individual care plan that you have with the other professionals you are working with.


Psychological intervention

The psychologist will work towards helping you to find ways to resolve, reduce and/or manage your emotional distress and symptoms in order to improve your mental health and your quality of life. This usually involves talking through problems or concerns to figure out ways of understanding and managing them. It also involves identifying and enhancing your strengths and your existing personal resources. Therefore, a psychologist is particularly interested in hearing about your personal experiences and how you feel and think about things.

Treatment may be offered to you on a one-to-one basis, within a confidential group setting, or in a couple/family format, depending on what seems most appropriate and/or useful and on what you prefer. The psychologists also provide part of the multidisciplinary therapeutic programmes that are available to people who are admitted to the adult or adolescent services of St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview.


What is a Clinical or Counselling Psychologist?

Psychologists who work in public health services typically specialise in specific areas for example clinical, counselling, educational, forensic or health psychology. The Psychology Department in St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview may comprise clinical and counselling psychologists.

Clinical and counselling psychologists are specialist psychologists with a minimum of six years university training including approved postgraduate studies and clinical placements. They are specialists in the assessment, formulation, treatment, outcome and evaluation of psychological and emotional problems and mental health difficulties.


Quality assurance and improvement of mental health services


What standards govern the work of the psychologists?

Psychologists in St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview work within the policies and procedures of the Hospital and they are bound by the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Professional Code of Ethics. This protects your right to confidential and unbiased treatment.


Continuous professional development

The psychologists regularly undertake a range of activities to assist them to maintain up to date knowledge about psychology and mental health. The psychologists also receive ongoing supervision of their practice, which enables them to monitor and improve their work and to help ensure high standards.


Providing assistance for psychologists in training and colleagues

The psychologists are actively involved in post-graduate training, teaching and supervision of psychologists who are completing specialised placements as part of their doctorate training in either clinical or counselling psychology at third level institutions.

The Psychology Department also offers case consultation, supervision, support, teaching and training to colleagues from other disciplines, such as nursing staff, psychiatrists, social workers, who are working directly with individuals, families or groups.


Service user involvement

The Psychology Department strives to promote service user involvement in all aspects of mental health services and advocates on behalf of service users to have their voices heard and get their needs met.


Contact Details

Address: Psychology Department, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview, Dublin 3. DO3 XK40

Phone: Psychology Department Secretary (01) 884 2418


Useful information

PSI - Psychological Society of Ireland

BPS – British Psychological Society

APA – American Psychological Association

ICP – Irish Council for Psychotherapy

IACP - The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

APCP - Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Health Service Executive (HSE)