About the Forum
The idea for the group originated in 1995 (when it was called the Irish Counsellor's Forum) through the recognition of the need for a support structure for Irish practitioners working with Irish clients in the UK. At that time interest was particularly focussed on those working in the voluntary sector and the uncertainty, financial and otherwise, that they faced in relation to their jobs. It became clear that many practitioners felt isolated and unsupported and were keen to make contact with each other not just for support but also to have a forum in which to discuss topics or themes with particular relevance to the Irish, eg. emigration and its consequences.
Over time the group has evolved into being a network for Irish therapists and counsellors working in the UK regardless of their work setting and whether or not they work with an Irish clientele. Among the topics discussed at meetings are those related generally to psychotherapeutic work or the use of psychotherapeutic concepts in order to understand issues with an Irish dimension. There are also discussions of a more cultural nature such as contemporary Irish literature.
In 2008 the 'Irish Counsellors Forum' voted to change its name to the Irish Forum for Counselling & Psychotherapy. This name change emerged as a natural part of the evolution of the Forum reflecting its inclusion of practitioners from all parts of the professional psychotherapeutic community. The change of name also coincided with the launch of a new website giving the Forum a presence on the internet. It is hoped that this will allow the Forum to foster greater links with similar professional groups and individuals here in the UK, in Ireland and further afield.
In 2014 an article about the IFCP was published in the Irish Times; to read it click here. The group has developed and consolidated its identity over time and would like to make itself more widely known to the Irish community and to increase its membership. We would, therefore, welcome applications from new members.
If you would like further information, please turn to our FAQ or Contact pages.
Black Lives Matter
Following the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020 and the global outrage that was evoked by this horrific killing, the Forum was moved to think about how we might express our support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In January 2021 a small sub-group gathered to think about how we might articulate that support. Last summer the group reported back to the membership with a document intended to help us bring together what we wanted to express as a group. Our deliberations are brought together here in a document generated through much soul-searching. We will continue to revisit what we have written and intend to keep what it expresses close to the heart of the work of the Forum.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often does the IFCP meet?
The group meets on Saturday mornings six times a year, in Camden, London NW1. Usually we meet at 10.30am and end promptly at 12.30pm.
What happens at meetings?
The first part of each meeting is taken up with general IFCP business and planning of future events. In the second half of the morning, after a short break, one of our members, or occasionally an external speaker, will present a previously agreed topic of Irish cultural, political or therapeutic interest. At other times the group might agree in advance to discuss an Irish related book or film. This offers an opportunity for a lively and interesting exchange of ideas.
How is the group run?
IFCP has recently become a more collectively run organisation, where responsibilities are shared between members, while still maintaining some individual roles (eg. Secretary, Treasurer).
What are the criteria for membership?
There are two levels of membership. Full Membership and Trainee Membership. The experience of personal therapy or counselling is an essential requirement for all members. However, in some circumstances we will consider applications from psychotherapists who may not have had personal therapy but who are receiving regular clinical supervision.
Who is eligible for full membership?
To be eligible for full membership of IFCP applicants must be a member of BACP, UKCP, BPC or equivalent professional body. The annual subscription is £30 (or £40 for those wishing to donate an additional £10 to our bursary fund). Applicants who might wish to take advantage of a bursary are invited to make an enquiry which will then be handled, in confidence, by our Membership Secretary and/or Treasurer.
Who is eligible for Trainee Membership?
Trainee membership is for counsellors or psychotherapists currently in the process of completing their professional qualifications with a recognised training organisation, but who are not yet fully qualified. The annual subscription is £20.
What constitutes an 'Irish' counsellor or psychotherapist?
Our membership is made up of a mixture of those born and brought up in Ireland, and those of Irish ancestry born in the UK. All are living and working in the UK.
Calendar & Events
Meeting dates for 2021
All meetings are at The Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB
Meetings start at 10.30am and end promptly at 12.30pm
Whilst social distancing measures are in place and our usual meeting venue closed, the Forum will be meeting online via Zoom.