Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Meet the Board: Eamon Fortune [17/08/20]

IACP's Board of Directors' Eamon Fortune Speaks About His Career

What made you interested in a career in
counselling/psychotherapy?


I was always interested in a profession in helping people. I came from a construction background but never felt happy working there. I was always looking for the next challenge. When an opportunity came up to
do a Counselling course in my local area, I consulted with someone who thought it would be a perfect fit for me at that stage in my life. It was also at a time when the majority of males wouldn’t talk about what was happening for them. I found this interesting and raised my self awareness of how much I was closed off. Starting on this journey of counselling and self-development was like opening a part of me that was never explored.
It felt, and still does, a release to any issues that come up for me.
I work with mostly young people now and it is a pleasure and powerful to see how early intervention can work and prevent long-term issues forming that can fester if left unaddressed.


What advice would you give to the new generation of IACP Members?


I would say embrace the experience and the learning. Especially the self-awareness. The more you integrate and network with other Therapists, the more you will learn. Experimental learning has always been my
favourite way of gaining information. As a Therapist, you can be isolated when working in private practice so networking and learning from each other can be very valuable but also fun.


If you could give a younger you any piece of advice what would it be?


I would say to my younger self that it would have saved you many years of hardship and pain if you had started this journey sooner
and to trust in yourself.


What do you think the future looks for our profession?


I think our profession will become more essential, especially in the current climate. Mental Health awareness is on the increase
and stigma is decreasing, albeit not fully there yet. I believe that we will get to regulation eventually and that will bring more status to our profession. I think other professions recognise this also and are engaging more with us on a more professional level.


What skills/attributes are essential for working in this profession?


I could list many of the basic skills like listening, empathy and professionalism but the main one that stands out for me is Relationship. I think that is the most important for me with clients. If you don’t have that I feel the Therapist will struggle to make that connection that is required.


What key piece of learning has the Pandemic taught you?


Adaptive . I was already looking at using online as an added tool in the organisation I work in so that made the transition to online easier. I was looking at using it alongside face to face for young people that were unable to attend in person, whether that was for geographical or psycho-social issues. The pandemic has shown me how I can adapt to the situation. Saying more of “ok what can we do about this rather than we can’t.”

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