Finding a psychiatrist/therapist

How to Find a Psychiatrist

In order to gain access to a Psychiatrist, you should seek a referral from your local/family GP. Pychiatrists usally require a referral from a GP although in certain cases they may accept referrals from a therapist, where appropriate. Partial refunding for visits to a Consultant Psychiatrist is available under private insurance/health cover, although this is sadly not the case in this country for visits to a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist except where CBT is made available in the context of a hospital inpatient service.

When making an appointment with a psychiatrist, it’s ok to inquire about the individual’s qualifications as well as his/her experience with any of these disorders since the professional training may vary.

How to find a therapist

OCD Ireland is not in a position to make referrals to specific therapists or treatment providers. But we can of course provide some general guidelines. There are a few options for individuals to consider:

  • One option is to ask your GP for a referral to your local mental health service. Many areas in the country now have a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • If you are interested in looking for specialist private help for OCD, a directory of accredited cognitive behavioural therapists can be obtained from the ‘Find a Therapist’ section on the website of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) or the website of the Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy Ireland (CBTI). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (specifically Exposure and Response Prevention) is the psychological treatment of choice with respect to OCD.
  • Make sure that any practitioner advertising treatment for OCD has at least 2-3 years training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is a member of the Irish Branch of the BABCP or the CBTI. Some Counselling Psychologists and Clinical Psychologists also specialise in CBT. You can contact the Psychological Society of Ireland with respect to finding practitioners with this speciality ).
  • Individuals may also want to consider therapists located outside of Ireland – there are therapists both in Ireland and abroad who specialise specifically in OCD treatment. These therapists may provide the option of internet-based video sessions.

What to Look for in a Therapist

OCD Ireland has created the following guide with respect to help you choosing a therapist. It has been adapted from “How to Choose a Behaviour Therapist” by Michael Jenike, MD as well as the International OCD Foundation Guide.

It can be downloaded from here.