Counselling, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Limerick

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” 
― Roy T. Bennett

About me

Alison Cowpar,

MSc in Autism and Related Neurodevelopmental Conditions, B.A(Hons) Counselling, and Psychotherapy, B.A(Hons) design, Advanced H.Dip in Psychotherapy & Clinical Hypnotherapy, Certified NLP(Neuro Linguistic Programming) Master Practitioner.  Coaching with neuroscience Dip, EMDR(Eye movement desensitization & reprogramming) practitioner. ACT practitioner.

I am currently an accredited member with the APCP (Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists Ireland) and a member of EMDR UK and Ireland.

I have been working in my private practice in Adare, Limerick since 2009. I also volunteer with the Bedford Family Project counselling families in distress.

I practice as an Integrated, Client-Centered Humanistic therapist. I work with many different approaches using Dialectical (DBT)  Cognitive,(CBT) & Acceptance commitment (ACT)Behavioural Therapies as well as Sensorimotor, mindfulness, guided meditation, EMDR, and clinical hypnotherapy.

I work on a one to one basis in a non-judgemental, collaborative, emphatic way, encouraging and empowering my clients to develop their own self- awareness, self-belief, self-esteem, and self-confidence, in order that they may live in a more positive and productive way, enabling them to deal with the ups and downs, that life so frequently throws at us.

 Self- awareness, and reflection enable clients to see more clearly the paths they want to take in life and enables them to have greater control over their own destiny. Clients are empowered to rescript their lives in ways that are much more proactive, creative, & positive and to break the cycle of reliving repeatedly a negative program that was not of their own making.

I am passionate about my work, and I consider it a privilege to be allowed to be a part of a client’s journey, toward a more self-fulfilled and self-actualised life, by helping them tap into their own unlimited potential.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Viktor E. Frankl

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” 
― Shannon L. Alder


I offer Counselling, EMDR, Psychotherapy, and Clinical Hypnotherapy services to individual clients, couples, and families with regard to a wide range of life issues.

Common issues include depression, anxiety lack of direction, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, relationship difficulties, childhood & Adult trauma, bullying, workplace difficulties, illness, weight- loss, and sexuality.

People generally seek counselling when life becomes too difficult to cope with alone. Perhaps they feel hopeless or worthlessness or are constantly overburdened stressed, angry, or sad. People can attend because they are experiencing ongoing difficulties with feelings of panic, sadness or loss, depression, anxiety, bereavement, weight-loss & emotional eating problems. Perhaps they find it difficult to cope with exams nerves, presentations or want to explore the many ways they can start living life more proactively  and  positively

I also deal with Parenting issues, youth, and adolescent difficulties.

“If you dream it, you can achieve it.” 
-Zig Ziglar.


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your problems? If so, you’re not alone according to research carried out by See Change, 44% of Irish people have direct experience of mental health difficulties, either themselves, their family or friends have experienced depression, anxiety or other mental health difficulties at some point.

At some stage in our lives, we all experience challenges and difficulties that can be overwhelming. Stress, depression, and anxiety can be caused by uncertainty over the future, feelings of loss, problems with addiction, or difficulties in a relationship. Some people need help coping with serious illnesses, grief, weight loss, or other habits such as smoking which they would rather change, others struggle with relationship difficulties, the death of a loved one, panic attacks, and many other problems, which left unattended to can become debilitating. Often people struggle with finding their true passions and goals they sometimes struggle to find the motivation to make the changes in order to live a more fulfilling rewarding life.

A psychotherapist/Counsellor such as I can help you work through your problems in order for you to live a happier, healthier and more successful life. There are many different approaches in psychotherapy and counselling such as Problem-Solving Interventions, Solution Focus Interventions, Mindfulness and behavioural therapies such as Cognitive -behavioural therapy (CBT), Acceptance and commitment therapy(ACT) and Dialectical behavioural therapy(DBT), interpersonal, integrative to name but a few.

Behavioural therapies have been clinically proven has been to help with many different types of problems including anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, eating disorders, bipolar disorder. They can also help with difficulties with anger or low self- esteem

Psychotherapy/Counselling works in a collaborative way, by building secure, supportive, objective, non-judgemental relationships and environments where you can explore your problems and find, with my help new more positive ways to deal with them. I will work with you to identify and change the thoughts and behaviour patterns that are preventing you from being your best, and I will help you learn new skills in order that you may be able to cope better with future challenges.

If you find that you are feeling an overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness and despite the best efforts of yourself, family or friends you feel no relief from your problems you could benefit from therapy. Others signs such as difficulty concentrating at work or school, difficulty carrying out everyday activities, constant worrying, weeping, expecting the worst, unable to find the positives in life, being constantly on edge or overly aggressive, finding yourself self- harming or turning to drink or drugs in order to cope or just get through your day are all signs that therapy would help.

“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognised a problem a turned it into an opportunity.” 

Joseph Sugarman 


Hypnotherapy – uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve an altered heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy and counselling, hypnosis enables people to perceive some things differently, such as blocking an awareness of pain.

The subconscious mind is a powerful tool storing all the thoughts memories and information your conscious mind gives it. Your subconscious is capable of performing multi-tasking looking after many of the functions of our body without the attention of our conscious mind. Our memories and beliefs are stored within the subconscious and also some of our self-limiting beliefs and phobias. These beliefs are often the ones that can sabotage our best intentions. Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to gain access to the subconscious mind in order to eliminate self-limiting beliefs and to find solutions to issues that the conscious mind has been unable to deal with. Hypnosis can also instill positive suggestions that can help you reframe in a more positive light on how you look and feel about things.

Hypnosis can help with goal setting, goals such as weight loss, giving up smoking, public speaking, building self-esteem, anger management, panic attacks, sleep disruption, lack of confidence, exercise motivation, goal setting and motivation, being happier and much more.


Studies of hypnosis as a treatment for weight-loss and obesity have proven hypnosis to be effective particularly in conjunction with CBT therapy.

In a trial with 156 participants, results from participants who received 9 weekly individual hypnosis sessions plus behaviour-modification treatments were compared with results from those who received behaviour-modification treatment alone (Bolocofsky, DN, Spinler, D, and Coulthard-Morris, L. 1998) On average, the hypnosis group had lost 7 kg of weight more than the control group at the 2-year follow-up. A meta-analysis of trials in the 1980s showed significantly greater weight loss for those treated with hypnosis and behaviour therapy compared with those who received behaviour therapy alone, and this effect persisted or increased with time(Kirsch, I, Montgomery, G, and Sapirstein, G, 1995, 1996). In another trial, 60 obese patients with sleep apnoea were assigned randomly to treatment with diet alone or diet and hypnosis (Stradling, J, Roberts, D, Wilson, A, and Lovelock, F.1998) Patients assigned to hypnosis achieved significant weight loss at 18 months. Rather than a sole treatment for obesity, hypnosis can be more helpful as a part of a program that includes arousing motivation, counselling, and peer support.


“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill

EMDR. Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)


Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an evidence-based integrative psychotherapy treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s.

It is used for helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, depression, disturbing memories, post-traumatic stress, and many other emotional problems. Until recently it was believed that memories arising from past traumas and adverse life experiences remain forever stored in the brain with their accompanying painful emotions and other disturbing symptoms.

EMDR Therapy draws upon many of the recent developments in the neurosciences including the discovery of neuroplasticity which emphasises the capacity of the brain to change and heal. EMDR therapy facilitates focused access to the painful memories encoded in their isolated neural networks.

Through a standardized set of procedures and clinical protocols, which incorporates dual focus of attention and alternating bilateral stimulation, it activates the components of the memory of disturbing life events and facilitates their dynamic linkage to adaptive neural networks thus effecting resolution and integration. As of 2013, EMDR is promoted as a therapy of choice by the World Health Organization (WHO) for children, adolescents, and adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“My Health Experience: Freedom from trauma”

Fionola Meredith

A therapy based on eye movement has become the go-to treatment for sufferers of PTSD

Clinical psychologist Michael Paterson was injured in an IRA rocket attack while working as an RUC officer in 1981. Seventeen years later he benefited from EMDR therapy. Photograph: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

How can something as simple as moving your eyes from side to side be the key to unlocking – and, more importantly, resolving – deeply buried layers of personal trauma? Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been around since the 1980s when it was developed by the American psychologist Francine Shapiro as the result of a chance discovery.

While walking in the park one day, Shapiro noticed those disturbing thoughts she had been having had lost their emotional impact when she moved her eyes quickly back and forth. Early results with rape survivors and Vietnam veterans were promising, and it quickly became clear it was not just a case of clients becoming desensitised to the pain of their experiences; spontaneous reprocessing of these past events – with new insights and new levels of post-traumatic understanding – was happening too.

Controversial approach

It was recommended as an effective treatment for PTSD by the UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence in 2005, and by the World Health Organisation in 2013, which endorsed it for both adults and children. EMDR isn’t just a treatment for extreme trauma. Phobias, anxiety, depression, body dysmorphic disorder, which are often caused by distorted views of the self, are all treatable by EMDR. “Trauma is trauma: wherever it comes from, it’s stored in the same way in the brain,” says Belfast-based clinical psychologist Michael Paterson.

Paterson is recognised as one of the foremost practitioners of EMDR in Ireland and the UK. Having qualified as an EMDR trainer in California, trained by Shapiro, he regularly passes his expertise on to mental health professionals through masterclasses in Dublin, Belfast and Manchester.

So how does the therapy work? “Well, first you have to think about how the brain processes information,” says Paterson.

“Normal information gets processed by the brain and it gets stored away in time and space. It’s a bit like laundry. You put an item in the laundry basket, it gets washed, ironed, and put away neatly in the wardrobe. But often there are experiences which people have that are emotionally disturbing, and the brain hasn’t been able to process them. So they become stuck in the central nervous system, locked in the brain just the way they were experienced at the time of the original event. It’s like an item of clothing, say a sweaty gym top, that doesn’t go through the laundry. After a while, the smell builds up and starts wafting through the whole house. This is similar to disturbing events that the brain hasn’t been able to process.”

In essence, EMDR therapy takes those threatening experiences, and the negative self-beliefs connected with them and puts them through the laundry. “It helps the brain do its own natural healing,” says Paterson. “The brain is geared towards healing, given the right circumstances. Whenever your body has a wound, it will heal naturally, but if there’s dirt in the wound, you have to clean that out first. This is very much like what happens with a psychological injury. EMDR effectively cleans the dirt out of the psychological wound so that the natural healing can take place.”

Paterson has worked with many people who have been damaged by the conflict in the North. “People from this country have been resilient. I’ve very rarely seen someone who has had a single incident trauma as a result of the Troubles. But you often see a buildup of experiences: like a pile of building blocks, it’s stable up to a point, but then you add one more, and it all falls over. So a minor thing can happen which relates back to the initial experiences, and that can cause everything to collapse.”

Former hostage

But it wasn’t until 17 years after the attack that Paterson received EMDR treatment himself. “I always found that when I spoke about the incident, I had a knot in my stomach,” he says. “During the therapy, when I focused on that tightness in my stomach, tears just started streaming down my cheeks. After that then I felt great. I can think about the incident, and it doesn’t cause me any kind of discomfort.”

And there were other, more unexpected benefits of EMDR. “I used to be constrained in my thinking,” says Paterson. “There was a certain ceiling on it, whereas now, if there’s something I could do, no matter how big it is, I think ‘yes, I can do that if I choose’.”

For anyone suffering from the distressing effects of trauma trapped in the mind and body, that sounds like more than healing. It sounds like freedom.

My EMDR: I’ve shaken off a burden I didn’t even know I was carrying

I’m sitting in Michael Paterson’s office without a thought in my head, listening to differently pitched tones through a pair of earphones. I’m concentrating on an intense physical sensation of pressure in my throat. The sensation, like bees buzzing in a hive, gets stronger the more I focus on it. The tones bounce from one ear to the other, rising up and down a simple musical scale. I’ve chosen this method of bilateral brain stimulation – the hallmark of EMDR – rather than the more usual side-to-side eye movements because it allows me to close my eyes and turn inwards. And then the thoughts and memories start coming, one after the other, in fast succession, pouring out of nowhere. Vivid images, scraps of dialogue. Some of them feel as real and immediate as the very day they happened.

Both sides of my brain have been put into a conversation, and it seems they have a lot to say to each other. It is as if the mind itself is supercharged, working away at lightning speed, making all kinds of connections across space and time. This is free association like Freud could never have dreamed of, taking me unerringly to places that I never knew were linked. And yet it all makes a strange kind of sense.

Some memories come freighted with surprising emotion. Tears well up out of nowhere and fall fast. “Just notice,” says Michael quietly. “Just notice. It’s old stuff.” If it all becomes too much, we have a pre-agreed sign: I will raise my hand and we will stop. But I don’t raise my hand: it’s like being on a fast and powerful rollercoaster, yet I know I’m in a safe place. And besides, I have a strong conviction that this is doing me a great deal of good, bringing old, stagnant feelings to the surface, allowing me to recognise them, experience them, then let them go. “The processing will go where it needs for healing to occur,” Michael tells me. “So just let whatever happens happen.”

Afterwards I’m exhausted. All I want to do is flop on the sofa with a blanket and a cup of tea. EMDR is hard work, and sometimes the processing continues over the following hours and days, as if propelled by its own momentum, new ideas and insights and associations continually popping up and demanding my attention. But it’s worth it. EMDR helps me think better, feel better, write better. Each session leaves me lighter in heart, as though I’ve shaken off a burden I didn’t even know I was carrying.

Fionola Meredith

Fionola Meredith, F. (2015). My Health Experience: Freedom from trauma A therapy based on eye movement has become the go-to treatment for sufferers of PTSD Wed, Apr 15, 2015, 07:00. The irish times.


“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas A. Edison

Prices are per 50 min session………Online/ distance therapy available
  • Integrated Counselling : €80.00
  • Hypnotherapy: €80.00
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): €80.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), DBT & ACT: €80.00
  • EMDR; €80.00
  • Couples Counselling; € 100
  •  Coaching with neuroscience; €80.00
  • Rates for home visits to be discussed


The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

 — Anthony Robbins

Counselling Limerick Practice


I am happy to submit the first post on my new web presentation “TheThoughtfulWay”  my Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Hypnotherapy Practice in Adare, Limerick

I offer Counselling, Psychotherapy, &  clinical Hypnotherapy services to individual clients, couples and families with regard to a wide range of life issues.

For inquiries please  contact me.

– Alison Cowpar

Top 3 Strategies to Reprogram Your Mind | Dr. Bruce Lipton [A MUST SEE!!! 2019)


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

– Lao Tzu

Contact me :


    Adare, Limerick, Ireland V94TC94 


    +353 87 9952605


    [email protected]