Participant’s Comments




Participant's Comments



What did you like about the course?

April 2005:

Everything! I
had not given much thought to the content or what to expect before I started
the course and I have to say I found everything we did, from the first weekend
to the last, incredibly interesting, insightful and worthwhile.  Especially
considering the many different areas and material relating to counselling/psychotherapy,
I felt that a really good ‘taster’ was provided to gain an overall view of
what it is all about. I found the amount of personal development work
throughout the course really complimented the theory work, and provided a
perfect opportunity to put the two together for a greater understanding of the
material. I really cannot think of anything I would have liked less of – and
because I found everything so interesting and rewarding I would have liked
more of everything.  All of the trainers added their individual touch to the
course which made it so much more personal and effective. Completing this
course was possibly the best thing I have ever done for myself.  It took
something I was interested in and turned it into something I am now passionate
about.  The amount I have learned about Counselling and Psychotherapy, but
more importantly myself, has really surprised me.  It was an amazing journey
of discovery, which I will continue with enthusiasm and a great appreciation
for this course and the people I met on it, for starting me out so
Jane Lee, Legal

I liked just about
everything. The people were fantastic and I feel it was a privilege to be part
of that. The atmosphere within the course was one of non-judgemental
acceptance right from the start, and within that we all grew enormously. The
fact that you made your library of books available was really excellent, as I
ended up reading some books I might never have bought otherwise and learning a
lot from them. This person-centred approach of just making the material
available was so much more inspiring that getting a list of books that must be
read during the year. The exercises at the start of the course brought us in
contact with our feelings and I think this contributed greatly to the bonding
that happened within the class. I really enjoyed the assignments, they were
stimulating and rewarding to do. I particularly enjoyed researching ‘Is
Honesty the best policy?’.  I thought that was a great idea, having everyone
come up with a topic, hold discussions on it and carry out research on it. The
discussion sessions were all extremely enjoyable and it was great to hear
people’s opinions on a diverse range of topics as well as uncovering my own
ideas on them. The theory was explained very well and topics that seemed
complicated in books I read, were presented in a simple and straight-forward
manner. The work we did on empathy was excellent and something I brought away
to use when dealing with my 12 year old son. It has made a huge difference in
the way he opens up to me about concerns he has and I think this technique
will be particularly valuable during his teenage years. Breda held great
sessions every Sunday morning. She created a lovely atmosphere where everyone
really got in touch with themselves and a lot of sharing and personal
development occurred in those sessions. This course greatly exceeded my
expectations.  As a result of it, I know that I definitely want to
continue and do a diploma course.  I just hope I learn as much from it as I
did from the Foundation. 

Mary Howick, Senior
IT Manager/Reiki Master

This was the
most useful journey of self-discovery, the best investment “in me” I have ever
made!  It was also the toughest, most challenging, painful, and rewarding
period of education I have experienced to date. The course took me completely
by surprise.  It was nothing that I expected, and everything that I needed. 
An emotional roller coaster from beginning to end – very often painful on a
personal level, but always valuable.  I have experienced enormous growth and
development emotionally.  I leave the course more fully aware of who I really
am, who and what has shaped me and of what I am capable.  The strength I feel
in facing my future is incredible.  My ability to face past and, inevitable,
future fears has been reinforced by reawakened and new knowledge of myself, my
needs, my newly acknowledged inner power, give me courage to proceed, and face
the fears that have paralysed me in recent years. I have, begrudgingly,
learned to get in touch with my emotions (stifled for more than 20
years). Re-learned how to laugh, cry, and use my imagination and sense of
humour, in the sure and certain knowledge that the group will not reject me. 
I have thrived in the loving, caring embrace of the group (when I talk of the
group, I include our facilitators).  I absolutely adore the personality of our
group, and am extremely proud of the part I have played in forming and adding
to the dynamic of the GCS class of 2005. I look forward to carrying with me
the love, acceptance, warmth, excitement, growth, pain and confidence of the
group.  The experience of being part of such a diverse group has shown me that
I can accept, and be accepted, totally, warts and all.  Where I am not
accepted I am becoming confident enough to fearlessly say “feck them!” (tut,
tut!) And move on. My interpersonal skills have vastly improved.  I already,
see positive results in my home and workplace.  While this might have been a
large part of my motivation in taking the course with GCS, my emotional and
personal development and self-discovery have been the most valuable area of
growth. I’ve gone from being a party-girl in my twenties, to social retard in
thirties.  GCS has shown me there is a middle ground, where I can be
comfortable, and still be me!  I’m striving toward that ground for the next
decade. In the past, I have taken courses where I have been taught what could
be done if I applied myself.  This is the only course where I emerged with
life-changing improvements and strategies in place, and useful tools already
developed, for use in the future.  I have seen the personal growth, as the
course progressed, in all of us, and it amazes me.  I will proceed with my
day-to-day life, with the conviction that I can be me, that I will know love,
laughter and joy within my own skin. The course is well thought out,
professional and extremely valuable.  Not only as a foundation course with a
view to a career in counselling.  More importantly, as a tool to
self-understanding and therefore highly valuable to anyone who deals with
people, as we all do!  Be it in personal relationships, work, with our
children, dealing with the public, wherever people-skills are used this course
is a must.

Katherine McGee, Proprietor, MARIANS Galway.”

I loved the
closeness of the group in the course. I felt I could talk about anything to
them and they would accept me completely. I also was very privileged  by the
fact that they chose to share with me. I loved the relaxed structure of the
course and that it wasn’t hugely academic. I also liked the way books were
available to us but there was no pressure on us to have read them. This
course was a breath of fresh air compared to the course I undertook in
college, and the people were amazing. The course hit a balance of academic,
factual knowledge with practical experience and self development projects
and group work. I enjoyed the relaxation element a lot and walks on the
beach (weather permitted of course!), so I would have liked more of
them, there’s is nothing I would like less of.

Louise Lyons
– Product Builder  

2004 group

“The course has
helped me greatly in accepting and appreciating who I am. It has strengthened
my self awareness immeasurably. I began it for professional reasons. Now I
realise that the greatest work I have achieved has been on myself and only
through this can I be more socially and professionally effective. I recommend
it highly-in fact., I already have, to colleagues and friends.”

David Harkin,
secondary teacher

“On starting the course
I was a bit nervous on what I may find on doing the course…I can say
very honestly that this was one of the best things I have done so far in
my life. I can’t believe the different things that came up on the course
about myself, little things that occurred to me that I have never thought
about before.” 
Wade, student, GMIT

2003 Group

“I found the GCS
Foundation Course to be an excellent first step in counselling training. The
quality and content of the course helped me to decide whether I wanted to go
on and continue with further professional training. The completion of a
detailed research project and the course’s strong emphasis on experiential
work stood to me when applying for diploma and masters courses and the course
quality was noted by any interviewer for further training that I have had.”

Nicola Hogg, Sales Rep and student on the MA in Humanistic and Integrative
Psychotherapy-University of Limerick

“I found the Foundation Course
to be of great value to me in my own personal development and found it
definitely improved both  my personal and work life. Definitely worth the
effort and encouraged me to move on to explore a future career in this
Pat Tyrrell,
Program Manager (Dell). Currently pursuing a Diploma in Counselling, The
Counselling Centre, Cork


2002 group

“I found the
foundation course to be very interesting and informative. I got much more
out of it then I ever thought possible and was sorry when it ended. I met
a great group of people and through the exercises on the course learned
much about myself. I would highly recommend the course, even if just for
personal development.”

Garry Moogan,
IT Analyst

“This course is
invaluable for both personal growth and as an introduction to counselling.
A self-empowering approach is used in a non-threatening environment. After
finishing this course I decided to pursue a professional course in
Lynn, Voluntary counsellor, and student on Diploma in Counselling and

2001 group

“In terms of personal
development work the foundation course was very helpful, giving me some of
the confidence I needed to move forward and take a few chances. Towards
the end of the course I successfully applied for a position of supervisor
for the Childline service. The basic counselling skills of active
listening and empathising that I learned on the course are essential to
this work. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is
interested in the area of counselling or who would like to develop his or
her listening skills generally.”

Erika King, Childline supervisor


comments: “I was challenged to move outside my comfort zone. I had done
other courses designed to do this but none in such a safe and effective
way”, “My confidence increased so much over this year”, “I found the
skills work very useful in both my life and work”, “I liked the
facilitators acceptance of all views. This helped produce an atmosphere of
trust and openness for learning” “I really enjoyed the course, there was
never a day I wasn’t looking forward to coming”

-If desired, contact
with previous students can be arranged-