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Unplanned pregnancy? Talking to a counsellor can help

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Agency should I go to?

All State-funded crisis pregnancy counselling agencies provide non-directive counselling which means the counsellor will not judge you or decide for you.

However, counselling agencies do differ from each other when it comes to providing information on abortion services abroad. Contact details for abortion services outside the country can only be provided during a face-to-face counselling session and within a strict legal framework.

Some agencies can provide information on abortion and abortion services outside the country, if you request it, during your counselling session. Two specific agencies – Cura and Life – will discuss abortion with you but will not provide information on abortion services abroad.

Before the counselling session begins the counsellor should tell you what she is able to provide or discuss during the session.  If you feel the agency is not meeting your counselling or information needs you should make another free appointment with a different State-funded crisis pregnancy counselling agency.

How long will I have to wait before an appointment?

Most services will try to give you an appointment within 2 to 5 days. Other services operate a drop in service where no appointment is necessary.  Counselling services may give you details of another service if they do not have an appointment available at a time to suit you.  Some agencies also have telephone service.

Can I bring a friend / partner with me?

Yes. Reputable counselling agencies will be happy for you to bring a friend / partner or family member for support if you wish. The counsellor may ask to speak to you on your own for part of the counselling session.

How long does a crisis pregnancy counselling session last?

A crisis pregnancy counselling session usually lasts around an hour.

How many sessions will I have?

You can attend for as many sessions as you feel you need.

What will be discussed?

Generally the counsellor will help you to acknowledge your feelings and come to terms with the pregnancy. There are many conflicting and strong feelings around a crisis pregnancy – taking the time you need to look at your issues and thoughts calmly can help you to make the best decision you can, at the time of the crisis. Counsellors are used to dealing with all kinds of issues and problems to do with crisis pregnancy, so if there are specific issues you want to discuss let your counsellor know.

Will my session be confidential?

All personal information about clients and anything discussed during a crisis pregnancy counselling session is confidential – your counsellor will not reveal or discuss anything about you to anyone else.

However, there are circumstances in which the crisis pregnancy counsellor may have a duty to disclose client information.

Confidentiality may not be upheld where a counsellor has reasonable grounds for believing that there is a risk of harm to the client, there is a risk of harm to other persons or there is a child protection concern.

In this situation a counsellor will only give information to relevant authorities and will not break confidentiality without discussing it with you first.

Will the counsellor give me contact details for abortion clinics?

If you are having crisis pregnancy counselling, all of the organisations listed on this website, except CURA and ANEW will provide you with information on abortion clinics abroad if you request it, subject to certain conditions: Information about abortion clinics can only be given face to face in a crisis pregnancy counselling session in which all choices are discussed – parenting, adoption and abortion. Contact details will only be given if you request them and if the counselling service gives this information.

While information on abortion clinics can be given (when requested and during face to face counselling on all the options available), it is not permissible for the organisations to arrange an appointment for you with an organisation which provides abortion services.

I have told my parents I am pregnant and my mum wants to come with me to counselling but I would like to talk to the counsellor on my own. What can I do?

Counsellors normally try to speak to a client on his or her own as part of a counselling session, even when they bring a friend or family member. You could call ahead of your appointment and check if this will happen.

Will my counselling session be confidential if I am under 18?

All services will answer questions about their policy on seeing people under 18 over the phone. Confidentiality may not be upheld if a person under 18 attends a service without the consent of a parent/guardian.

Some services will talk to the girl about informing her parents/guardians and support her in doing that. Other services will only see a girl under 18 if she is accompanied by a parent or guardian.