Counselling in Primary Care (CIPC)

The HSE NCS Counselling in Primary Care Service (CIPC) provides time-limited counselling to adults across Ireland.

This service is available to adults over 18 years who are medical card holders and experiencing mild to moderate psychological and emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety, panic reactions, relationship problems, loss issues, and stress. Many people who are currently attending have sought counselling to address the impact of the pandemic.

CIPC provides up to 8 counselling sessions with a professionally qualified and accredited Counsellor/Therapist. CIPC operates from over 240 locations situated throughout Ireland, typically local Primary Care Centres.

CIPC is a client-centred service, Counsellors/Therapists employ a range of psychological therapies depending on the presenting issues and assessed needs of clients who attend. Counselling approaches include person-centred, cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic, integrative and supportive therapies.

How to Access the CIPC Service


Referral to CIPC is through your GP or a member of your local primary care team. Once your GP/Primary Care Team practitioner has arranged a referral you must contact your local CIPC service to opt-in to counselling. You can do this by phoning the service in your area.

Accessing counselling if you have a medical card

Information for GPs and healthcare professionals:

CIPC is “Changing Lives for the Better”

A National Evaluation of the CIPC was carried out by the HSE National Counselling Service. This national study found that CIPC counselling is highly effective and makes a real difference to people’s lives.

The research report - Changing Lives for the Better demonstrates the impact of counselling, and the views of service users and GPs who refer to CIPC. It also sets out recommendations for future planning and development of CIPC.

Changing Lives for the Better - Executive Summary (PDF)

Changing Lives for the Better - full report (PDF)