College History

PCI College was founded in 1991 to provide training in counselling and psychotherapy for mature students.


Back in 1991 our pioneering co-founders Liam McCarthy (RIP) and Josephine Murphy, identifying a real need for supportive and inclusive training, founded the Personal Counselling Institute (now known as PCI College). 

This was a time when mental health was not on the political, media or public agenda in Ireland. Liam and Josephine believed passionately in both personal development and high academic standards, both of which they combined with the foundation of the Personal Counselling Institute. The ground-breaking work pioneered by both Liam and Josephine helped begin the process to allow the counselling/psychotherapy profession to be seen on an equal footing with any other helping profession.  PCI College was set up with the intention of providing students with a broad education in counselling and psychotherapy. In 2001 the college became a collaborative partner of Middlesex University, who validate, quality assure and award the college’s BSc (Honours) Counselling & Psychotherapy, and all Postgraduate programmes.


Our programmes are characterised by an integrative, person-centred, approach to counselling & psychotherapy training. Through their extensive training, students are introduced to all the main theorists, as well as being afforded the opportunity to delve into important topics such as Abnormal Psychology, Loss & Grief, and Substance Addiction, to name but a few. This expansive breadth of training, in conjunction with the provision of high quality, user-friendly teaching, is one of the key factors that each year continues to attract many students to join the growing PCI College family of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

With over 30 years of experience, PCI College continues with our founders pioneering work by embracing the continued raising of academic standards in the context of proposed professional regulation, while still making training as accessible as possible; by continuing to set a high standard of personal development in training; by raising awareness around the huge range of issues that people still struggle within this country - depression, anxiety, suicide, addictions, relationship difficulties, etc; and by promoting an integrative approach within our field, and with our fellow professionals.

PCI College is the leading provider of third-level educational and continuing professional development courses in the fields of Counselling & Psychotherapy, and Personal & Professional Development in mental health and wellbeing. As a college, it is committed to the provision of expert training and education in the field of mental health and wellbeing, in the private education sector, and tailor-made training to specialist groups. 

Our BSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy is accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) and validated by Middlesex University.

Course Venues:   Athlone   |   Belfast   |   Carrick-on-Shannon   |   Cork   |   Dublin   |   Kilkenny   |   Limerick