My Biography

"In humility value others above yourself."
St. Paul

About James

My name is James Foley. I am an accredited member of The Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and The National Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I am also a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. For over 20 years I have worked with people with serious mental health issues.
With Prevail Counselling Therapy I continue this work. By utilising my ongoing experience and training I hope to provide professionally managed care to all clients who approach Prevail for help.

Personal and Professional Background

Having grown up on a farm I always felt the draw to work with people more so than animals and machinery. I went into psychiatric nurse training when I was 25. In total I spent nearly 20 years as a psych nurse. 12 years of that were spent in addiction work.

While I enjoyed the interaction with the patients very much, over time I found nursing too constraining in its role and the medical treatment model alone unsatisfactory. In 2010 I started my counselling therapy training and am now offering professional counselling services.

photo of james foley counsellor at prevail counselling therapy

My Experience

  • Diploma in marketing and cert in advertising.
  • Worked as a carer with people in a psychiatric rehabilitation hostel.
  • Completed my 3 year diploma in psychiatric nursing at Queen’s University Belfast
  • Started work in Dublin in acute psychiatric hospital care.
  • Completed my nursing degree in Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.
  • Got married and had 2 children.
  • Started working in a residential drug detox centre. I worked there as a nurse but maintained many roles including group work facilitator and 1:1 support.
  • Commenced and completed my diploma in counselling at the Person Centred Institute in Dublin.
  • After a year of being a full time stay at home Daddy I started nursing agency work in various medical and psychiatric settings all over Dublin. This included a year in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
  • Completed 450 hours of voluntary counselling work so as to attain my counselling accreditation.
2020s and beyond
  • Set up Prevail Counselling Therapy
  • Working with Haven Counselling
  • Started work in Pieta House June 2021
  • Due to start a Masters in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy in October 2021
  • Hope to do Marriage/Relationship Counselling training

My initial business training did give me an understanding of the workings of the human mind and how we can improve our life through changing how our mind works.

In my nursing work I dealt with people who developed psychosis or mood and behavioural disorders due to biological brain dysfunction and life’s emotional strains. When I looked beyond these labels, I saw broken people from broken lives. People dealing with issues the same as the general population such as family dysfunction, relationship trauma, obsessive negative thinking and behaving, and many more.

The clients I now meet in the counselling room do not have as clinical a presentation as the patients I have nursed. Still, the problems of bereavement, unexplained fear, depression, anxiety etc are the same.  My  work in Pieta House is improving my skills in suicide prevention and bereavement.

So in my 20 plus years of professional caring work I have learned that the human heart, mind and soul can be fragile. When cared for and empowered though, us humans can achieve greatness in the normality of life.

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