The Dublin Simon Community Sure Steps Counselling Service supports client in Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and Meath who are exposed to homelessness to identify and connect to their inner strengths and develop psychological coping skills as a result of engaging with evidence based therapeutic counselling interventions and supports.

Since the service was established in 2012 referrals to the service have increased from 58 in 2012 to 326 in 2016

Clients received over 2,100 hours of 1:1 counselling and mental health support from Sure Steps Counselling who work across our services in the last year.

“I am so grateful to my counsellor for her invaluable support along my journey thus far and for being such a good listener and for never having judged me. This has been the first time in my life that someone has listened to me in a non judgemental way and has accepted me for who I am, which means more to me than anything.”

– Amy, Counselling Client


The Sure Steps Counselling Service was established in spring of 2012. Since then we have become a specialised trauma informed counselling service providing emotional support to clients with a wide variety of presenting issues. All our counsellors are trained to the highest standards and adhere to their professional accreditation bodies’ code of ethics. Currently we have a team of almost 20 counsellors both pre and fully accredited.


What We Do

The Sure Steps Counselling Service was established in spring of 2012. Since then we have become a specialised trauma informed counselling and psychotherapeutic service providing emotional support to clients with a wide variety of presenting issues. Sure Steps Counselling and Psychotherapy prides itself as being the leader of the only homeless specific general counselling service in Ireland!

All our counsellors are trained to the highest standards and adhere to their professional accreditation bodies’ code of ethics. Currently we have a team of almost 20+ counsellors both pre and fully accredited. We provide the following;

  • Weekly 1 to 1 counselling in our Phibsboro, Inchicore and Ushers Island Treatment Services in addition to our housing/emergency accommodation centers. Our services extend to Meath, Kildare, & Wicklow. We pride ourselves on being the only homeless agency that offers non-specific general counselling.
  • We host a weekly counselling drop in clinic and deliver counsellor lead emotional wellbeing group programmes. Client’s may never have experienced counselling and this service introduces them to a safe informal confidential space where they can learn about counselling and indeed begin to open a dialogue with a counsellor in a non-committal fashion that allows them to begin building a therapeutic relationship.

How We Do It

While different Counsellors employ different counselling techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Behaviour Focused Therapy, depending on the specific needs of individual clients, all Counsellors implement principles of trauma-informed care. We use a humanistic approach which takes into account the specific needs of the individual client. The Dublin Simon Community’s Sure Steps Counselling Model aims to remove barriers to access for people who are homeless. Sure Steps overarching principles; trauma informed, low threshold, client-led and empowering.

Our professional commitment is our willingness to enable our clients to augment the changes they  wish for. We will always meet a client where they are at, offering empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. Our role will always be to facilitate a client’s potential as they take the best steps with Sure Steps in their journey to empowerment.

Services that the Sure Steps Counselling service offers to Dublin Simon Community clients:

  • Weekly 1 to 1 counselling in our NCR counselling centre.
  • We provide counselling in our housing/emergency accommodation services
  • We host a weekly counselling drop in clinic in treatment services and mobile health unit
  • We provide in reach/outreach crisis intervention
  • We deliver a counsellor led  emotional wellbeing group programme
  • Couples’ counselling

Volunteer With Us

We are always on the look out for part-time volunteer counsellors who want to learn and develop their counselling career. Perhaps you are pre-accredited and wish to complete your hours, supporting those who are challenged with homelessness, addiction and mental health – we want to hear from you!

Sure Steps is a student placement centre for the Trinity PhD Counselling Psychology programme and the UCD Counselling/ Psychotherapy Masters programme.

The Sure Steps Counselling Service are currently looking for volunteers in the following positions:

Full-Time Volunteer/Intern Counsellor. Please find the the full details on the role here.

Counsellor/Psychotherapists in the Bray/Wicklow Town and Naas, Co. Kildare areas.

Testimonials

Client testimonials:

“I have been attending counselling sessions with my Counsellor at Sure Steps Counselling Service within Dublin Simon Community for over two years now and my continues sobriety is a testament to this.”

“I am so grateful to my Counsellor for her invaluable support along my journey thus far and for being such a good listener and for never having judged me; this has been the first time in my life that someone has listened to me in a non-judgemental way and has accepted me for for who I am.”

“I believe that counselling has given me a new lease of life and has enabled me to change for the better.  I have found counselling to be a beautiful experience and would recommend it to anyone who wants or needs support to help change their lives for the better.”

CAMS and CORE Clinical testimonials:

“I have been impressed with the care given to develop a sound and safe pathway and response by Sure Steps staff to persons they find in suicidal distress. Their approach is humane and caring but also brave and proactive, and offers significant support and capacity where it’s much needed.”

Dr. Justin Brophy, HSE

“Sure Steps are committed to providing evidence based approaches to clients and to continuously monitor best possible outcomes for clients. As part of this commitment Sure Steps are utilising in a voluntary manner CORE with many of their clients. CORE is essentially a psychological tool helpful to counsellors in measuring a client’s level of distress both before and after counselling. It is a self-reporting 34 item questionnaire which takes a client about five minutes to complete and addresses a client’s psychological well-being over the last week, covering domains such as their subjective well-being, problems/symptoms and life functioning, risk/harm. It uses a 5-poiint scale ranging from not at all to most of the time. Scores obtained are then plotted and may be discussed/ given to a client so that they can see how they are doing. Currently Sure Steps are in the process of evaluating CORE as an evaluation tool with our clients.”

Dr. Damian Davy, Phoenix Centre

News and Reports

Dublin Simon Community’s Sure Steps Counselling service have written a number of articles and presented topics around homelessness and mental health, please find an example of a few below:

In November 2016 Sure Steps were proud to unveil another new counselling venue, ‘ Ellen Hall’, Emmet Road, Inchicore with Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD at the launch.

Click the links to read the articles below:

‘You may not smell too good, and if they smell drink off ye at all, they’ll label you straight away’ – The Journal.ie, 5th December 2017. Click here.

Eisteach-Journal-Summer-2016. Click here to read.

Training and Events

The Sure Steps Counselling service are delivering a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Level 2 Facilitator Training on 19th-20th July and again on 23rd-24th July. Full details can be found here.

Contact Us

You may also choose to request your keyworker to refer you, or you may choose to contact the service directly yourself.

Contact: Derek Dempsey, Counselling Service Manager, Sure Steps Counselling Service, Dublin Simon Community, 20-22 Island Street, Dublin 8.

For further enquiries please contact Derek on:

Office:  01 635 4882
Email: surestepscounselling@dubsimon.ie