Areas we work in


Addiction (dependence on a particular substance or activity), is an important and complex area of mental health. Addiction can be difficult to treat, and there is a good deal of controversy surrounding the causes of addiction and the best approaches to treatment.

Drug and alcohol abuse or misuse—excessive or inappropriate use of a substance—can be difficult to define, and people’s opinions, values, and beliefs vary significantly on the topic. For some, any use of an illegal drug or any use of alcohol with the primary purpose of intoxication constitutes abuse.

For others, abuse is indicated by recurring, negative consequences, including failure to meet social, work, and academic obligations; alcohol- or drug-related legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated; relationship problems with intimate partners, friends, and family.


Anxiety Disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder) Some degree of anxiety and nervousness is normal and affects every one of us.  The reactions of your mind and body are part of normal functioning. 

Anxiety becomes problematic when it is excessive, persistent and disproportionate to the actual circumstances that exist. These problems might include worrying thoughts; intense dislike or fear of situations (or avoidance of situations); panic episodes or panic attacks arising out of the blue; conflicting feelings; unpleasant memories or intrusive thoughts.

Therapy offers a warm, empathic, safe and confidential environment in which the therapist helps you understand the underlying causes and triggers of your anxiety, both conscious and unconscious.

Bereavement/ Loss

Loss can occur in almost any area of our lives and affects everyone to a lesser or greater extent in any or all stages of life (e.g. loss of; health; a loved one; a pet; confidence; a friendship; a family home; a dream; safety after trauma; financial stability, job loss, retirement, miscarriage, ageing, emigration, etc.)

Every single person experiences not one, but a long series of losses during their lifetime. People’s reaction in response to their grief and loss often takes the form of challenging and risk-taking behaviour, withdrawal or exaggerated autonomy, addiction, drug misuse, etc. Family members and friends find themselves in a precarious position, being unsure of how to formulate an appropriate response, in order to equip their loved and themselves ones with coping skills that would help them to deal with their grief and multiple losses.

Psychotherapy helps the client integrate single or multiple loss experiences into their life story, in a way that is meaningful and hopeful rather than overwhelming and self-destructive, to strengthen their inner resilience meet their physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual needs, and to alleviate the pain and suffering.


To feel depression at some time in your life is a normal human experience. We often respond to a painful loss in our lives, for example, relationship difficulties, loss, bereavement, or separation. Depression is characterized by a generalised low mood and a loss of interest in things previously enjoyed in life.

Other symptoms may (but not necessarily) include poor concentration, irritability, crying, feeling hopeless and/ or helpless, under or overeating, under or oversleeping and possibly suicidal thoughts. Talking to your therapist will help and support you in developing coping strategies to help manage difficult days. Reaching out can help to make sense of what you are experiencing. It can also enable you to experience fresh perceptions and new insights, thus finding a way forward.

Eating Disorders

The term eating disorder refers to a set of complex, successive conditions typified by psychological and emotional suffering, acute disorders in eating and the physical repercussions of it. There is a lot of variety amongst people in relation to eating behaviours.

The most common unhealthy patterns of eating are anorexia, bulimia, compulsive eating and binge eating. Eating problems often develop at the same time as you are going through major life changes such as puberty, going to a new school, concerns around sexual identity or leaving home for the first time. Pressure and stress can also impact your eating habits. You may crave a particular food, lose your appetite; eat more for comfort; or even become unable to eat at all.

You may find food becoming increasingly important in your life. You may deny yourself anything to eat, even when you are very hungry, or you may eat constantly, or binge. You may find that the subject of food, or how much you weigh, can be on your mind all the time. Food can become a sort of addiction; affecting your life in a very negative way. It’s important to understand that eating problems aren’t just about food and eating.

They are about difficult problems and painful feelings, which you may find hard to express, face or resolve. Focusing on food is a way of disguising these problems, even from yourself. Talking to a therapist can help you make sense of the underlying causes and triggers of the eating disorder. It can also help you manage your symptoms and learn new coping tools.

Emotional distress

Sometimes we can feel that our lives have been dominated by feelings of tiredness, anxiety and worry about being unable to live up to the demands and expectations of others. We conceal these feelings and thoughts ‘behind a mask’ as a way of coping with these demands and try to give the impression that we are ‘on top of things’.

This has a negative effect on our self-image. We also tend to isolate ourselves from others, which in turn leads to feelings of loneliness and exclusion. The experience of losing control can be described as a state of exhaustion which leads to experiencing great difficulties in managing everyday life with symptoms such as worry, anxiety, depressed mood, sleep disturbance or pain.

Therapy is a collaborative process, where the therapist and the client work together to identify specific concerns and develop concrete skills and techniques for coping with emotional distress. Clients can expect to practice their new skills outside of sessions to manage emotional distress in situations that might make them uncomfortable. However, the therapist won’t push clients into such scenarios until they’re sure they have the skills they need to effectively cope with the presenting situation.

Life Challenges. Loneliness, Isolation

Each person is engaged in a unique journey through life, in search of his or her meaning and purpose.  Life consists of numerous challenges some of which leave people feeling distressed and unable to cope. Therapy is about entering into a counselling or psychotherapeutic relationship and primarily involves gaining a deeper understanding and acceptance of oneself. 

This process can take place for an individual, a couple, a family or a group. The relationship with the therapist offers a facilitative and confidential environment, where someone seeking help can explore his or her internal struggles.  This process can enable a person to discover inner resources and build the strength to make meaningful choices and live a more satisfying life.

Part of life’s struggle can be loneliness. Many people experience loneliness at some point in their lives. It can occur as a result of life circumstances such as bereavement, relocation, a change of job or through the break-up of a significant relationship. A person affected by loneliness can experience a strong sense of emptiness and being alone. Loneliness can also include a feeling of being unwanted and unimportant.

People who experience chronic loneliness can have difficulty forming strong interpersonal relationships. Talking to your therapist can help you address these difficulties and work towards meaningful change; and offers a warm, empathic and confidential space to work through these issues.


Overview: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviours (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

Signs and Symptoms:  People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.

Obsessions: are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Common symptoms include fear of germs or contamination; Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, or harm; Aggressive thoughts towards others or self; Having things symmetrical or in perfect order.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviours that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing; Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way; Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for adults with OCD. Research shows that certain types of psychotherapy, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and other related therapies (e.g., habit reversal training) can be as effective as medication for many individuals. Talking with a therapist who is experienced in working with OCD can help you understand and manage your symptoms to enable you to lead a fuller life. And while it may not be easy to talk about your OCD, it could help you feel that it is less frightening, and make you feel less isolated. It may also help other people understand your OCD behaviour and how they can help you.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends.

But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder. Although panic attacks themselves aren’t life-threatening, they can be frightening and significantly affect your quality of life. However treatment can be very effective.

Therapy offers a warm, empathic, safe and confidential environment in which the therapist and you collaboratively work towards 1) Understanding the underlying causes and triggers of your panic attacks and anxiety, both conscious and unconscious and 2) Developing ways to manage your panic attack – this usually involves both cognitive (how you think about it) and behavioural (actions, tasks, homework etc) work.


Defined as an extreme or irrational fear of animals and people (e.g. snakes, spiders, mice, clowns, doctors), objects (e.g. cars, trains), situations (social events, public speaking, medical procedures, flying, failure) or places (e.g. heights, lifts, darkness). Phobias can have a serious impact on well-being and mental health if left untreated.

The mental and physical symptoms of a phobia range from light nervousness and mild apprehensive feelings to panic attacks. Physical symptoms include racing heartrate, breathing with difficulty, chest pains or tightness, dizziness, trembling, sweating, and hot-cold flushes. Emotional and mental symptoms include overwhelming panic or fear, a strong need to escape, feeling detached from yourself, fear of losing control or ‘one’s mind’, feeling like passing out or dying, and distress.

Seeking help is important if the symptoms affect one’s ability to
function effectively. Psychotherapy is a proven and effective method for treating phobias.

Relationship Issues

A good, healthy relationship can be so rewarding and enrich our lives.  Sometimes it’s the everyday stresses that can wreak havoc on
a relationship and difficulties can emerge. When life and our relationships are not going how we want them to go and, worse, we don’t know why, it can be confusing, defeating and depressing.

If each person in the relationship is willing to address the difficulties in the relationship and look at ways to develop a solution, then most relationship problems are manageable. When challenges are left unaddressed, tension mounts, and poor habits develop, then the health of the relationship is put at risk.

Ultimately, relationship difficulties are about our relationship with ourselves first. As we understand how we are within ourselves we develop a better relationship with ourselves. When this happens, we like ourselves more and we find it easier to like others and they, in turn, find it easier to like us. Talking to a therapist can help you make sense of and look at the strands of relationship patterns. Through the therapy, you will begin to understand how our past and present experiences colour our relationships.

It will also help bring new insights into the roots of our behaviour patterns, resolve and manage conflicts that are inevitably there and come to a reconciliation with ourselves.

Fairview Therapy Centre also offer mediation services if required. See Mediation within the ‘Our Services’ section.

Sexuality, Sexual identity, LGBT issues

Our sexuality is very closely linked to our sense of who we are in the world. Understanding who we are and how we relate to ourselves and each other in this realm can be very confusing. Ideas and concepts around what is considered normal or acceptable are constantly being challenged in today’s new sexual landscape.

Coming to a place of acceptance and understanding of who we are and how we express ourselves in all ways, including sexually, is vital for our healthy development; mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Sexual matters in therapy may include issues such as negative emotions or experiences around sex, sexual difficulties, sexual orientation, lack of interest in sex, sex addiction, relationship problems and sexual abuse.

Talking to your therapist can offer you an empathic, safe and confidential environment in which you and your therapist can begin to collaboratively explore physical communication and the understanding of what sex means to two particular people..


Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.  Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope.  People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.  Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. 

And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works.  Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.  You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self-esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head.  You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.

Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, and diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a range of emotions and experiences. Response to a traumatic event varies significantly among people.

Some basic common symptoms are Emotional signs such as sadness, anger, denial, fear and shame. These can lead to nightmares, insomnia, and difficulty with relationships. Common physical symptoms include nausea, dizziness, altered sleep patterns, changes in appetite, and headaches. Psychological disorders may include PTSD, depression, anxiety, dissociative disorders, and substance abuse. Not every traumatized person develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people develop some symptoms like those listed above, but they go away after a few weeks.

This is called acute stress disorder (ASD). When the symptoms last more than a month and seriously affect the person’s ability to function, the person may be suffering from PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show symptoms for months after the event itself. And some people deal with PTSD symptoms from a traumatic experience for the rest of their life.

Symptoms of PTSD can escalate to panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings, drug abuse, feelings of being isolated and not being able to complete daily tasks.

Therapy can help by understanding the underlying causes and triggers of your trauma, both conscious and unconscious, by talking through your feelings in such a way that enables you to fully process the traumatic experience and by developing ways to manage your day-to-day life – this usually involves both cognitive (how you think about it) and behavioural (actions, tasks, homework etc) work.

Lifestage concerns

As we move through our developmental stages in life, we are increasingly becoming aware of different aspects of our existence. Our desire for purpose and meaning is an essential motivator to developing our sense of self and our spirituality. As one stage in life ends and another begins, we can feel loss and question at a deeper level why we do what we do.

These existential crises are normally punctuated by and intensified in major milestones in our lives. Leaving school, coming into adulthood, embarking on a relationship, the birth of children, ageing, and death are some of the events or expected events that we can benefit from to help us process change and re-evaluate our understanding of ourselves beyond them.

Workplace Problems

The workplace can be the place where we spend much of our time. It is here that we can be confronted with a lot of life’s dramas as we navigate relationships and organisational politics. Our sense of acceptance and security within an organisational structure is generally informed, internally, from our experiences of love and belonging in our development and, externally, by the culture of the organisation.

Issues such as bullying, exclusion and toxic environments can have a detrimental impact on our confidence and sense of wellbeing. Working through issues with a therapist can be useful in giving a voice to your frustrations and struggles in this area. Working out boundaries and finding your power in situations will help you find stability amid a difficult environment.

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