fergus cairns

Psychotherapy and counselling

Fergus Cairns is a UKCP registered integrative counsellor and psychotherapist with 14 years' experience of working with a variety of clients.

I work in Soho in the West End, in Queen's Park/Kilburn NW6 and Muswell Hill N10.

To arrange a consultation:

telephone 020 7503 0262

email enquiries@ferguscairns.co.uk 

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy provides a supportive and confidential relationship, a safe space in which you can explore many aspects of your life.

As you talk and share your feelings with a psychotherapist, new perspectives and understanding will emerge. Old fear acquired in childhood may be unlearned, and new ways of relating to others may be attempted in the safe and 'experimental' environment.

Overall, the aim of psychotherapy is to increase your awareness of the choices, personal power, skills and gifts that you may never have dared to develop.

Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy combines elements of Analytical Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Gestalt, Body Psychotherapy into one cohesive and highly effective mode of working - it is a Relational approach - centred in this unique space between Client and Therapist.

Counselling/psychotherapy: what’s the difference?

Essentially they are the same activity and the difference is of degree, rather than kind.

Counselling is more often conducted for a limited number of sessions and while looking at the client’s background, its primary function is to identify and help the client solve immediate problems.

Psychotherapy is a longer-term and usually open-ended commitment, meaning that the client decides when it is time to finish. It will look in greater depth at the client’s history and patterns, and the relationship between client and therapist becomes a much more intrinsic part of what enables the therapy to work.

Specialisms and interests

Some of the areas I have worked in include:

  • Abuse and trauma (sexual and physical);

  • Adolescents (have experience of working with teenagers 13+);

  • AIDS and HIV;

  • Anxiety and stress;

  • Asperger's syndrome;

  • Bereavement and loss;

  • Body image;

  • Career planning;

  • Chronic illness and medical conditions;

  • Couple and relationship counselling;

  • Cross-cultural issues;

  • Family dynamics; 

  • Psychosomatic illness;

  • PTSD;

  • Refugees and asylum seekers;

  • Sexual dysfunction;

  • Sexual identity and orientation.


Volunteer Counsellor at PACE, 1992-1987 and again from 2004; member of PACE private register since 1993; member of Association of Chiron Therapists and practitioner at Chiron Clinic since 1999; member of Pink Therapy Directory of Therapists since 2003 and am also on the register of therapists at Freedom Health

In private practice since 1993; couple and crisis counselling; ex-group facilitator at London Lighthouse; facilitator and deviser of gay men’s residential workshops for ECC. Counsellor for the Uganda AIDS Action Fund 2004-2006.


Diploma in Humanistic Counselling and Supervision (1993); Certificate in Body Psychotherapy (1999); Diploma in Body Psychotherapy and UKCP accreditation (2006).

How I Work

Despite my theoretical approach (see below), I am not a ‘healer’ or complementary therapist, and in most ways facilitate very much the same sort of ‘talking cure’ as counsellors and psychotherapists of all schools.

I may supplement conventional one-to-one dialogue with techniques such as relaxation and body attunement, guided imagery, physical exercises and role-plays, and so on. Equally none of these techniques are essential and I am always guided by the client as to what will best facilitate their development.

After an initial consultation (which may be spread over more than one session at no increased cost) I usually set up an initial contract to meet for 12 sessions. Towards the end of this we will review to see if we want to move to a longer-term, open-ended contract or towards closure.

For more information see my Therapy Information and Contract document.

Where I'm Coming from: Theoretical Approach

I initially trained as a person centred counsellor. My own confrontation with a physical illness got me interested in holistic and body centred ways of working, which led to the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy.

Body psychotherapy originally derives from the ideas of Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). Reich had many unconventional, not to say crazy, ideas, but his intuitive vision of the identity of mind and body has been broadly vindicated by subsequent discoveries in neurology and psychology.

The core assumption of body psychotherapy is that it makes no sense to talk of mind and body as separate things: they are one.

The mind is a physical object made from nerve cells, chemicals and electricity. Our thinking, emotions and ability to imagine and relate may be radically changed from day to day by the physical ‘climate’ in which our mind operates and the habitual way we use our body.

Equally, the body is not only a physical object but is our personal narrative made flesh. It is a physical expression of the personality within and its healthy functioning may be hindered and frozen by old defences and behaviours which once helped us but which must be changed if we are to move on in life.

I am also informed by Jungian archetypal psychotherapy; native American spirituality and shamanism; object relations theory; and Gestalt psychology.

Training and groupwork

I organise training and groupwork in health awareness and psychology for the private and public sectors. I am an accredited trainer for the Positive Self-Management Programme (PSMP), a seven-week course for people living with HIV.

Locations and access 

On Mondays I work at Pink Therapy in the West End, five minutes from Piccadilly Circus (see map and photo). On other days I work at at the clinics run by Chiron at Queen’s Park NW6 (see map) and Ealing W5, and at Muswell Healing Arts in N10 (see map). The Queen's Park address has relatively easy disabled access (two low steps).


Initial consultation £75(this covers one or more sessions, depending on how long it takes). Ongoing sessions £50 per hour. I do not operate a sliding scale but am able to offer some reduced-price places, especially in the daytime.