Pennie Fairbairn

Pennie Fairbairn


07958 629344

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07958 629344

About me

Practising as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist and Supervisor with a background in counselling, I have over 20 years of clinical experience in a variety of NHS mental health services. My key focus is to help my clients overcome a wide range of difficulties. I believe that a collaborative approach goes a long way to understanding the process of change.

Over time I have developed a special interest in relationship issues between couples, siblings, friendships, teams and groups. How we feel about ourselves can influence how we relate to others and vice versa. Therapy offers a safe context to help individuals feel better about themselves and in turn to feel more connected to others.

Clients bring a range of difficulties to therapy including relationship and communication concerns, low mood and depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders and life cycle age related themes. Understanding communication in the context of our relationships goes a long way in changing patterns of interaction that can often feel quite stuck.

If you want to find out more please get in touch either by phone or email. I welcome an opportunity to talk though any concerns you may have. Getting help can sometimes follow long periods of wondering what to do and trying out different things that may help to distract you. Perhaps the thought of talking to an unknown person is anxiety provoking – this is very common. You may not know what to expect, or feel concerned that talking will bring up painful emotions or memories.

The first session – if we both feel a first meeting would be appropriate I will arrange a mutually convenient time so we can explore what you would like to work on and for you to share more detail about where you are at. I use this time to assess your concerns so we can agree a possible plan for therapy that will be useful and also to give you information about me and the approach I take.

Starting therapy - If you wish to return we will agree some simple goals for the first six sessions and then review progress made by then. This review will also be an opportunity to identify any further support you may need. I offer fairly short term interventions from 6-16 sessions but can be flexible depending on the therapeutic needs of each client.

I offer hourly appointments during the day and 2 early evening clinics a week at a Stoke Newington location. I also offer home visits and therapy in a home setting if this is felt to be mutually appropriate.

As mentioned earlier I have a collaborative style and remain empathic to your concerns and to your context. In order to introduce doing things differently, I focus on exploring ideas from your perspective and from those perspectives of others to whom you are close. I believe that in order to take gradual steps towards change, gentle pushing from the therapist is helpful.

I am an experienced family systemic psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and counsellor. I work with individuals, couples and families and firmly uphold the importance of developing a meaningful therapeutic relationship in order for something different to emerge.

I offer sessions that operate within office hours and also include an early evening clinic twice a week. I can carry out home visits with a view to offering therapy in a home setting if this is felt to be appropriate.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am registered with AFT (Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice). I have practised in various settings: the NHS, the voluntary sector and privately.
I have worked as a clinical supervisor and freelance trainer since 2005.

Certificate of Education (1978)
Diploma in Management Studies (1984)
Certificate in Counselling (1994)
Certificate in Palliative Care (1998)
Post Graduate Diploma in Family Systemic Psychotherapy (2000)
MSc Family Systemic Psychotherapy (2002)

I have taught modules on MSc courses in Family Therapy (2002-2011), Mental Health Studies (2006-2009) at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and the MSc in Nutrition and Eating Disorders at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership


Sliding scale of £60-100.00
Concessions will be discussed prior to first appointment.

Further information

What is Systemic Family Psychotherapy?

“Family Systemic Psychotherapy helps people in close relationship help each other. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. Individuals can find Family Therapy helpful, as an opportunity to reflect on important relationships and find ways forward.” (Association of Family Therapy & Systemic Practice,

Research over time highlights the benefit of Family and Systemic Psychotherapy for relationship difficulties, mental health issues, parenting issues, violence in close relationships and separation. More specifically, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, identifies couple and family therapies in the treatment guidelines for a variety of difficulties, such as depression, eating disorders, alcohol dependence, self-harm, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and personality disorders.

Maps & Directions

London, N16

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


I offer appointments during business hours and early evenings.

Types of client

Young people
Employee Assistance Programme

Supervision & training

I am an accredited family systemic supervisor and offer individual, group and team supervision.

View supervision profile
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