"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”
― Mary Oliver, Thirst

Our History

Although we moved to Abbotsford in May 2008, a number of us had been working in a therapy centre in University Street for over 18 years, but we needed more space to accommodate the number of therapists wanting to work with us, and the additional range of services we could provide. Our current premises provide 7 consulting rooms, with 2 waiting areas, in a listed building in the heart of the university area, surrounded by Queens University, Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum and Methodist College. We now have over 20 therapists available, with a wide range of professional backgrounds including Medicine, Nursing, Psychology, and Education. All are registered with at least one professional body, and are accredited, or working towards accreditation. Full details are available on our Therapists page, showing qualifications, experience, professional bodies and areas of specialist interest.

Psychotherapy and Counselling

Our therapists are trained in a range of modalities, and we try to assess which therapist can provide the best approach to offer where possible. Within the profession, there is no simple distinction between what is ‘counselling’ or ‘psychotherapy’, but the latter would probably involve a longer period of contact, and work with the impact of early life experiences on the present day. Counselling is more likely to focus on here and now issues. What both offer is a therapeutic relationship with a professional who can listen at depth, be non judgemental, and support the unfolding process. There are 3 main modalities represented at Abbotsford.

Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

CBT is a talking therapy that looks at how our thinking and belief systems affect how we behave in situations, and how this in turn can affect how we think and feel. The therapist will help the client to focus on how to change both thoughts and behaviour. CBT has a good research base, and works very well helping with:


Anxiety – including phobias, panic attacks and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Humanistic Psychotherapy

“Therapists from a Humanistic and Integrative perspective invite people to develop their awareness as to what prevents them from unfolding their own true nature in the inner and outer expressions of their life” ICP website. The therapist trusts that given the right conditions within a therapeutic relationship, of respect, and empathy, people can grow and develop, and become more fully functional, whether in the sphere of work or relationships. Therapists themselves will model immediacy and authenticity in the therapeutic relationship, and therapy progresses at the client’s pace.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy  

When early life experiences are painful or confusing, they can become repressed in the unconscious, but still hold a very strong influence on later life. The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist takes time to develop a type of relationship that will allow unconscious experiences to emerge, by paying attention to dreams, language and typical ways of defending against emotional distress such as being rational, in denial or using of humour. Over time, the client will develop insight, notice repeating patterns, and begin to find new ways of thinking and relating. Therapy may be more than once a week, especially for people undertaking personal therapy as part of their own professional training, and may be carried out using either chairs or the couch. A Psychoanalytic approach can be valuable in creating deep and sustained change in the individual.

Therapists Profiles

PAUL QUINN, Director



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email :email@email.com


B.Sc.(Hons), M.Med.Sc.(Psychotherapy), M.Sc.Group Analytic Psychotherapy, IIGA License to Practice

Christine has been in private practice for over 25 years, and is accredited as a Psychotherapist and Supervisor, through the NI Institute of Human Relations, organisational members of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. She has also been a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy since 1992, and is an accredited Balint Group Leader through the UK Balint Society. She works mainly in individual and group therapy, and provides supervision to individuals and groups, as well as consulting to organisations.

tel:07711 689690
email :christinechristie25.9@btinternet.com