Mr Mark Fielding
Member Status: Accredited
Member No: NCS19-07892
How can therapy help?
Psychotherapy aims to remove the causes of the presenting symptom(s). In order to achieve this the therapy sets out to clear mental blockages, in relation to the problem, to make conscious what is unconscious, fill gaps in the memory, remove conflicts in clients lives, break down defence mechanisms and enable clients to answer the question, ‘Why?’ in relation to the current problem. In this way the therapy enables clients to live their lives as they would wish.
Often the causes of our problems are rooted in the past. We may be stuck in patterns of behaving and relating to others and the world around us that were created when we were much younger and perhaps served us well at the time but these same behaviours are now stopping us from living life as we would wish. We often believe that change is impossible and cant imagine a future where things are different. As human beings I think it is fair to say that we all bring unhelpful and repetitive patterns of thinking, relating and self image from our early years into our adult lives. Is change possible? Absolutely! Over the years I have been honoured to share the journey of clients that have made remarkable changes in their lives. Therapy is not magic, however, and a firm commitment to work towards positive change is needed to gain the best results.
I tend to work collaboratively with Individuals. I treat everybody as an individual because we are all different and unique. I aim to provide a safe and secure environment where I can support you in developing greater self-awareness and understanding of the conscious and unconscious causes of your problems. I consider therapy to be a joint process; I wont tell you what to do but will rather engage with you in exploring the dilemmas that you seek to address. I will listen to you and ask questions, suggest possible patterns and link these to the past, suggest techniques that may be helpful in coping in the short term and work with you in understanding what is happening, why it is happening and then working on new ways of being.
As detailed later on this page, I have worked with a wide variety of presenting issues over the years.
I have worked a lot with clients presenting with anxiety - in its many forms. This may be pervasive feelings of generalised anxiety or anxiety around particular experiences - such as social anxiety, for instance. I have found that a combination of exploring the history and possible causes of the anxiety coupled with mindfulness techniques - watching what the mind is telling us and changing these habitual patterns - can be extremely effective in promoting growth and positive change.
Many people will suffer depression at some point in their life. This is an area that I have worked with a great deal including working with bi-polar disorder. I have also worked effectively with OCD, stress and early attachment issues.
Clients experiencing long term health conditions can benefit greatly from supportive psychotherapy. This approach to therapy offers long term support whilst still incorporating the investigative elements of psychotherapy. Often a safe space to talk coupled with a focus on coping mechanisms can be of help. I have worked with clients experiencing long term conditions such as bi-polar, PDA ,Tourette's Syndrome and clients presenting with long term physical disabilities. Inevitably, any long term health condition is likely to have both a physical and mental effect which can often benefit from a supportive therapeutic approach.
My training in relationship work also informs much of my work with individual clients. It is often useful to explore our relationship dynamics (past and present) in order to see how these have affected us and to uncover any habitual patterns that clients may wish to change. Our relationships - parents, caregivers, partners etc. shape us and it is often important to look more deeply into how these relationships have influenced the people that we are today in terms of such things as attachment styles and belief systems, for example.
I have a special interest in working with HSPs (highly sensitive people) and have worked with many since starting my clinical practice.
I am integrative which means that I am trained to use different approaches dependent on the client. 'Psychodynamic Psychotherapy' aims to look at causes in the past whilst 'Systemic Therapy' looks more at our patterns and ways of relating in the present. Mindfulness is helpful as a coping mechanism and with practice can also help us to change old behaviours by becoming aware of the behaviour or pattern of behaviour before it happens. It gives us the space to make changes to longstanding and unwanted behaviours. I use hypnotherapy with individual clients when needed.
It is likely that couples coming to therapy have brought relating patterns from their own childhood experiences. Some of these are positive and help to sustain and evolve our relationships whilst other behaviours have no place in the present. As humans we tend to repeat behaviours unconsciously. Becoming aware of the way we relate provides us with a choice. A choice to do something new rather than endlessly repeating a pattern that we learnt as children or was passed down to us - possibly through generations. As part of the therapy, we would often look at these generational patterns and explore the messages and beliefs that the partners may have internalised unconsciously and how these beliefs come together within the relationship dynamic.
It is often useful to explore such areas as communication styles, conflict management and communication and negotiation around difference, parenting styles, personality types and how these interact, issues around sex, money and extended family, cultural differences, gender differences and other areas of potential difference which are socially constructed. We may explore future projections for the couple also, importantly, what is working well within the relationship - sometimes couples in conflict can lose sight of the positive aspects of the relationship when becoming problem focused, over time. Perhaps unresolved trauma, depression or anxiety in one or both of the partners is creating difficulty in relating.
In the last few years attachment theory has become more prominent in both individual and couples therapy. Attachment styles are created during our earliest years and have a significant effect on how we relate to others and in particular our partners in later life. There is no right or wrong here but an understanding of the attachment styles of ourselves and our partners can have a significant effect on the relationship - perhaps uncovering and explaining areas which have previously been a source of unspoken resentment.
Narrative therapy is another approach that I use in relationship work. What stories do we tell ourselves about ourselves and others; are these historical beliefs really true and how are they interacting within the couple? Common stories are 'I am unlovable','others can't be trusted' and a host of socially constructed stories around such areas as gender, sex, religion, disability, parenting etc. Narrative therapy seeks to deconstruct these stories and enables the individuals and couple in relationship to 're-author' their lives.
I have worked a lot with couples and affairs. In these cases it is often beneficial to initially explore the deep feelings evoked by the affair before exploring possible reasons for it happening. Often the work - although painful - can shift the relationship to a more positive place. Sometimes couples come to therapy in order to separate. This may be the result of an affair or both partners feeling that the relationship has naturally come to an end. The sessions can be used to facilitate an amicable separation; providing a safe environment for the partners to explore the history of their time together and their feelings around the loss.
Relationship work is is concerned with the co-evolution of the couple. This involves becoming aware of our attachment patterns, working through any wounds from the past and with this knowledge constructing together a prospective future which is mutually satisfying to both partners. In answering the question 'why' the couples understanding of each other and the couple relationship is enhanced and the seeds for positive change are sown.
I would see both partners together for the first session and then would meet with each partner separately for one session as part of the assessment. After this all further sessions would be with both partners unless a request was made for further individual sessions or if we felt that it would be helpful to the therapy to meet individually again.
There is no set period for the therapy although I would normally recommend committing to 5 sessions (including the individual sessions) after which we could review the work done and decide together if the therapy is complete or if it would be helpful to continue.
I use a systemic and psychodynamic approach to couples work which means that we work collaboratively to uncover patterns of relating in the present which may be problematic. We would also look for the history of these patterns both in the couple and each partner.
- Qualifications & ExperiencePostgraduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
CPCAB Relate level 5 Diploma in Relationship Counselling
Diploma in Buddhist Psychology (mindfulness based 'Zen Therapy')
Certificate in Positive Psychology (Greater Good Science Centre)
Certificate in Existential Well-being Counselling: A Person-Centred Approach
Certificate in Counselling and Interpersonal skills
Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis
NHS Harassment Advisor training and CPD
MsDs Conference PDRelate 2017
Working with Self Harm and Suicide
Working with Dissociative Disorders in Clinical Practice
Running Mindfulness Groups
Can you tell me who I am? Michelle Bridgeman
Support in coming out/not coming out
Working with Gender Dysphoria - Michelle Bridgeman
LGBT Awareness and Sensitivity - PACE
Coming out workshop - Relate
Gender and Sexual Diversity
Mindful Sex and Relationship Therapy
Mental Health and Couples
Domestic Violence - Relate
Sexually Speaking Workshops 1 and 2(Sex Therapy)
Trauma, Dissociation and Recovery
eMETT 3.0 - Paul Eckman
Child Protection and Safeguarding Level One - Relate
Bereavement and Loss
Substance Misuse and the Couple
Feedback Informed Practice
- What I can help with
- Abuse – Emotional, Physical, Sexual
- Ageing and related issues
- Anger Management
- Assertiveness / Self-confidence / Self-esteem
- Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
- Bereavement / Loss
- Cultural issues
- Divorce & Separation
- Gender identity
- Generally unhappy with your life
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
- Sexuality Identity
- Shyness / Social Phobia
- Suicidal feelings
- Violence / Victim support
- Languages Spoken