Mark Fielding MBACP Psychotherapist/Relationship Counsellor
The Clapham Common Clinic
151/153 Clapham High Street
Hello. My name is Mark FieIding. I am a psychotherapist and relationship counsellor and I have many years experience in working with individuals and couples. I have also worked as a senior harassment advisor in the NHS for over ten years and as a relationship counsellor for Relate. A registered member of the BACP register of counsellors and psychotherapists, I currently work in private practice. I realise that, initially, approaching a therapist can seem daunting. My therapeutic approach is very down to earth which I hope puts my clients at ease. Over the last 13 years I have worked with most problems that people can experience.
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. We are all totally unique human beings and as such being in relationship can be complex. Understanding is the most powerful precursor to change.
I would always prefer to work with both members of the couple but in the appropriate circumstances would be happy to continue with one partner should the other partner not wish to continue.
Other areas that I specialise in:
- Generalised anxiety
- Social anxiety
- Gender Dysphoria
- HSP - highly sensitive people
- Panic Disorder
- Anger management
- Tourette's Syndrome
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Bullying and harassment
- Mindfulness techniques and hypnosis
- Family issues
- Self Confidence
- Mindfulness Groups
- Attachment issues
- Positive Psychology
The initial session is a chance for us to talk about what has brought you along to therapy and also for you to decide if I am the right therapist for you. The therapeutic relationship has been proved to be one of the most important factors in successful outcome and so it is very important that you choose a therapist that you feel comfortable with and somebody that you trust to share in your journey.
I am happy to accept GP referrals or referrals from other health care professionals.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Postgraduate 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
Registered member of the BACP
Short Courses/Workshops/Online 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
- Transgender Identities
Registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) The BACP Register is the first psychological therapists' register to be accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, accountable to Parliament.
Members of the public can now choose a counsellor or psychotherapist belonging to a register approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
I have worked in private practice since 2006 and work from clinics in Clapham Common, Balham, Liverpool Street and Old Street.
I have also worked for many years supporting clients with learning difficulties. In working therapeutically with clients presenting with learning difficulties I tend to you use a combination of psychodynamic and systemic psychotherapy.
For over ten years I worked in the NHS - providing supervision to a team of Harassment Advisers at a West London NHS Foundation Trust. I was also a Harassment Advisor for the Trust. Due to many years experience in this area I am very aware of the devastating effects of bullying or harassment.
In my clinical practice I have worked a lot with clients that have been bullied both in earlier years (at school, for instance) or at work, and often carry the pain of these experiences with them; creating conflict and pain in the present and being a 'block' to growth, self-confidence and happiness. Often people that have been bullied or harassed stop talking about their pain.
Counselling can be very helpful in helping clients to work through the pain of these experiences in order that they can become unburdened by this pain and anxiety and move forwards again positively towards the future.
Mindfulness - "Mindfulness is a specific way of intentionally paying attention. One negative thought can lead to a chain reaction of negative thoughts. This approach encourages people to be aware of each thought, enabling the first negative thought to be ‘caught' so that is seen as just a ‘thought' and not a fact. This breaks the chain reaction of negative thoughts giving a mental ‘space' in which the person can re-centre themselves in the present. Mindfulness-based therapists can work with individuals and groups and will usually integrate mindfulness into another modality, in which they are already trained" (BACP).
In the last few years mindfulness has become very popular within the therapy field. The techniques drawn from mindfulness can help to alleviate symptoms in the present and over the longer term can enable us to take control of our thoughts and feelings rather than being controlled by them. I tend to use mindfulness techniques with hypnosis in the sessions to demonstrate its efficacy. With practice mindfulness can assist in making great changes to habitual patterns which seem out of our control and are causing us to be unhappy and preventing us from living the life that we would wish to.
I also offer a mindfulness programme in a group setting. The groups are facilitated by myself and a female colleague and last for a 12 week period. The programme is a rolling one and members can complete the 12 weeks on a weekly basis or over longer period if this works better for them. Please contact me for more details.
"Happiness is not simply dependent on a persons genes. It is a set of skills that can be taught, and, with practice, developed over time...Studying the roots of good, healthy and positive behaviour is just as important as studying human pathologies. To promote individual and social well-being science must examine how people overcome difficult circumstances and how they develop positive emotions and relationships" (Greater Good Science Centre).
I often draw on the research findings and practices of Positive Psychology in my work with clients. Looking at the issues that are making us unhappy is, of course, at the heart of therapy but it is often helpful to also explore practices that can lead to increased happiness moving forwards.
I offer Skype sessions (dependent on presenting issues) and work with clients both within the UK and internationally.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Carer support
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship problems
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tourette's syndrome
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I have a particular interest in working with HSP (highly sensitive people). Highly sensitive people make up around 15-20 percent of the population, although the condition has not received the academic attention that it deserves. Over the years, I have worked with many HSP clients and bring a great deal of experience to my work in this area.
Are you highly sensitive? The following link will take you to a website supplying more information and a short test: http://www.hsperson.com/ .
Further information can be found at: http://www.drtedzeff.com/ .
£60 per 50 minute individual session.
£80 per 50 minute couple session
I can provide concessions where required and offer a reduced rate for counselling and psychotherapy students.
Low rate for clients with learning difficulties.
I have worked with many LGBTQI+ clients and welcome both individuals and couples from the LGBTQI+ community.
I am experienced in working with clients wishing to both explore and/or transition their gender identity.
I adhere to BACP ethical guidelines and have ongoing monthly clinical supervision.
I offer both short and long term psychotherapy. Short term therapy would generally take place over 5 to 10 sessions dependent on the client's presenting issues. At the end of the agreed sessions we would review the sessions completed and decide if the work is complete. If not we can agree to continue.
Short term therapy is not suitable for all presenting issues and in the initial session we will be able to discuss this. The length of any therapy depends on the client. Some seek therapy to work through one particular problem and once this is achieved they may decide to leave. Sometimes people bring long standing problems that may take a bit more time to resolve. Sometimes clients come along for a few sessions and decide to stay longer as other areas come up that they wish to deal with.
- Also registered with Counselling Directory
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I have flexible availability with some daytime appointments, evenings and Saturday mornings.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|