Mark Howkins, MSc, MA, Accredited Member UKCP, Registered Member BACP
I hope to be able to help you …
Please take time to read this short summary of some of the main principles of, and background to, my counselling work. Or look at the bullet-pointed sections below if you need to access basic information about my practice quickly.
If things that I say here appeal to you but you’re not certain it’s what you’re looking for, do contact me by phone or e-mail to discuss your needs and concerns. I offer private clients an initial session with no charge if they want to take this enquiry and sampling process further. Counselling/therapy is a resource solely for the client’s benefit - not, as I see it, a proof of the value of particular theories. It’s paramount that you feel you’ve made a good choice of counsellor and are reasonably confident and hopeful from the start about what you can achieve by working with him or her.
… using a range of approaches …
My experience is that different people gain from different psychotherapeutic approaches according to the nature of their problems and circumstances, their temperaments and even their expectations of therapy and of themselves ‘in therapy’.
… but always by responding with commitment to your trust in me.
However, there are common basic features to the way I work, whatever the client or situation. Most important among these is that I respect clients and reassure them that they are safely and confidentially held in the counselling relationship. I encourage in them realistic hope for change, based on my effort and care in working with them. I explore with them what self-awareness and self-care actually mean for them, and encourage them to bring these new ways of thinking into their ordinary lives beyond the counselling sessions. Clients who can trust and rely upon the ever-presence of the therapist’s professionalism and commitment to them are empowered and enabled. They feel safe to risk challenging their old ways of thinking and behaving, and they start to focus their energies on becoming well and living their lives more fully.
I am an experienced and qualified therapist/counsellor …
There is a very wide range of problems with which people seeking counselling might instinctively feel they need help.These can be doubts about themselves or their relationships.They can be anxieties, perhaps arising from the past, that won’t go away or that seem to multiply and often dominate their minds, sometimes affecting their physical health. Or they are frequent experiences of sadness and a need to avoid life that appear to have no explanation. I often work with clients who, in these and other ways, feel ‘stuck’ with their lives.
I have been a counsellor with Mind, both at one of their urban service-user centres and at an eco-project, where I set up a counselling facility for clients with long-term mental health problems. Many of my approximately 3000 hours of therapy have been with people little able to trust anyone – least of all, strangers – at the start of their therapy.These are the survivors of sexual abuse and rape with whom I continue to work in a more specialised setting.
Every client I work with is at some point on a journey towards change and self-fulfilment, even as they begin their therapy. I hope and believe that all of them advance significantly on that journey by the end of the process. Being able to help people in this way is a fantastic motivation to me and strengthens my commitment to counselling as a genuinely beneficial resource.
… with a core Person-Centred approach …
I qualified as a counsellor with a Psychotherapy MSc in Nottingham.The training was in the Person-Centred tradition, and I continue to find that this approach informs much of my work.This is particularly so in its focus on embodied emotion and on helping clients to identify, understand and accept with compassion and regard both their own impulses and their habitual ways of seeing the world and themselves in it, both past and present.
… but also drawing upon Cognitive-Behavioural, Mindfulness, EMDR ...
But I work sometimes in more conventionally Cognitive-Behavioural ways where clients need quite immediate relief from symptoms and a sense of restored control over their lives.They can achieve this through a better understanding of their own routine thoughts, feelings and behaviour that CBT offers. The short-term work that I do would often have this CBT focus. Alongside this, I also increasingly use, and encourage clients to develop for themselves, Mindfulness techniques, often to bring them physical rest and renewed energy, not least to meet the difficult challenge of longer-term therapy, if this is required. For clients who have experienced significant past traumas I have in recent years incorporated Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into my work. This is an approach which, if carefully applied, can 'unlock' traumatic memories and enable more rational and healing parts of the mind to access them, thereby removing their stubborn capacity to trigger disturbance.
… Existential, Neuroscientific …
Two other strands that feature in my work with clients are Existential Therapy principles and basic Neuroscience. Existential ideas bring realism and a recognition of the need for a sense of life-purpose beyond the completion of the therapy, itself. Neuroscience, properly applied, can help to explain to clients the awkward and puzzling aspects of their own physical feelings and reactions.
… and Language-focused ways of working; …
Finally, I cannot ignore in my work with clients the generative and transformative power of language. Our often unthinking reliance upon story and metaphor, particularly, to create and express meaning is impossible to overlook in therapy! I am able to draw upon my teaching background and quite wide literary resources and understanding to focus on aspects of clients’ language where this might be appropriate and helpful.
… and always encouraging you to discover and control the means to your own wellbeing.
Though very different in some ways, the methods briefly described above can also complement each other. My aim, always, is to offer clients as much information and choice as possible as their counselling progresses, so as to equalise our relationship and invite them to take control in finding solutions to their own problems.
I offer face to face counselling with:
· Young People
· Students (including Counselling Students)
· Pre-Trial Clients
... and also:
· Counselling with Interpreters
· Prison and Probation Counselling
· Telephone and Online Counselling
Training, qualifications & experience
· Accredited Member, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
· Registered Member, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
· Graduate Member, Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute (SPTI)
· MSc (Person-Centred Psychotherapy) The Sherwood Institute/Coventry University
· MA (Education) University of Nottingham
· BA Hons (English/Philosophy) University of Birmingham
· PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education), University of Nottingham (I am a qualified and experienced teacher of English and Drama)
Professional Training in Recent Years
· Intergenerational Trauma
· Telephone Counselling
· Online Counselling
· Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
· Pre-Trial Therapy
· Mental Health Awareness
· Counselling Work with Interpreters
· Wellness Recovery and Action Planning (WRAP)
· Sexual Exploitation of Children
· Sexual Trauma
· Suicide Intervention
· Challenging Cultural Stereotypes
· First Aid
· Trauma: Dissociation and Somatization
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Career counselling
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Relationship problems
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Prison and probation therapy
Photos & videos
For individual work my usual fee is £35 per one hour session. If you call or e-mail me to arrange it, you’re welcome to come to my practice for a session completely free of charge to talk about what you need and how I might help you. The more you really 'engage' with the therapy, the greater the chance that it will help you, and a 'taster' of this kind could be the start of that engagement. Or it might be that, having spoken with me, you have a clearer idea of what you want but choose to look for a different therapist.
I work in the centre of Newark in a large redbrick Victorian building called Cheltermill House, which is on Lombard Street (NG24 1XP). It’s opposite Asda and the bus station and next door to an antiques centre. My practice is on the first floor, but if you struggle with stairs I can arrange to see you in a downstairs room. The ground floor of the building accommodates a busy chiropractor’s service and there is a reception desk and a comfortable waiting area for my clients when they arrive.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I see clients mainly during the day, but I do have some evening and weekend availability.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|