My name is Mark Douthwaite and I am a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor for children, young people and adults, and a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, (BACP).
In July of 2022 I completed five years of training with the Northern Guild centre for Psychotherapy & Counselling.
Over the course of those five years I have been working in a number of placements with clients from all ages and with varying issues requiring counselling support.
For the past two years I have also worked with The Wave Project in Tynemouth offering surf therapy to vulnerable children and young people with varying levels of additional needs.
I hold a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate (DBS).
You may be struggling to varying degrees with a number of different issues, such as anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, difficulties in relationships or friendships, or a sense of feeling stuck in life or in your career.
You may wish to improve and maintain your mental health to enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing.
You may currently have some unhelpful behaviours or thoughts that you would like some professional support with.
Therapy is an investment in yourself, which requires commitment, patience, time and a willingness to be vulnerable. For the best results from your therapy sessions you will need to be prepared to talk about things that may be challenging or distressing, at a pace that suits you. Whatever your reasons for seeking out help please know that they are valid. I can offer you a safe, non-judgemental, and non-biased environment, and approach our sessions congruently and empathetically as you open up to vulnerability at your own pace, and work with you to achieve your goals.
What Happens Next?
The decision to search for a counsellor is a huge step which I feel should be celebrated.
The next step is to reach out and make contact.
It’s important that I can assess your needs and decide if I am the best person to help you, but also, it’s just as important that you are happy and comfortable with me. That’s why I offer a free 20-minute initial consultation, so that I can ask you the right questions in relation to your history, how you feel now and what you’d like to get from therapy. This is quite an extensive and in depth process so that I can ensure I have as much information about you as possible to formulate a detailed and supportive therapy plan for our work together.
It’s also an opportunity for you to ask me any questions you may have.
From our initial consultation and the first therapy session, we can explore the therapeutic relationship together and begin working on your goals.
What Can I Help You With?
As a qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Buteyko breathing instructor I can help you with a wide range of issues including anxiety & depression, sleep disorders, grief & loss, trauma & PTSD, addiction, stress, anger, self-harm, low self-esteem, low self-worth, low confidence, existential issues, relationship issues, phobias, asthma, improving sporting performance, issues from early life and much more.
Psychotherapeutic Counselling is usually in depth work which requires regular and ongoing sessions. I recommend having one session per week for 6 weeks to begin with. At which point we can review and decide together whether we carry on in the same way, increase sessions, reduce sessions or plan an ending.
Outdoor Therapy, often referred to as ‘Walk & Talk’, or ‘eco-therapy’ is an emerging way of working therapeutically. There are many research papers which point to the immense healing power of nature.
Therapy in an outdoor setting can drastically reduce stress and anxiety, can ease feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth and can reduce and reverse symptoms of depression in the vast majority of cases.
If you are interested in Outdoor Therapy we can discuss this in our free 20-minute consultation. It is important that we explore points around confidentiality, (what we might do if either the counsellor or the client encounters someone they know whilst walking), weather conditions, (what we might do if the weather is too inclement to walk), boundaries, (how we are going to keep one another safe while outdoors), and issues relating to health and safety and physical fitness levels.
I am a qualified Buteyko Breathing Instructor.
The Buteyko method focusses on breathing only through the nose using the diaphragm.
This is ideal for people who over-breathe or those who have issues with hyperventilation. These issues are common in people who have asthma or struggle with anxiety.
Buteyko breathing can help alleviate stress and improve athletic performance, as well as improve sleep quality by promoting deep sleep, reducing snoring, and relieving sleep apnea.
I offer a six week Buteyko course, comprising of one 50 minute face to face session per week.
I will introduce you to breath retention exercises to control the speed and volume of your breath. This helps you to learn to breathe more slowly, calmly, and effectively.
In addition to our sessions, it is important that you practice the method regularly at home to increase the effectiveness of Buteyko breathing.
How do I Work?
I can guarantee you a safe, boundaried and confidential space within the therapy room, outdoors, (or Mobile Therapy Unit, when available) which will help to empower you to share and explore your feelings and emotions with me alongside you.
Although my underlying approach is Person Centred (the belief that every individual has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change), I am an integrative practitioner, meaning I can take different approaches to therapy depending on your individual needs. This means that I can draw on a range of practical and creative approaches, both inside the therapy room, and while working outdoors to explore the causes of any problems you may be experiencing. This is with the goal of helping you heal, grow and become aware of the strength within yourself.
Client confidentiality is paramount to the way I work. As a registered member of the BACP I am bound by their Ethical Framework for good practice. Therefore, only in situations which would indicate a risk to life, the safety of children, or disclosure of acts of terrorism, would I make contact with third parties.
I pride myself on my flexibility and ability to respond to the individual needs of each of my clients in each of our sessions together.
These approaches can provide you with coping strategies and techniques to use on a day-to-day basis, while also having the option to work at real depth to explore why they exist and to challenge them and discover new ways of being.
Coming Soon - Mobile Therapy Unit
In order to make therapy sessions more accessible to more people I am in the process of acquiring a Mobile Therapy Unit, which will be the first of its kind in the Northeast of England.
The Mobile Therapy Unit is a fully equipped VW Campervan, modified for use as a therapy room. We will have access to everything you would expect to find in a ‘traditional’ therapy room, such as creative equipment, paint, sand trays, clay and much more.
One of the primary benefits of the Mobile Therapy Unit is the ease in which I can bring room based therapy to my clients in their preferred location.
The Mobile Therapy Unit can also serve as a bridge between room based therapy and outdoor therapy. Clients can feel the safety of a room as well as the freedom the outdoors can offer.
If you have any queries regarding therapy sessions in the Mobile Therapy Unit, or if you wish to know if sessions can be held at your preferred location, please get in touch and I’ll endeavour to answer any questions you may have.
Why Choose Me as Your Therapist?
I have recently completed a rigorous five year Psychotherapy course at a highly respected institution in Newcastle with a local and national reputation for excellence.
As I am a qualified Psychotherapeutic Counsellor who is a Registered Member of BACP, I am held to extremely high standards, and in addition to my training and workshops, I have had, and continue to have, extensive clinical supervision to carefully progress and assess the way in which I work.
It was also a course requirement that I undertake personal therapy for the duration of my training. To date I have had over 160 hours of personal therapy.
This has afforded me the opportunity to experience therapy as the client, and to understand myself at a deeper level.
Through personal therapy and supervised practice I have learned how to establish and maintain the Psychotherapeutic Counselling relationship which is fundamental to allow exploration and create the environment for effective and long-lasting change.