Mark has always had an interest in the way people interact. For him, social constructionism helps us to understand how communication shapes the way we each perceive our worlds. We can therefore alter the construct as we continue to interact with others. This sense of curiosity has followed him throughout his personal life and in his career in the UK, initially as a qualified social worker in the field of children and families and then as as systemic family psychotherapist for child and adolescent services (CAMHS.)
He trained as a therapist at the Kensington Consultation Centre (KCC) in London during the early 2000’s and was fortunate to study under a number of individuals who are or have been active members of the Taos Institute community. These include Peter Lang and Vernon Cronen, key pioneers in the field of therapy and communication underpinned by social constructionist ideas. In his course syllabus he was absorbed with the idea that KCC aspired to remain a community of learning in order to promote “fuller human living using innovative practices from the developing field of human communication and systemic studies.”
From 2011 onwards he has remained an active member of Friends of KCC which is a collective of volunteers who work together to arrange events such as training and professional development. This is with the aim of keeping alive and further the values, ethics and practices associated with KCC. In the documentary 2021 film: KCC: Stories Lived, Stories Told and Future Dreaming which he was fortunate to be able to co-produce, a number of theorists, tutors, therapists and students speak about the significance that the original KCC had in in helping to develop social constructionist therapeutic practice in the UK, Europe and America.
He currently works independently as a therapist working with individuals, couples and families as well as part-time in CAMHS. He is also a part-time visiting tutor at the Tavistock and Portman Trust; mentoring social workers in systemic practice. Throughout all of these contexts he endeavours to pay attention to all aspects of social difference with regards to beliefs, power and lifestyle, visible and invisible, voiced or unvoiced.
- Chidgey, M. (2023) Creative Inspiration under Gathering Clouds: Milestones in the Development towards Systemic Social Work. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK. 190. Published in December 2023
- Chidgey, M. & Andreadi, H. (2023) Practising the Art of Irreverence in Developing Life Enhancing Conversations: Fran Hedges 1945 – 2021. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK. 188, pp 39-42
- Chidgey, M. & Mahaffey, H. (2015) Systemic Positioning within Social Care: Making the most of Munro. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK. 137, pp 20-23.
- Mahaffey, H. & Chidgey, M. (2010) Systemic Practice: ‘Getting out there’. Context: The Magazine for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK. 112, pp 29-31.
- KCC: Stories Lived, Stories Told and Future Dreaming (2021). Directed by Rick Murphy [film]. Written and produced by Ayesha Aslam; Mark Chidgey; Helen Mahaffey; Karen Partridge. Friends of KCC.
- Partridge, K. Dugmore, P. Mahaffey, H. Chidgey, M. Owen, J. (2019) ‘Step by Step. Side by Side’. The Quest to create Relational Artistry through Systemic Practice with Children’s Social Care. Journal of Family Therapy Wiley.