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About Me - Richard Dennison

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Qualifications

BSc (Hons) PsychologyDiploma Gestalt CounsellingCertificate Group FacilitationMBACPWorking with Couples and RelationshipsDeveloping Effective Group FacilitationIntroduction Group AnalysisConflict, Challenge and Confrontation in GroupsUnderstanding Group Dynamics.Facilitating groups and leading teams.
Associate member of UKAHPPBACP

So who am I?
How I can be happy and live in an authentic manner has interested me for most of my life. Connecting to others, being in relationships, sustaining those relationships, and creating a life that I enjoy and feel worthwhile is a wonderful aim that is not always easy to achieve. As an unloved and mentally unstable teenager, I watched films such as Family Life by Ken Loach (1971), Three Faces of Eve (1957) and later One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) all still worth watching. Being fundamentally interested in who I was watching those films touched me greatly. I was connecting to my struggles and the sense of server difficulties exhibited in those films. This ignited an interest in psychology, mental health and in particular therapy.
I was 19 when I went to work in a psychiatric institution on the Mile End Road in London, the then St. Clements hospital. Life in these hospitals was changing rapidly at that time. The realisation that many patients had been hospitalised for decades and nobody knew why, shocking as this now seems, was becoming apparent. Such was my discomfort in working in St. Clements underlined particularly by ‘Family Life’ the film, I went on to study psychology at university in London. Studying psychology was a very disappointing experience. Is psychology a science was the main questions asked. The scientific method was fundamental to that course but not to me. 
I was interested in human life and their relationships. It took me a few years to discover Gestalt Therapy and later Buddhist thought and training. Gestalt and Buddhism sit well together. My trainings and therapy in Gestalt enabled me to appreciate my many issues and work on them. This was offen hard, and took committment and dedication. I have learned so much from working in the field of therapy and Buddhism, while maintaining a deep enthusiasm for my own awareness of who I am. I still attend residential group therapy four times a year. I am still learning, when I cease to learn I am dead. For me to grow is to be more able to connect and spot the moments and blocks to connection. To bring and show more in a relationship, not to hold myself back through fear or importantly through fear of shame. To be able to contact or connect with someone fully in all of our glory and vulnerabilities. To have a broad sense of self that continues to grow throughout our lives and not always be right or comfortable.

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