ABOUT BEN DEAN, Ph.D.

Ben is a psychologist, a Master Certified Coach, and the Founder and President of MentorCoach located in Bethesda, Maryland (US).

From his West Texas cradle, Ben J. Dean, III was intended (particularly by Jr. and Sr.) to become a third-generation trial lawyer.  His grandfather had been a well known District Attorney.

Intending to be a lawyer as well, Ben's dad (Ben J. Dean Jr.) took a break from college and enlisted in the Marines.  He was on active duty in the Phillipines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was captured six months later and imprisoned as a Japanese Prisoner of War until VJ Day, 8/15/45.  He emerged malnourished, tortured, and blinded but with a fighting spirit.  He finished law school at the University of Texas at Austin without being able to read.  He later regained some vision and practiced law for the rest of his life.  Among his cases was "The Case of the Missing Millionaire" which was a cover story in the Saturday Evening Post and later was described in a book by investigative reporter, James Phelan.

Ben's mother, Gwen, was a devoted musician and natural leader.  She had founded boys' choirs in Forth Worth and Austin. Then she and Ben moved back to Breckenridge where she founded one more.  The Breckenridge Boys' Choir began in the 50's in a small town where ranching and football (five state championships in the 50's) were king and choir boys had no status at all. Still, over the next quarter century, her  SATB choir flourished, performing around the country.  

In 1962, they sang on the South Lawn of the White House for the President and Jacqueline Kennedy.  With many poor boys in the choir, the White House trip had required an immense amount of fund raising, organizing, chartering Greyhound buses, and scheduling concerts and free places to sleep along the route.  But Gwen and her choir parents pulled it off for that trip and for many others during the choir's 25-year run.

In college, Ben became fascinated with group process, hitching from Austin to Bethel, Maine for his first two-week National Training Labs group. He subsequently completed the NTL Graduate Student Professional Development Program and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

During four years at the National Institute of Mental Health, he began to design and conduct groups for anyone who'd have him (Federal prisoners, corporate staff, anti-nuke demonstrators, etc.), an activity he still loves.

Ben first began coaching in 1982 and is an ICF Master Certified Coach. From 1987 to 2001, he successfully combined his work with therapy and coaching clients in a managed-care-free practice at the Topaz House in Bethesda, Maryland.  In 2001 he closed his clinical practice to exclusively focus on MentorCoach and on his coaching.

In 1997, Ben founded MentorCoach LLC, a virtual university that trains both helping professionals and professionals from other disciplines throughout North America, Europe, and Australia to become coaches. In public presentations and in its virtual training, MentorCoach has trained thousands of professionals to add coaching as a part-time or full-time practice specialty. 

From March 2003 to May 2005, Ben was proud to partner with legendary psychologist and past APA President, Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. to co-found Authentic Happiness Coaching LLC, a virtual University that trained professionals in 19 nations in the theory, tests, assessments, and interventions of positive psychology. Ben passionately believes in the importance of undergirding coaching with positive psychological research. With Robert Biswas-Diener, he co-authored  Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the Science of Happiness to Work for Your Clients. He publishes the Coaching Toward Happiness News, a free eNewsletter on practical applications of positive psychology for 131,000 global readers. And he conducts monthly teleconference interviews with such thought leaders in positive psychology and coaching as Chris Peterson, Dan Gilbert, Ellen Langer, Barbara Fredrickson, Jon Haidt, Marshall Goldsmith, Seth Godin, Shelly Gable, Ed Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Robert Emmons, Elliot Aronson, Carol Dweck, and many more.

Ben regularly speaks about coaching and positive psychology and has presented multiple times in virtually every major American city (for example, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Charlotte, Seattle, Denver, Washington, DC, Portland, Tuscon, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Sacramento, New Orleans, Kansas City, Omaha, Miami, Minneapolis, and Raleigh.) as well as Toronto, Puerto Vallarta, Tel Aviv, and the UK.

He lives in suburban Maryland with his wife, Janice, their two children, and Dusty, their Netherland Dwarf Bunny.

To read Ben's new Interview in PsyInsight, click here.

Member - International Coach Federation

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