Hi, I’m Dean.
Welcome and thank you for taking an interest in my Blog.
First, the legal part:
Please note that all of my written posts and all of my own photographs and images are actively protected by Copyright Law. I will pursue those who use my material without my prior consent.
I’m in my mid forties. I’m a Writer for ‘The Parkinson’s Experience’ global community. I also write freelance and my career is now increasingly moving into the world of writing.
Alongside this, I am a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. I live and work in the beautiful English county of Suffolk; on the east coast of England. I work from treatment rooms in the market town of Woodbridge, on the banks of the glorious River Deben, and I also provide my services, worldwide, via Skype and through other video-call facilities.
After twenty years of health problems, I was finally diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease in June 2017. This Blog is about life from my perspective; personal and professional. I hope you enjoy reading my Blog and I welcome your ideas, suggestions, feedback and comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
I moved to Suffolk from London in 2007, with my Partner and our dog; our much loved Fred who sadly since passed away. Funnily enough, it was only after moving to Suffolk, from London, that I started researching my family tree and found a long family line originating from here. It somehow feels like I have ‘come home’.
I was born and raised in west London but I am lucky to have had some experience of life abroad; living with my parents in Italy and South Africa for a time in my early childhood and, subsequently, travelling to many far flung parts of the world. Travel has enriched my life and my view of things.
My childhood was a mixed bag of wonderful fun times that were then shaken by the deaths of a number of close family members due to Leukaemia, Brain Hemorrhage and a number of Cancers. My Father was a Stunt-Man, Stunt-Choreographer, Stunt Special Effects Choreographer and occasional Actor in the film and television industry. When I was 30 years old, I lost my Father to Cancer. Mine has also been a family in which some family members have lived with alcoholism. These very human experiences have influenced my career and my desire to support people through personal difficulty.
My Professional Life:
Career wise, I have a strong early background in the Private Sector and have been Supervisor and Team Manager within some of the UK’s top companies; roles that taught me a strong work ethic and self-discipline.
After my Father’s death, I joined the Charity sector in 2002 and initially worked with those targeted by Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes. I became the Service Manager of a drug and alcohol counselling and treatment service between 2004 – 2007, as my counselling and psychotherapy training progressed and I established myself with a track record of working with people living with trauma, abuse, Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and many social, health and mental health issues.
In 2007, having moved to Suffolk, I worked in the Chief Executive’s office at Suffolk County Council as a Commissioning Manager within Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team (Suffolk DAAT). My role was to assess the needs of communities, design, commission and performance manage counselling and medical treatment services that were contracted to meet those needs. I also helped develop the county’s new Hate Crime support services.
Between 2009 – 2011, I became the Specialist Services Team Leader for NHS Suffolk’s Specialist Services. This role involved running two Nursing teams; the Shared Care Team and the Blood Borne Viruses Team, concurrently; delivering care, immunisation, detoxification, reduction programmes, counselling, blood testing (I trained in Phlebotomy), crisis intervention, trauma counselling and other services to clients with substance addictions; many of whom had co-morbidity and dual diagnosis. Many patients suffered with severe mental health problems and the debilitating effects of long term trauma.
I have become well known in Suffolk for my roles as Commissioner and as Specialist Services Team Leader and, while concurrently establishing my private Counselling and Psychotherapy practice here in 2008, I worked with a leading Suffolk based charity called Focus12; a residential rehabilitation centre for those with substance addictions and compulsive disorders, where I was commissioned as Clinical Supervisor between 2008 – 2013. In this role, I consistently supported Focus12 to successfully achieve and pass routine audits by the Care Quality Commission. In 2012, I was awarded for my work as Clinical Supervisor for my supervision of Student Interns for the military US Air Force base at Lakenheath in Suffolk.
Today, my private practice has grown and I feel privileged to serve the community of Suffolk as well as the many clients I serve around the UK and around the world, via Skype. Skype is very effective as a means of reaching those with disabilities.
Living with Illness:
The subject of Disability is something that is important to me for, in June 2017, I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. I am now officially recognised as Disabled, although my disease is largely hidden and you would not necessarily know I have Parkinson’s, upon meeting me.
Thank You for Reading:
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I hope you enjoy my Blog.