ABOUT BEN DEAN, Ph.D.
is a psychologist, a Master Certified Coach, and the Founder
and President of MentorCoach located
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
Intending to be a lawyer as well, his dad took a break
from college and enlisted in the Marines. He was on active
duty in the Phillipines when
the Japanese attached Pearl Harbor. He was captured six months
later and imprisoned as a Japanese
Prisoner of War camp 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. His most famous case, "The
Case of the Missing Millionaire",
was written up in the Saturday Evening Post and later in a book
by investigative reporter, James
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.
Meanwhile, Ben graduated from high school and became fascinated
with group process, hitching as a college student from Austin
Maine for his first two-week
Training Labs group. He subsequently
completed the NTL Graduate Student Professional Development
Program and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the
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
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
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,
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, David and Sara, and Dusty,
their Netherland Dwarf Bunny.