Meet Ben Dean, Ph.D.

Ben Dean is a psychologist, coach, and a leading expert at the intersection of coaching and the new science of positive psychology.

As a psychologist coaching since 1982, as the founder and CEO of MentorCoach®, an ICF Accredited Coach Training School focused on training helping professionals to build rewarding coaching practices, as author of three coaching newsletters with a combined 150,000 global readers, and as a speaker crisscrossing the US leading workshops on coaching and positive psychology, Ben is one of the most influential figures in the world of coaching.

In his public presentations and in MentorCoach internal programs, he has trained thousands of professionals to add coaching as a part-time or full-time practice specialty.

Ben is an ICF Master Certified Coach, the highest designation of the International Coach Federation, and the founder and editor of the Coaching Toward Happiness newsletter. CTH is dedicated to helping readers apply the research and practice of positive psychology to their coaching, work, and to their own lives. He passionately believes in the importance of undergirding coaching with positive psychological research.

Giving Coaching and Positive Psychology Away.

Finally, Ben has always been inspired by George Miller's historic challenge in his 1969 APA presidential address that we should "give psychology away." He's committed to the value that every coach (and coaching school) should invest at least 10% of its resources to bring the promise of coaching and of positive psychology to those with few resources.

Toward that goal, since 1997, MentorCoach® has provided thousands of hours of pro bono and sliding scale coaching to individual and to groups of graduate students who are ABD (all-but-dissertation). (Read more below)

Ben lives in suburban Maryland with his wife, Janice, their two children, David and Sara, Luna, their Beta Fish, and Norman, their new dwarf bunny.



More About MentorCoach's Pro Bono Coaching with 25,000 Graduate Students

Since 1997, MentorCoach® has provided thousands of pro bono and sliding scale hours of individual and group coaching to graduate students who are ABD (all-but-dissertation). This ABD outreach effort is based on a free bi-weekly newsletter, the ABD Survival Guide. In 1997, Ben began the ABDSG with 70 subscribers. The ABDSG now has more than 13,000 readers in every major American university and in major universities throughout the world (despite the fact that most readers unsubscribe as soon as they complete their doctorate).

In the beginning, Ben wrote every issue. Now the ABDSG is written and edited by MentorCoach students, graduates, and, at times, by ABDSG readers.

Most importantly, the MCP community provides the sliding scale and pro bono coaching hours both individually and in ongoing coaching groups and teleworkshops. To date MentorCoach has supported over a thousand students in direct coaching as they have finished their PhDs. Through the newsletter, the number is approximately 25,000 over the last 8 years. Nothing is more rewarding for our coaches than to reach the day--often years down the road--when their client finally finishes! (And, no, you do not need a PhD to be an extraordinary ABD coach.)

Special Note: If you would like to hear Ben tell the story of his own first coach, his dissertation coach, call 1-212.990.6881 (Anytime, day or night). This is a free call except for the charges to call New York City. This tape, by the way, is a one hour tape of a tele-workshop for helping professionals new to coaching that Ben led in 1999. It describes only one, fairly simple model of action coaching. The point for us: about 1/3 of the way in, you'll hear Ben's own coaching story.

It was not a big jump for him to realize that those ABDs who were not supported by capable, involved faculty had a burning need for a coach, yet usually could not afford one. The ABDSG and the MentorCoach pro bono coaching outreach speaks to that need. Applying positive psychology to the coaching model has increased its impact. And, yes, this model can be replicated with other high need niches as well.


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Ben Dean, Ph.D.
Editor, Coaching Toward Happiness
Founder and CEO, MentorCoach®