Donald is a writer and trainer, with over twenty years’ experience. He’s a specialist in teaching evidence-based psychological skills, and known as an expert on the relationship between modern cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and and classical Greek and Roman philosophy.
He was born in Irvine, Scotland, and grew up in Ayr. He worked as a psychotherapist for about twenty years in London, England, where he ran a training school for therapists, before emigrating to Canada in 2013 to focus on his writing and developing new online training courses.
He is an experienced public speaker. His therapy practice specialised for many years in helping clients with social anxiety and self-confidence issues. His work, and that of his colleagues, has often featured in the media of different countries, including a recent article on the front cover of the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Donald is also an experienced instructional designer and e-learning consultant. He has been developing e-learning courses since 2006 when he joined a research team evaluating online CBT training for stress management, on behalf of the UK Dept. for Health (Defra). He specializes in the design and delivery of online training for psychological skills and personal development.
Donald is the author of six books and many articles on philosophy, psychotherapy, and psychological skills training. See the publications page for more information, and also Donald’s Google Scholar profile.
Donald was formerly a member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). For many years he ran a successful therapy practice in Harley Street, London. He also served on the committees of several national therapy organisations.
Donald’s academic qualifications are an MA degree in Mental Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen and an MA in Psychoanalytic Studies from the University of Sheffield’s interdisciplinary Centre for Psychotherapeutic Studies. His clinical qualifications include an advanced post-graduate diploma in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, King’s College, University of London. He also holds a UKCP accredited diploma in psychotherapy, as well as many individual certifications in different therapy approaches.
Donald has delivered corporate training on stress management and psychological skills for many different organisations over the years, including Shell, and Southwestern Trains, etc. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and the organizer of the Toronto 2017 Stoicon conference on Stoic philosophy. For many years he taught intensive accredited training courses for therapists and counsellors, lecturing eight hours a day for 7-14 days at a time and teaching skills such as relaxation, assertiveness, mindfulness, self-hypnosis, and cognitive therapy
Donald was the psychotherapist member of the Coping with Noise research team, which carried out, and published the results of, several research studies on e-learning based psychological skills training, conducted for the UK Government’s Department of the Environment (Defra).
Since 2011, he has been part of a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, therapists, and academic philosophers and classicists responsible for running Stoic Week. Stoic Week started at the University of Exeter and grew into an annual international event in which thousands of people take part each year. It involves an online course teaching students how to apply ideas from ancient Stoic philosophy, combined with some techniques from modern psychology. Each year we gather data on participants and publish the findings from our research. Donald also runs a more intensive spin-off course online each year, for four weeks at a time, called Stoic Mindfulness and Resilience Training (SMRT).
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