Hi, I'm Derek.
I help men and women manage the emotional and practical impact of separation, then build a life containing increased levels of satisfaction, clarity, and purpose.
My relationship-life has taught me a great deal about love and about endings. Without pride or shame I'll tell you that I have been both the leaver and the one left, and I've known heartbreak from both sides. Combined with my personal skillset - which is ideally suited to helping others in times of crisis - my broad experience of loss and resurgence is a strong foundation for this work.
Of all the things that are true about separation and becoming single again, I've learned that the most important one is this: every ending is a unique opportunity to address unresolved issues in yourself.
I've learned that you have to 'end' properly or that opportunity may not be fully realised.
I help people do that.
In terms of formal qualifications, I'm a certified Professional Coach (CTI) and an accredited member of the International Coaching Federation. I'm also a Master Practitioner of NLP, a Master of Time-Line Therapy and Hypnosis, and a member of the American Board of NLP. I'm trained in mediation, CBT, and counselling as well as Reconnective Healing.
I hold a First Class Honours degree in English Literature, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education.
Fo over 20 years I held various senior leadership positions in education, and always had a particular passion for developing individual staff and staff teams. I've been working professionally in the arena of personal development and therapy for over 14 years.
In 2010 I founded The Brilliance Pool, which provided high quality personal coaching for men and women over the age of 50 who wanted to ‘start again’, either professionally or personally.
Increasingly I found that it was marriage and relationships that were at the heart of many of my clients’ yearning for fulfilment, and eventually it seemed natural to specialise in this unique ground of personal transformation.
I now help men and women of all ages grow into increased fulfilment by way of the transition out of, or a deep re-alignment within, long-term romantic relationships.
As well as personal development work, writing is one of my life-long passions.
In fact writing has become one of the tools-of-my-trade. Sometimes it's only in writing that clients can do justice to their feelings and understandings, and I share this quality with them. I write to say things that can't easily be spoken.
I also write summaries of sessions for my clients, which occasionally can prove almost as productive as the sessions themselves!
Writing has, since childhood, been one of my chief creative and therapeutic outlets. I must have written millions of words over the years!
I also play the guitar and sing/write songs.
My first book Prodigal Songs includes autobiographical material, alongside poetry, essays and song-lyrics.
Here are some of my clients' own words:
"It gave me back my confidence so that I was able to trust in my instincts, to think reflectively and to start to move on with my life." (Teresa B)
"Powerful listening, getting me straight too the core of the issues. Derek has great insight, gentleness and strength". (Dorothy A)
“Derek gave me the courage to do literally all the things my heart wanted to do but which I feared doing. I wouldn’t have done them without him. “ (Nisha M)
“I was in a total mess about the marriage. After that first session I knew I could cope. I’ve come a long way since then. It’s been great!” (Mary H)
“Being coached by Derek was an amazing experience. I soon started to look forward, not back…… And I did let go, and I did move on!” (Jane S)
“I was drowning in emotion, didn’t know how to deal with it. I’m much more settled now. I know what I want.” (Ayjan I)
“I was made to stop and think about things in a new way….. A sense of relief to finally be seen and heard.” (Dorothy A)
“Derek ensures you understand what lies beneath your stock way of thinking. He’s warm, often funny, calming and incredibly strong”. (Nisha M)
“I feel safe with Derek. Kind of held, you know? He keeps me focused. He helps me listen to my best self.” (Laura O)
Although my work with derekhassack.co.uk has become my prime vocation, I was initially trained as a Psychiatric nurse (RMN), in the days of large-scale 'mental institutions'. For various reasons I switched to education and became a lecturer in English Literature. For a number of years I then worked in management roles in colleges of Further Education around the UK, increasingly finding myself keen to apply coaching methodologies as an aspect of the management work.
Eventually I took a deep breath and made the jump into self-employment.
Although a Manxman by birth, I've lived in Hampshire, Kent, Sussex and Hertfordshire before moving more recently to the Cotswolds where I live with my partner Yael Hochenberg, her two fine sons, and Monty the Border Collie dog. My three wonderful, beautiful, properly grown-up daughters from my first marriage continue to fill me with pride and awe. (Reading between the lines here you'll hopefully understand that I've also had experience of the vagaries of love and relationships!)
I love being in the great outdoors, especially mountain landscapes, the wild sea, and all the beauty and drama of the natural world.
Underpinning all my endeavours has been the persistent voice of self-enquiry. This has promoted an active spiritual life which has found its greatest satisfaction in the practices and principles of Sufism.
One of the most important things I've learned along the way is that anything good and beneficial in any of my endeavours comes through me from the One. Anything that is in error or ineffective comes from me alone.