My NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) journey began as I was sitting on the Galway to Dublin train in 1998 reading the book Awareness by Anthony de Mello. I noticed the woman opposite me was reading the same book – we looked at each other and said ‘Bingo!’
We started a discussion and I told the lady opposite I would like to have met Tony de Mello (who had died some years previously) as his book was such a lifeline to me; she explained that I could meet the next best thing in Dick McHugh. The lady told me that Dick was a lifelong friend and colleague of de Mello’s and was coming to Ireland shortly to run a Gestalt course.
This meeting on the train was the very beginning of my path to self discovery and healing. At this point in my life everything seemed to be falling apart – both my parents had just died, I had two young children and my marriage had broken down – and I was desperately searching for meaning in all this pain and conflict.
I enrolled in the four day Gestalt training course in Chrysalis (Co Wicklow), which was my first introduction to Gestalt and Dick McHugh. I think I was even more confused and depressed after this first course, but I also felt a glimmer of light had appeared which was not there previously; I became aware that I was in fact responsible for my own life, and where I was at, at that moment. For the next few years I attended all of Dick’s Gestalt training courses and I also discovered NLP techniques during this time. NLP training is partly based on Gestalt and I found the two techniques a powerful combination.