Benjamen Gold, 51, IT contractor/parenting and relationship coach, North London.
When did you do the NWTA weekend?
Back in 1999 when I was 30. A friend told me about it. I had been going to do another personal development course but in the end, it didn’t chime with me and I went to the MKP weekend instead.
What life stage were you at?
I had one child and was about to become a father for the second time. I’d been with my partner for nine years, I’m still with her. I didn’t have any specific issues that I knew about so I went with an open mind.
What kind of man were you?
Effectively, an immature one. I wasn’t particularly grounded. I was feeling pressurized at work, I’d risen through the ranks quickly which had caused quite a lot of stress.
How was the weekend for you?
Very powerful in a good way. I was out of my normal ‘working’ zone. I connected to a lot of men in a good way. I projected ‘brilliance’ onto many of the staff and leaders where I thought they were amazing, especially the leaders! That’s because it was the beginning for me. Overall, I found the whole structure very containing and holding.
And what did you take away from it?
It was a wake-up call. Vision and mission didn’t mean anything to me before the weekend but I’m still working with the vision and mission that I took away with me. My mission is about creating a heart world for children where they can flourish and grow, which led to me to become a parenting coach and running parenting workshops which I still do.
And how did you develop a long term relationship with MKP?
I did the Primary Integration Training and joined an I-group. Later I joined the leader track training and became a Co-Leader in 2009. So I have been very involved. Now I’m in a different group, we call it a men’s group rather than an I-group because we have a different approach to following the standard protocols.
How would you describe your journey with MKP?
It’s been a wonderful opportunity to repeatedly return to the same personal work and go deeper. I use each event as a way of seeing how I have moved on and also how I’ve changed. I’ve now done the weekend sixty one times.
How has MKP work affected your relationships?
My wife is also involved in this kind of personal development work with Women In Power. She’s also a qualified psychotherapist so we bring this personal work to our relationship and family
It has helped me work out my relationship with my father and so I’ve been able to find out who I am beyond that relationship. It’s been very positive in that respect. I wrote him a couple of important letters along the way too.
In fact at the moment, my family of origin are going through a dysfunctional period so all the work I’ve done allows me to stand back from it all with a bit of a different perspective. I find I’m better equipped to deal with these situations.
How would you describe your relationship with your men’s group now?
Developing. Again I see it as a way of seeing how I am in the presence of other men. I use it to see how I show up and it’s good to get feedback. I’m also in a co-gender group now.
How do you see the future for MKP?
I’m happy to be involved and see the impact of the weekends on the men that do it. I sometimes wonder how many men who have done the weekend remain involved in some way with the organisation.