Where to begin?
After a brief flirt with the Armed Forces ,at the tender age of 17-19 years, where I realised very quickly was not my ‘genre’, was one of a
Political Lecturer at Rochdale technical college.
My career was built on many years in the academic field ,and what seemed a lifetime of fighting for the underdog, and compassion for
It was during the ‘Marches’ of the 1970’s, the Miners Strikes of the1980s, the punitive years of the Thatcher era ,that my resolutions and principles
Indeed the early decisions of a young boy brought up in a Capitalist family,was where I learnt and experienced injustice at first
hand. It was from this setting then that my heart and spirit was moulded into the left wing radical soul of those years, and the Therapist I am today.
Paradoxically it was during the early 1980’s that I experienced my lowest point.
I felt suffocated in my job as a Politics Lecturer, I did however enjoy working with new ideas ,and offering them to alert ,and engaging minds. It
was more to do with the deadening climate I worked in the mind-boggling bureaucracy of a Further Education College that was so stifling to me. I had in many
ways come to a full stop!
It was from this environment that I decided on yet another career change, and from here that “Lifestream” was formed. As
Freud said “it is out of the maximum frustration and despair that real change can often grow” Certainly this was the case for me at this particular time in
In September 1986, I undertook my first training in Clinical Psychotherapy,in many senses, it was a journey of the soul and spirit, the hope of finding
the key, and perhaps answers from another book or training course. Of course what I finally came to realise was,that my real answers were to be found in
My Philosophy has always been, and still is, that we all have the capacity within our Spirit and Psyche for change and growth, what Berne in his book,
“TA in Psychotherapy” called “Physis”. Which is the capacity for inner growth and change, I also believe that as human beings we must bear the individual
responsibility for that change.
However for us to really flourish ,the seed for change needs to be nurtured and cared for, so that we can finally believe in ourselves ,and in our destiny!
An essential requirement in the pursuit of the above ,is that we need to surround ourselves by people who inspire us, love
us, and have faith in our abilities, even if we hide them from ourselves.To be believed and validated is one of the vital ingredients towards us believing in
and developing our true self,
It was with the evolution of these beliefs that my Psychotherapy Training began to take shape. I studied primarily in the Humanistic School, from Carl
Rogers, through to Erie Beme and beyond. I avidly read books, which included Satre, Camus ,and some of the more influential existential writers.
I undertook training in the Psychoanalytical Theories from Freud to Christopher Bollas,and became engrossed in the inspiring schools of Self-Psychology of
Kohut and Gill.
I loved the ideas and compassion of these writers; it was an a life changing period.
I entered the late 1980’s, with a more fulfilled soul,and with a determination to make a difference ,and an impact in the world of Psychotherapy.
I passionately believed in my innate and learnt abilities, to help facilitate people in their own personal search for inner happiness and wisdom. Perhaps this is
where Politics and Therapy really meet.
In March 1987 I formed the “Lifestream Centre”, which was my first step towards this direction.
The “Lifestream Centre” was the early embryo of The Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy. For me it epitomised my belief systems,The “Lifestream” was and is
the Stream of life, which is essential to our inner spirits, and the quest for growth and change, whether conscious or unconscious. It is within this Stream of life
that we must work to inspire,nurture love and cultivate life, so that our own energy force continues in a creative and dynamic manner working towards a collective
The “Lifestream” becomes a positive force towards change and a fulfilment of the self. In August 1993 the Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy was established
from the lifeblood of the “Lifestream Centre”.
We had initially called it The Manchester Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy, however we decided this was too long-winded a name so we changed it after
much discussion and consideration to The Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy (MIP) in late
By this time I had become a National and International Trainer in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy (P.T.S.T.A, and a Clinical Psychotherapist registered by
the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, and on the British Register for Psychotherapists.
My training was now recognised not only the by UKCP, but also by the National & European
Transactional Analysis Associations.
By the time of writing in September 2013,The Institute has evolved what it is today-a Psychotherapy training centre with a strong emphasis on
Transactional Analysis and Integration.
It has a strong Clinical dimension as well as a vibrant CPD programme ,which includes Supervision and Child Adolescence trainings.
At the heart of the institute there has always been a strong belief in connectedness and relationship ,which is at the heart of its evolution.
For myself,I am proud of where we are today,and excited by the new journeys which lie before us all.
Bob Cooke 2013
Our first training started in the September 1993/4 intake and it was with
great excitement and satisfaction that I witnessed the beginning of these
Training’s. In July 1995 June Brereton joined me as a full time Trainer and
Supervisor on the Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy programme, bringing
with her, her own brand of dynamism and professionalism.
Currently the Manchester Institute offers a wide range of Training Services;
its primary training is in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy leading to
UKCP registration and British eligibility to that National Register. We also
offer short-term courses from Brief Psychotherapy to other more specific
courses in certain Disorders of the Self.
What gives me most satisfaction is that all this has been achieved without
the Institute losing its clinical base and its priority to Therapy and
Counselling. Another area of particular satisfaction to me has been the
growth of The Manchester Institute into what I see as a community, a
community of like-minded people within the diverse stream of life. This
community for me is at the base of the Institute’s success and is its
fundamental life force in the quest towards change and growth
At the time of writing, we have a clinical staff of 12 therapists working from the Institute
either on a part-time or full time basis. They continue to fill me with
admiration and respect. The road of a Therapist is never an easy one,
however it is challenging and life enhancing and what more can we ask.
For myself the metamorphosis is nearly complete. However I see that change
is the only certainty in an uncertain world and therefore perhaps a new
evolutionary cycle is just round the corner. What is certain is that the
principles/beliefs which formed the early foundations of the “Lifestream
Centre” have now formed the essential structure of the Institute so that we
can go forward with firm and positive conviction towards our own destinies.
I love what I have been partly, with help, responsible in creating. It is more
than an Institute to me; it is a commitment and a community through which
my lifeblood runs. A community of kindred spirits who, with great integrity
and dignity have joined me in what has truly become a model of excellence
Thank you to all of you, past present and future, for love, commitment and
strength in helping me to make some of my dreams become a reality.
Bob Cooke 1998