MA, MEd, MBMSc, DPC
Specialist of Mind, Brain and the Human Condition
Richard Hill has emerged from a diverse and fascinating journey to become an innovative speaker on the mind, brain and the human condition. From a satisfying, if not quite famous, early career in the creative arts, Richard returned to intellectual studies at 42 (1996) beginning with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in linguistics. This triggered a curiosity that led to a diploma in counselling and a new career in psychotherapy. Studying continued and he has added three Masters degrees – an MA in Social Ecology; an MEd in Social Ecology; and a Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences (MBMSc) from Sydney University. Richard is also fortunate to be mentored by the esteemed Ernest Rossi PhD who has invited Richard into the International Psychosocial Genomics Research Team to study the impact of therapeutic practice on the genetic level.
His fascination with the disturbing problem of stress and anxiety has resulted in his unique theory - The Winner-Loser World Theory – and the positive positive counterpoint – The Curiosity Approach: which highlights our Curiosity for Possibility. These theories revolutionize the way we deal with stress and anxiety and how we approach standard therapeutic practices.
Richard's books include a collection of inspirational short stories in Choose Hope and his explication of his Winner/Loser World Theory in How the 'real world' Is Driving Us Crazy! In addition, he is published in various journals and magazines around the world and in book chapters, including Perspectives on Coping and Resilience and Strengths Based Social Work Practice in Mental Health, published worldwide. Hisis co-author with his mentor, Ernest Rossi, The Practitioner's Guide to Mirroring Hands (2017) and co-author with Matthew Dahlitz of The Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Psychotherapy (2022).
The Professional Years - 1996-Present
Richard engages in a wide range of professional activity. In addition to the work with Ernest Rossi, he is a Past-President of the Global Association of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies (GAINS), and an Esteemed Member of the International Council of Professional Therapists. He sits on the editorial board of The Neuropsychotherapist; and the International Journal for Psychsocial Genomics. He is director of the Mindscience Institute which acts as an information hub for therapists around the globe. In these capacities, and as a sought after speaker and educator, he is received around the world at conferences and other professional programs.
Richard has been a regular presenter at the Milton Erickson Foundation conferences in the USA and to the Australian profession through the Australian Counsellors Association. He has spoken in many locations including: Lucerne, Switzerland; Hong Kong, China; Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hertzegivina; Kathmandu, Nepal; Kuching, Malaysia; Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands; Ottowa, Victoria and Saskatoon, Canada. He has been warmly included in the work of the international social work group, Strengths based Practice, led by Venkat Pulla, PhD. This has opened a connection with the Asia and the sub-continent.
A most important new aspect of his work is with the corporate and business community to share his knowledge of the mind and brain and a deeper understanding of human strengths and capacitity. Richard believes it is important to create working conditions that both maximise potential and also create an environment of pleasure, safety and well being in the workplace. The best place to start doing this is with the minds of the people.
Many of the concepts, principles and life practices that have emerged out of his training, and especially during his apprenticeship with Ernest Rossi, are included in the book about Rossi's practice of Mirroring Hands. It is now clear, both through practice and research, that there is much more that we need to understand about the principles of complexity theory and the natural processes that affect us all. This is the ongoing task that invites us all to explore at the growing edge and stimulate our Curiosity for Possibility.
The following images come from the early years to now. Performing at school at in TV ads (Fabulon and Nobby's Nuts) plus photos with colleagues and friends - Mikalyi Csickszentmihalyi; Lou Cozolino and Bonnie Badenoch; book launch with Venkat Pulla; and the infamous Chalkboard that stands outside the Davis Health Centre.
The Entertainer Years - 1974-1996
Being an actor and entertainer is probably the best training for the profession of psychotherapy. There is no better way to learn how other people ‘tick’ and to understand the complexity of the human personality. Richard includes his acting skills in everything he does, especially in his public speaking and workshops.
His journey as a performer is an interesting story:
“I've been singing for as long as I remember. At 13 I was the singer in a pop band with other year 7 mates. We won the school talent quest with a cover of The Monkeys track, I'm Not Your Stepping Stone. I started singing lessons when I was 14. I picked up a guitar when I was 15 and taught myself to play. I began writing songs almost straight away. Mum diverted a piano from the rubbish tip when I was 17. I took it apart and repaired it, then taught myself to play. I sang on the Sydney folk circuit in 70-71 (when I was 16) both solo and with a band called Freedom Rand. We were well known around the coffee shops. I was one of the few people who could play the full 20 minutes of Alice's Restaurant. I can still play the guitar part today. Castle Music optioned some of my songs in the early 80's, but no No.1 hit, I’m afraid. My first CD was produced in 1996 which won a couple of prestigious international and national awards.
I studied acting at The Independent Theatre School in North Sydney, appearing in countless student productions as well as writing songs for a host of children’s theatre shows that students wrote and directed for the Independent. Professionally, I first appeared in a TV commercial - for PK chewing gum - in 1975 while still in my first year of study. My photograph was literally pulled out of the extras file! At the end of my first year I was cast in the ill-fated musical Applause in 1975 where I acted, sang and danced alongside veteran Hollywood legend Eve Arden. I still owe her $5, which she gave me to enable me to get home the night the producers ran away with the money (or the debts!). During my second year at acting school I was cast in a professional production at the Independent Theatre of The Importance of Being Earnest, playing Lane, the butler. I was also involved in an experimental one-act play theatre group under the direction of the now successful playwright, Malcolm Frawley. We were all just enthusiastic kids then. In my final two years of study I appeared in over 60 one-act plays.
I graduated in March 1977 in a production of 'Don's Party'. I was one of the first students to be taken up by an agent and I was cast in the highly acclaimed 680 Mime Review in Killara in June of that year. The next 20 years saw me performing in a wide variety of media. There was lots of TV: A Country Practice ; Sons and Daughters; Heartbreak High; and a host of other shows including No 96, Richmond Hill, Bellbird, Taurus Rising, Young Doctors, Patrol Boat, Mennotti and more. I landed the job of a lifetime in 1984 as a presenter for the plot of High Adventure. It was produced for the Nine Network by Gyngell/Collins Productions, but did not go into production. It was considered too expensive, but was the forerunner of shows like Getaway. I had the amazing experience of going to Machu Piccu in Peru and also the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo. There were a few films - The Custodian with Anthony La Paglia; and The Nostradamus Kid by Bob Ellis. The financial staple came from TV commercials and I was probably in more than my fair share - Cuddly, Toyota, Nobby's Nuts, Fabulon, Underdaks, Colgate to mention a few."