Terry Waite CBE
Image Credit: James Gifford-Mead / WikiCommons

If ever I have cause to doubt the ability of individuals to triumph over the most terrible problems then I only have to think of my friend Michael Paterson.

He is one of the most remarkable living examples of how suffering need not destroy but can be used creatively. Apart from being a talented and competent professional Michael is a very nice man indeed and a family man to boot! His amazing story is an inspiration not only to me but to many who have received encouragement from him.

Terry Waite CBE
Hostage Negotiator, Humanitarian and Author
René Carayol MBE
© René Carayol

Many people talk about courage and inspiration. After listening to Michael it becomes clear that this is not just talk. He is energising, encouraging and most of all inspiring. A very straight forward man with a smashing message that we all need to hear.

René Carayol MBE
Broadcaster, Author, Keynote Speaker, Business Guru
Desmond M. Tutu
By Kristen Opalinski - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the most deeply moving moments in the BBC series Facing the Truth, about Northern Ireland, for us on the 3 person panel facilitating the exchanges between victim and perpetrator from both sides of the ‘Troubles’, was surely when Michael Paterson sat opposite an IRA member. He had lost both arms in an IRA attack and should have been bristling with anger and resentment against those who had left him so disabled physically. The IRA man spoke quietly about his upbringing suffering from the poverty and deprivation and discrimination that tended to be the lot of Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland. When he finished we turned to Michael to hear how he would respond. It is true you could have knocked us down with a feather when we heard what he said. We would understood perfectly if he had railed against the movement that nothing justified his mutilation. Nothing of the sort. Equally quietly Michael something like, 'If I had grown up like you under similar conditions I would have done what you did’. It fairly blew your mind.

It was an epiphany, a holy moment when we should really have taken off our shoes because we were on holy ground. He took our breath away. And yes we give great thanks to God for him and for others like him who have made possible the miracle we now see unfolding in Northern Ireland where an Ian Paisley could laugh and joke with a Martin McGuinness and serve in the same administration. God be praised.

Desmond M. Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
Bill Manson

Michael Paterson delivers important leadership lessons that emerge from a serious analysis of behaviours, steeped in deep personal experience. He speaks with authority, authenticity and credibility. It is clear that his passion is to enable leaders develop the self awareness, confidence and resilience to step forward and make the difference they should - regardless of the situation.

Bill Manson
Podiem and Management & Leadership Network
Wilson Lambe, MBE

In November 2019 the Workplace Health Leadership Group held the biggest ever Health & Safety Conference in Northern Ireland and witnessed 500 attend the event over a two day period. The conference was entitled Managing Workplace Health: Fit for purpose and Michael, as one of the keynote speakers, was integral to the outstanding success of the event.

Covering the topic Understanding and supporting people exposed to psychological trauma Michael’s relaxed style coupled with his Northern Ireland wit, and his ability to explain complex ideas in simple everyday terms made him an engaging speaker.

Michael also loves stories and weaving them into his presentation really brought this session to life.
Our experience last November with Michael was a terrifically positive one and it is my belief that he will add value to any event at which he is a speaker.

Wilson Lambe, MBE
Chair, Workplace Health Leadership Group (Northern Ireland)

Michael’s ability to speak with clarity, making complex concepts accessible to everyone, is just one of his many strengths. His delivery along with his compassion and kindness are also amongst the many attributes which make him a very engaging speaker.

Adele O'Mahony
TV Producer
Therese McGoldrick

I have been privileged to know Michael for over 20 years. During that time I have seen him speak at a huge range of conferences, forums and training events. I never cease to be in awe of his tremendous ability to engage an audience and to swiftly develop a rapport.

He is an enthusiastic and charismatic presenter, addressing diverse audiences with sensitivity and empathy. I have seen him move audiences to tears and to laughter, always while effectively conveying the essence of his presentation.

He is a sought-after speaker on national and international forums and never ceases to exceed expectations. As a member of his team working with him on national training events his feedback is consistently excellent and peppered with comments such as “inspirational “, “knowledgeable “, “engaging”, “amazing”.

His intellect is formidable as is demonstrated by the depth and diversity of his presentations and this is complemented by a gentle humour and engaging personality.

I have heard him present on a wide range of topics and was particularly moved listening to his experience of overcoming horrendous adversity. He exhibited humanity and a great wish that his journey would inspire and encourage others. This journey culminated in being awarded an OBE.

He has a huge wealth of experience to call on having been a police officer, scientist, psychologist, senior trainer and humanitarian, which latter included pro bono work in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

I am very proud to be his colleague and friend and cannot recommend him highly enough.

Therese McGoldrick
NHS Scotland Senior Manager (Retd)
Prof Jamie Hacker Hughes

Dr Michael Paterson is a consultant clinical psychologist whose expertise lies in the understanding and treatment of trauma, and in its education. Over the last 20 years, Dr Paterson has had extensive experience in teaching, lecturing to and speaking to a large number of audiences of many types worldwide. He is an engaging and inspirational speaker who brings his own life experiences to bear on the subject in which he is a leading expert.

Prof Jamie Hacker Hughes
PsychD CPsychol CSci FAcSS FBPsS FRSM

Dr Paterson engages an audience as a participant member with lived experience, humour, empathy and ease.

Whatever the subject matter he can make an hour or two pass with relatable, provoking, enjoyable and alive discourse.

Dr P J Kennedy DClinPsych
Consultant in Clinical and Forensic Psychology NHS England

Dr Michael Paterson OBE is an engaging speaker, with an easy manner and a great sense of humour all of which underpin his professionalism and skill. I knew of Michael before I knew him personally, as he has been an inspiration to many people affected by traumatic experiences in Northern Ireland. I have known Michael as a professional colleague for several years and find him unfailingly supportive and positive. He is tenacious in his clinical work and in his belief in the power of psychology to transform lives. Michael is the living proof that transformation and growth are possible after apparently adverse life changing experiences.

Sharon Campbell
MA(Hons) BSc(Hons) Psych Dip Trauma. Former Senior Manager, NHS Northern Ireland

Many thanks for today Michael – you are an amazing trainer! How you managed to stay so eloquent and focused for two whole days on zoom I have no idea – but you did and it was great!

Nicola W
NHS England Mental Health Professional

I attended a course that Michael gave and have come away with some great tools to expand both my personal and professional life. Michael is a wonderful person who gives his expertise openly to help others improve themselves. I will continue to use Michael as a great advisor and confidant and could not recommend him highly enough.

Victoria Murray

A friend told me about Michael's course 'Achieve your Maximum Potential' saying 'I think you'd like it'. It took me a few months to do anything about it, but boy was I glad I did !! Michael's relaxed style and approach to a subject that he is obviously passionate about coupled with his desire to help us resulted in a brilliant experience for me which I am now putting into practice. Thanks Michael.

Amanda Kenny

I am writing to 'Thank you' for an excellent Q and A session this afternoon. It was (as always) inspirational, educational and a pleasure to attend an event that you facilitate.

David Martin

Media Appearances

The Sunday Times
The Irish Times
Belfast Telegraph
News Letter
RTÉ Radio 1
BBC Radio Ulster
BBC World Service
BBC Northern Ireland
Channel 4 News
Sky News