R. D. Cook was a founding member of staff at Brockwood Park School in Hampshire. He then trained as a therapist and developed and managed a range of intensive programmes for serious offenders with the Probation Service. He also worked as supervisor of counselling and trainer with several Westminster Pastoral Foundation affiliated services, and was a freelance groupwork trainer and part-time university lecturer. He and his wife, a painter and gardener, live on a smallholding in North Pembrokeshire. They have one daughter.