From the moment we are born into this world we are trying to find our way through life and survive it. For some people life treats them well and they sail through it, but for most of us life at times presents challenges that lead us to struggle. Sometimes the coping strategies we adopt work life-long, whilst others may only prove to be useful in the short-term or even be no good at all and actually serve to make matters worse, or perpetuate our difficulties.
I work with people who are struggling with some aspect(s) of their life where they have found no ways of coping, or where their coping strategies have failed to work, or perhaps (without them knowing) have actually become part of their problems. The way they suffer may show itself in the form of distressing emotions such as fear, anxiety, stress, sadness, despair, apathy, guilt, or anger. Together with the three common coping strategies human beings use to cope with distressing thoughts and feelings: avoidance (of places, activities, situations, relationships, thoughts or feelings), dropping out of things (such as social and leisure activities) or trying to control thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations
I help people experiencing psychological difficulties using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which are all described in detail elsewhere on the site. Whichever model of therapy I provide there is always one common thread: enabling clients to identify their values. This involves helping people clearly define what it is that is important to them in their life: providing a framework for setting specific goals in both the short and the long-term. Showing people how they can build a rich and meaningful life for themselves – even in the face of difficult thoughts and feelings. So I will be keen to know the answers to such questions as: What would you do if whatever problem you are currently struggling with was no longer a problem? Is there something you care about that your mind says just isn’t possible? What is it that is stopping you doing what matters to you today?
I am by profession a clinical psychologist chartered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a health professional. I am also an Accredited Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapist with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). In addition, I am a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). I qualified as a clinical psychologist from the Victorian University of Manchester in 1993 and after having worked in the UK (for the NHS) and in Vietnam (in private practice) I came to Winchester in 2001.
As of April 2012, I have been working four days a week for the NHS in the role of High Intensity Therapist Co-ordinator (North Area) for the "italk" psychological therapies service run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. I work in private practice on Wednesdays.
I have been practising mindfulness since 2003, and have been using mindfulness extensively in therapy with clients since 2007. I first came across mindfulness in 1997, when I was living in Vietnam, both from visits to pagodas and temples, but also through my writing of haiku poetry. Haiku – a form of brief poetry (Japanese in origin) is written from life and focuses on a moment of keen awareness and heightened perception of one’s surroundings. My debut poetry collection, titled “The Cry of the Duck Egg Seller” under my pen-name of Steve Dolphy, (Ram Publications, UK, 2004) is no longer in print. However, a new book of my haiku, senryu and haibun, titled “A Compendium of Glimpses”, under my pen-name of Steve Dolphy, (Amazon, Kindle) was published in 2015.
Reviews of “The Cry of the Duck Egg Seller” (2004)
“The themes in this book are both ambitious and abstract, focussing on a life where transition, however, large or small, has occurred. It takes an experienced poet to carry such a project of this scope, and Dolphy is equal to the task.” - Patricia Prime, Stylus Poetry Journal, Australia
“An uncontrived and thoroughly evocative collection: one which offers new surprises on each re-reading.” - Jane Sutherland, Presence, UK
“There is a lot of humour in Steve Dolphy’s haiku, it moves from light to dark, and is a key element in his collection.” - Alan Summers, Hermitage, Romania
“(With every poem) almost without exception, something happens…– to evoke a feeling that this ordinary event has become something extraordinary, noteworthy, or just different from what you have been anticipating.” - Colin Blundell, Blithe Spirit, UK
“Steve Dolphy is able to compress a host of images and juxtapositions into his handful of words: some excellent work here.” - Alan Hardy, New Hope International Review, UK
“I recommend Steve Dolphy’s book without reservation. His is an original voice: a voice that readers will want to hear from again.” - Robert Wilson, Simply Haiku, USA
“Poems of unassuming dignity… The book’s exquisite last poem shows that he (Dolphy) brought a Vietnamese lightness of touch home with him.” - John Martone, Modern Haiku, USA
Reviews of “A Compendium of Glimpses” (2015)
“Dolphy depicts Vietnamese life with a wry, detached tone, a highly observant eye and a natural ear for the sound and rhythm of language. Equally, Dolphy is more than capable of writing pithily and beautifully about the United Kingdom. He keeps his language spare and relatively unadorned: the durable power of his haiku stem from the apparently simple wording and the natural music created by its stresses.” - Matthew Paul, Presence, UK
“Dolphy’s description of the poems as “snapshots” or “mindful moments” is apt. He has an inquisitive eye and he often lands on just the right details. Overall, a rewarding collection.” - Modern Haiku, USA