BA Hons, MSc
Registered Clinical Psychologist
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Reg. No. PYL19563
Food for thought

Fellow Traveller

a piece of grit
lodged in my shoe
gives me a blister

a grain of sand
trapped in an oyster
brings me a pearl

that bit of advice
I gave myself today
blister or pearl?

Steve Dolphy


Why I deserve compassion

I find myself in the position of any human being who has ever lived, is alive today, or will be alive in the future. I have been given the gift of life, one life, and I will spend my whole life trying to understand it, trying to work what out to do with it, trying to find my way through it.

For this I deserve compassion.

I did not ask to be given this life, but it is the one, the only one, I have been given. There is no chance for a refund, a part-exchange, or an upgrade. This is it.

For this I deserve compassion.

I did not choose the family I was born into. I did not make a choice to choose the wisest, most able, richest, most loving parents, living in the most beautiful house, in the most beautiful part of the world. I was given the parents I have got, who gave me the start in life that I had. They did not choose me either, but I am who they got.

For this I, and they, deserve compassion.

I did not choose the body I was born into. My body is the result of two hundred thousand years of human evolution and is an amazing and wondrous machine. But it is still a machine that has weaknesses. When I was born my body was not fully grown and ready to go. I had to spend many years in the early parts of my life with a body that was not yet fully strong and healthy. Yet my body still had to deal with all that Life threw at it.

For this I deserve compassion.

I did not choose the mind I was born with. Evolution created the marvelous and extraordinary thing that is the human mind. But the mind has its limitations. When I was born my mind was not fully developed and fully aware. I had to spend many years in the early parts of my life with a mind that was not yet fully developed. There were so many things I had to learn, remember and understand (believing that all I read, was told, or heard was true) and in this immature state my mind still had deal with all the problems and difficulties that Life presented.

For this I deserve compassion.

In the middle years of my life when my adult body is at its physical peak it will still have its vulnerabilities and it will still have to deal with all the things that Life brings. In these middle years, when mentally I am at my best, I will still, on a week-to-week, day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis, be taking many decisions and making many choices on the basis of incomplete or imperfect information. Sometimes I will make mistakes. Sometimes I won’t make the best of choices.

For this I deserve compassion.

In the later years of my life when my aging body and mind are in decline, I will not only be facing Life’s challenges, but will also have the task of dealing with what Life serves up to me, with a mind and body that are past their peak. Sometimes there will be things I am no longer able to do well, even do at all, for myself or those I love.

For this I deserve compassion.

And on the last day I am alive, when I look back at the things I have done with my life, my mind will find, amongst the things that I am pleased with or proud of, those choices I wish I had not made, those things I wish I had, or had not done. And when I find myself in that position I should remind myself of those times, however rare, when I made the bravest, most difficult and wisest of choices. Those moments when I said to myself: “I deserve compassion.”

Steve Dolphy

Here are a few of my favourite quotations illustrating some of the ideas and values that underlie my clinical practice:

"When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool." (Chinua Achebe)

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different or truer answers" (M. Scott Peck)

"Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which they were created. " (Albert Einstein)

"The road that stretches before us is a challenge to the heart long before it tests the strength of our legs." (Thomas Aquinas)

"Experience has shown that, ironically, it is often our very attempts to solve the problem that, in fact, maintain it. The attempted solutions become the true problem." (Giorgio Nardone and Paul Watzlawick)

"Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard." (Lao-Tzu)

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." (Denis Waitley)

"There is no baser folly than the infatuation that looks upon the transient as if it were everlasting." (Tiruvalluvar)

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountain." (Author unknown)

"The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it." (W. M. Lewis)

"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." (William Shakespeare)

"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." (Aristotle)

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion." (Henry David Thoreau)

"My actions are my only true belongings." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

"What counts in a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility." (Leo Tolstoy)

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." (Antoine De Saint-Exupery)

"Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." (Jalal Ad-Din Rumi)

"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." (George Bernard Shaw)

"Life is not lost by dying! Life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand uncaring ways." (Stephen Vincent Benet)

"Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg." (Navjot Singh Sidhu)

"In essence, the practice (of mindfulness) is always the same: instead of falling prey to a chain reaction of self-hatred, we gradually learn to catch the emotional reaction and drop the story lines." (Pema Chodron)

"If I continue to do what I've always done, then I'm going to get what I've always got." (Steven C Hayes, Karl Strosahl, and Kelly Wilson)

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less important whether I am afraid." (Audre Lorde)

"I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this." (Emo Philips)

Please call
Please call 07900 286 400 to make an appointment

or click to email me

Click to visit the BPS website