Dolphyn Newsletter–May 2017

A Focus on Mental Health

A Change in Direction for Dolphyn’s Rob Sams

Working More Closely With Lifeline

Some of you may know of my association with Lifeline Hunter Central Coast (LLHCC) where I have been working as a volunteer Director since November 2012. From next month, I will be working more closely with LLHCC after agreeing to a secondment as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I am looking forward to continuing to support Lifeline in this more hands on leadership role. It co-insides with my commencement as a volunteer Face-to-Face Counsellor with Lifeline. It is a privilege to work in an organisation alongside so many other ‘helping‘ people who follow such an important cause.
There are energising times ahead for Lifeline in Australia and it is with much pride that I continue my association with an organisation that exists for people and in community with them; especially at a time when they may need it the most. Lifeline is a ‘helping‘ organisation, something that resonates well with our approach at Dolphyn. You’ll learn more about this as you read through this Newsletter.

What Does This Mean for Dolphyn?

The work of Dolphyn will continue as usual through members of our ‘Community in Practice‘ including:

  • Hayden Collins from Risk Intelligence in Victoria
  • James Ellis from Framework Group in NSW
  • Gab Carlton from Resilyence in the ACT
  • Roy Fitzgerald from Meta Dymensions in WA

We will also continue with our new series of ‘Humainsing Workers Compensation‘ Workshops (see below) that are being co-facilitated with James Ellis. Our next Workshop is being held at the iconic Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross. You can secure your place at this Workshop by clicking HERE.
On a personal level, I will continue to work with a few select long term clients including Harris Farm Markets, along with some exciting new work we are doing with the team at Bluescope Steel. l will also be continuing my role in supporting the Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk.
It’s bound to be a busy and exciting twelve months ahead. The ‘adventure’ continues, thanks for being a part of it.
Rob Sams
Director and Principal Consultant

A Focus on Mental Health

In keeping with the main theme of this Newsletter, I thought to include material on the topic of Mental Health. With my work now focusing more in this area, I’ve realised that my background in Safety, a predominately ‘telling’ profession, was hindering in my aim of ‘helping’ others. With this in mind, I am completing a Diploma of Counseling through the Australian Institute of Professional Counseling, along with putting this in practice at Lifeline as noted above. I would like to share with you some of the more useful resources I’ve come across. See below.
Rob Sams

Gerard Egan – The Skilled Helper

Over the past 30 years, Egan’s THE SKILLED HELPER has taught thousands of students a step-by-step counseling process that leads to increased confidence and competence. Internationally recognized for its successful problem-management and opportunity development approach to effective helping, the text emphasizes the collaborative nature of the therapist-client relationship and uses a practical, three-stage model that drives client problem-managing and opportunity-developing action. As you read, you’ll also gain a feeling for the complexity inherent in any helping relationship.

Carl Rogers – Person Centered Therapy

Carl Rogers if the father of the humanistic, and holistic movement in Psychotherapy known as  Person (or Client) Centered Therapy. Rogers’ core theme in therapy is non-judgmental listening and acceptance of the client, he refers to this as ‘Unconditional Positive Regard’. Central to Rogers’ theory is the idea that the person seeking help can make positive and constructive choices where people can solve their own problems without the direct intervention from a therapist. Lifeline adopts this approach as a core method in our counseling. This YouTube clip provides a useful 10 minute introduction to Carl Rogers’ theory.

Mental Health in the Workplace

There are two useful Blog articles written by Dr Rob Long on the topic of Mental Health in the Workplace, you can access the articles here:

  • Part One – Tips on improving mental health at work
  • Part Two – How organisations can impact mental health at work

Recent Blogs and Articles

Safety Cries Wolf!

Why is Safety so easily sucked into the practice of creating fear? It must be challenging to constantly talk of ‘care’ while at the same time acting in a way that induces anxiety. How does Safety manage this contradiction? How does it cope with the tension? Does Safety understand what this is doing to people?
There are many challenging questions, they become even more challenging when Safety Cries Wolf!
Read the Full Article HERE.

The Pathway to Loneliness

It must be one of the great absurdities of our modern world; that in a time where our ability to ‘connect’ is so abundant, that we are perhaps lonelier, more isolated and insecure than ever. It’s a puzzling irony that while we can ‘connect’ to so many people, in so many ways, that this ‘connection’ may create loneliness. Our lives are in danger of becoming divorced from any idea of community that is meaningful. In so many areas of our (modern) lives, the idea of community and ‘communing’ have given way to ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘the privitisation of self’.

Read the Full Article HERE.

Wrestling in the Mud

He began crying without notice, it took me by surprise. We were in our late teens and just finished cricket practice. Following our usual routine, we stuck around for an extra ½ hour, just the two of us, as best mates do. As soon as we finished he broke down. I had no clue what to do, I’d never experienced it before. I do remember that I simply wanted his pain to go away, it felt uncomfortable and awkward for both of us. However, at the same time it also felt comforting.
Read the Full Article HERE.

Making the World Fit the Safety Worldview

By: Dr Rob Long
One of the drivers of the work of Martin Heidegger  was his reaction to the determinist and reductionist view of Rene Descartes . The Cartesian worldview understands the world in an atomistic way, reducing certainty down to first causes. The worldview that dominates Safety is often referred to as STEM knowledge (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Now, there is nothing wrong with STEM knowledge but it is not the domain for understanding people, personhood, learning or non-linear, messy issues.
Read the Full Article HERE.

Humanising RTW – The Missed Opportunity

What is the Missed Opportunity?

The discourse in Return to Work (RTW) is often centred around ‘finances’ and a ‘commercial’ focus. Our good friend James Ellis thinks there is many an opportunity missed when such themes dominate our discussions. James recently wrote:

“My thesis is that by caring for people authentically, not only do we support their recovery, but we can strengthen their relationship with their work, with their colleagues and with their employer. Injury management tends to be treated as a cost control exercise. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard words to the effect that:

The workers health is of course, our main concern, but, you know (tortured facial expression with paternally raised eyebrows), we also have to have a commercial focus.”

This is from a blog article by James that provides useful insights into a more ‘humanising’ approach to RTW. If you’d like to experience these ideas for yourself first hand, why not come along to our next Workshop in Sydney on 31 May & 01 June. You can find out more, and book your place HERE.

This short Video with James and Rob provides a taste for our approach to Return to Work

A Special Mate

Our Thoughts Are With You Max
A special note to our dear friend Max Geyer from Rysk Savvy who has been battling some challenging and serious health issues of late. Those who know Max understand that he is one of the most compassionate, giving and loving blokes going around. He is so often the first to be there to care for others, and at a time when he could do with a prayer, some love and a big hug (or two), we want to let him know that there are many people thinking of him. With all of our love to you, Sylvia and all of your family.

The CLLR is continuing its study program in 2017. CLLR is the only Centre in the world that accredits studies in the Social Psychology of Risk.


Upcoming Programs
SEEK – The Social Psychology of Event Investigations (Unit 2)
The program is unique as it applies the key principles of the Social Psychology of Risk to the way events are investigated. The Program assumes that events and investigations are conditioned by social arrangements and that social arrangements are a significant determinant on decision making and behaviours.
Dates: 5, 6, & 7 July 2017
Venue: Canberra
For more information click HERE
The Social Amplification of Risk (Unit 8)
Risk is amplified or attenuated by a range of social psychological conditions that affect the unconscious. The workshop looks at how humans manufacture risk and risk aversion unconsciously. A range of tools are provided to help tackle the challenges of risk amplification
Dates: 18, 19 & 20 October 2017
Venue: Brisbane Australia View Hotel Hamilton
For more information click HERE

Celebrating Social Sensemaking

A Special Celebratory 30% Discount
To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Social Sensemaking script being sent to the editor, we are offering visitors to the Dolphyn website a 30% discount on your copy of Social Sensemaking. Simply click on the image next to this story or on the link below to order your copy. Further discounts apply for bulk purchases. If you are interested in hearing Rob present on the topic, drop us a line at


Supporting Lifeline

Lifeline’s 84aMate Program

Lifeline Hunter Central Coast relies on community support for the majority of it’s funding. If you’d like to help maintain this important community service, you can donate from as little as $8 / month throughLifeline’s 84aMate Program. Click on the icon below for further details.

A Community in Practice

Dolphyn – In Community With Others
Being in community with others is important for us here at Dolphyn, thanks for being part of it. We look forward to sharing and learning with you throughout 2017.

Rob Sams
Rob Sams
Rob is an experienced safety and people professional, having worked in a broad range of industries and work environments, including manufacturing, professional services (building and facilities maintenance), healthcare, transport, automotive, sales and marketing. He is a passionate leader who enjoys supporting people and organizations through periods of change. Rob specializes in making the challenges of risk and safety more understandable in the workplace. He uses his substantial skills and formal training in leadership, social psychology of risk and coaching to help organizations understand how to better manage people, risk and performance. Rob builds relationships and "scaffolds" people development and change so that organizations can achieve the meaningful goals they set for themselves. While Rob has specialist knowledge in systems, his passion is in making systems useable for people and organizations. In many ways, Rob is a translator; he interprets the complex language of processes, regulations and legislation into meaningful and practical tasks. Rob uses his knowledge of social psychology to help people and organizations filter the many pressures they are made anxious about by regulators and various media. He is able to bring the many complexities of systems demands down to earth to a relevant and practical level.

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