Entries by Robert Sams

Beware – Hazardous OINTMENT

Beware – Hazardous OINTMENT One thing that I have become deeply aware of over the past few years is the impact that social arrangements have on us, especially in how we make decisions and judgments about risk. Many of our decisions and choices are impacted, often through our unconscious, by a multitude of factors from […]

The Power in Helping

“…at the beginning, every helping relationship is a state of imbalance. The client is one down and therefore vulnerable; the helper is one up and therefore powerful” (p. 35) Edgar Schein in Helping (2011, p. 35) I wonder if one of the greatest privileges and opportunities we may have as a human being is to be either the […]

What I Learned from Pete’s Ball of Wool

What I Learned from Pete’s Ball of Wool It was a balmy night in Sydney last Thursday. A good setting to catch up with a friend for dinner and then enjoy a leisurely stroll back to my hotel. Before you become too concerned and turn off, bare with me as no, this is not my […]

Why we Need to Accept Pain and Suffering

Recognising that depression can be dealt with in a ‘paradoxical way’ may be why we in risk and safety struggle to understand it. A close friend has recently started as a mentor in a program that supports women who have been victims of severe domestic violence, to work their way back into society. Part of […]

Amping it up in Safety

The SARF model accepts the important role that our social arrangements have in our decision-making. This is why an understanding of social psychology is critical in our understanding of risk. In a recent blog I asked why are we afraid, and explored fear and how it may impact on our feelings, and decisions about risk. I […]

Why are we Afraid?

“…..every human brain has not one, but two systems of thought. They called them Systems One and System Two. The ancient Greeks arrived at this conception of humanity a little earlier than scientists-personified the two systems in the form of gods Dionysus and Apollo. We know them better as Feeling and Reason” Daniel Gardner – The […]

Learning is a Social Activity

As I reflect on the last three years and consider the year ahead, what I recognise as being the most valuable, in fact the single most critical facet of my learning, is that is has been done through communing with others As many would know, I’ve been on a learning journey (or ‘adventure’ as I […]

Please Don’t Try to Fix Me – I’m Not a Machine

It may be that instead of giving us a friendly world that would never challenge us and therefore never make us strong, God gave us a world that would inevitably break our hearts, and compensated for that by planting in our souls the gift of resilience.  (Kushner 2007, p.55)* My good friend Brian is a […]

The Village Effect

Being with other people can enhance our well-being and support recovery from injury and illness. There are many different approaches adopted by organisations to support people injured at work. These include consultant doctors, on-site Physiotherapy, free and confidential psychologists (EAP), ‘case-conferencing’ and specialized rehabilitation providers. All of which can be useful and helpful. Understandably, the […]

We Need Communities and They Need Us

 As Hugh McKay reminds us in his book, The Art of Belonging; We rely on communities to support and sustain us, and if those communities are to survive and proposer, we must engage with them and nurture them. That’s the beautiful symmetry of human society; we need communities and they need us. (McKay, 2014, p.1) We […]