Steve Smith, PhD, RMN, FHEA
NMC Registered Practitioner
(NMC Registration number: 80J0165S)
(Up to £1,000,000 cover: policy number ECBI884732XB).
BA(Hons) Health Studies
BA Community Health Nursing
COSCA Cert Counselling Skills
Dr Steve Smith has been practicing as a solution focused therapist and coach for over twenty years. He has taught solution focused interactions, as a Senior Lecturer at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University, across the length and breadth of the UK, and is a founding member of the Scottish Solution Focused Network.
Steve is also a practicing Buddhist in the Soto-Zen tradition and teaches and facilitates secular mindfulness based meditation classes.
Steve first became aware of Solution Focused practice in the late 1980’s when he heard about it from his friend and colleague, Graham Buchanan. At this time, Steve was working in a semi-interpretive analytic approach and it was his understanding that psychological problems had their roots in unresolved conflict deep in the individual’s psyche, requiring prolonged and sustained in-depth therapy. As a result of working in this approach he was sceptical when Graham told him about this new approach (Solution Focused Brief Therapy) which didn’t spend any great time at all talking about the client’s problem, but asked the client to describe a positive future when the problem was gone, and achieved positive outcomes in as little as three or four sessions. However, despite his initial scepticism, Steve remained interested in this new approach and by the mid 1990’s had begun his training and practice in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. He worked for five years as part of a mental health team in Aberdeen, where he practiced SFBT on a daily basis, before moving to rural Aberdeenshire where he continued to work with individuals and families. On leaving NHS practice to join Robert Gordon University in 2005 Steve established his own private practice, which he has maintained since, working with clients to co-construct and develop solutions to a wide range of problem situations.
Steve’s interest in Mindfulness meditation goes back to the late 1970’s when he first became interested in Transcendental Meditation. Over the years his interest and exploration of meditation styles brought him to recognise that the experience of life cannot be ‘transcended’ and that ‘engaging fully’ in the experience of life is a more fruitful direction. He began training as a Buddhist practitioner in the 1980’s and entered the Zen tradition around the turn of the century. Since then he has trained as a mindfulness teacher, and has been ordained as a lay Buddhist at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey.
Steve believes that the ethical dimension of his practice unifies his clinical and coaching work in that both solution focused interactions and mindfulness meditation have some of their roots in the teachings of eastern philosophy; both work from the assumption that positive improvement is the natural order, and both recognise that while problems have always existed there is little merit in trying to establish where they come from, as opposed to nurturing and developing effective responses to them.