2:30pm Sunday 11 July 2021

McShannon & Trainor: An exploration of how using a ‘relational stance’ as part of a whole system approach

Almost 60 years after Menzies Lyth (1961) seminal research, Tavistock Consulting were asked to support management of a large London hospital tackle poor levels of retention, with a specific focus on an Acute Assessment Unit. Evidence-based initiatives (Mahon 2017) on the positive impact of Mindfulness for new nurses underpinned the initial request. Observations and interviews suggested that levels of distress were in evidence across all nurse grades but were located in and expressed by the departure of the newly qualified. Tavistock Consulting recommended a more systemic intervention and were given rare access to work intensively over an extended period with the unit nurses. read more (PDF)

George Bermudez: Walls Against Nature? Social Defense Systems, Climate Change, and Eco-Anxiety

What can psychoanalytic principles contribute to potential solutions to our climate crisis? Weintrobe (2013)  and Rustin (2013), while respecting the complexity of factors that sustain the ecological status quo (economic, political, military, cultural, historical, technological), assert that psychoanalytic understanding can illuminate the “structure of mind and feelings” that may contribute as well to understanding and intervening effectively. By understanding our own conflicted nature and our conflicted relationship to nature, these authors suggest that we may avert bio-spheric catastrophe and contribute to developing the optimal response. There is a critique of this application of psychoanalytic thinking (Benton, 2013) that argues that there is no empirical evidence for the usefulness of psychoanalytic thinking, that psychoanalytic thinkers over-value what psychoanalysis can contribute in the way of understanding all the complex socio-political and economic  forces at play, and that psychoanalytic concepts at the individual level should not be applied to group-level phenomena. read more (PDF)

Erik Van de loo & Saskia de Maat: An object relational exploration of inner walls and doors in young Russian leaders

The psychoanalytic study of success (Freud, 1916) has predominantly explored this through the lens of the Oedipal constellation with ensuing themes such as fear of success, rivalry, oedipal guilt, castration fear, etcetera. H. Segal (1952, 1982) has made an attempt to understand artistic success with the help of object relation theory by linking it to the Paranoid Schizoid (PS) and Depressive (D) position. Artists being in touch with both ‘craziness’ and reality. There is not much research available on what leaders themselves think at an unconscious level and how they construct their personal theme of success. Object relation theory offers us interesting and relevant perspectives on leadership personality and success. read more (PDF)

Brigid Nossal: The Narcissism of Small Differences’: exploring the walls within and between ourselves

Contemporary popular discourse seems preoccupied with conflicts and discrimination as between groups that, for the most part, are readily identifiable, either visibly or by their stated identification of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliations etc. By contrast, there is little public discourse about the very human way in which we create defensive and often destructive walls between others and ourselves in what Benjamin (2004) describes as ‘the confusing traffic of two-way streets’ that characterises all human relations. The title of this paper ‘the narcissism of small differences’ is borrowed from Freud’s (1930) observation in Civilisation and its Discontents that hatred seems to be strongest between people with the least observable differences. So while the examination of and work with inter-cultural dynamics as between those of us with visible differences remains an important challenge of our time at societal, national and global levels, this paper will argue that our theory and practice as it examines and works with intra-psychic, interpersonal and intergroup dynamics within organisational contexts can perhaps offer useful insights to the broader challenges and discourse. read more (PDF)

Alexander Schall: The importance of a healthy constitutional state from a psychoanalytical perspective

Psychoanalytical instruments and knowledge considering „walls within“ can support the daily work of the legal practice on a personal and social level, showing that peace and justice are not so far away from each other.
When it comes to the role of the constitutional state and law in general “Justice” is quickly highlighted. But why does the role of law as a phenomenon of peace barely feature in public discourse? The competence to resolve conflicts peacefully is a great step in the history of cooperation. read more (PDF)