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Medium 9781855759794

3: Fraternal disciplines: group relations training and systems psychodynamic organizational consultation

Karnac Books ePub

Laurence J. Gould

The Tavistock Model 1 of group relations training (GRT)2 is, by now, well known and widely disseminated. However, while the theory and practice of this work has been extensively detailed (Miller, 1989, 1990a, 1990b; Rice, 1965), the specifics of its relationship to the distinctive practice of organizational consultation that emerged alongside it is less clear and largely undocumented. This chapter, therefore, provides a brief history of the intertwined developments of these disciplines. To do so, it surveys some of the organizational and social applications of GRT and the spectrum of organizational consultation work with which it shares the same conceptual roots. It concludes by highlighting the significant contributions of GRT as well as underscoring some important caveats with regard to its relevance and applicability for the practice of organizational consultation.

Background

From its earliest days, psychoanalysis has been interested in the nature of group and organizational processes. For example, in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921c), Freud linked certain dynamic aspects of the Church and Army to his earlier hypotheses regarding the origins of social process and social structure—namely, in his analysis of the primal horde (1912–13). Indeed, in his very first sentence he says: “The contrast between individual and social or group psychology, which at first glance may seem to be full of significance, loses a great deal of its sharpness when it is examined more closely” (p. 69). Fenichel (1946) later noted that human beings create social institutions to satisfy their needs as well as to accomplish required tasks, but that institutions then become external realities, comparatively independent of individuals, that affect them in significant ways. However, despite this early interest in group psychology and some sporadic, modest additions to a theory of group and institutional life—as in, for example, Freud’s (1927c, 1930a, 1939a) later “sociological works”— neither he nor his colleagues carried this line of theorizing much further. While the reasons may be numerous, the paucity of early psychoanalytic writings on the subject may attest to the singular limitations of a predominantly intrapsychic model of drive and of impulse/defence analysis for understanding any but the most selective aspects of group behaviour. The beginnings of an enlarged psychodynamic theory of group and organizational processes had to wait for a more fully worked-out object relational perspective that could provide the necessary interactive constructs.

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Medium 9781879639607

Chapter 1

DuFour, Richard Solution Tree Press PDF

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES AT WORK have a contemporary ring, but they were published as early as 1957 and 1958 in Life and U.S. News and World Report. In that same era, Arthur Bestor (1953) argued in his best seller,Educational Wastelands, that citizens should wrest control of the public schools from “educationists” who had “dumbed down” the curriculum. With the launching of Sputnik in 1957, many cited the failure of the public schools as the primary reason that the United States had fallen behind Russia in the race to space.Meanwhile, a spate of university-based curriculum reforms, particularly in mathematics and science, emerged as the preferred strategy for resolving the crisis. A quarter of a century later, the ascendance of Japan as an economic power led critics to conclude that the public schools were responsible for America’s fall from its position of unchallenged economic superiority, and a new wave of calls for school reform was issued. 

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Medium 9781857549867

Kite, Buzzard, Crow

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Kite, Buzzard, Crow

123

Now it is August, and here, over our fields, seventy miles southwest of that spectacular daily event, kites are a common sight these days. This scavenger of the streets of medieval London was persecuted, shot by gamekeepers, its nests plundered by egg collectors until it was Britain’s rarest bird. A few birds survived in its heartland in the mountains of mid-Wales, though at worst, according to reports of studies using DNA evidence, its numbers were reduced to the offspring of a single female.

The other day a huge combine harvester was at work in our neighbour’s big barley field. All day, as the monstrous machine growled up and down the field, four kites haunted the sky, causing consternation to the buzzards and a crowd of crows competing to feed on fresh kill: crushed mice, voles, rabbits, frogs.

A kite is a parable of beauty and violence. Its obsession, its golden eye burning the ground for blood, the unflinching instinct to survive. Riding the thermals, it flexes its wings and long forked tail in independent movements – the only bird which can do that

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Medium 9780946439577

10. Some challenges and pitfalls of milieu therapy

Ernst Federn Karnac Books ePub

Starting with the pitfalls of milieu therapy—I may be in one myself as I am sitting in front of you! The pitfall I see right away is that some of you may think, with my long and perhaps unique experiences, I am going to tell you how to make very difficult children turn well-behaved, or by some kind of miracle turn a wild boy into a tame one. If for one moment I would allow you to believe that, it would be a very bad pitfall indeed! It is obviously not possible.

Even working with disturbed children, to produce what improvements we can is difficult and painful. Are you not constantly confronted with tasks that seem impossible? What we know is limited, and the whole history of the milieu treatment of children is rather short. After World War 1 August Aichhorn in Austria and Anton Makarenko in Russia1 started programs to take care of children in a sensible way instead of keeping them in destructive homes or sending them to remote places, like Nebraska.

As far as residential treatment is concerned, the problems, at least in the thirty years I have studied them, have never changed. But the problems can be dealt with and sometimes surmounted.

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Medium 9780870819384

I Enter the Tenderfoot

Richard Baxter Townshend University Press of Colorado ePub

A TENDERFOOT IN COLORADO

IN 1869 I found myself five thousand miles to the westward of Old England, in a car on the newly opened Union Pacific Railroad, with a good hope of being safely landed by it in the part of the Far West known as Wyoming Territory, U.S.A. I was a tenderfoot, though the title itself was strange to me; but I was out to learn, and when I heard the strange word used by a man near me on the car I turned to my neighbour, a friendly Westerner with whom I had had lots of conversation since we left Omaha, Neb., and asked:

“What on earth does he mean by a tenderfoot?” He looked at me with a smile, saw his chance, and started to spread himself.

“It began like this,” he explained. “Some ten or eleven years back, when they first struck gold in Gregory Gulch, and every soul who could started to get to Pike’s Peak, or bust, a good five hundred miles across the Great Plains, there was lots of fellers that jes’ hoofed it on their ten toes the whole blessed road. You can bet their feet was pretty well skinned for them by the time they got to Pike’s Peak, and naturally the other fellers who’d been before ’em and got healed up first set themselves up for real old-timers, and took the notion of calling every new arrival a tenderfoot.”

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