1229 Chapters
Medium 9781780490960

Chapter One. The impact of culture in coaching

Plaister-Ten, Jennifer Karnac Books ePub

This chapter focuses on:

What is culture?

Globalisation affects cultures and cultures shape globalisation.1 But culture is a complex concept with varying definitions. Consequently, it has been difficult for the coaching profession to define, with terms such as cross-cultural coaching, intercultural coaching, or global executive coaching often used interchangeably. The word “culture” originates from the Latin verb colere: to cultivate the soil. However, the German word Kultur means education, according to Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952, p. 21). This potentially indicates the origins of the concept of culture as learned, the cultivation of learning. Hall, on the other hand, suggests that “culture is acquired”, not taught (1959, p. 37). Such is the diverse and often conflicting nature of the culture debate. Yet these binary distinctions, on a par with the nature/nurture debate, may appear to be over-simplistic when we look at the factors that can influence those of us who live and work in multicultural societies today.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855757783

CHAPTER ONE: Culture and the reflexive subject in systemic psychotherapy

Karnac Books ePub

Any history or genealogy must remain incomplete, because it depends on the starting point of the author and how much context he or she includes. History and genealogy are themselves contingent, and I do not pretend to be able to offer a comprehensive account of the life of reflexivity in systemic psychotherapy. I do offer punctuations, which I hope will give food for thought. Much hinges on what we consider a system to be. Do we consider a system to be like a mechanical or a physical body, or a language structure with attributes, which wholly or partially exists outside the consciousness of the persons who engage in it? Or do we consider a system to be a series of transactions with attributes which are wholly accessible and transparent to those who consciously are engaged or choose to be engaged in it? Or a bit of both? And what are the implications for reflexivity of these two positions?1

An incomplete history of reflexivity in systemic psychotherapy

A historical account of reflexivity in relation to cultural differences in systemic psychotherapy must begin with Bateson and particularly with his two postscripts (1936 and 1958) to his ethnographic study Naven (Bateson, 1958; Krause, 2007). This starting point also allows us to draw parallels between systemic psychotherapy and anthropology. I think that we want to do so not only because Bateson was an anthropologist, but also because there are similarities in what systemic psychotherapists and ethnographers do. For me this also articulates two feelings of bewilderment. The first relates to my discovery (as an anthropologist) that Bateson’s ethnographic work among the Iatmul people, despite yielding extraordinary insights (Bateson, 1972a; Berger, 1978; Nuckolls, 1996; Strathern, 1988; Wilder-Mott & Weakland, 1981), held no interest for trainers and teachers of systemic psychotherapy during my own training twenty years ago. The second relates to the more recent disappearance of the concept or the idea of a “system” from much teaching and writing in systemic psychotherapy. This is a subversion, because one way or another, and whichever particular school of systemic psychotherapy one follows, the notion of “system” is still a central assumption, theory, or concept in the discipline. It is what distinguishes us from other psychotherapies.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855756731

21. “Permanent Revolution” of the Generations

Meltzer, Donald Harris Meltzer Trust ePub

THE restless mind of the young Trotsky* caught a glimpse of the future of the Russian revolution and its predicament, that unless the new system could include as an institution the permanent urge to revolution it would relentlessly metamorphose into the monolithic state and betray its premises. In this paper I wish to demonstrate the sources of this urge to permanent revolution, to distinguish it from the impulse to rebellion, and to show its relation, in psychic reality, to the fact of the discontinuity in the generations and link to the barrier against incest which is fundamental to the human mind.

The basis for this discussion has been laid in the Chapters on “The Emergence from Adolescence” and “The Genesis of the Super-ego-ideal”. But let us start here with the concept, so important in the early days of psycho-analysis and so little mentioned now, the incest barrier or taboo. The latter term betrays the anthropological inspiration to Freud’s thinking and the way in which it was linked in his mind to the evolution of religion on the one hand, and the fate of the oedipus complex on the other. A more intimate understanding of the nature of childhood would incline us now to eliminate sibling relations from the concept of incest and limit it to the prohibition, the internal prohibition, against coitus of parent and child. This forms the background of the oedipus complex, resting as it does on the parent’s refusal of the child’s desire and the actual impotence of the child—the boy’s seminal sterility and the girl’s reproductive incapacity. We recognise the aim of the true genital trends in infantile sexuality to be a reproductive one primarily—to give and receive babies—rather than one of erogenous zone pleasure, as Freud earlier thought. It is the pregenital trends which, thanks to zonal and geographic confusions and distortions of identity due to projective identification, masquerade as genitality and carry the sensuous greed.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781782202462

Introduction: The Scientific Revolution and Capitalism

Mulhern, Alan Karnac Books ePub

The age of patriarchal religions, which in one form or other dominated the consciousness of humanity for thousands of years, was challenged in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards. A growing belief in the findings of science, a series of political revolutions that freed millions from the semi-enslavement of feudal systems, and the birth of the most productive economic system in world history were a series of Promethean hammer blows that shattered the old paradigms and forged a new order out of the fiery transformations of the centuries that followed. It was also a revolution in human consciousness, which was no longer in a cosmological prison where a scientist such as Galileo could be threatened with torture for arguing that the earth goes around the sun, but, instead, was a place where enlightened enquiry was free to fly to what height it dared. Britain, central to the scientific and industrial revolutions, was different from Ancient Greece, which, for a brief period, had some of the most astounding free thinkers, including those of science, the world had ever seen, for it managed to develop its freedoms of the market and democracy, while in Greece these were to perish. Above all, the scientific revolution was to be linked with an economic system that could turn inventions to profit and technologies to world domination. The Greek and also Roman systems, despite democratic components, were founded on slavery, a military system, and, for some periods, a dictatorship. Such economies, despite enormous achievements and progress, did not possess the essential freedoms for capitalism to develop.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855755598

CHAPTER TEN: In the thick of culture: systemic and psychoanalytic ideas

Flaskas, Carmel; Pocock, David Karnac Books ePub

Inga-Britt Krause

In the introduction to a book about cross-cultural psychother-I apy, I made the comment that any cross-culturally practising psychotherapist, in some way, must feel compelled to adopt a systemic perspective (Krause, 1998). This was a statement that traced and documented my own personal journey from social anthropology to family therapy, but I also wanted to call to mind the historical connection between the two disciplines via Bateson (Krause, 2006), “culture” as a systemic idea (Krause, 2002), and the contribution of social constructionism to contemporary systemic psychotherapy.

In the same book I worked my way through different areas in which cultural patterns, symbols, and meanings impinge, constrain, and are implicated in the behaviour and experience of persons. These included kinship, emotions, ritual, taboos, and secrets. My argument was that much cultural material is outside the realm of individual awareness in the form of different types of knowledge and structures, some of which seem unquestionable and natural to individuals. (I used Bourdieu's terms doxic and habitus to refer to knowledge, which is imprinted on the body and the mind as the result of the operation of structures that are unconsciouslyregulated and that incorporate culturally structured patterns, routines, improvisations, and meanings. I quoted Bourdieu as saying, “It is because subjects do not strictly speaking know what they are doing that what they do has more meaning than they know” [Bourdieu, 1977, p. 79].) I referred to material that is “implicit”, “outside awareness”, and to those aspects that are not articulated verbally, but I did not use the term “unconscious”. This was partly because of the technical meaning of this term in psychoanalysis, but also because I felt a need to be cautious. The evidence of cultural diversity in areas outside consciousness is abundant, but questions about how this works, how we may understand it, and what kind of model or theory we may choose to use are complex. Ultimately, we all have to answer the same ethical questions about our own relationship to that with which we are engaged and to the models for which we make claims.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters