Institute Workshops

The 2019 ISPSO Institute Workshops (formerly known as Professional Development Workshops) runs from June 24th to 26th. 
These Workshops provide members and non-members an opportunity to learn from other professionals offering knowledge, skills and practices for understanding and applying psychoanalysis to organizations.

Note: Workshop registrations have now closed. For any inquiries in regard to last minute registration, or places which have become available, please contact and

Monday 24 June

Leslie Goldenberg, MA
Start Exploring the Immunity to Change Method (Half Day)

The conference theme of polarities in today’s organizations and society extends, of course, to the polarities within each of us. Most of us are full of internal contradictions. The Immunity to Change method offers a powerful and rapid way to surface these sorts of tensions and start to work with them. It has proven to be a potent tool for working with individuals and groups grappling with seemingly intractable change challenges, or with leaders who are faltering for hard-to-discern reasons. As a participant in this session, you will experience a taste of the Immunity to Change method by working on a personal change challenge. Come to the session prepared to process a change that you are trying to make. You will gain a greater sense of clarity for yourself and walk away with a new approach to use with clients.
For those who are eager to know more about what they’re signing up for, the HBR article: The Real Reason People Won’t Change offers an excellent (completely optional) introduction.
If you have questions, please get in touch via email:
Bio link: Leslie Goldenberg

Richard Morgan Jones, BA
Consulting in the Current “Mad-Driving” Environment (Full Day)

A familiar cartoon shows an exasperated executive in an office saying, “you don’t have to be mad here, but if you are it helps to understand what is going on!” In this workshop participants will learn to:

  • • Differentiate three levels of psychodynamics:  a) the personal experience of what is embodied in a role; b) the systemic/group inter-personal; and c) the macro-level of the context
  • • Identify work situations that “drive people crazy or make them sick”
  • • Work with in-cohesion dynamics (not what holds an individual, team or organization together, but what is dissociating, disorientating and disrupting, at times with deliberate intent) from inside or out
  • • Explore how to resist organizational and political “fake-news”/propaganda
  • • Integrate this understanding into the coaching and consulting role
  • • Explore how different levels of individual dynamics, team/group and contextual dynamics interact and get under each other’s skin

Participants are asked to bring their case experience for consultation to explore implications of the model. There will be short presentations about psychotic experience and how organizational propaganda can segment and threaten to break-up effective work. Theoretical background includes the work of R.D. Laing (The Divided Self), Jules Henry (Pathways to Madness), Harold Searles (The Effort to Drive the Other Crazy), Jan Meerloo (The Rape of the Mind) and Gregory Bateson (Schizmogenesis/Double-Bind) on the phenomenology of psycho-genic and socio-genic segmentation, producing what is mad driving and socially divisive. This workshop is a development of Richard’s work described in his book, “The Body of the Organisation and its Health” and of the “Trilogy Event” that seeks to link person-in-role, system and context dynamics, and the nature of the “skin” boundary between each.

Participants are asked to bring their own case experience for consultation to explore implications of the model. Additionally, there will be short presentations about psychotic experience and how organizational propaganda can threaten to fragment effective work in an organization.

Do contact Richard who will be facilitating the workshop, with queries, commitments or comments at:
Bio link: Richard Morgan-Jones

Jens Preil, PhD, MD and Øyvind R. Haugen, MA
How to Understand the Social Handling of Uncertainty in Organizations Facing High Risk and Fast-Paced Change (Full Day)

In this workshop we will together explore how to decipher and interpret unspoken beliefs and collectively shared assumptions in organizations. We will present a new research methodology and the results of our study on the psychosocial processing of ambiguities and uncertainties associated with the primary risk in a global pharmaceutical company. This will serve as the starting point for discussing different concepts at the interface between sociology, psychoanalysis and group analysis. In order to translate and harness these concepts in your own work, we encourage participants to bring their own cases.

To make the workshop a great learning experience we will blend different formats (short lectures on theory, discussions of practical examples and explorative work in small and larger groups). Participants will gain an understanding of the psychodynamic concepts of Primary Task and Primary Risk, the collective processing of social anxieties, large group dynamics, and the formation of role identities and behavioral patterns in organizations. Participants will also explore how classic research methodologies in social sciences can be combined with depth-hermeneutic analysis.

Please contact us if you have questions regarding the workshop:  Jens Preil and Øyvind R. Haugen
Bio links: Jens Preil and  Øyvind Haugen

Susan Long, PhD
Socioanalytic Methods and the Transforming Experience Framework (Two days: Monday and Tuesday)

This workshop introduces the Transforming Experience Framework and works directly with socioanalytic methods. It is highly relevant to both research and consultancy in systems psychoanalytic endeavours. Each of the methods accesses the associative unconscious in different ways. They help bring hidden dynamics to the surface for people to see how they influence, aid or inhibit their activities. Excitingly, they can show what we know at some level yet have not been able to use. And, because the methods explore social systems, they can contribute to new collaborative endeavours for thinking the future.

Participants will work with chosen socioanalytic methods in the workshop and have the opportunity to apply learning to workplace roles and systems. There will also be the opportunity to explore ways of developing new socioanalytic methods for research and consultancy. For these purposes, participants should bring with them thoughts about workplace issues that might be explored using these methods.

The workshop will be co-facilitated by Susan Long and Rob Ryan. Rob will attend personally and Susan will attend virtually via a zoom link. Susan apologises that for several reasons she is unable to attend but is keen to conduct the workshop in exactly the same way as proposed and looks forward to meeting and working with participants. This is an exciting project for ISPSO given the future of global virtual endeavors in the workplace. There is a lot to learn from the workshop content and its process. Further workshop preparations will be provided to registered participants.

Further workshop preparations will be provided to registered participants.

Intending participants should contact Susan Long for any further details at
Bio links:  Susan Long (NIODA) / Susan Long (linkedin) and Rob Ryan (NIODA website)


Tuesday 25 June

Susan Long, PhD
Socioanalytic Methods and the Transforming Experience Framework (Day two)

Saskia Szepansky, MA 
The Organizational Body (Half Day)

Conflict in organizations are often perceived as situations in which people are stuck. As external consultants, we are expected to help address these complex issues. In this workshop we will explore how awareness of the body can be a source of wisdom for working with polarities/conflict in organizations. Your cases will be our working material. Be sure to bring a case where you are working with polarized conflict in a particular organization. 

As a gestalt therapist and (family) constellation facilitator, I look at groups and organizations as fields in which the whole situation, past, present and future already exist. Which decisions to take and how or in which direction to change, is already known in the field. Our task is to tap into the wisdom of this complex field to determine what to do. In this highly interactive workshop, we will explore your cases to put “constellation work” and gestalt concepts, including the concept of “whole intelligence” to work. You will gain insights on how to make use of the body in conflict situations.

The workshop can accommodate up to 20 participants. Please feel free to contact me for further information at 
Bio link: Saskia Szepansky

Julian Manley, FRSA and Nicola Wreford Howard
Patterns of Connections with Social Dreaming (Full Day)

In this workshop we offer both theory and experiential practice in taking up the role of Social Dreaming (SD) host in a matrix. Our objective is to provide you the underpinning to explore dreams in groups, incorporating SD in your own practice and organization. This workshop is designed for all levels of SD experience, familiarizing first-time participants in the art of hosting a SD matrix and providing experienced SD hosts space to share case studies and reflect on various forms of design and application.

Participants will:

  • • Apply and use Social Dreaming in groups and systems 
  • • Explore the history of Social Dreaming
  • • Understand and use SD terminology
  • • Understand and experience the role of the SD host
  • • Associate to dreams for developing meaning at a group/systems level 
  • • Develop and run a SD dialogue/reflection
  • • Explore and apply data from SD matrices for organizational learning
  • • Share case studies 
  • • Reflect and design SD applications for different settings
  • • Co-create ongoing peer group support and a SD community of practice

Participants will receive email with joining preparation/reflection guidance two weeks prior to the workshop.

Please contact either of us if you would like more information about the workshop: or
Bio links: Julian Manley and Nicola Wreford-Howard

Larry Hirschhorn, PhD and Jim Krantz, PhD
Consulting and Role Taking: A Case Conference (Full Day)

This is a workshop for consultants and managers interested in improving their consulting or management skills by sharing issues and dilemmas associated with a particular case or situation. We will conduct the workshop using the “Balint method,” a four-step process in which: 

• One participant presents a particular consulting or management dilemma which they currently face or have faced in the past;
• The other participants ask the presenter questions of clarification;
• The presenter moves to the side of the room and the participants develop hypotheses about the case issue the presenter faces; and
• The presenter rejoins the group to reflect on what he or she has heard.

Participants should send Larry Hirschhorn a one to two sentence introduction to the case they wish to present, for example, “I have a client who avoids making decisions” or “I need to give my client difficult feedback.” 

Bio links: Larry Hirschhorn & Jim Krantz

Philip Boxer, MBA, PhD
Working with Polarization as a Symptom of Maladaptation (Two days: Tuesday and Wednesday)

This workshop will be about working effectively with(in) maladapted larger systems. The organizations you are working with(in) will be having difficulty adapting to the changes occurring in their environment—from the horizontal effects of things like agile methods, digital platforms, boundary-spanning networks and multi-sided competition. The individuals with whom you are working will be finding themselves being put into polarized positions within larger systems that are preoccupied with process over outcome and that insist on right ways of thinking. You will learn to recognize the existential crises that punctuate the way you engage with these kinds of situations. To do this, we will work experientially with the situations that you bring, using methods that enable you to question your ways of making sense of them. You will learn how to use the concept of dilemmas that underlie these situations and of the glass ceilings and parallel processes with which they are entangled. The main requirement for the situations you bring to the workshop is that you find them puzzling. No pre-reading is required.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please do email me at
Bio link: Philip Boxer 

Wednesday 26 June

Philip Boxer, MBA, PhD
Working with polarization as a symptom of maladaption (Day two)

Pascal Van Loo, MA

Overcoming polarities through applied hybrid systemic thinking and acting as an Organizational Change Manager (Half Day)

Imagine you can work as a change manager in full freedom on a live case. That’s what we will do in this workshop. Expect to learn by doing and by a many examples of organizational change interventions taken from a 3-year engagement as a change manager in a Belgian government agency. This organization changed radically by removing all hierarchy, reinventing a new organizational structure, and translating principles like wholeness, purpose and self-management into daily practice.

After this workshop, you will be able to look at your organization from at least two perspectives, “squared” and “round”. Squared represents structure, command and control and compliance. Round stands for autonomy, dialogue, creativity.

No pre-work needed. Please be ready to step into an active decision-making process. Only your interest in new ways of creating innovative work environments is required.

Please feel free to contact Pascal for further information about the workshop.
Bio link: Pascal Van Loo

Jim Krantz, PhD and Deborah Pascoe, MAppSc
An Exploration of Leadership within the Context of ‘Virtuous Betrayal’  (Full Day)

This workshop focuses on the phenomenon of “virtuous betrayal.” We contend that, if you choose to lead, you will necessarily and unavoidably betray your followers, albeit in the pursuit of a higher purpose or a greater good. Effective leaders must navigate the polarity of maintaining the status quo (a state often desired by followers) and the requirements for change, adaptation and innovation (arising from market conditions and stakeholder/shareholder expectations). In this context, leaders must make decisions that often leave their followers disenfranchised at best or betrayed at worst.

Participants can expect to:

• Understand from a theoretical perspective and lived experience the phenomenon of virtuous betrayal in the context of leadership
• Explore virtuous betrayals through the lens of intent, the continuum of behaviors and the range of impact on leaders and their followers
• Analyze case studies using the Balint group methodology
• Develop strategies to assist leaders in the enactment of virtuous betrayal in order to mitigate unintended/negative consequences on organizational culture.

Participants are encouraged to read Krantz J. (2019) Leadership, Betrayal and Institutional Integrity 

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any aspect of the workshop, please contact Deborah.
Links to bios: Jim Krantz and Deborah Pascoe

Sandra Janoff, PhD
Finding Common Ground Where You Least Expect It: Getting the Whole System in the Room to Tackle Polarizing Problems (Full Day)

This workshop is for people who seek to involve diverse parties in solving strategic organizational or community problems across boundaries of function, sector, hierarchy, education, ethnicity and gender. Sandra will present four key principles that have enabled hundreds of systems around the world to quickly transform their capability for action. Leaders who apply these principles successfully find that “resistance to change” is no longer a roadblock to finding a common ground agenda. This workshop will present four principles for facing complex, polarizing issues with suggested methods for:

• Enabling unified action among diverse parties on difficult social, economic and technical issues;
• Engaging people who have felt alienated from civic discourse to commit to a shared future;
• Fostering creative energy and sustaining innovation; and
• Creating policies and programs with high commitment to implement them.

Participants will experience how large, diverse groups can (1) get a deeper understanding of their capabilities, resources and shared aspirations, (2) create action plans agreed to by all, and (3) take next steps toward the desired future.

Pre-reading, optional:  www.futuresearch.net

Sandra invites requests for more information at
Bio link: Sandra Janoff