Psychoanalytic Essays on Power and Vulnerability

Editor : Halina Brunning

Psychoanalytic Essays on Power and Vulnerability

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : November 2013
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 304
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Organisational Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 32919
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780490847
  • ISBN 10 : 1780490844

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'This fascinating book, the last in a trilogy on psychoanalytic reflections, edited by Halina Brunning, explores power and vulnerability in three related areas: Leadership and Organizations, the Political Arena, and Global Finances. These thirteen essays, with a conclusion to the trilogy written by Jim Krantz, link psychoanalytic concepts with system psychodynamics. This provides a powerful way of analysing and understanding how the inner world of the individual is mobilised in relation to the group, the organisation, society and globally, from the perspective of the close interconnection between power and vulnerability. The papers in this volume describe how power and vulnerability are closely interlinked with infantile omnipotence and helplessness.'

- from the Introduction, by Olya Khaleelee

Reviews and Endorsements

‘At a time when psychoanalysis itself may be seen both as increasingly vulnerable yet residually powerful, this important book breathes new life into the social project of the discipline. We see how power and vulnerability can be fixed polar opposites, how they can swap around, how an external variant of the one may counterpose an internal variant of the other. These complexities are then firmly placed in real world settings by a stellar cast of authors. An unexpected gift of the book is the light shed on how these dynamics play out in individual experience and in human relationships. An inspiring work, above all compassionate and humane in its attitude to the unfixability of these problems.’
—Professor Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex, and author of Politics on the Couch

‘For some, the disastrous effect of the poverty and vulnerability of childhood on adult behaviour has become a truism, but for others it remains a mystery or myth. This collection of essays is a compelling composite linking psychoanalytic concepts and system psychodynamics. The message is clear: psychoanalytic concepts, when intelligently applied, remain relevant to any attempt to understand organisational life or society itself. These essays focus widely, from boardroom to care facilities, and emphasise the destructiveness of power, its roots in individual vulnerability, and the development of destructive defences to deal with it. This collection is essential and absorbing reading, not only for those already working with these ideas, but also for all executives and leaders, whether organisational or political.’
—Dr Stanley Gold, President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations (ISPSO)

‘The book explores the interconnectedness of power and vulnerability from its expression in early mother-child relationships through to its effects in organisational life and in broad societal and global dynamics. The stance is from the systems psychodynamic or socioanalytic perspective: examining the underlying and largely unconscious drivers of overt behaviours. Our learning comes from each of the fascinating chapters as they throw light on how the balance between power and vulnerability is revealed and shifted; held or shattered; with resounding consequences. This focus is much needed and welcomed. The book is an important addition to the libraries of those wanting to understand more about the complexities of organisations and society.’
—Professor Susan Long, management educator, organisational consultant, author of The Perverse Organisation and its Deadly Sins, and editor of Socioanalytic Methods

About the Editor(s)

Halina Brunning is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Organizational Consultant and Executive Coach. She has worked in the British and Polish National Health Services as a psychologist, therapist, manager and consultant and published extensively on clinical and organizational issues Her books include Executive Coaching: Systems-Psychodynamic Perspective and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on a Turbulent World. Halina currently works as a freelance coach and consultant and runs her own international coaching practice in Europe. She is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations, OPUS, Association of Coaching and founder member of the Coaching Psychology Forum.

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