Systems Psychodynamics: Innovative Approaches to Change, Whole Systems and Complexity

Author(s) : David Lawlor, Author(s) : Mannie Sher

Systems Psychodynamics: Innovative Approaches to Change, Whole Systems and Complexity

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In the second of this three-volume series, the authors expand on the theory and practice of systems psychodynamics – which integrates psychoanalytic thinking, open systems theory and complexity theory – in its applications to consultancy work in organisations and wider social contexts.

Multidisciplinary and multitheoretical in nature, the systems psychodynamics paradigm develops from the understanding that no single theory or approach explains the complex nature of organisational systems. Replete with explanations of key theories, practical guidance and exercises, this book demonstrates how systems psychodynamics can be used by consultants to plan and put into action organisational changes in four main areas: change planning and management; action research and evaluation; leadership and whole systems; and professional development and next steps. In light of systems psychodynamics, rather than functioning as a leader of change processes, the role of an organisational development consultant is one of providing containment, understanding and facilitation for others to take up their leadership roles responsibly in their change processes.

With a focus on practical application in real situations, this book will be invaluable for psychoanalysts, managers, policymakers, consultants and researchers in a wide range of professional and clinical settings.

About the Author(s)

David Lawlor is professional partner at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, specialising in research and consultancy practice; co-director on Organisational Consultancy: Working with the Dynamics; visiting lecturer at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust; group relations consultant; formerly, head of the Social Work Discipline at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust; and principal consultant at Tavistock Consultancy.

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Mannie Sher is principal social scientist, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations; former director, Group Relations Programme; forme chair, British Association of Psychotherapists; board member, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations (ISPSO); author, The Dynamics of Change: Tavistock Approaches to Improving Social Systems (2013); editor, Dynamics at Boardroom Level: A Tavistock Primer for Leaders, Coaches and Consultants; Lawlor, D. & Sher, M. (2022). An Introduction to Systems Psychodynamics: Consultancy, Research and Training. Routledge.

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