The Curiosity Drive: Our Need for Inquisitive Thinking

Author(s) : Philip Stokoe

The Curiosity Drive: Our Need for Inquisitive Thinking

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After eighteen frustrating months heading a specialist adolescent unit, Philip Stokoe applied for a training in consultation at the Tavistock Clinic based on the ‘Tavi’ aka ‘group relations’ model. This experience changed his life and, ultimately, led to this book. Embedding the training into his working life, he came to recognise the crucial importance of curiosity to the development of the mind. Alongside love and hate, it is a primary drive inside each of us. Without the desire to ‘know’, human evolution would take a very different path.

Stokoe outlines the work of Freud, Klein, and Bion to provide a firm foundation to his exploration of individual development and how it relates to groups and organisations. He lays bare why so many organisations are dysfunctional, takes an in-depth look at the problems unique to psychoanalytic institutions, and gives clear insight into how groups function as a separate entity to the individuals involved. He also investigates curiosity’s shadow side, detailing the ‘alternative’ processes needed when it becomes a problem.

A truly excellent book for trainees, professionals, and anyone who has ever been frustrated by work!

About the Author(s)

Philip Stokoe, BSc, MSc, CQSW, FInstPsychoanal, is a psychoanalyst (Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis) in private practice working with adults and couples, and an organisational consultant, providing consultation to a wide range of organisations since he qualified in 1983 at the Tavistock Centre. He was Honorary Visiting Professor, Mental Health for three years at City University, where he is helping to set up a radically new way to train mental health nurses based on psychoanalytic principles. He worked as a Consultant Social Worker in the Adult Department of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust between 1994 and 2012, where he was the Clinical Director of the Adult Department from 2007 to 2011. With his wife, Mary Morgan, he has developed a theory about a stage of human development that they call the 'Creative Couple' state of mind. He has a particular interest in human creativity as it relates to the development of the mind and the central role of curiosity and interest. His early experience as an actor has left him with an abiding interest in theatre, art and cinema.

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