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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

AM24-PDW11: Psychoanalytic perspectives on working in languages other than our mother tongue


Professional Development Workshop: PDW 11
Tuesday 2 July 2024
2.30pm to 5:45pm EEST

Psychoanalytic perspectives on working in languages other than our mother tongue.

Facilitators: Dragana Vranješ, James Krantz, Judit Gáspár and Iwona Soltysinska


This workshop will explore psychoanalytical perspectives on what goes on behind the scene in the subconscious when we work in languages and cultures other than our own. It aims to address the importance of paying attention to feelings, fantasies, dreams, anxieties, as well as transgenerational traumas and psychological defences of individuals, groups and institutions that are reflected in cultural codes and common themes, often expressed in the form of customs, rituals and language itself.

As a result of the workshop, participants will be able to analyse and learn from their own feelings, fantasies and dreams and distinguish them from conscious and subconscious factors that stem from differences in their own and other languages and cultures. Understand and analyse countertransference reactions based on languages and cultures differences and use them in their work to better understand the clients within their own culture and language environment.

This is a half-day workshop. It will use an interactive teaching method with a presentation and discussions.
The workshop will be of benefit to consultants, coaches, managers and everyone who works in non-native languages and cultures.

Preliminary workshop design:

1. Introduction (20 minutes) – The workshop will begin with a brief introduction of the facilitators and participants and a short presentation of the problems and factors effecting work in different languages and cultures. This brief introduction will provide a context for the discussions that are to follow.

2. Roundtable discussions (90 minutes) – Participants will have the opportunity to share, reflect and discuss their cases and situations related to their experiences of working in non-native languages.

3. Break (20 minutes)

4. Final summary (20 minutes) - The workshop will conclude with a summary of key points raised during the discussions. This will provide a space for participants to share what they have learned.

Biographical Summary:

Dragana Vranješ is business coach, organisational consultant and psychoanalytical psychotherapist. Dragana works in Serbian, Russian and English languages. She is a member of the ISPSO, the OPUS and member and a certified business coach from the Association of Psychoanalytic Coaching and Business Consulting (APCBC), Moscow, Russia. She was a Board member of APCBC organising seminars and workshops from 2019-2022. Dragana was a PDW chair of the ISPSO AM 2022 and a PDW selection committee member in 2024. She has MBA and holds MA in psychology and a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology, clinical psychoanalysis as well as numerous courses on systems psychodynamics.

James Krantz, Ph.D. is an organizational consultant and researcher from New York City. His interests center on the unconscious background to work and organizational life; on how new forms of work organization are affecting the exercise of leadership & authority; and the impact of the “virtual self in role” on work. James is a principal of Worklab, a consulting firm focusing on strategy implementation and leadership development. He is past president of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO), and has taught about the history, theory, and use of systems psychodynamics in a wide range of universities and programs.

Judit Gáspár, PhD. is associate professor and Head of the Decision Sciences Department at the Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. Her research interest focusses on decision-making, strategy-as-practice, foresight, participatory and reflexive methodologies. Judit is involved in research programmes e.g. Community Engaged Research and Learning; Participatory sociolinguistics; Ecological Horizon Scanning. She is a founding member of Corvinus Science Shop to support service learning and community-based research activities. She is a trained facilitator of Social Dreaming and Social Photo Matrix methodologies.