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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

AM24-PDW8: Methods and Issues in Psychoanalytic Consulting to Organisations: consideration of consulting practice principles


Professional Development Workshop: PDW 8
Tuesday 2 July 2024
9.15am to 5.45pm EEST

Methods and Issues in Psychoanalytic Consulting to Organisations: consideration of consulting practice principles

James Walker, Pearl Tran, Rob Ryan and Stan Gold

This one-day PDW will present an overview of literature and theory of psychoanalytic based organisatinal consulting. Case vignetes will be used to explore the psychoanalytic orientation in all aspects of consulting practice: from the terms of reference, the engagement with the consultant, approaches to data collection, the analysis, interpretation, and assessment of alternative solutions, and finally to the delivery of consulting results. It is an opportunity for participants from all backgrounds to discuss the application of psychoanalytic insights to organisational consulting.

Much literature in organisational psychoanalytic consulting is writen for the psychoanalytic community with a focus on analytic dynamics such as social defences and characteristics of leadership. The consultiting structure and arrangements for the work are typically not addressed. Terms of reference for consultations that seek only psychoanalytic insight are rare, although the psychoanalytic perspective when integrated into established consulting practice provides a powerful and effective approach to meeting organisational needs.
Literature on the topic will be reviewed together with theory appropriate to each case vignete. Participants will be invited to comment on psychoanalytic issues and methods at each stage of the presented case vignetes, including analysis of board and stakeholder dynamics and the interpretation and value of the projective and other effects of the consultation on the consultants themselves. After the consultant has left the client, the possible effects of the consultation in the immediate and longer term will be addressed.

The PDW will provide didactic and experiential understanding of the applications of psychoanalytic concepts to organisational consulting.

Learning outcome
Participants will refine their capacity to identify, analyse and utilise psychoanalytic dynamics of organisational structure and behaviour to support organisational clients through each phase of consulting engagements.

Target Group
The PDW is appropriate for ISPSO members and others interested in the exploring the application of psychoanalytic principles and methods to organisational consulting.

Working method
Relevant literature and theory will be didactically presented, followed by case vignetes for participants to discuss in break-out groups and in plenary sessions.

Biographical Summaries:

James Walker
is an organisational consultant and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Melbourne Australia. He taught in Australia and then at the University of Southern California medical campus where he was joint recipient of the University’s teaching and research award. He has held appointments at the American University Graduate Business School in Washington D.C, and Georgetown University Medical School. James has provided consultation on resolution of disputes for the World Bank, IMF and numerous organisations. He has over 70 publications and presentations including webinars and conferences on topics related to the clinical and organisational psychology, and education.

Pearl Tran focuses on supporting people in organisations to make lasting changes in their personal and business relationships through psychoanalytic interventions. She integrates decades of corporate and entrepreneurship experience, psychological understanding, and mindful practice. A particular interest is team dynamics,, where teams collectively identify and manage the energy underpinning conflicts so that a culture of care can develop. Pearl is a current Board member of ISPSO.

Rob Ryan is a psychoanalytically-informed organisational consultant, executive coach, facilitator, writer, and director of wisdom+work—a boutique consulting firm based in Melbourne, Australia ( htps:// . He provides consulting services in individual and team leadership development, analytic coaching, strategic thinking, organisation and service reviews, and governance. Rob’s work is informed by his extensive experience in roles including consultant, CEO, educator, board president, regional ISPSO co-convenor, and recent board member and Director of Administration of ISPSO.

Stan Gold was the inaugural research fellow in Child Psychiatry, and Senior Registrar in Psychotherapy at the Cassell Hospital in England. Returning to Australia Stan worked as Associate Psychiatrist Royal Children’s Hospital and senior Consultant Psychiatrist Prince Henry’s hospital Melbourne. He served as Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Centre for Psychodynamic studies, Department of Psychological Medicine Monash University until retiring. Stan has published two books on psychoanalysis topics, and numerous academic papers. He has given many presentations on psychoanalysis at conferences and served as President of ISPSO.