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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Improving our practice as consultants and managers: A case conference method

A workshop for consultants and managers interested in improving their consulting or management skills by sharing issues and dilemmas associated with a particular case or situation. We will conduct the workshop using two methodologies, “Balint method,” and “Live Lab.” The Balint method is a four-step process in which:

  • One participant presents a particular consulting or management dilemma which they currently face or have faced in the past.
  • The other participants ask the presenter questions of clarification.
  • The presenter moves to the side of the room and the participants develop hypotheses about the case issue the presenter faces.
  • The presenter rejoins the group to reflect on what he or she has heard.

We anticipate that each case presentation will take between 30 and 45 minutes.

In live lab one participant has a case issue and a second participant agrees to consult to the first “in the round.” The remaining participants observe the consultation process. The workshop facilitators draw attention to how we listen for a client’s actual presenting issue, what emotional truth the client is working to express, and how the consultant can help crystallize that truth in ways that help the client move forward.

The only requirement for attending is that participants send the facilitators a few sentence description of the case issue they would like present in advance of the workshop.

Larry Hirschhorn is a founding principal of CFAR, a management-consulting firm in Philadelphia. He has a PhD in economics from MIT and was on the faculty of the Wharton school, the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding member and past president of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO) and was the co-chair of its 2007 meeting based on the theme, “Meaning and Motivation.” He directs the Dynamics of Consulting Program for experienced consultants and coaches. The program meets in New York City over the course of three modules, each three days in length. Larry consults to executive teams using his group dynamics knowledge to help them make better decisions. He has written five books, among then, The Workplace Within, Reworking Authority, and Managing in the New Team Environment. He won the 2008 Eliot Jaques award from the Society of Consulting Psychology for his article, “The Fall of Howell Raines and the New York Times,” a study in the psychodynamics of leadership.

James Krantz, Ph.D. is a consultant and researcher from New York City. His writing focuses on the unconscious background of work organizations, the impact of emerging trends on management practice, and the socio-psychological implications of new forms of work organization. As a principal of Worklab he consults with organizations on issues of organizational, team, and leadership development. He has been on the faculties of Yale and Wharton, and is past President of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO), Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute, and former Director of the Center for Socio-analytic Studies at IPTAR.