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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Telling Them What They Know: Organizational Change, Defensive Resistance, and the Unthought Known

The author explores the psychological dynamics of feedback to clients by examining the method and processes of organizational diagnosis and change. In so doing, the concept of the unthought known is introduced along with several other psychological concepts to help explain the clients initial response to consultant feedback. In particular, the author submits that it is not so much that clients do not know what consultants tell them at this stage of the process of organizational change as much as it is the case that they had not thought of it. This understanding of the change process and feedback to clients has important implications for working effectively with clients inevitable defensive resistances and anxieties. Two case vignettes are offered as illustrations of defensive resistance and the unthought known in organizational change consultations.