Help us sharing our research, consultation and experiences

Donate Now

The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

London Regional Event, 7 October 2017

Dreaming participants & drawing organisations: free association in research

Publisher Location:

London ISPSO Regional Event 2017

“Dreaming participants & drawing organisations: free association in research"

A one-day workshop offered by the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations

Saturday 7 October 2017, 10am-5pm

Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane
London NW3 5BA


What is research, and what practices are specific to psychoanalytically-informed psycho-social research? How can imagination in research engage with both conscious and unconscious functioning? If research is the exploration of a sharply-defined problem towards drawing reliable conclusions of general validity which can be corroborated by others, how can such a framework be applied to a systems psychodynamic frame of reference in working with individuals, groups and organizations? What tensions can be addressed and which may need to be acknowledged rather than resolved?

This ISPSO regional event will be of interest/benefit to those who have coaching clients, are working with teams, internal consultants working on organisation development projects,
as well as those working in academic and related research fields.

The event offer a whole day workshop consisting in an interactive presentation introducing the overall theme and outlining two approaches to research through dreams and drawings, to be developed through two parallel experiential workshops exploring these interrelated strategies:

  • the use of dreams to enhance reflexivity in a process which illuminates the ‘hidden from view’ dynamics generated within the research process (creating a new lens through which to view the ethnographic data of interviews, observations and groups);
  • the use of drawing as a way to explore dynamic and tacit unconscious communications between group and observer, consultant, or researcher.

After lunch, we will work in small groups to discuss applications of the methods to the participants' work situations, preoccupations, and interests.

Finally, there will be a whole group discussion to appraise the participants' variety of convergent and divergent practices of psycho-social research in the process of understanding the dynamics of groups and organisations.


The event will be chaired by Ben Neal. The presenters are:

Dr Lindsey Nicholls did her PhD at centre for psycho-social studies at UWE. She looked social defences in occupational therapy and followed the research methodology used in the classic Menzies Lyth study of nursing. Lindsey teaches at London South Bank University and is an associate lecturer for the Tavistock D10 course and WPF MA program. Her current research involves socially just pedagogies in higher education and understanding the symbolic value of ‘doing’ and play(fullness) in occupational therapy.

Carlos Sapochnik trained at the Royal College of Art and the Tavistock Clinic, London, where he has been a Visiting Tutor since 2004. He has been a designer, artist, teacher, and currently works with groups and organizations as consultant and supervisor. He is active in group relations conferences in the UK and abroad as staff, associate director and director, and is a PhD candidate at the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths College.

The ISPSO Regional Event will take place at the Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA.
It will start at 10.00 am (registration from 09.30) and end at 17.00.
A vegetarian lunch will be provided.

Bookings are limited to 40 participants

(in GBP)

ISPSO Members £ 120
Non-ISPSO £ 150