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Special Extension Program – Advanced Course in Psychoanalytic Understanding of Work Groups, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership

Special Extension Program - Advanced Course in Psychoanalytic Understanding of Work Groups, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership

Course Coordinator: Kas Tuters

Course Leaders: Howard Book and Barbara Williams

Thursday, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm (sharp): September 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 2017

Fees: Registration Closed

Preregistration is required.

Prerequisite: Participants must have taken the initial course Psychoanalytic Understanding of Work Groups, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership.

Optimal number of participants is 8.

This course offers participants an advanced opportunity to explore unconscious processes in their organizational life. Through a combination of case-study material, related readings of psychoanalytic theory and interactive discussion, participants will experiment with taking up the ‘reflective/interpretative stance’ in their own places of work or on teams. The goal is to broaden their own ‘psychoanalytically-informed consultative contributions’ by enhancing their capacity to think about relevant unconscious workplace issues that may be causally linked to overt yet puzzling workplace difficulties. The outcome of such learning experience is enhancing our capacity to think deeply in the service of identifying, containing and addressing these unconscious issues and by doing so accomplishing our workplace objectives in an effective and collaborative manner.

The primary task of this advanced course is to apply the learning from the initial course Psychoanalytic Understanding of Work Groups, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership. The Advanced course will, specifically, encourage participants to develop their own working framework for entering the organization: reflecting on, identifying, and making sense of these seemingly irrational dynamics. The following step would be offering this ‘Interpretive understanding’ to relevant others in “our work place”, as an intervention, as a meaningful perspective of understanding the “rationale” for such “irrational” behavior. The final step in this consultative cycle would be assessing the effects of their interpretative consultations – in conjunction with other systems interventions – in their own organizations/teams, in maintaining its work on its task in order to better achieve the team’s and the organization’s goals and objectives.

Each session will be divided into two parts: the first hour will be didactic and interactive, and will explore concepts from selected readings. The second part of the evening will be more interactive and experiential and will focus on case-study material from the literature, from participant cases, from opportunities to “shadow” others, and from participants’ own reflections, interpretations and associations, in the ‘here-and-now’ while hearing the presentation, as well as how the group-as-a-whole may re-enact significant aspects from the case being discussed. For this reason, participants are expected to bring in their own organizational, team or leadership dilemmas with which to work.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the course the participants will be able to:

  1. Be able to articulate their own framework for psychoanalytically-informed understanding of and ‘consultation’ to organizational dilemmas.
  2. Make and assess their interpretations in an actual organizational context.
  3. Describe their use of “self-as-container” in transforming “beta elements” into “alpha elements” in the workplace.
Kaspars Tuters

Kaspars Tuters, MD, FRCP(C), Psychoanalyst in Private Practice. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Fellow, British Psychoanalytical Society. Faculty, TPS&I.

Howard Book

Howard Book, MD, FRCP(C), Private Practice in Psychoanalytic Organizational Consulting. Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Guest Faculty, INSEAD School of Management, Fontainebleau, France & Singapore; Past Board Member, International Society for the Study of Organizations; Editorial Board, Journal of Organizational and Social Dynamics. Guest of the TPS.

Barbara Williams

Barbara Williams, EdD, Director of Bureau Kensington, a psychoanalytically oriented organizational consulting practice; holds a Doctorate in Education from University of Toronto; visiting professional at Tavistock Institute, London; Member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, and Organization for Promoting Understanding of Organizations; Guest of the TPS.

The Extension Courses are eligible for Section 1 CME credits.

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2017/2018 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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