On Becoming An Organisational Psychotherapist
People occasionally ask me what it would take for them to become an organisational psychotherapist. Eager to help, I might jump at the chance to answer the question. And that would be a mistake. How could anyone provide an answer to that question in a way that would be useful? Socrates spent a long life eschewing answers in favour of questions. Socratic questions. Questions intended to help those, that wished it, to know themselves a little better.
How Well Doth Thou Know Thyself?
Even in Ancient Greece, the maxim “Know Thyself” was accepted as long-established wisdom. Plato suggested that understanding oneself would enable thyself to have an understanding of others as a result.
“People make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves.”
~ Socrates, via Plato
For The Love Of It
I choose to describe myself – in part, at least – as an organisational psychotherapist because I see the joy that can follow when organisations become more whole (in a spiritual or community sense of the term). For me, that defines the purpose of organisational psychotherapy. In short, I love what can happen. Might you love it? Or might you find other needs of thyself that a role as an organisational psychotherapist could serve?
Here’s the questions from the Antimatter Transformation Model, recast just slightly in an attempt to pique some curiosity in those interested in the kind of personal transformation I see integral to organisational psychotherapy:
- What would I like to have happen?
- How do I feel about the spiritual and mental health of organisations, and the people in them?
- What are my needs, personally – and in relation to others?
- In what ways do I relate to people and groups presently, and would other ways of relating better help meet my – and their – needs?
- What do I believe about the nature and purpose of communities of work, generally – and would other beliefs serve me better?