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What lies beyond being 'professional'

The stretch available in everyday practice

Published onAug 31, 2020
What lies beyond being 'professional'

How do people come to take their authority, to exercise responsibility, and to eschew passivity, in every aspect of their work and their lives?

I work as a consultant to organisations and their members, and as a systemic psychotherapist with individuals and groups, but what do I actually do? I encourage and equip people to think throughand to think further about—their experience, when critical moments arise in their lives and their organisations. I do this by getting people to describe in detail what is most to the fore for them in these experiences. The act of doing this within an attentive dialogue, discloses to them the patterns in their thinking, feeling and acting that may lead to more of the same, but that also have the possibility for change.

I work in many different contexts:

  • with managers in financial institutions, in the hi tech, aircraft leasing and pharmaceutical sectors;

  • with managers and staff in the health sector and in child protection, helping them to imagine how they can be more than ‘professional’ without being less than ‘professional’—i.e., how they can bring more of themselves into their roles in ways that enliven their practice and counter the tendencies to desensitization and burnout;

  • with groups of health care professionals who have experienced significant trauma due to child protection issues and, more recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In all of these settings, I am researching into what kind of inquiring and ways of relating to people enables them to imagine themselves being able to think and act afresh, and change their own patterns and those of others.

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