William F. Cornell, M.A., TSTA (Psychotherapy)
Creating Community in the Face of Economic and Racial Distress: When life does not support an “I’m OK-You’re OK” position
The vast majority of people living on the planet today do not live under conditions that support an “I’m OK-You’re OK” life position.
Eric Berne wrote about life positions on one, and only one time, in 1962, as a preliminary and unfinished effort to classify the underlying motivations for games. The concept of life positions was later taken up by Thomas Harris, Frank Ernst, and Claude Steiner and was gradually transformed into a slogan of ideals and values within Transactional Analysis.
When does the idealization of “I’m OK/You’re OK” form a kind of tyranny and a turning away from the ugliness and despair in the lives of many? How do we as counselors, therapists, educators and consultants work with individuals and social groups whose life circumstances foster a “not-OK” position? How do we communicate respect and acceptance of a “not-OK” position? How do we as professionals bring (or not bring) this alleged TA ideal into our work? We will take time to explore and critically examine the relevance of “I’m OK/You’re OK” in our work.
For the past 15 years I have been living in a marginalized, racially diverse (though predominantly African-American), economically distressed community. I have been a member of the community group devoted to the safety and revitalization of the neighborhood, to which the building of affordable housing has been a key. It is the responsibility of this board to identify and represent the priorities of the residents and oversee the paid staff. For the past several years I have served as president of the board. This workshop will be based on what I have learned through my work with my community. We will focus on the complexities of living in a racially diverse and economically distressed neighborhood, the resistances to change, the forces of overt and covert racism, and the efforts to support agency, in contrast to “OKness”. Aspects of cultural scripting that foster racism and classism will be examined. Active participation will be encouraged through small group and full group discussions.
William F. Cornell, M.A., TSTA-P, studied behavioral psychology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He followed his graduate studies with training in transactional analysis and body-centered psychotherapy. Since those trainings, Bill has studied with several mentors and consultants within psychoanalytic perspectives. He introduced and edited The Healer’s Bent: Solitude and dialogue in the clinical encounter, the collected papers of James T. McLaughlin and Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis, the collected papers of Warren Poland. A co-editor of the Transactional Analysis Journal, Bill is the author of Explorations in Transactional Analysis: The Meech Lake Papers, Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: In the expressive language of the living (Routledge), Self-Examination in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: Countertransference and subjectivity in clinical practice (Routledge), At the Interface of Transactional Analysis, Psychoanalysis, and Body Psychotherapy: Theoretical and clinical perspectives (Routledge)), Une Vie Pour Etre Soi (Payot), and a co-author and editor Into TA: A comprehensive textbook (Karnac), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of the Eric Berne Memorial Award and the European Association for Transactional Analysis Gold Medal, in recognition of his writing.
Drs Sari van Poelje
Strategic Design for TA Innovation: Finding new ways to heal
Let’s kick start innovation of TA applications using the principles of design thinking!
I became interested in design thinking several years ago. My consultancy work is focused mainly on helping businesses innovate their business practices as quickly as they innovate their products. I have clients all over the world, mainly multinationals, family businesses, and start-ups that want to change their leadership, customer relationships, innovation processes, and cooperation styles to suit the world today.
I was looking for a way to free up creativity and innovative thinking in a world dominated by rationality and linear thinking. In TA terms I work a lot with an excess of Adult, Normative Parent, and Adapted Child energy. But to become innovative, businesses have to tap into Free Child and Rebellious Child thinking, framed by Nurturing Parent perspectives on their customers.
Design thinking comes from a tradition of industrial design in the 1950s, which has been generalized to social issues in the last ten years. Within design thinking, we use an iterative client-focused approach to find solutions for ambiguous issues. Our starting point is that we have to deeply understand our customers to be able to find the real problem and innovative solutions. It is human-centered, playful, visual, focused on learning by doing and wicked problem solving. A bit like TA.
Within this workshop we will use the design thinking process to create new TA products and services for our customers. By the end of the institute the participants will understand design thinking, will have applied the principles to better understand TA clients, and will use client profiling to create new innovative products and services within TA.
The workshop is experiential, framed by plenary theory discussions. The workshop will be given in English.
Drs Sari van Poelje is an international consultant, executive coach, and trainer. With 33 years experience coaching and consulting with managers and directors in a multinational business setting, she has lent her skills to such diverse companies as IFF, BMW, Claas, Carmeuse, ING, Prezi and GE. She has also fulfilled senior director roles in various international corporations such as KLM, EMI Music, ASML and Shell.
She is the managing director of INTACT, international training, coaching and consultancy. With offices in Budapest and Goteborg, and associated offices in Antwerp, Milan, Lyon and Paris, the company offers executive coaching, management consultancy and training programs for coaches, consultants and leaders. For more information, visit www.sarivanpoelje.com. For more information on her training programs go to: www.intact1.com
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