Erikson Institute

Psychodynamic Systems

Published on 
November 2015

This three-lecture course is an introduction to psychodynamic systems theory taught by former Medical Director/CEO and current Senior Consultant to the Erikson Institute for Education and Research Edward R. Shapiro, MD. 

The first lecture focuses on basic principles, beginning with the recognition that the individual is an open system linked to others through the communication of affects, both consciously and unconsciously. The lecture then reviews projective identification, dynamics of the couple, the family and the organization. Dr. Shapiro  offers an outline of an interpretive stance and the potential development of an organizational culture that can provide increased access to understanding and using organizational irrationality. The lecture ends with an example of psychodynamic systems thinking about an organization, focusing on psychoanalytic institutes.

Lectures two and three explore the family as an organization, using excerpts from family and individual treatment to deepen the understanding of organizational task, regression, shared unconscious assumptions, the co-creation of irrational roles and the use of interpretation. Lecture three concludes with excerpts that illustrate the family’s recovery from shared irrationality and the re-establishment of competent organizational functioning.

This three-lecture course can be taken for CE/CME credit on the Online Courses section of the website or can be viewed here in the Resource Center

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