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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Sep 15, 2019

“In this kind of unconscious process particularly  I think what happens is that the groups use unconscious defense mechanisms, such as denial, splitting, idealization or repression, and  we need to help the manager and the group  tolerate the anxiety and face the facts.”


Description: Steven Rolfe welcomes Dr. Anna Krantz. Anna is a psychoanalyst and a psychologist in private practice in Stockholm Sweden. She began her work consulting to organizations in the late 1990s and early 2000s when, after working to improve selection and hiring processes in organizations, she introduced employee assistance programs and critical incident management to the Swedish market. Her more recent experience, which we will hear more about presently, is in conjunction with Saint Luke’s in Stockholm where her interest is in helping leaders and teams function more productively and effectively. She advocates paying close attention to unacknowledged and unconscious dynamic factors in groups that interfere with the groups’ optimal functioning.


Key takeaways:

[3:13] Anna talks about her practice.

[4:41] How Anna became interested in organizational work.

[7:04] The story of Saint Luke’s non-profit organization.

[8:19] The organization’s profile.

[9:35] The kinds of organizations that Dr. Anna Krantz works with and how she does it.

[10:49] The importance of working along with a coworker.

[11:47] The nuances of working together with non-analyst consultants and with an organization.

[12:29]  How groups work on an unconscious level.

[14:21] Different unconscious processes in groups.

[15:37] Including the feedback from someone outside the process.

[17:49] Getting to the core of the problems in an organization.

[18:30] Case example.

[23:41] The importance of psychological safety in workgroups.

[26:24] Groups perform better under psychological safety.

[27:57] Future trends for consulting work from an analytic perspective:  Neuro-Psychoanalysis.

[30:19] Becoming engaged in the biological reality.


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch


Recommended Readings:

Bion, Wilfred. R. 1961. Experiences in groups, Tavistock Publications Limited


Edmondson, Amy C. 2018. The fearless organization: Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation and growth,


Feldman Barrett, Lisa. 2017. How emotions are made: The secret life of the brain, Houghton Mifflin


Gabriel, Yannis. 2016.Organizations in Depth, Sage Publications, Ltd.


Parker Follett, Mary. 2013. Freedom and Co-ordination: Lectures in Business Organization (1926-1933), Routledge


Solms, Mark 2015. The feeling brain: Selected papers on Neuropsychoanalysis< Karnac Books, Ltd.