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WP5: Content Development. STUCKNESS:. A person, a family, or a wider social system enmeshed in a problem in persistent and repetitive ways, despite desire and effort to alter the situation. -- Watzlawick , 1974.

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wp5 content development
WP5: Content Development

Dublin, June, 2013


A person, a family, or a wider social system enmeshed in a problem in persistent and repetitive ways, despite desire and effort to alter the situation.

--Watzlawick, 1974

Dublin, June, 2013


Individuals,families and organisations get stuck because an impasse develops between a conscious desire for change and an unconscious desire to avoid change.

Dublin, June, 2013

organisational psychodynamic theory
Organisational Psychodynamic Theory
  • Organisational Psychodynamic Theory
  • Bion: Organisations are defences against anxiety
  • Loss of boundaries in child/adult development - need for outsider to relate to
  • Provides definition of status: ‘location of ‘me’ in relation to ‘not me’
  • Employing organisation=holding environment
  • Organisations typically work to reduce anxiety by creating a holding environment that is restrictive
  • Members often fear change and obstruct it by ‘mirroring behaviour’
  • Leads to organisational stuckness

KETHEA DEC 2012 Athens/Thessaloniki

splitting in organisations
‘Splitting’ in Organisations



Level Subgroup

Societal Identity



Position or

Opinion Subgroup

EDEN, Oslo, 2013

cardona 1999
Cardona (1999)
  • ‘The team as a sponge’ (1999)
  • Team absorbs central dynamics of client group – often unconsciously
  • ‘Mirroring’ process
  • Example: Cherry House (residential unit for mentally ill)
  • Example: Harbour centre (support for drug users)

EDEN, Oslo, 2013

holding environments
Holding Environments
  • The concept of holding environment evolved from the requirements for optimum support of the human fetus. (Winnicott, 1965; Kaplan, 1978).
  • The group or system attempting to provide a ‘holding environment’ is symbolically faced with the same dilemma as that of a new mother. The group, or system, in order to be receptive to the birth of new ideas and changes that will eventually stimulate growth
  • Individuals in groups and systems will not reveal their inner experiences and covert agendas unless the environment feels like a place safe enough to risk new behavior. To create a holding environment in the work place, group and organizational life must meet the conditions of safety and security

Dublin, June, 2013

holding environments defensive positions
Holding Environments—defensive positions

Melanie Klein (1959) identified two defensive positions or stances which people use that interfere with the expression of their inner experience:

  • The Depressive Position—The Fear of Total IndifferenceIt is difficult to open up one’s inner experience (i.e., to ask for help) when faced with the possibility that no one will even respond.
  • The Paranoid Position—the Fear of Retaliation
    • It is difficult to risk expressing vulnerable inner experiences (i.e., to tell the truth in a controversial situation) when faced with the possibility of being attacked or punished.

Dublin, June, 2013


Senior management



Who is looking after me?



Dublin, June, 2013


the missing pieces
The missing pieces
  • Emotional intelligence
  • A holding environment
  • Reflection and evaluation

EDEN, Oslo, 2013


Emotional wellbeing

Dublin, June, 2013


Emotional wellbeing:

The need in schools






Peer pressure



Work/life balance


Work load

Threats & accusations

Obsessive/compulsive behaviour



Duty of care


Dublin, June, 2013

the iguana platform and tools
The IGUANA Platform and tools

On-line portal and database


Assessment tools


Support Services

Dublin, June, 2013

iguana content
IGUANA Content

User-generated content

Dublin, June, 2013

the courses
The Courses
  • Module 1: developing emotional intelligence (based on CONTOUR EI programme).
  • Module 2: developing effective governance (based on Tavistock P3C/Group Relations programme)
  • Module 3: developing evaluation skills (based on Arcola ‘theory of change’ methodology)
  • Specific content based on results of WP2/3 and profile of pilot

Dublin, June, 2013

the assessment tools
The Assessment Tools
  • Emotional well-being self-assessment tool
  • Individual assessment – simple easy-to-use checklist with rating scales covering: self-esteem; confidence; social interaction; empathy etc.
  • Adapted to three target groups: governors; teachers; students
  • ‘Stuckness’ assessment tool
  • Institutional (organisational) assessment – simple, easy-to-use checklist with rating scales covering: innovation capacity; leadership capacity; self-review capacity; organisational learning capacity
  • Specific content based on results of WP2/3 and profile of pilot

Dublin, June, 2013

  • Relevant content uploaded to portal by partners responsible for co-ordinating pilot sites
  • Learning programmes relevant to the 3 learning modules
  • Examples of good practices

Dublin, June, 2013

user generated content
User-generated content
  • Content developed by users of the IGUANA platform, tools and learning programme
  • Uploaded to database
  • Stories/experiences of IGUANA
  • Examples of use of IGUANA tools
  • Good practice examples

Dublin, June, 2013