The healthy and the unhealthy organization: how can we help teams to remain effective?
This chapter describes the factors that are essential to the healthy functioning of an organization, applying psychoanalytic ideas to clinical work, teams, organizations and culture. It explores the sorts of things that inhibit healthy functioning, particularly in forensic and mental health organizations. The chapter also describes some interventions that can be used to help organizations in trouble, including: consultancy to management, reflective practice groups and staff support groups, clinical consultancy to teams, and education. Human beings have designed organizations to carry out functions on behalf of others. Clinical consultation is a focused intervention in which the individual members of the team bring their clinical work for an in depth discussion. There is a generic tendency to avoid anxiety, which is often accompanied by organizational structures that serve to keep anxiety at bay. Anxiety is the emotional accompaniment to the unconscious transfer of information from client to team.