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What is Consulting Psychology

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What is Consulting Psychology

  1. 1. Applying Psychological Practice to Organizations and Businesses What is Consulting Psychology?
  2. 2. I. Background II. Society of Consulting Psychology III. Case Presentation IV. Questions about the World of Business Agenda
  3. 3. • Consulting psychology, a practice that focuses on consultation to, with, or for individuals and organizations at individual, group, and organizational/systemwide levels rooted in multiple areas of substantive expertise. • as the function of applying and extending the special knowledge of a psychologist, through the process of consultation, to problems involving human behavior in various areas. • shall be defined as a psychologist who provides specialized technical assistance to individuals or organizations in regard to the psychological aspects of their work. • Such assistance is advisory in nature and the consultant has no direct responsibility for its acceptance. • Consulting psychologists may have as clients individuals, institutions, agencies, corporations or other kinds of organizations. What is Consulting Psychology? 1. O’Roark, A. M. (2007). Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Levels in Consulting Psychology/Organizational Consulting Psychology.
  4. 4. • Consulting psychologists, both organizational and topical specialists, are practitioners of applied psychology.2 • Consulting practitioners work as scientist-practitioners, methodically planning future interventions based on what was beneficial in the past for clients in comparable circumstances.2 Who are Consulting Psychologists? 1. O’Roark, A. M. (2007). Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Levels in Consulting Psychology/Organizational Consulting Psychology.
  5. 5. What Do Consulting Psychologists Need to Learn? 2. O'Roark, A. M. (2007). The best of consulting psychology 1900-2000: Insider perspectives. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(3), 189.
  6. 6. • The common denominator among respondents is dedication to excellence in consulting psychology and a need for a knowledge base.1 • Differences in specializations are reflected in references to distinctly different researchers, theories, and methodologies.1 • Many who had greatest impact on their consulting practice were senior colleagues who took personal interest in their education and professional progress. The influence of personal mentoring was rated as more meaningful and enduring than reading articles or books. 1 How Consulting Psychologists are similar to… 1. O'Roark, A. M. (2007). The best of consulting psychology 1900-2000: Insider perspectives. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(3), 189.
  7. 7. How Do Consulting Psychologists Train?
  8. 8. • Levinson’s (1972) Organization Diagnosis was named most often as the most influential writing.2 • Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research • Harvard Business Review • Wall Street Journal What Consulting Psychologist read? 2. O'Roark, A. M. (2007). The best of consulting psychology 1900-2000: Insider perspectives. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(3), 189.
  9. 9. • Primarily Individual-Level Core Competencies • Primarily Group-Level Core Competencies • Primarily Organizational/Systemic-Level Core Competencies Levels of Competencies 2. O'Roark, A. M. (2007). The best of consulting psychology 1900-2000: Insider perspectives. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(3), 189.
  10. 10. I. Society of Consulting Psychology II. Case Presentation III. Questions about the World of Business Agenda
  11. 11. • The Society was founded as an elite membership group consisting only of those who had achieved fellowship status (the highest membership category) in the APA and who were therefore qualified to serve as psychological examiners or consultants. As is typical in growing professional organizations, there were struggles among the members in defining the organizational identity and membership criteria. The Society was eventually disbanded for about 20 years. Following World War II, in 1946, when APA re-organized, Division 13 was later established as one of 19 charter divisions in APA in 1946.3 Society of Consulting Psychology 3. Division History. (n.d.). APA Divisions. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from http://www.apadivisions.org/division- 13/about/history/index.aspx
  12. 12. • In 2004, Division 13 of the American Psychological Association (APA) changed its formal title to the Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP). The Society remains Division 13 of APA; thus both names (SCP and Division 13) are used interchangeably. 3 • The Society of Consulting Psychology is managed as a volunteer organization and relies on its members to accomplish its mission. 3 Society of Consulting Psychology 3. Division History. (n.d.). APA Divisions. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from http://www.apadivisions.org/division- 13/about/history/index.aspx
  13. 13. I. Society of Consulting Psychology II. Case Presentation III. Questions about the World of Business Agenda
  14. 14. The director of human resources of a high tech company in a Chicago suburb called for consultation on behalf of her chief executive. She said that he was concerned because their recent turnover of upper middle management and officers was 35% higher than their norm. The three consultants met with Mr. G, the CEO, at their corporate headquarters. Mr. G was a tall, athletically built casually dressed 55 year old man. The client stated “I am an aggressive and abrasive person. I am an entrepreneur. I have been diagnosed as manic-depressive and, up till five years ago, took lithium. I have been seeing a psychiatrist, and I am not taking any medication now.” Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  15. 15. He elaborated. “My family made money illegally. I got in trouble as a kid. In those days, I didn’t know what the truth was, but later found people along the way that I admired and changed my mind.” “Two years ago, I separated from my wife. Now I want to know the truth about what is going on in my company.” Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  16. 16. Individual Interview: When Mr. G himself was scheduled for an individual interview with the senior consultant; he sent a message through his secretary that he was tied up and did not know when he would be available. The secretary mentioned as an aside that Mr. G did not like the idea of spending two hours in an interview. Also, by this time, Mr. G had abruptly called his top officers out of their interviews with the consultants without explanation. The senior consultant ask Mr. G’s secretary to him at his meeting. Mr. G was incensed that the consultant had called and said, “Listen, my friend, I have a right to change the time when I want to. I am speaking to someone about an acquisition, and I will be tied up for an hour or so.” The senior consultant and Mr. G scheduled a meeting for the next day at 11:00 am. Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  17. 17. Individual Interview: Mr. G arrived exactly at 11:00 am with eyes blazing. His first remark was, “You’ve got one hell of a nerve interrupting me. I was arranging to acquire this company in the south.” The senior consultant responded that they had an appointment and work to do. Mr. G replied. “Don’t give me that B.S. – all right now, come into the office. Don’t worry, you’ll get paid for your time. I resent intensely being interrupted.” Case Presentation 3. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  18. 18. Individual Interview: Mr. G then started to ramble about his company’s problems: 1. Because of the growth of the company, it is no longer like a family 2. Some of his people are afraid of him, he does not know why. 3. He did not want his company to grow bigger as long as people were troubled and problems were unresolved. 4. “I want a fit between myself and the staff and the organization.” 5. “I want to choose people who are loyal. How can we do that?” Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  19. 19. Collateral Information: One of his longtime subordinates said “The whole organization is setup like a garage. As a manager, you end up doing a lot of the jobs yourself because you can’t trust others to get them done. A suggestion to another department is taken as a criticism,.” Another interviewee stated, “This is an aggressive, salesman type of organization. Mr. G is not willing to accept the fact he is not a manager. He is task oriented, not goal oriented. “ “He has a conflict understanding the difference between profitability and bigness. He thinks so fast, planning strategy, he does not finishes before he reaches for something else.” Case Presentation 3. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  20. 20. Collateral Information: “He dips into every level of operations within the company. He fires people, even groups of people, arbitrarily.” “He has too many people reporting to him. Something is wrong in his ability to trust. He is unable to delegate.” “He has a group of star performers. Through superhuman effort they perform on demand, but organizationally they are disasters.” “When he gets upset, he takes no prisoners. At a meeting, he can go from being the kindest person to being the cruelest. He can call people names and fire them on the spot.” Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  21. 21. Case Summary I: The Chief Executive of a high-tech company sought consultation because of high turnover in managerial ranks and low morale. Interviews with a sample of employees and managers disclosed that his imaginative technical innovations were coupled with an intrusive, impulsive, demeaning, and chaotic leadership style. An important differential diagnostic problem was to determine whether he was truly in the manic phase of a manic-depressive cycle, or a narcisstic personality with borderline features. Case Presentation 3. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  22. 22. Case Conceptualization: The consultants hypothesized that they should maintain ego boundaries with Mr. G in a supportive context and see his paranoid features as typical of those more likely to be found in a narcissistic character disorder. Despite the evidence for sadistic control and for the projection of rage, there was evidence of some soft sentimental, and tender feelings, as reflected in his yearning for a family. His insistence on high standards of production, on orderliness, precision, clarity, and control are consistent with the product and the need to maintain exacting production and clean work areas. That these obsessive compulsive features reflect severe unresolved sadism and controlling, vengeful behavior that drives people away seemed to be secondary to the basic narcissism. Case Presentation 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  23. 23. Case Summary II: Determining the latter to be the case, the consultants took a firm stand, refusing to be intimidated by him, and recommended a course of action that supported his cognitive recognition of the rational reasons for his behavior. An alternative (recommendation was made) that would sustain his capacity and his narcissistic gratification. Case Presentation 3. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research.
  24. 24. I. Society of Consulting Psychology II. Case Presentation III. Questions about the World of Business Agenda
  25. 25. 1. O’Roark, A. M. (2007). Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Levels in Consulting Psychology/Organizational Consulting Psychology. 2. O'Roark, A. M. (2007). The best of consulting psychology 1900-2000: Insider perspectives. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59(3), 189. 3. Division History. (n.d.). APA Divisions. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from http://www.apadivisions.org/division-13/about/history/index.aspx. 4. Levinson, H., Sabbath, J., & Connor, J. (1992). Bearding the lion that roared: A case study in organizational consultation. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research; Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research References

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