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446 books on Amazon on relational practice, but what does it


A Food for Thought session with Karen Izod
Wednesday 6th September 2016

This talk is work in progress: not all slides have been made available, but can be sent upon
request to your feedback is also very welcome
Karen Izod 2016
Supplementary notes to the audio recording

Timing / references in the talk:

8:30: Mindfulness - For a detailed introducLon to the themes of Mind-ful
ConsulLng see Susan Rosina WhiRles introducLon to Mind-ful ConsulLng (2009)
Eds, WhiRle, S.R & Izod, K. Karnac Books: London.
14.30: Reference to slide 5 - Miller, E.J. (1997) EecLng OrganisaLonal Change
in Large Complex Systems: a collaboraLve consultancy approach in Eds.
Neumann, J.E., Kellner, K. and Dawson-Shepherd, A. Routledge: London
16.22: People who felt that ins=ncts and drives were not innate Erratum:
Fairbairn did not dispute drive as innate, but he saw it as object-seeking as a
drive for relaLonship, rather than pleasure seeking through the libido. Fairbairn,
W.R.D. (1952) PsychoanalyLc Stuides of the Personality, Tavistock PublicaLons:
London/New York
23:40: Work Study group in the 1980s... - The work study group at the
Tavistock Clinic was led by Evelyn Cleavely. John Bowlby had reLred at this Lme,
and was an occasional contributor to the Advanced Social Work Programme.
Further informa=on on the relaLonal aspects of idenLty, representaLon,
regulaLon, revelaLon can be found in Resource-ful ConsulLng, Izod, K, &
WhiRle, S.R (2014) Karnac Books: London
Relational Practice what does it mean?

RelaLonal tending to be used in generalised way to describe

pracLces that put people or relaLonships rst, or are organised
around relaLonship mainly the talking pracLces, counselling,
psychotherapy, coaching and supervision - but not exclusively so

The RelaLonal Turn

First mooted 1980s/90s though evident much earlier in social
sciences - espouses commonaliLes of pracLce between dierent
professional acLviLes, economics, architecture, social sciences
pedagogy, coaching, consulLng
A focus on processes rather than individual behaviours
Post modern/post structural concepts on the nature of the
individual in relaLon to society
Emphasises aspect of co-crea=on, shared meaning making,
mul=plici=es of truths and plurali=es of voices
What do I mean by relational terrain

RelaLonal: having the funcLon of relaLng one thing to

another in a search for meaning travelling within and
between systems, together with the act of telling relaLng,
communicaLng is a communicaLon

Terrain is: a morphology sense of movement and shijing

ground, an inner landscape with varying organisaLons of
structure, forms, textures and a constructed landscape
domains of knowledge, aspects of experience have been
here before!

Together an assemblage of theories, perspecLves, and

pracLces for understanding, parLcipaLng and intervening in
group and organisaLonal life
Relational Terrain located in systems-psychodynamics
Components of the Relational Terrain

Rela=onal Group Processes
Epochal perspecLves on
emphasis on dual operaLonal and
organisaLonal systems, knowledge
relaLonal group tasks together with
and experience. Meaning derived
condiLons needed for work
from context: Lme and place
Rela=onal Core:
NegoLaLng and re-
negoLaLng meaning:
to explore, make and
sustain connecLon
Social Theories of Development implicaLons for taking up roles
emphasis on aRachment theories, (organisaLonal player/agent of and or
and processes of recogniLon, consultant to change) with emphasis
representaLon and regulaLon of on Presence and idenLty,
emoLons dierenLaLon and mediaLng inner/
outer worlds
Relational core:

At the centre of the RelaLonal Terrain is an intenLon: to promote

condiLons whereby human systems can construct, nego,ate and
renego,ate meaning:
Requires the capacity to
explore, make and sustain connecLons between phenomena
emerging in the act of relaLng - which arise in interplay between
inner and outer worlds
Reliant on capacity to:
Take up a subject to subject relatedness
An awareness of self-in-process
Work away at emoLons which hold me/us to parLcular posiLons
(polarising, essenLalising)

These features permeate each of the components of the RelaLonal

Terrain ..
theories of
Roles development RelaLonal

Core of