Cyber System in the Mind part 2

October 28, 2007

At the New York Regional Meeting of ISPSO on Saturday I shared some thoughts on the Cyber System in the Mind. I’m intrigued as to why there are so few psychodynamic practitioners (particularly those working with organisations) using social media applications to talk about the work. I shared my own experience of being invited to present on this topic (a relatively new one for this organisation) and the levels of anxiety it raised for me. At one stage it looked like the Aer Lingus pilots in Ireland were going to strike and there was a part of me that was almost relieved to have a legitimate excuse to cancel. If I’m honest, I was scared of being attacked, criticised and ridiculed – thinking through my emotional reaction to the invitation (and some subsequent email correspondence) I realised that I was having a similar emotional experience to many of the clients with whom I work. In some cases their fear of an attack on their expertise or artform area etc prevents them from sharing what they know in cyberspace. Sometimes it’s easier and safer to talk to ourselves. But while talking to ourselves has its benefits it is also exclusive…I remember the loneliness and isolation of being out for dinner with friends after a week of working with therapy clients and knowing I couldn’t share what happened to me in the office that week. I’ve learned to trust my emotional reaction to situations because it’s the only thing I have when I’m working with a client. So thinking through all of the above led me to offer three hypotheses and a paradox to my colleagues yesterday:
There is anxiety about succession in psychoanalysis – the new replacing the old
The cyber system in the mind is not a virtual but a hyper-real place – a place of regression – where incestuous desire is potentially realisable.
The silence of psychoanalytic practitioners in cyber space is a defence against the potential murder/death of psychoanalysis from the oedipal attack of the new.
The paradox this raises is then
Creating & telling stories in cyberspace places us on an equal footing with everyone else – we become ‘ordinary’ potentially divested of authority and status – it’s easier to talk to ourselves
The future of a psychoanalytic approach to organising and organisations may rest in how ‘ordinary’ it becomes
Here is the set of slides I used (minus the case study which was only relevant for members of ISPSO).

I’ve put up a page containing links to all of the sites I referenced and have also included a few more for background information – you can access that page by clicking HERE.
I couldn’t find an appropriate place for Rives on the day but somehow he seems so relevant in hindsight!