Periphery and Centre

March 30, 2016

I’m looking forward to hosting the European Regional Meeting of the ISPSO at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin this week.  We will have 40 delegates who are interested in the unconscious at work discussing the meeting theme: Working from the periphery, leading from the edge.  The meeting will be a combination of experiential, thinking, talking, reflecting and learning activities designed to surface conscious and unconscious associations with that theme. I am particularly looking forward to the Social Dreaming events at the beginning of the second and third day of the event.  Social Dreaming is a fascinating process in which the focus is on the dream.


Social Dreaming is a way of working with dreams where the focus is on the dream and not the dreamer, where dreams are shared amongst people who come together solely for this purpose. With Social Dreaming, the meaning of a dream is about the broader world in which one lives. In a Social Dreaming event, participants are invited to offer their dreams and, through association, explore the possible social meanings contained within them.

From the meeting documentation:

Ireland is geographically located at the edge of Europe. It faces the Continent, the U.K., and across the Atlantic, North America. Together with other European nations, Ireland has been designated in recent years as occupying a liminal space, defined by economic wealth: Ireland is at the “periphery” in a Europe fragmented between centre and edge.

The ISPSO European Regional Meeting 2016 will focus on the tasks of observing from the periphery and leading from the edge. In organisations, it is necessary to focus not only on the central dimensions of authority, boundary, and vision, but also on the viewpoints of participant observers, whether organisational agents or consultants.

Reversing the negative valency of centre and periphery, Ireland’s physical location is articulated as metaphor for a critical consultative capability, offering organisational participants the experience of evenly hovering attention, a dimension of psychodynamic process which must be remembered in an age that fragments centre as positive and edge as negative. In it, we remember the analytic position, however inter-subjective, always observes from the periphery and leads from the edge.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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