Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Towards depth visioning: A depth psychological investigation of group visioning methods
by Sullivan, Raymond Robert, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 549; 3629518
Abstract (Summary)

This hermeneutic study starts with a critical review of three formal approaches to group visioning: future search, appreciative inquiry (AI), and scenario planning. It then establishes a foundation for an archetypal psychological approach to such visioning. The research reviews future search, AI, and scenario planning from a depth psychological perspective and against two sets of vital considerations. The first set considers the participants' psychological relationship to the future and the second their psychological relationship to their groups.

Future search and AI arose in the field of organizational development; scenario planning first as a military strategy. All three currently appear as interventions for both organizations and communities. However, only future search and scenario planning explicitly recognize the unconscious, and none account for the participants' temporal biases. Zimbardo and Boyd (2008) would describe these approaches as made by futures for futures. They work best when participants already have a future orientation. Furthermore, the approaches vary in the ways they account for Bion's (1961) observation that humans are group animals who are not only in conflict with the group, but also with themselves for being group animals.

The second part of this study establishes a foundation for an approach to group visioning based on archetypal psychology. The approach begins by identifying the group's dominant archetypes, the archetypes' goals, and the archetypal field present in the external environment. It then links the group's vision to the aims of the group's dominant archetypes.

This study contributes to the fields of depth psychology, liberation psychology, and organizational and community development. Despite Freud's (1922/1955) and Jung's (1935/1966) negative opinions of groups and organizations, individuals are always involved with a group. This research addresses this fact and its relationship to liberation psychology, which aims to empower the excluded voices on the social margins (Watkins & Shulman, 2008). Some organizational researchers already view organizations from a depth psychological perspective (Corlett & Pearson, 2003). However, none ties the archetypes to the vision of the organization. This work clearly identifies and examines this vital link.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Coppin, Joe
Commitee: Keleman, Steve, King, Cynthia
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Appreciative inquiry, Depth psychology, Future search, Group dynamics, Scenario planning
Publication Number: 3629518
ISBN: 9781321065428
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