From Brexit to this year’s disturbing war in Ukraine and the overall deepening of political divides around the world, events in the last few years point to people feeling marginalised, even in countries that assert themselves as beacons of liberal democracy. The feeling of powerlessness arises as well in our work spaces and individual lives. Issues of privilege and power seem frequently confusing: they are either over-emphasised or totally ignored.
Understanding power, its impact and how it manifests, feels more urgent than ever. It is no longer an option to assume we live in a world where power dynamics are simple and straightforward – they are constantly in play. Power is both explicitly and implicitly present in our personal lives, work and societies. It is our ethical responsibility to illuminate and bring it to awareness as enablers of presence and dialogue.
In this talk, building on both her clinical and organisational experience, Marie-Anne put forward an understanding of power as not just coercive but as a structuring aspect of the field. She addressed a theme that she has explored in her writing – namely that power moderates the field. She shared her thoughts, from the point of view of a practitioner, on how the work of Kurt Lewin and other field theorists can be a support to our work both clinically and organisationally.
In the afternoon, Marie-Anne facilitated an experiential exploration of issues raised in the lecture.
About Marie-Anne Chidiac
Marie-Anne is a Lebanese-British UKCP-registered psychotherapist, organisational consultant, coach, trainer and supervisor. Alongside her work with individuals in clinical practice, she is an experienced OD practitioner. She supports teams and organisations internationally, both in the public and private sectors. Marie-Anne is one of the UK’s leading trainers in Organisational Gestalt and the author of “Relational Organisational Gestalt: An Emergent Approach to Organisational Development”. She is a co-founder of ‘Relational Change’, an organisation that works to develop relational skills in individuals, teams, and organisations. She is an Accredited Coach and Associate of Ashridge Business School.
Originally from the Lebanon, Marie-Anne came to the UK in her early twenties having experienced war, conflicts and power struggles in varying contexts (politically, socially, economically). She has explored the topic of presence and power in her Gestalt writing. She is particularly interested in how power and powerlessness manifest socially through context and culture and not only through the more visible coercive or violent practices.
You can listen to a recording of the lecture here. Because of technical issues with the original lecture recording, this is actually a recording Marie-Anne kindly made afterwards.
Marie-Anne concluded her lecture by playing a recording of the song Nina Cried Power. The song and words are available below.
This lecture will be the subject of a published paper in due course, and listeners should appreciate that this is a pre-publication version of what will appear in that paper.
« 2021: Jocelyn Chaplin “Equalising Rhythms – The Spirit Within Matter”