Open Space Technology: Developed by Harrison Owen, and described as the most powerful leadership and meeting approach for the 21st century, Open Space Technology is firmly based on the principles of self-organisation. In an Open Space process, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of importance to them. With groups of any size powerful connections can be created that strengthen learning, responsibility and participation.It works best when the work to be done is complex, the people and ideas involved are diverse, the need for resolution (and potential for conflict) is high, and the time to get it done was yesterday.
Internal Family Systems: was developed by Dick Schwartz. It offers a ‘map’ of human development, combining systems thinking with a theory of multiplicity of personality. It offers a model for understanding ourselves, and a pathway to bring healing and greater harmony internally and externally. Although so far primarily a model used in psychotherapy, it has far wider application and has been effective in conflict resolution, mediation, education and health settings.
Appreciative Inquiry: this focuses on generating and applying knowledge that comes from inquiry into moments of excellence, periods of exceptional competence and performance – times when people felt most alive and energised. Developed by David Cooperrider and colleagues, the approach emphasises collaboration and participation of all voices in the system, approaching change as a journey rather than an event. Learning from what works and gives life is more effective and sustainable than learning from problems and pathologies.
Systemic Constellations: The constellations approach offers an opportunity to explore and illuminate the dynamics of a situation in a new way, creating a ‘living map’ (with people or objects) that allows for new perspectives and new paths to resolution. It dips below the rational, working with deep resonances, and can be powerfully used with family, organisational, community and social systems.
World Café: an innovative yet simple group methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. As a process, the World Café can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims.
Circle Practice: The circle, or council, is an ancient form of meeting that has gathered human beings into respectful conversation for thousands of years. The circle has served as the foundation for many cultures. What transforms a meeting into a circle is the willingness of people to shift from informal socialising or opinionated discussion into a receptive attitude of thoughtful speaking and deep listening and to embody and practice particular structures.
Psychosynthesis: A transpersonal psychology, based on the work of Robert Assagioli, that is concerned with realising individual and collective potential. Psychosynthesis is both a theory and a practice and has been described as “the ongoing process of integrating all the parts, aspects and energies…into a harmonious, powerful whole” (M.Y. Brown). An important aspect of the psychosynthesis approach is about accessing ‘higher energies’, such as imagination, creativity and intuition, to stimulate change and growth.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: a ‘body orientated talking therapy’ developed by Pat Ogden. This approach derives from body psychotherapies, mindfulness practice, attachment theory and neuroscience. It recognises the crucial role of the body and ’embodiment’ and its interrelationship with our emotions and thinking.
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