TIHR: Reflective Group for Consultants and Change Agents



Our Approach

Are you looking for a cutting-edge experience that will help with your complex consultative projects where there are issues in how you take up a role as a consultant? Are you interested in working with other advanced practitioners to share your understanding of what is happening between you and your client and identify key learning for future interventions? This consultancy reflective group will provide an opportunity for consultants to explore how to use systems psychodynamics approaches in their practice.

Systems psychodynamics

The necessary skills, methods, aims and working practices of systems psychodynamics approaches of organisational consultancy include: developing the capacity for reflection; understanding the emotional experience of task-related work so that these can be better understood and mastered; examining how individuals and teams debate, communicate and behave, sometimes unconsciously, within the organisation in ways that help or hinder the work of the organisation; paying attention to how the organisation behaves as a whole system in its environment.

Aims of this group

  • To provide opportunities to explore the roles and tasks of organisational and development consultants in their settings
  • To examine how you would take up these roles and tasks within your consultative practice
  • To discuss consultation dilemmas faced by you as an organisational development and change consultant

Who is this group for?

It will be assumed that you already have a background in training and practice as a consultant with organisations. We imagine there could be a variety of roles that you fill in your organization. You may be working in a training and development context in which you provide both formal and informal consultation. You may work in human resources from which you provide change and catalytic process to systems, or you may be self-employed as an organisational and development consultant, coach or mentor. You may have limited opportunities to share your work and dilemmas with other colleagues. Learning will be based on your own practice.

Objective of the Reflective Group for Consultants

The objective of the group is to deepen your skills as an organisational development and change consultant.

The Task

The task of the Reflective Group for Consultants is to provide opportunities for:

  • exploring the roles and tasks of organisational development and change consultants
  • examining how you will take up these roles and tasks within your practice
  • thinking together in a safe space in order to deepen consultation skills
  • encouraging a culture of curiosity and enquiry within the group

The Reflective Group for Consultants will provide opportunities for:

  • bringing aspects of your consultative practice that you are curious about and want new ideas in how to work with those current dilemmas
  • examining the roles you are unwittingly ‘invited into’ by the system and how task-orientated or anti-task they might be
  • problem-solving, planning and collaborating on consultation issues and dilemmas

Reflective Group Design – How we will work

The Reflective Group will start with a 1.5-day residential at the Møller Centre, Cambridge, followed by 6 whole-day meetings at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.

The opening 1.5-day residential will comprise introductions, expectations, setting up the Reflective Group – this will cover agreements on how we will work, the design of the group – practice-based small group sessions and opportunities for sharing and discussing consultancy dilemmas. The 6 whole-day meeting will build on the learning of the opening 1.5-day residential; the focus here will be on sharing current consultation dilemmas. Finally, the concluding whole-day meeting will bring the group to an end.

Building on the Tavistock tradition of self-regulation and semi-autonomous work groups, we intend to design the group to facilitate participants’ involvement in both the presentation and assessment of the material. In order to facilitate the deepening of consultancy skills, the group will build a challenging and supportive culture. The group will be encouraged to reflect on its learning and thereby develop its work.

Participants will be expected to complete a written assignment of 3,000 words outlining their learning and the application of the ideas to their practice.

A CPD Certificate will be awarded to those who complete the written assignment and are able to attend 75% of the scheduled meetings.

Membership: the Reflective Group will have a maximum of 16 participants.

Venue & Dates:

The programme starts with a 1.5-day residential meeting, followed by 6 whole-day meetings – one every two months approximately.

1) Residential 1.5 days at Møller Centre, Cambridge University

  • 21-22 January 2019

2) Non-residential 6 x 1-day meetings at The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations on Thursdays on the following dates in 2019:

  • 21 March
  • 16 May
  • 18 July
  • 19 September
  • 12 December
  • 23 January 2020


If you are interested in applying to join this Reflective Consultancy Group, please contact Rachel Kelly: r.kelly

All applicants will be interviewed telephonically prior to joining. The purpose of this pre-group conversation with one of the group facilitators is for them to hear more about you; for you to hear more about the group, and together to decide whether this is the right group for you at this time.

You can also apply here.


£3,900 (+ VAT) plus the delegate package of £260 (+ VAT) for the residential.
A non-refundable deposit of £325 (+ VAT) is required on submission of application.

Please see Terms and Conditions.


Dr David Lawlor, PhD, MSc, Dip. Appl. Beh, Sc., CQSW
Professional Partner, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.

Dr Mannie Sher, PhD, FBAP, TQAP, AAPSW, BA (Hons)
Principal Consultant/Researcher, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.