Depth Leadership Skills

22nd to the 26th May 2017, 6th to the 10th November 2017
Course cost: R9120 per person including VAT, course textbook and refreshments

 To book: Contact Mariette on, or on 0235411114


This new course is for leaders who want to integrate a depth approach into their leadership work. Such an approach is based on the idea that human behaviour is determined not only by conscious thought and feeling, but also by a wellspring of thoughts, feelings and potential stored in the unconscious mind.  This course offers a detailed introduction to the application of depth psychology principles and practices to leadership. Anyone who leads a group (whether a formal organisational group or even an informal social group) will benefit as a participant.  Depth psychology solves chronic problems and helps to unleash the full potential of individuals and groups.  The course assists leaders in their processes of becoming “wise” counsellors or “elders”, by developing their ability to employ an ethical attitude which takes into account the wellbeing of all parts of the system, including the unspoken or unconscious parts.   In particular, this course helps leaders to address some of the following persistent problems in groups and organisations:

  • Consistent failure to achieve objectives
  • Power plays in groups
  • Perpetual unhealthy team relationships
  • Chronic absenteeism, low morale and poor performance
  • Repeated incidents that indicate an intolerance for diversity, manifesting as racism, sexism or other types of discrimination
  • Gossip and other undermining behaviours in teams
  • A lack of buy-in for change processes
  • Persistent people difficulties after mergers and acquisitions
  • Recurrent conflict between individuals or groups
  • Untapped creative potential

By the end of this course, the participant will have acquired an overview of global leadership trends and an overview of the “depth” leadership approach which attends to the human individual and collective psyche, as well as the wellbeing of the environment. In addition, the course offers a comprehensive introduction to depth leadership theory and practice in four related areas:

  1. Self management and intrapersonal depth leadership theory and practice to ensure the full development of the leader’s psyche.
  2. Interpersonal and relationship depth leadership theory and practice to ensure sound relationships.
  3. Group depth leadership theory and practice to help create, manage and when necessary, effectively intervene in group psychodynamic processes.
  4. Systemic depth leadership theory and practice to ensure that there is ecologically sound integration with the larger system.

The course topics are divided into theory and practice and are listed below:

Topics Theory Practice
Leadership trends Overview of global leadership trendsSchools of psychology and their place in current leadership thinkingEmerging versus planned organisational change processes Selecting your leadership approachInvestigating and consolidating your leadership assumptionsEstablishing your leadership identity
The discipline of depth psychology Key principles of “depth” psychologyA brief history of depth psychologyKey differences within the discipline

The architecture of the individual psycheThe logic of the psyche

The conscious / unconscious splitIntrapsychic conflict

The role of anxiety and defense mechanisms

ComplexesRepetition compulsion

The role of trauma

The architecture of the group psycheGroup anxiety and defense mechanisms

Surface and depth processes in groups

The role of symbolism

The implications of this approach for your leadershipPsycho-educationManaging the risk of “depth” work
Self depth leadership Leadership psychodynamicsThe costs and benefits of inner workAnxiety and emotional managementHealthy and unhealthy defense mechanisms

Transference and counter-transference

The self-care system

Repetition compulsion

Rank and responsibility

Leadership metaskills

Self awareness and deep reflectionArchaeology of the individual psycheInner work practicesManaging transference and counter-transference

Developing rank awareness and managing personal rank

Developing metaskills

Interpersonal depth leadership The group “psyche”, or the group-as-a-wholePrinciples of integrated relationshipsArchetypes in the group psyche

Psychodynamic patterns in relationships

Rank and power in relationships

The impact of intrapsychic conflict on relationships

Developing cognitive and emotional empathySetting and managing psychological boundariesMirroring and listening

Changing psychodynamic patterns

Managing rank differences


Apology, forgiveness, reconciliation

Conflict resolution in relationships

Group depth leadership A psychodynamic view of group behaviourThe nature of the collective unconsciousGroup stories and metaphors

Power and diversity dynamics in groups

Group developmental and defensive processes

Relationship building

Catharsis in groups

Polarisation and group conflict

Scapegoating processes


Analysing and interpreting group psychodynamicsIdentifying the group story and metaphorsGuidelines for psychodynamic interventions

Managing depth processes

Managing meaning in groups

Managing transformation processes

System’s depth leadership Nature and the psycheSystems’ structure and psychodynamicsStakeholder impacts Managing community impactsManaging ecological impactsEnsuring systems’ integration