WHY I WRITE THIS BLOG - PATRICK TOMLINSON 2020
Date added: 04/10/20
I write because I enjoy writing and I like the idea of creating something, which lasts and can be used positively. I began writing these blogs and articles in 2014 and 6 years later, there are 40 included here. I began with a bold ambition, which would have led to more than double that. However, I have learnt much about the challenge of an ongoing writing process and am happy with the output. Viktor Frankl (1972) explains very well the benefit of being over-optimistic.
These articles are broadly related to issues of development, for people and organizations. I began my career, in 1985, in a therapeutic community in England. The community was for boys whose development had been impacted by trauma, abuse, and neglect, during their formative years. Our work was to provide the conditions, in which the boys could recover their developmental losses and achieve healthy functioning into adult life.
Fairly early in my career, I realized that the development of the young people was intricately connected to the development of the adults working with them. And this, in turn, is connected to the development and functioning of the organization. And this relies upon the quality of leadership and its development. Residential care of severely traumatized children and young people can be an extreme occupation. This can be so both physically and mentally. When I began, we worked 70-80 hours a week, and it was only a few weeks before my nose got broken. Many workers who left did so due to the huge emotional demand upon them. As with all extreme forms of work and endeavor, there is also a huge opportunity for learning and development. As well as the technical aspects of the task much can be learnt about matters such as leadership, individual, team, and organizational dynamics. As we have seen with leaders from the military, much of what is leant can be applied widely to other settings.
So, while this blog is born out of my specific professional experience it is aimed to be widely relevant. The style of the blog has a focus on Integration. This is very relevant to the first 14 years of my career at the therapeutic community – where the task of the work was to help emotionally ‘Unintegrated’ children, to become ‘Integrated’. The concept of integration is now also used widely in neuroscience. In this blog I try to integrate various themes from many different professional disciplines, such as the psychodynamic approach and neuroscience; the micro and macro levels; the past and the present; and from different cultures.
I want to be practical and offer links to relevant resources where I can. I hope you will find something useful and thought-provoking. The content in this document includes some of the thoughtful and kind comments made by readers. I include those that add something additional to the subject. Sometimes, I have added further thoughts afterwards. I think this shows how writing can be helpful in terms of development – once we get some thoughts out, there is space for new ones to evolve. As each blog was written to stand on its own, there is some repetition between blogs. I have grouped blogs with the same theme together, though the contents from one theme tend to overlap with another.
Frankl, V. (1972) Why Idealists are the Real Realists www.youtube.com/watch?v=loay2imHq5E