One of my favorite things about the MSPP community are the continuing education opportunities. Not only do students get the benefit of learning with current practicing psychologists, but they get to attend 3 workshops a semester for free! Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the annual MSPP Alumni, Students & Faculty Only program: The Socio-Dynamics of Helping, presented by Dr. Edgar Schein.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Working in the mental health field, there are plenty of opportunities to hear lectures about various bodies of work and schools of thought. I know this. But to hear a lecture without power points, data tables or graphs… to actually laugh at the anecdotes thrown in that illustrate the principles being discussed… to come away with a deeper understanding of a simple principle that you knew about all along, but had never really thought through before… that is a rarity.
Dr. Schein fit the MSPP environment quite nicely – professional, yet welcoming. Knowledgeable, but not intimidating. Established, but not pretentious. He reminded us that psychology and sociology are intertwined. That we live in a social economy where we pay attention and buy goodwill, but often sell ourselves short. That sometimes the best way to help is empowering those in need, rather than giving our expert advice. And that humbly inquiring what our clients want, and how they might get there is much more powerful than diagnosing their problem and prescribing their cure.