Popcorn

A few years ago I wrote this post about insight being the popcorn of therapy.

I quoted from the book A General Theory of Love:

Patients are often hungry for explanations because they are used to thinking that neocortical contraptions like explication will help them. But insight is the popcorn of therapy. When patient and therapist go together, the irreducible reality of their mutual journey, is the movie.

There seems to be strong research evidence that in therapy, the specific technique used is of relatively small significance to the outcome. What matters more are the unique circumstances of the client (e.g. what kind of support network do they have) and what is the quality of their relationship with the therapist.

I’m simplifying, of course, as I don’t want to write a long essay here. A therapeutic relationship is a rich and complex thing.

And that’s just two people.

How much more rich and complex are groups and organisations? Yet in some ways, the bigger the organisation, the more tempted we are to try to manage change with models and buzzwords. It’s so tempting for someone to draw us a nice grid or talk about “agile” or give us a six-step process. But often, we may be eating popcorn, and missing the richer movie.

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