Identity and Place
The insights afforded by questioning ‘who I am?’ and ‘who I am here?’ bring attention to the contexts of time and place that are essential considerations in my work in situations of change. What is capturing my attention now, and what is it relating to?
Recognising who I am, at any one time, how I reveal different parts of myself in the moment, and how I respond to my thoughts and feelings in any situation are dynamics of working with one’s identity from a relational perspective, and crucial to how we make sense of our experiences.
Feeling sufficiently secure in who I am at any one time is central to the ability to sustain connection with one’s self and others and the tasks we are working on. This isn’t a fixed state, we are capable of inhabiting many identities and bringing them to the different roles we take up. Developing the capacity to work with the dynamics of identity: being recognised, regulating my emotions, and knowing which of my identities is influencing me at any one moment, influences our ability to stay in role, and to work with empathy, credibility and authority.
Link to: Resource-ful Consulting
Places locate and orientate us, ‘here is where I am, now’. They evoke and hold feelings and are formative in the way we develop patterns of relating with others, influencing a capacity to be curious. They are significant in what we let ourselves remember and forget.
Working with identity cannot be separated from a sense of place, and what we carry with us from our earliest encounters with our physical environments. Feelings are associated with places, and places encountered through our senses and our relationships with others. I make use of perspectives from attachment theories alongside exploratory media, narrative/photography to look at how places influence our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, particularly in times of transition and movement.
These dynamics of Identity and Place are integral to my relational practice – here are some examples:
Contributing to the oral history and legacies of organisations and professional communities
– their movements, shifts and influences over time.
Working with Brand and Reputation
– workshops and consultations for client relocating their business out of the UK
Re-thinking the ‘here and now’: Working with Place as a dynamic aspect of Role
– workshop for UK doctoral candidates, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London
– and integrated into Role Analyses and professional development consultations
Perceptions of People and Places
– workshops for leaders/managers on ‘sustainable urban planning’ programme, European Business School, Stockholm
Evocations of Place and Identity
– open workshop in response to Local Authority Draft Development Plan, UK.
Evocations of the City
– Social Science in the City, Public Engagement Programme, UWE, Bristol, UK.
My eyes have been opened with regard to 'place'. I'd always thought it important but the link to attachment styles is doubly enlightening, I think. It puts a whole new perspective on the importance of environment.
Workshop Participant: London