1st Edition

Psychodynamic Coaching Distinctive Features

By Claudia Nagel Copyright 2020
    176 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Psychodynamic Coaching: Distinctive Features, Claudia Nagel presents a comprehensive overview of the unique features of psychodynamic coaching. As leaders and managers acknowledge the need to understand themselves and their context by looking underneath the surface to improve their decision-making, psychodynamic approaches offer unique insight.

    Psychodynamic Coaching: Distinctive Features covers not only the major theory but also the practice of coaching, giving guidance from beginning to end of the client relationship. Constructive, holistic and accessible, it demonstrates the impact and dynamics of the unconscious whilst illustrating the power of understanding human behaviour in the complexity of the modern world.

    With a focus on emotions and relationships in supporting modern leaders adapting to organsational challenges, this book will be an invaluable tool for coaches of all backgrounds, academics and students of coaching and organisational behaviour, and also clinicians. It will also be a key resource for senior leaders for their own personal growth.

    Preface; Theory - Part 1: Basic Theory; Chapter 1: The Roots of Psychodynamic Coaching in Psychoanalytic Traditions; Chapter 2: Psychodynamic Coaching Is Not Psychotherapy;  Chapter 3: Basic Elements of Psychodynamic Coaching; Chapter 4: Reasons and Occasions for Psychodynamic Coaching;  Theory - Part 2: Basic Theoretical Concepts – Relationships as Focus;  Chapter 5: The Unconscious as Common Ground: From Soul to Unconscious Cognitions– a historical overview;  Chapter 6: Personal Development, Personality and Character in Psychodynamic Coaching;  Chapter 7:  Human Relationships and the Role of Emotions and Conflict in Professional Life; Chapter 8: Human Relationships and Basic Working Concepts: Transference, Countertransference, Attachment and Defences; Chapter 9: Neuroscientfic Foundations of Human Relationships: New Insights for Psychodynamic Coaching; Chapter 10: The System as Significant Context; Theory - Part 3: Application in Coaching: Using the Relationship;   Chapter 11: Understanding the Inner-Landscape: Creating and Transforming Meaning; Chapter 12: Dealing with Different Leadership Types; Chapter 13: Facing Challenges Such as Resistance and Defences;  Chapter 14: Working with Defences on the Group and Organisational Level; Chapter 15: Being Aware of Risks and Limitations; Practice - Part 1: Preparing for the Client;  Chapter 16: Assumptions for the Coach Regarding the Client; Chapter 17: Assumptions for the Coach Regarding Themselves: Attitude, Perspective and Training;  Chapter 18: The General Setting;  Chapter 19: Contracting: The Very First Meeting;  Practice: Part 2 - Running the Coaching Sessions;  Chapter 20: Beginning the Relationship: Ways of Opening;  Chapter 21: The Integration of Additional Diagnostic Tools;  Chapter 22: Working In and With the Relationship: The Coach as Instrument;  Chapter 23: Working at the Core of the Client's Questions;  Chapter 24: Dealing with Emotions;  Chapter 25: Using Symbols;  Chapter 26: Coaching Female Leaders;  Chapter 27:  Understanding and Addressing the Context; Chapter 28: Coaching Teams in Organisations;  Practice: Part 3: Ending the Coaching; Chapter 29: Ending the Coaching Relationship;  Chapter 30: Training, Ethics and Elements of Good Practice; References; Index.


    Claudia Nagel is a consultant, coach and senior advisor to international corporations and their board members. As an economist, organisational psychologist and chartered psychoanalyst, Claudia is an expert on leadership, strategic management and transformation processes. Deeply respectful of the human side of business, her background in finance and investment banking, and experience in different leadership roles, make her an invaluable resource for senior leaders.

    "This is a must-read book for scholars and practitioners with an interest in the role of psychodynamic coaching for organizational change and development. This expertly crafted book includes a comprehensive review of major theories of psychodynamics and their practical implication for coaches and managers. Claudia Nagel produces a masterful work which is at the forefront of coaching-focused books. The book addresses new trends in psychodynamics and offers a sustainable, innovative and sophisticated analysis of the relationships between psychoanalysis and managerial practices." 
    – Prof. Dr. Issy Drori, Head of Organization Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    "Dr. Nagel has made an important contribution to the field. Coaching is a diverse and growing industry, as leaders and managers recognize the need to understand themselves, their colleagues and their organizations. Dr. Nagel makes the case for the distinctive value of a psychodynamic perspective in working with real people in complex organizations. She doesn’t simplify or make it sound easy, but explains and humanizes applying a deeper understanding of human motivation and behavior in ways that less sophisticated approaches cannot match." – Kerry J Sulkowicz, MD, Managing Principal, Boswell Group LLC, NYC, USA

    "The holistic perspective underpinning this book makes for a reliable companion for any leadership development coach wishing to build their practice on profound knowledge. Dr Nagel has managed to map out the essential concepts of the psychodynamic perspective while not losing focus on applicability of these to practice. The book offers an all-round guide for the entire coaching process, enabling the reader to experience what the theory feels and looks like during the actual encounter –  a unique contribution to our field." 
    – Dr Nadine Riad Tchelebi, Senior Consultant, In Stability GmbH, Germany

    "With this book, the publisher has opened a new series on coaching. Claudia Nagel accepted the challenge and created a sophisticated platform from which to examine psychodynamic coaching. A Jungian psychoanalyst, economist and psychologist, Dr. Nagel was able to integrate many theoretical strands and schools of thoughts underpinning psychodynamic coaching. She examined ancient Greek wisdom and recent neuro-scientific research, in other words philosophy and physiology, as the foundations of theory. Practical considerations were observed with acute and astute attention to the dynamics of building a client relationship. This is an important, accessible resource. Dr. Nagel made a significant and impressive contribution to our field." 
    Halina Brunning, psychologist, coach, consultant, and editor of Executive Coaching: Systems-Psychodynamic Coaching, UK

    "Claudia Nagel has written a comprehensive introduction to the practice of psychodynamic coaching. She provides the practitioners and students of coaching with a survey of the most relevant frameworks that shape coaching practice, referencing such classical thinkers as Freud and Jung, while drawing on contemporary thinkers such as Rieman, Panksepp and Long. True to her roots in psychodynamic thinking she highlights the central role that emotion plays not only in the coach’s effectiveness but in the good performance of workers, professionals and managers. She outlines the stages of the emotional encounter between the coach and the client as the coach empathizes, explores and interprets a client’s experience. She demonstrates how the coach moves back and forth between the process of first eliciting and highlighting feelings and then helping the client thoughtfully reflect on these emotions. Kurt Lewin’s famously said that there is nothing as practical as good theory. Students and practitioners of psychodynamic coaching will benefit greatly from this book; the former from the theoretical foundations this book provides and the latter by further honing their practice based on sound thinking. Read this book to make good on your goal of becoming a reflective practitioner." 
    Larry Hirschhorn, PhD, Principal, CFAR Inc., Philadelphia, USA

    "This comprehensive text is an invaluable resource for coaches and consultants, as well as students and clients of psychodynamic coaching. It begins with an overview of the history and theory of psychodynamic coaching which provides an understanding of its distinctiveness, especially in relation to human relationships. The remainder addresses the practice of coaching, giving guidance from beginning to end of the client relationship. Its emphasis on emotions and relationships supports enhanced adaptation to organisational challenges." 
    Professor Kathryn Haynes, Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Politics, University of Hull, UK

    "'You believe to act purely rational – impossible!' With her new book on Psychodynamic Coaching, Dr. Claudia Nagel presents a highly valuable compendium to the subject of interpersonal and unconscious realities in organizational behaviour that senior managers and business leaders sometimes notoriously tend to either ignore in a pledge for 'plain rationality' or are rather convinced to master anyway. Claudia's work is firmly rooted in latest academic research, yet thoroughly inspired by her extensive practical experience in both, leadership roles in economics and global finance and psychoanalytical client work. Her work is masterful in her synthesis of addressing typical 'face value' situations in daily organizational life and tracing it down to the mental predispositions of humans and thus encouraging the reader to reflect on their own undercurrents of the unconscious. In doing so Claudia's work is remarkable for its very thoughtful human approach to the subject and the personality of the coachee. Her perspective embodies a great deal of respect and understanding for the individual, not least the subtleties of the coach–coachee–relationship. Great value for her and he who is willing to venture out beyond the trivial limits of the false belief in 'plain rational'. The reader will be rewarded by a fresh inspiration to reflect on inner motives, often non-related to the subject matter that requires decision making and so much more often than not distorting the outcome." 
    Heiner R. Bente, PhD, entrepreneur and supervisory board member, Germany

    "Life changes of individuals happen through guided deep reflections about the inner self and its interaction in different environments such as work or family. This book is more than 'just another' book about coaching. The 30 principles comprehensively describe what it takes to make lasting changes. Starting from theoretical backgrounds to the coaching process itself, it reflects the deep experience of the author in the field. Thus, Psychodynamic Coaching is not only recommended for coaches, but also for executives who deeply care for themselves and their teams." 
    Anke Dassler, Evonik