1st Edition

To Be Met as a Person at Work The Effect of Early Attachment Experiences on Work Relationships

By Nicola Neath, Una McCluskey Copyright 2019

    This book provides an account of how the "Theory of Attachment-Based Exploratory Interest Sharing" (TABEIS) and the practise of Goal Corrected Empathic Attunement (GCEA) was used in a university setting to support staff. It works in three ways; firstly, it raises attachment theory, one of the pillars of self-understanding, into a central place in terms of reflecting on and learning from the dynamics of business and organisations. Neath explores how well this attachment theory sits with other theories of self and relationships such as transactional analysis and the person-centred approach.Secondly, it is an account of how Neath took an application of McCluskey's theory "The McCluskey Model for Exploring the Dynamics of Attachment in Adult Life" to the University of Leeds, with learning points made along the way, exploring the practise of a therapeutic-style of group facilitation, and reflection on good practice for professional adult learning and teaching techniques. Thirdly, it acts as a handbook for anyone wishing to replicate Neath's work and includes feedback from participants both during and after the training process. It will appeal to those new to training, counselling, organisational developers and those wishing to enjoy and see the potential of the work of McCluskey.


    Chapter One The application, theory and why try it: Exploring the dynamics of attachment and their effect on wellbeing and creativity at work.

    Chapter Two Introducing GCEA™ and TABEIS© for the workplace

    Chapter Three

    Part 1 The theory behind the session structure

    Part 2 How it worked in practice

    Chapter Four Careseeking

    Chapter Five Caregiving

    Chapter Six Self defence and fear

    Chapter Seven Interests and interest sharing with peers

    Chapter Eight Sex and sexuality in the workplace

    Chapter Nine The internal environment

    Chapter Ten The external environment

    Chapter Eleven Final session, review and the application in practice

    Chapter Twelve Conclusion to the pilot

    Chapter Thirteen Feedback from participants and what happened next

    Chapter Fourteen The integrated person: theories of people at work



    Nicola Neath began practising as a psychotherapist in 2006. With over 20 years’ experience in public and private organisations, she continues to develop a relational approach to work, and is passionate about synthesising her knowledge of organisations and theories of psychotherapy for the wellbeing of clients and organisations.

    Una McCluskey is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of York and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She is responsible for developing training for qualified psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, GPs and others involved in the caring professions, who are interested in exploring the dynamics of attachment in adult life.

    "This book is treasure for all of you who are aware that feelings and emotions matter when we think about how to create a work environment that is healthy for its members and at the same time productive from the organisational perspective. With its emphasis on emotions and feelings grounded on attachment theory, and the development by Dr Una McCluskey, this book will give you as an OD consultant, HR consultant and manager a way to think and intervene when your team is in turmoil or 'stuck' and traditional interventions with more structure, routines and hierarchy seems like a waste of time."–Sven-Erik Viskari, licensed psychologist and senior organisational consultant, Sweden 

    "Nicola and Una write in a warm and accessible way that guides the reader through a rich body of knowledge around what it takes to create more human work environments. For the specialist or for the interested newcomer, this book asks important questions of us as we consider what kind of workplaces we want to be part of. The balance of theory and practical application is just right: the book is a valuable resource to practitioners in the areas of group facilitation, counselling and organisational development and to those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of how people interact at work."–Michael Jenkins, Chief Executive, Roffey Park, Leadership institute, UK and Singapore

    "Remaining human at work amidst the digital revolution poses a particular challenge. In a world in which we are trapped in the prison of busyness, dominated by social media and relationship contact limited to 140 characters, what the authors do is to remind us about the importance of being met as a person at work. They bring our attention to the contribution of Una McCluskey and beautifully synthesise theory and practice. The text is a timely reminder of the importance of what is at the heart of being human, relationships. It is a must-read for all who care about creating mindful and compassionate workplaces in which human relationships, and thus people, can flourish."–Margaret Chapman-Clarke, work psychologist, editor and author Mindfulness in the Workplace: An Evidence-based Approach to Improving Wellbeing and Maximising Performance