Deborah Johnston, Organisational Consultant

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Deborah Johnston works as a private consultant, organisational psychologist and practitioner of human and social systems dynamics.

People, relationships and contexts are changing all the time as the world moves and shifts. Being able to respond, all the time, in the moment, that is the challenge in my work as a practitioner and is the key thing that the training in Morenian methods has taught me. I am intellectually adept with psychological concepts and models, but this work requires more. Being able to come up with real responses, being able to jump into the living situation, that requires a serious tolerance for high levels of ambiguity.

Training in Morenian methods is what has seriously developed my capacity to respond to a variety of different situations. I have a range of tools and ways to interact that actually help people. The Morenian methods and ways of working give me the confidence that I can do the work I do, that I will assist people, and to do it in a pretty practical way. Now I can use highly time-effective tools. I like to get down to “Lets work out what happened and get on with it”. It excels in the work place. Rather than a clinical controlled response, which can take time and leave people hanging and put off the real work required. This way is more of a human, in the moment, pragmatic and useful-for-all response.

The newness is attractive to me, as I hate trying to cram formulaic answers down people’s throats. Which is often what I had been asked to do. This work is the antithesis of “to a hammer every thing looks like a nail”. I am not a hammer looking at everything as a nail, though this had been much of my training, up to when I began learning Morenian methods. I think I use pretty sound psychological processes. These methods allow me to incorporate them easily.

A lot of the group work is responding to the needs of the group and individual’s within the group. This is funnily enough, the arena where many facilitators find most difficulty because it seems like some people are being resistant. They’re not resistant, they just not where I am at. And who has the best chance of getting with them? Me!

I take experimenting seriously and that is quite some experience for people who are more used to coming in and sitting down and remaining passive and self-protective. These processes keep it alive and engaging. They completely shape the way I operate.

Because the training is done as a group process – it has a different quality to other training. To have that community sense of what I and others are learning and how different people make different sense of the same material. The Morenian methods have helped me develop a holistic perspective of my clients as creative people, authors of their own lives and how people meet and interact with the changes that come their way.

What I really like is that I am assisting that individual to bring things forward from themselves, from their own creativity, knowledge and experience. It is not me telling them what to do. It isn’t me telling them what is happening through a diagnostic tool. They know about their life and when they are able to grasp it in this way I can have confidence in the direction we are going.

I am able to cast light on areas of their lives and work that they haven’t seen or been able to see before. I like that role, I feel satisfied in being able to do that.

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