I went to an interesting debate last night, “Do psychological interventions work?”. Interventions included academic work, and the kind of work I do as a coach.
It was the Pub Psychology International Symposium. The pub psychology group normally meets every Tuesday evening (in a pub, hence the name!) to have a conversation or presentation of interest. The debate was moderated by Dr Nash Popovic, a senior lecturer at University of East London.
The conclusion to “do they work..?”
As Vicky Pollard says, “Yes but, no but”.
I thought Nash’s conclusion / theory was interesting. Interventions can work but are not sustainable in and of themselves, the interventions themselves don’t necessarily produce lasting positive change.
He thinks that to be sustainable something else is required. A participant needs to be making something out of the narrative of their life. They need to be thinking for themselves and figuring out what it all means to them. He encourages and works to inspire people to have this commitment for themselves.
Perhaps obvious, I thought this was an interesting point in the debate. It fits with the power of a personal and inspiring career goal, and with an examination of living an authentic life. And it completely aligns with our approach to personal development, career planning and 360 degree feedback. When we do 360 feedback, we make it central that the participant really ‘owns’ their feedback, and in the feedback session we put that feedback in the context of their career so far and their aspirations for the future, so it can become part of their life narrative.