The Nation Today: Divided We Stand?

To quote President George W. Bush, “You are either with us or with the terrorists.”

But that’s not the only schism in our society today.

You are either for Bush or you are against him. Same holds true for the war in Iraq, presidential candidate John Kerry, guns, abortion, and gay marriage.

With choices like this, it’s no wonder the middle ground has faded into oblivion.

Why can’t we all just get along?

In the 2000 presidential election, the winner in Florida was decided by a handful of votes no matter how you tally them. Democratic nominee Al Gore only won New Mexico by 366 votes. And things haven’t changed all that much in the past four years. At no time, perhaps, in our history has the country been so divided over politics.

People either love Bush or hate him. And the same (to a degree) for Kerry. Polls consistently split down the middle, and people react to political issues not with vigorous debate but with anger and venom. Michael Moore’s Bush-bashing film Fahrenheit 911 spawns Swift Boat Veterans eager to cast doubt on John Kerry’s Vietnam valor.

Why are we so partisan all of a sudden? Is it a reaction to the isolationism brought on by terrorism, or is there something more basic (or more complicated) at work here?

“The intensely partisan, angry feelings on both sides are a displacement of fear and helplessness of the current situation in the world,” opines Kerry J. Sulkowicz, MD, a New York-based psychoanalyst.

“Things are as bad as they have been in the last 20 years, and a lot has to do with 9/11 and global threats of terrorism,” says Sulkowicz, also chairman of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s committee on public information.

When people are angry and scared, Sulkowicz says, they tend to become more polarized and take hard, angry positions in one camp or another.

“Both sides become increasingly unable to understand the other side,” he says. “As a society, we are much more involved in fighting our internal enemies as opposed to looking outward to what the real threats are.” But “in some ways it’s much easier to fight with Kerry than bin Laden.”

There may be more at work than fears of terrorism, says presidential historian Tim Blessing, PhD, chairman of the history department at Alvernia College in Reading, Pa.

Geography Is a Factor

“It would be strange if this [type of polarization] wasn’t occurring,” says Blessing, director of Penn State’s Presidential Performance Study.

Each year, Blessing travels across the country through rural, suburban, and urban areas.

“We really have splintered into three societies – rural, urban, suburban,” he says. These societies tend to differ on guns, abortion, foreign policy, religion, and families.

“They even disagree in terms of how people should look,” he says, “In Noth Dakota, I only saw one person with body piercings and tattoos, but at Alvernia College, a Catholic Institution, hundreds of students have body piercings and tattoos.”

Will We Ever Be Friends Again?

A lot of these differences are not amenable to compromise, he says. “If you think that the U.S. is an imperialist power, you will oppose the war in Iraq, [but] if you feel the U.S. is attempting to bring democracy and law to a lawless section of the world, you will probably back the war,” Blessing says.

In other words, there is no middle ground.

“One group says abortion is murder the other says a woman has right to choose,” he says.

These are not minor issues, he says. “These are major issues that go to the very basis of what it means to be an American or human.”

Blame It on the Media

“This differs from the past due largely to modern communication and modern transportation methods,” Blessing surmises.

“We are nose-to-nose all the time,” he says. For example, you can turn on Crossfire, a CNN talk show in which liberal pundits verbally battle their more conservative counterparts, or a whole host of other news shows fueled by often cantankerous debates.

“Every day, you can watch these guys yell at each other, and that really means that these differences are front and center all the time,” he says.

When asked if the differences are sharper now, than say, the Civil war, Blessing says that “I can make a real argument that we were not as divided then as we are now.”

He backs this up by pointing out that the Confederate constitution (which Blessing recently reviewed) was similar to the U.S. Constitution. “But,” he says, “just imagine what would happen if the people who are pro-gun, anti-abortion, pro-strong foreign policy wrote their own Constitution?”

It would look very different then if their more liberal counterparts took pen to paper.

“We could not agree on a Constitution these days,” he says.

That says a lot.

Written by Denise Mann

War Talk May Cause Anxiety, Panic

Questions about war, terrorism, and the economy confront us every time we turn on the television or pick up a newspaper. And for certain individuals, these external crises can  and will  trigger internal crises, say leading psychoanalysts.

“We are bombarded with news about crises in business, government, and religion and it’s over-stimulating,” Kerry J, Sulkowicz, MD, New York-based psychoanalyst, tells WebMD. “And it leaves us with the feeling that some of the basic pillars of our society are disintegrating and we are seeing some huge cracks or threats in the foundations of [these pillars]. That is deeply unsettling and for some it may precipitate profound personal anxiety,” he says.

The American Psychoanalytic Association is holding its Winter 2003 meeting this week in New York.

“There is a heightened public awareness about dreadful events and that dovetails with individual anxiety in people who are predisposed to having anxious, phobic, or fearful reactions,” says Sulkowicz, also chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s committee on public information.

Such simple strategies as turning off the television may help, he says.

But “if you experience continuous symptoms of anxiety such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, and irritability, and if it isn’t going away when you turn off the television, talk to someone who can explore your reactions and what it is about these external situations that can trigger internal crises,” Sulkowicz says.

There are many different types of therapists that you could turn to, but psychoanalysts say they may be able to offer a different perspective.

Psychoanalysis prides itself on getting at the deeper, underlying issues that plaque the unconscious mind. It is based on the observation that individuals are often unaware of many of the factors that determine their emotions and behavior.

What makes now so different from past crises?

While other periods in history have been marked by feelings of intense fear, the availability and proliferation of instant communications have literally removed borders, Sulkowicz says. “A crisis is no longer delineated to one area or one country any more,” he explains. News is disseminated rapidly and within minutes, people in the U.S. can know about something that happened or may happen in Afghanistan, Iraq, or anywhere else in the world.

“When it comes to viewing current events, most people have a normal level of denial, but the more anxious you are  for whatever reason  [the more prone you are] to respond anxiously to any stimuli,” says Leon Hoffman, MD, New York-based child psychoanalyst.

“People who experience an overabundance of anxiety over social events need to turn the television off and stop reading newspapers and magazine articles about subjects that make you worry,” Hoffman stresses. “”If talking to your friends and family does not work, talk to a professional.”

“Reducing stimuli can help but it’s not the only part,” Sulkowicz agrees. “The internal part is to allow yourself to recognize the need for and getting help,” he says.

Written by Denise Mann
Reviewed by Michael Smith, MD

This Labor Day, Make a Toast – to Yourself

It’s Labor Day weekend  time to kick back and enjoy! That is, if you can turn off the cell phone, pager, and the laptop long enough to enjoy the barbecues, weather, and department store sales.

And according to results of several polls culled by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., most of us can  and will  do just that. Most of us are satisfied with our work and our play, says Karlyn H. Bowman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Does this mean the rat race is over and the time crunch has been decompressed?

Not for everyone, she says, but a substantial 80% of people in a 2000 survey said their bosses are very or somewhat accommodating about their need to balance work and family, and a 1999 poll found that nine of 10 workers were satisfied with the flexibility of their hours.

Bowman discussed people’s attitudes about work and leisure at a recent press briefing. “All the polls show stability and job satisfaction over time,” she says. “When asked, ‘would you take the same job again without hesitation?’ 64% said yes in 1977 and 68% said yes in 1997. That’s remarkable stability over a 20-year period.”

Job dissatisfaction is typically more about a person’s stage of life than the job per se, Bowman says.

“Younger workers tend to be dissatisfied because they are on the low-end of the totem pole in terms of earning and dual earners with young families are satisfied with their jobs, but not their amount of leisure time,” she says.

Recent surveys suggest that when people are asked if they would rather have more time or more money, they say more money, but when choices are quantified  a week’s vacation or a week’s salary  they often opt for leisure, Bowman says.

“When vacation started to become available to the American middle class after the Civil War, most people used them for work of a different kind such as religious or charitable endeavors, but today we are appreciating leisure for itself,” she says.

In fact, 40% of the people polled said that leisure is what it’s all about  and the purpose of work is to make it possible to have leisure time to enjoy life, up from 36% in prior years.

Still, not everyone is content. Some people may not feel that they have enough leisure time  but that could be a function of their choices, says New York City psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Kerry Sulkowicz, MD, who is also the president of The Boswell Group LLC, a management-consulting firm in New York City.

Despite what the polls may say, Sulkowicz says, “People do labor a lot on holiday weekends, and there seems to be an increasing trend toward that. Our cultural attitudes toward work seem to be changing, and there is less emphasis on valuing time with family or at home relaxing and greater value on working to exhaustion. People seem to take a perverse pleasure in not taking vacation.”

More and more, he tells WebMD, people are taking work home and finding it more difficult to justify taking a break. “It’s bad because people need time away from work not just to recharge their batteries so they can work better, but because there is more to life than work.”

His Labor Day prescription for workaholics?

“Turn off the cell phone and other forms of electronic communication and enjoy golf and smell the roses when walking between shots,” he says, before it’s too late.

“I see many people in my practice who have gone pretty far professionally and have terrible regrets about missing out on their children’s childhood or whatever things might be sources of pleasure outside of work,” Sulkowicz says. “You just can’t get that back.”

Written by Denise Mann

Should You Put Your Practice on the Couch?

Facing extinction from cost-conscious, pill-wielding managed-care insurance organizations, some psychoanalysts like Kerry J. Sulkowicz, MD, are reinventing themselves  in the form of management consultants. And Sulkowicz says his marriage of psych and consulting can help physicians master the difficulties of managing a practice.

What does psychoanalysis have to do with business management consulting, you may ask?

“Quite a bit,” says Sulkowicz, a 42-year old, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and the president of the Boswell Group, LLC, in New York City.

Traditionally, consultants give structural recommendations, whereas the Sulkowicz brand of consultation offers up advice on the underlying psychological causes of the management problems, whether from a dysfunctional management team, a family business bringing bedroom politics into the boardroom, a venture capitalists looking at the psychological fit of a management team in a company they are considering funding, or working with an executive search firm on good fits for important hires.

“[Companies] often fail due to leadership problems, ineffectual management teams, mistaken hiring decisions, inadequate succession planning, and culture clashes such as merging of two distinct corporate ways of life,” he says.

Consulting is not all that different from traditional psychoanalysis between a therapist and a patient. First, the consultant meets with the chief executive officer or the equivalent leaders of the client organization in search of the manifest reason for the corporate dysfunction.

“Complete access is important to success. You must immerse yourself in the life of the organization and get to know its people, practices, and culture,” Sulkowicz says. “We get to know individuals first, but the bulk of the work is with the group.”

It’s not an in-and-out operation, he says. Much like individual psychoanalysis, putting a company on a couch can take some time. The consultant often stays to see the changes integrated and develops an ongoing relationship with the client.

One goal is “enabling members of the management team and leaders to gain more empathy for one another, so they understand one another instead of blaming one another,” he says. Another goal is helping the management team develop their own set of tools to do themselves what the consultant is doing.

With respect to medical practices, the psychoanalytic consultation can help in a number of ways, Sulkowicz says. “First, it gets doctors and staff talking to one another by removing obstacles to open communication and repairing covert problems in the dynamics of the team,” Sulkowicz tells WebMD. “This in turn improves collaboration, efficiency, and overall quality of care, while decreasing the risk of mistakes.”

The analytic perspective, he says, is uniquely able to address the stresses of working with dying, demanding, psychosomatic, and difficult patients  which are made worse by the additional pressures of managed care.

Such conditions are a breeding ground for medical errors. “Analytic intervention can also help physicians, who are not necessarily natural leaders, become more effective managers,” he says.

“Medical organizations, whether group practices or hospitals, have different goals than other business, but they are still in business to make money, and as such, are subject to the same kinds of group dynamic problems as other businesses,” Sulkowicz says. “Today there is even more pressure, because changes in medical economics have forced doctors to shift focus to the competing goals of profitability versus high quality patient care.”

Consultants however can try to get these goals aligned. “They don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” Sulkowicz says.

Other doctors understand the utilization of psychoanalysis in business. “Psychoanalysis plays a unique role in management consulting,” says Kenneth Settel, MD, a consultant at SPECTRUM OED in Brookline, Mass. “This type of consulting is not just about treating the symptoms, it’s also about uncovering their root cause.”

“We try to understand what the underlying sources of the corporate dysfunction are, because you can’t be effective if you don’t understand where the problems are coming from. This may involve looking at the unconscious feelings of individuals in an organization,” he tells WebMD.

The idea for psychoanalytic management consulting took form five years ago at a cocktail party when another guest began to pick Sulkowicz brain about his company problems. Shortly thereafter, this man hired Sulkowicz on a trial basis to see what he could do. A lot, it seems.

Several more business consulting projects followed and then, two years ago, Sulkowicz formed the Boswell Group. And business is booming by all accounts. Boswell Group has about three to four ongoing clients/cases at a time.

Right now, the company is predominantly Sulkowicz, but the forecast is growth. Consulting may be one type of business that thrives in all economies.

“I think with the downturn on the economy, there may even be more need for this type of approach. We tend to see a wave of consolidation in different industries and a lot of mergers and downsizing, and those always involve a hard look at corporate culture,” he tells WebMD.

“When people start getting laid off, it has a ripple effect on those who remain and can cause dysfunction at the management level and below,” he says.

Written by Denise Mann

TV: Reality Bites

Why do we care who the “mole” is, or who the ultimate “survivor” will be? Why do we give a remote-control flip which couple will give into temptation, or which boy makes the band?

And do we really want to watch someone marry a millionaire?

In other words, why are we so hooked on reality television? Just so we won’t come across as uncool at the workplace water cooler? To get a vicarious thrill watching someone do something we would never do ourselves  like eat a rat or cheat on a spouse? Are we really just voyeurs?

The answer? All of the above, experts tell WebMD  and then some.

Reality TV shows like Survivor II, The Real World, Making the Band, Big Brother, The Mole, andTemptation Island have become so popular the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently created two Emmy Award categories to recognize them.

“The popularity of these shows relates to peoples’ need for an adrenaline rush. Some people get a rush from violence or sex, and sometimes these reality shows have both,” says Joanne Cantor, PhD, professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of Mommy I’m Scared: How TV and Movies Frighten Children and What We Can Do to Protect Them.

Reality shows date back to chestnuts like Candid Camera, she points out, which was developed more than 50 years ago and used a hidden camera to capture the reactions of ordinary people to extraordinary situations.

Today’s reality-based shows can be compared to the rubbernecking that occurs at a highway car wreck, Cantor says.

“It’s the same thing as slowing down when you see an accident,” she says. “You want to see it, yet you don’t want to see it. We are curious and drawn to the violent, the macabre, and the sexual.”

Adding to their attraction, she says, reality shows are much cheaper to produce than star-driven shows like ER or Friends.

So the shows can save TV studios big money  but can they cost their viewers psychologically?

Some of the shows  Cops, Rescue 911, and Unsolved Mysteries, for instance  can be scary for children, Cantor says.

“News and reality shows are always in the top 10 for scaring children, Even if the kids know that a lot of things on TV aren’t true, [they know] these things are true,” she says. And oftentimes, in the case ofUnsolved Mysteries, for instance, the host will point out that the murderer/robber/rapist is still on the loose.

“I don’t think these shows are harmful,” says Steve Brody, PhD, a psychologist in Cambria, Calif. Nevertheless, he adds, “We don’t need our noses rubbed in the seedy side of life. These things are not the norm and shouldn’t be reflected as if they are. For a certain population of people who are already on the edge, they can really have a negative impact.”

“I think a big part of the draw is a natural human tendency toward voyeurism, and what’s so different about these shows, compared to sitcoms or dramas, is that these people are not actors and you are seeing them in an unrehearsed, natural way,” says Kerry Sulkowicz, MD, a faculty member of the New York University Psychoanalytic Institute.

“There may also be a certain pleasure in seeing their discomfort, in watching them squirm,” he says. It’s the same thing that drives interest in Jerry Springer-style talk shows where people bare their deepest, darkest, and most deviant secrets.

And society’s fascination with the macabre didn’t start with When Animals Attack, points out psychoanalyst Leon Hoffman, MD, co-director of the Parent Child Center in New York City

“Executions used to be public,” he says – and they may be again if Timothy McVeigh gets his way. McVeigh, 32, who is set to be executed May 16 for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, has asked for his death to be broadcast live on television.

“The public’s wishing to look at people’s private lives goes way, way back, ” Hoffman says. “These are all impulses we all have, but most of the time we keep them in check  and now it’s acceptable to reveal everything.

“We are living in a visually connected culture, so what would usually only happen in a small community is now happening worldwide,” he says. “The danger is that soon we are going to be living in 1984where our private lives will disappear, and people may wind up being the authors of their own loss of liberty.”

In Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984, Big Brother and the Thought Police are almost omniscient and personal privacy is a relic of the past. Given the emergence of reality TV, web cams, the Human Genome Project, and other potential technological intrusions into our private lives, Hoffman says, it may well turn out that Orwell was just a few decades off.

Unrest on the Job: Has ‘Desk Rage’ Hit Your Co-workers?

Companies may soon begin to hold training seminars on manners just as they do for sexual harassment and discrimination. In fact, a handful of U.S. companies are already hiring outside consultants to cope with the rudeness that seems to be about as commonplace as water coolers and copy machines in today’s offices and workplaces.

Whether it’s brushing by someone in the hall, calling your assistant incompetent, or cutting someone in line for the fax machine, corporate rudeness takes its toll.

A study of 775 employees conducted at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School showed that 12% of workers had quit their jobs to avoid nasty people at work, and 45% are thinking about doing so. In addition, more than half of workers lost time worrying about rude people in the office.

By all accounts, workplace stress is at an all-time high, and the number of violent workplace incidents has tripled since 1989. While incidents such as December’s deadly shooting spree at an Internet consulting firm near Boston are the exception, not the rule, all across America workers are yelling, cursing, slamming down phones, and damaging office supplies as they struggle with what psychologists call ‘desk rage.’

“The same factors that cause rudeness at large lead to incivility in the workplace,” explains Giovinella Gonthier, a Chicago etiquette consultant who gives lessons to individuals and consultants.

According to Gonthier, a number of factors are to blame. They include: corporate downsizing; pressure to produce more quickly with fewer resources; and the mushrooming population, which results in less space to work in, drive in, and play in.

An additional survey, released by Integra Realty Resources in New York, showed that one in 10 workers say employees have come to blows because of stress at work, and more than 40% said there is yelling and verbal abuse in their office. More than 20% of the 1,305 workers surveyed said that they have been driven to tears due to workplace stress. What’s more, the survey showed that people who work in cubicles are more stressed than people who don’t.

“Another major factor is that an entire generation of children has been raised without a lot of manners,” says Gonthier. “They have been raised by parents who grew up in the 1960s who felt too constrained by boundaries, so they raised their own children with greater permissiveness.”

Then, “In mid-’80s and 1990s, everyone focused on technology, so companies put all of their budgets into technology training and neglected soft skills such as manners and civility,” she tells WebMD. “Now you have a whole generation of employees skilled in computers who are lacking in dealing with people.”

Another problem, she says, is that “we don’t have a sense of ‘community,’ so if we make a vulgar gesture to a neighbor or someone on the road, they won’t know who we are. There’s no humiliation factor.”

Business casual dress codes may also be to blame, she says. “The casualness of dress code has affected the mentality of what is an appropriate business code of behavior,” says Gonthier. “If I am dressed casually, my behavior is going to be casual.”

Gonthier practices what she preaches. A seasoned diplomat, she was the ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. for Seychelles, an island republic off the coast of Kenya. She served as the charge d’affair in the Seychelles Paris embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seychelles. She has also been an ambassador to some of the Central American countries and to Cuba.

In today’s economy, she says, more job choices equal less loyalty. “If you view your employment situation as temporary, you are not going to care about how you behave,” she explains.

But the tide — not to mention the job market — may be turning, she says.

Gonthier’s company and others like it are working toward educating management about the consequences of incivility in the workplace, including how it affects employee retention and diminished productivity levels.

Usually, there are one or two people causing unhappiness in a corporate environment. Gonthier calls this person (or persons) “the rudester.”

But even one rudester can cause a ripple effect, she says. “If the CEO is yelling and screaming at his executive assistant, then his executive assistant will start screaming and yelling at other co-workers,” she says.

And who are you going to tell?

There are no procedures in place to report rudeness in most companies. “If an employee is sexually harassed, they know where to go, [but] companies are not recognizing civility as important or necessary until someone gets shot, slapped, or equipment is damaged,” she says.

Unfortunately, “companies don’t place a priority on workplace civility because it is not against the law the way that discrimination and sexual harassment are,” Gonthier tells WebMD. “When it comes to civility training, [companies] don’t have to do it because there’s no law against incivility.”

“I don’t think [rudeness] needs to be criminalized. People just need to become more aware of civility, and organizations should start rewarding people who [are civil] and evaluate workers on their soft skills as well as their hard skills,” she says. “This would eliminate the problem.”

Kerry J. Sulkowicz, MD, a New York City-based psychiatrist and management consultant, puts it this way: “Underlying the stress and the blow-ups at work are feelings of helplessness, and I think you can see that at all levels: from the people at bottom of the totem pole to people at the top.”

The new communication technologies have something to do with these feelings of helplessness, says Sulkowicz, who is president of The Boswell Group, a management consulting firm in New York City, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and a faculty member of New York University’s Psychoanalytic Institute.

Helplessness triggers rage, he says.

“Fantasies are prevalent that more and more can be done by human beings, but it’s technology that can do more — not human beings,” he tells WebMD. “There isn’t enough of a gap between expectations of technology and expectations of human beings.”

If there is a problem with rudeness, incivility, or rage in the office, the first place to start is to involve the human resources department. Then, if necessary, management may want to bring in an outside consultant — like Sulkowicz or Gonthier, for example.

“I think there already is a greater sensitivity to the role of psychology in the workplace,” says Sulkowicz. “We are seeing good trends about the receptivity of managers and leaders to bring in outside counselors. I would hate to think that we would need more shootings to raise our awareness, but inevitably those things do it.”

Written by Denise Mann
Reviewed by Dr. Tonja Wynn Hamptoon

The Internet and Pop Psychology

Instead of posters of rock stars and movie actors, today’s children and adolescents may opt to hang pictures of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of, on their walls.

The Internet, along with the icons of the new economy such as Gates and Bezos, have infiltrated about every aspect of society, from child development and corporate culture to the practice of psychiatry, says Kerry J. Sulkowicz, MD, a faculty member of New York University’s Psychoanalytic Institute.

“Some parents used to want their children to grow up to be doctors and lawyers. Now they want them to grow up to be entrepreneurs and captains of industry,” he says at a lecture at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center here in New York City. “Business leaders are overtaking sports stars and movie stairs as heroic figures and idols in popular culture.”

“We can easily idealize such electronic luminaries as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos as omnipotent visionaries, partly as a defense against our envy of them, but also out of our wish to fuse with them and acquire their power and seeming invulnerability,” says Sulkowicz, who is also the president of The Boswell Group, LLC, a management consulting firm in New York City.

“The Internet has changed just about everything, even though it’s only been with us for less than a decade. Its form evolves nearly daily, but it has already so infused our culture that it has become a metaphor for much that is fast, new, exciting, progressive, even dangerous in our society.” He says the anonymity and facelessness of the Internet “give rise to an unprecedented society-wide disinhibition. … People say things to each other that they might, in the past, have said only to their … psychiatrist.”

For example, when it comes to the practice of psychiatry, how a patient uses the Internet and for what can reveal a great deal about his or her psychology, Sulkowicz tells WebMD.

“If a patient told me or I observed that that they had difficulty with intimacy, yet they were able to engage in intense passionate exchanges via e-mail or with someone they met in a chat room, I may want to know what’s different. Why does it feel safer to be so open on an email and so difficult to be open when sitting in a room with a spouse?” says Sulkowicz, also a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine

Even with its exponential growth, the Internet will never replace face-to-face therapy, he says. It may help with patient recruitment, but if a doctor treated a patient via the Internet, they would miss out on so much, such as nonverbal cues like body language.

Virtual counseling also touches on other ethical issues, he says.

For example, the Internet creates a world without borders, so a doctor in New York could have a patient in Chicago. “If that patient were to become suicidal, it would be hard to get to him or her in time,” he says.

There may, however, be a role for in-between session emails, in the same way that phone calls are currently used.

On the business side of things, small companies and large corporations are trying to understand what the Internet means and how it is changing their corporate climates and cultures as well as their day-to-day functioning.

Enter the emerging field of psychoanalytic management consulting. In this field, consultants can — among other things — help “young and inexperienced CEOs of Internet start-ups choose and manage the people in the fast-paced Web business environment.”

“The Internet and the concept of a world without borders are undoubtedly changing the way we do business in the corporate world,” says David S. Kleinman, assistant vice president of human resources at the Bank of New York in New York City. “The key is going to be learning how to maximize its benefits to create a harmonious, discord-free work environment.”

In that sense, he says, the role of a psychoanalytic management consultant could be potentially invaluable to both old-school and new-age companies.

Written by Denise Mann
Reviewed by Dr. Jacqueline Brooks