Interview for «Coach magazine»
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grav1Oksana, how should one call you as a professional?
I am an IAAP certified Jungian analyst, a training analyst, a member of the governing body of ECPP, an assistent professor of the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis, a Candidate of Psychological Sciences (i.e. Doctor of Psychology), a coach, a counselor on corporation management and organization development.
To put it simply, I work with individuals and groups of people as a «brain-resetter».

Tell me, is there anything else, besides psychotherapy and organization counseling, that you would like to do?
I think I could be quite good at paving sidewalk with tiles. I’ve made it quite well for the first time.

What does it mean for you to be a Jungian analyst?
It means I work with the unconscious, both the personal and the collective one.

Tell me, is it dangerous to work with the unconscious? Has this ever occurred to you?
Of course it has. It’s like in a film of Andrey Tarkovsky: the unconscious was called a «zone» there. The zone lived a life of its own and was changing all the time. The «zone» is certain to check our presence and trustworthiness. And it can take vengeance on us if we make a mistake.

There is an opinion that a course of psychotherapy can be a success only in case the client taking it has an intellect developed well enough. Is this true?
No, it isn’t. Any intellect is attached to a soul. It is the soul that a person lives with, and he works ih the analysis with his soul. However, there is another limitation to psychotherapy. It’s hard to help a person whose symbolic thinking has stopped developing, who is, so to say, cut off from the irrational or unexplainable. This irrational level of mind is the closest to the unconscious, that is why it can link the conscious and the unconscious psyche. Usually such people don’t see any dreams, comprehend jokes poorly and think with other people’s thoughts. They defend themselves in this way.

Now, during the recession, do you have more or fewer clients?
The number of clients applying for individual analysis did not change. But the number of organizations wishing to take care of their staff and grow has become about ten times smaller. As long as the struggle to survive is going on there seems to be no space for any development. Or perhaps now there are scarce managers who get an idea of corporation management through human resources.

You have a rich experience in working with a lot of companies functioning in various fields. Which main mistakes in building a corporation management system have you come across most often?
The chief mistake in Russian corporation management is forming organizations of the exploiting type in which the idea of corporatism itself is replaced by regulation within the corporation standards and «zombying» the staff members. An organization is a space of joint co-existence of people inside which aims and values of the owners, managers, groups and individuals are coordinated and adjusted to each other. As a rule, functionally and personally a worker is «adapted» to the vacant position available. Really corporative principles of management require another strategy from the corporation management, that is, creating a position for the unique personality of a worker. Each qualified worker and gifted young specialist appears such kind of personality. It is understandable that not every person deserves being created a position, only the one with valuable professional qualities and skills does.

grav3What illusions did you have to part with when you started working with organizations?
First of all, it was my illusion that here, in Russia, there exists rational management at the level of conscious algorithm and conscious actions. The most successful Russian managers appeared to be the people having good intuition, who can apprehend events before they take place. These people behave most illogically from the point of view of common sense.
Also, it was an illusion that one can dispose of one’s freedom. When a person is deprived of it, he usually complains and suffers. But within an exploiting matrix people tend to have no choice, that’s why they don’t become anxious in situations of any uncertainty.
However, now some educated sensible managers have appeared. They rely on professional knowledge and inner culture instead of trusting to luck or chance. This gives a hope that the wild exploiting managing standard will soon sink into oblivion.

What do you think of modern art?
Generally speaking, I consider myself belonging to arts. I see esthetic spiritual practice as the basis of my work. I like modern art and modern people. However, I try to filter off idle talk — there is too much of it — from personal statements — they are too few. I look for a «special opinion» with interest. I feel united with leading representatives of modern arts by the fact that we comprehend and embody not just copies of objects, but rather effects of their perception, meanings of these objects and perhaps ideas of world arrangement in general. The difference between an analyst and an artist now consists in the fact that in the analytical situation, in an analyst’s room more than one subject is present who is trying to comprehend an object. There are at least four (two evident ones and two implicit ones) affecting each other.

Do you have a favourite author?
Of course I do. First of all, they are Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Brodsky, Mikhail Shishkin, and also Max Frisch, James Joyce, Bernhard Schlink. But most of all I love Carl Jung and Merab Mamardashvili.

And what does money mean for you? What is your attitude to money?
Money means signs of connection between my non-material personality and the material world. Money evaluates the efficacy of my skills of accomplishment in life. The accomplishment is necessary for the spiritual esthetics of being. I respect money. Lots of things depend on it.

What can you say of love? Do you have love?
It is not possible that there should be no love. Love is always there, whatever happens. But mutual and long-lasting love of a couple is another thing. There has been a strong feeling in my life. I know love never ends, it’s a relationship that comes to an end. When it does love sinks somewhere to the level of DNA. And then even one millisecond of the voice sound on the phone is enough to switch love on again. As a woman of this time I prefer to complete the relationship which has had its day and to start a new one hoping for the love to come true. A new stage in life means new relations, sometimes a new love. I will never agree with the people who believe one repeats the same thing again and again, with each new partner. Every time you discover something new in another person and surely in yourself. But the most reliable partner is God.

Are you a secular person?
No. Any ritual conventional forms of communication make me terribly bored and arouse a strong wish to leave.

And who are the people of your own party?
These are creative people who are able to laugh at themselves and the imperfect world. They are psychologists, philosophers, artists, philologists, musicians. By the way, there are almost no businessmen there, only a few of those who belonged to the above-mentioned list before.

What is your favourite way to spend time?
Sojourn. I don’t know how to describe it. Usually there is nobody beside me at the time. It’s important.

Trying to look into the future, where do you see yourself?
On the coast ocean.

Are you interested in politics at all? Do you follow any events taking place in your own country, for instance?
I consider myself quite apolitical. I rather belong to Russophiles. I love everything Russian: the nature, the culture and the people. However, I dislike Russian politics and economy very much.

grav2You are the author of the idea of the archetype of the Beauty in the feminine individuation. You described it in your monograph «Topological Depth Psychotherapy: Ideas on Transformation». Please tell us about it in detail.
The thing is there is a notion of individuation in Jungian psychology. Carl Jung wrote much about it. Strongly simplifying we can call individuation becoming oneself. If someone was born as a ladybird he should not feel sorry he can’t manage to be an oak-tree. On the opposite, it is in his being a vulnerable insect that he is unique, rather than in a resemblance to an omnipotent oak. It is the same with the gender differences. The masculine way of individuation is a path of the Hero, i.e. the path of overcoming and of Spirit: the path of a warrior, a monk, a poet or a monarch. The man in his archetypal essence is called to change the world, whatever road he should choose. However, the feminine way of individuation can be considered a path of the Beauty: i.e. getting to know her feelings and ascending — the path of a girl-lover, a mother-housewife, the path of a priestess, a nun. In my model I tried to emphasize the fact that a woman feels alive if she does not only love, but, first of all, transforms herself in her sensual life. That’s why the archetypal role of the woman is to love and to create relationships.

Tell us about the coaching model «AD HOC» developed by you and described in your monograph «Love in Postmodern Epoch. Ad hoc coaching about ’Poste Restante People’»
In a very general way the coaching «AD HOC» model can be presented as a reply to the question: «How shall I start taking some actions to transform the emptiness into the order of my own life?»
The reply can be made up of a choice of only eight options:
• either to make an effort or to block it;
• to be free inside oneself or feel bonds with the present being;
• to feel an author or to stick to stereotypes;
• to stop identifying oneself or to identify oneself with a certain social institution;
• to believe in oneself as being a leader and an author — or to have no belief in oneself and be an envious outsider;
• to be able to see the perspective, to possess the meaning sustaining the continuity of being — or keep to the prognosis of the Apocalypse, senselessness, expectation of a catastrophe;
• to be patient and have the ability to put up with the reality — as opposed to being intolerable or irreconcilable;
• to make well-focused, purposeful self-spending efforts — in contrast to efforts spent on everything around, as a response conditioned by the environment.
To put it simpler, skills to build a well-arranged life developed by «ad hoc» coaching are made up of inner actions performed by us towards ourselves. These are the skills of self-being, overcoming and patience, maintaining one’s inner freedom and belief, grasping the meaning and moving to one’s aim.

Questions from Marcel Proust (following the inimitable style of Viadimir Pozner):

What are you most afraid of?grav4
A totalitarian regime.

What feature of yours do you dislike most of all?
Inconsistency and contrariety.

Which quality of men do you value most?

And of women?
Respect and gratitude.

If you could change one quality of yours, which one would you change?
My weight.

If you could choose the place of your birth, what place would you choose?

What do you believe to be your main characteristic feature?

What literature character do you feel closer to?
Anna Akhmatova and Marlene Dietrich, but they were real, not fiction characters.

What do you dislike most?
Self-satisfied idiots.

Finding yourself in front of God, what will you tell him?
Thank you, Lord.