Finding a Place to Stand: Developing Self-Reflective Institutions, Leaders and Citizens
Finding a place to stand: Developing Self-Reflective Institutions, Leaders and Citizens
"A book that should be on every citizen's nightstand"
Admiral James Stavridis
USN (ret); Supreme Allied Commander at NATO
Finding a Place to Stand: Developing Self-Reflective Institutions, Leaders and Citizens
More praise for Finding a Place to Stand
“It is a far-reaching book in terms of the expressed desire to help bring about greater participatory democracy. It is a helpful book through its illustration of how to do this at many levels—in the family, in organisations, and in society. In many places it redefines how we think about issues such as mental health, maturity, leadership, and citizenship. I am grateful for the accessibility of the writing and the storytelling that brings it alive. This is an important read. It brings forward
the ways in which self-reflective practice, in taking up a place for one’s voice, listening to others, and finding important commonalities can lead to a true democracy.”
Organisational and Social Dynamics
Journal of OPUS
“An in-depth examination of the ‘psychology of citizenship’. Shapiro addresses a subject that has vast implications for individuals and organizational leaders… He methodically analyzes human connections in the broadest sense of the word …[and] explores the complex psychological dynamics of individuals, families, groups, and organizations in lucid writing free of medical and scientific jargon. Throughout, Shapiro cites pertinent examples and includes anecdotes, each of which aptly illustrates a key point. These stories, whether they are about individuals in families, patients in hospitals, or employees in companies, all serve to enrich the theories presented. An observant, discerning work on understanding and improving organizations.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"A brilliantly realized treatment of what it means to be a citizen, using cutting edge behavioral science, clear and cogent story-telling and a deep understanding of the human condition to create a book that should be on every citizen's nightstand."
Admiral James Stavridis
USN (ret); Supreme Allied Commander at NATO; Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
"If 'what the hell is going on' is something you struggle with, read this book. It offers an alternative to the impotent rage or deadening apathy we can feel in our organizations, systems, and society. Dr. Shapiro responds to our desperate need to find our voice and a place to stand, as we join a higher purpose than ourselves."
Dwight Jewson
CEO, Strategic Frameworking
"A psycho-socio-political tour de force, building the case for conscious integration of our multiple human identities so that we can learn to participate as citizens in an increasingly complex and disruptive world."
John Shattuck
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
“Dr. Shapiro’s timely book is a vital antidote against the currents of fear, anxiety and paralysis that are prone to sweep us away in the political and social landscape of today.”
Stephen Taylor, M.D.
“... follows the paths through which we move from family to institutional life and how through the complexities and chaos of our multiple roles, we might find a voice for the future of our institutions, not as rigid entities caught in unconscious unworked dilemmas that imprison us but, as vital social systems where our living moments might find fruitful purpose, meaning and expression.”
Susan Long
Director of Research and Scholarship, National Institute of Organizational Dynamics Australia
“This wonderfully engaging, insightful book speaks directly to the crises we face today. Dr. Shapiro presents concrete, constructive steps that we can take — as individuals, institutions and a country — to find a voice that will enable us to live and act together effectively as democratic citizens. Read this book! In a time of confusion and uncertainty, fear and despair, it will give you hope and a way forward.”
Thomas A. Kohut
Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Professor of History Williams College
“Dr. Shapiro is educating us so carefully in the ways that unconscious forces at every level of social organization, impede and shape our individual and social capacities. Read this book as an individual, as a practitioner, but above all as a citizen!”
Adrienne Harris
Psychoanalyst, New York University
“Dr. Shapiro teaches how to speak to mission and thus lead, a prospect that empowers every citizen to make a difference in the organizations, countries and societies of which they are a part.”
Dr. Michael Groat
Psychoanalyst, New York University
“This is a book about close listening to and learning from experience within and across the social frames in which we live, grow, work, and relate. It is a powerful exploration of the processes involved in finding and enabling others to find one’s own voice in a family, a group, an organization, and a nation. Hugely ambitious, wonderfully accessible, its publication could scarcely be more timely.”
David Armstrong
Tavistock Consulting, London
“As we face profound social, economic, and environmental challenges, many of the institutions we rely upon to address them are at the breaking point. We are left with a fragmented world, disengaged citizenry, polarization, and the shadow of authoritarianism. This book offers a hopeful way of reconnecting to one another, revitalizing the importance of citizenship, and resisting the drift towards authoritarianism. Dr. Shapiro shines a light on how we can do so and reclaim the best of our democratic practices.”
Dr. James Krantz
CEO, WorkLab
Ed Shapiro headshot
Edward R. Shapiro, MD
A Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, Dr. Shapiro was medical director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center from 1991-2011. A psychoanalyst, family therapist and organizational consultant, he has received the Felix and Helene Deutsch Scientific Award from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, the Research Prize from the Society for Family Therapy and Research, and the Isenberg Teaching Award from McLean Hospital.

He was named Outstanding Psychiatrist for Advancement of the Profession by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association and since 2011 has been listed on the US News & World Report’s list of “Top Doctors’.
© 2023 Ed Shapiro MD. All Rights Reserved.