A Clinical Approach to Management

As a consultant with a psychoanalytic point of view, as well as many years of clinical and organizational experience, I bring a distinctive mix of abilities, talents, training and passion to my work. Traditional, purely rational approaches to management, which assume that people can be managed by logic alone, have significant limitations. By using clinical insight and applying clinical concepts derived through my consulting work, I can understand what drives and motivates executives—what needs, hopes, and desires are influencing critical behaviors and decisions in the workplace.


The clinical paradigm is a concept developed by Manfred Kets de Vries, and is the cornerstone of my philosophy at Rolfe Advisory. This idea emphasizes the importance of examining the problems of organizations and leadership through a clinical, psychodynamic lens. The clinical perspective focuses on these basic principles:

  • There is an underlying rationale to seemingly irrational behavior.
  • People are often unaware of what really motivates their behavior.
  • Development is an interpersonal process, and therefore the past is relevant.
  • Emotions and unconscious thought processes have a profound effect on a leader’s ability to function effectively in a business environment.

A clinical approach to management allows me to help leaders recognize and face anxiety and responses to anxiety, and to address the tough personal and interpersonal issues that influence critical thought processes, judgment, and decision making.