When Markets Change, Change Your Marketability: Trainer and Therapist Jean Campbell Shows Us How It's Done
Change is disruptive. It unseats the familiar, and can easily trigger a sense of psychological threat that sets off the stress response, shutting down our cognitive capacities to think things through and make reasoned judgments. Two super-charged realities of 21st century life - globalization and rapid advances in technology –connect us to complex systems we neither understand nor control. For anyone old enough to remember rotary phones, 8-track tapes and the meaning of “don’t touch that dial” the economic shifts that result from technological disruption are a mix of interesting surprises and nasty shocks. In the pre-remote-control, pre-Skype, computers-are-for-scientists, things-actually-take-time era, the comfort, convenience, and control today’s technology provides is remarkable and welcome. At the same time, we may experience severe and random upsets as we discover how difficult it can be to adapt and succeed within a new and evolving paradigm.
“When the market changed so did I,” states Jean Campbell, Director of the Action Institute of California - which provides training for clinical, business, medical and educational settings using creative and action methods - and a professional role model in the art of self-reinvention. “When the economy crashed, and people didn't have money for therapy, I started focusing on my training workshops and starting working in corporate settings. I then let go of the practice a year ago, by choice, and am teaching, training, coaching and consulting exclusively these days.”The hard choice to let go of a familiar model that is in synch with life as we have known it is a creative leap into the unknown that can be daunting and fraught with internal conflict. In her TEDx talk “Me Pluribus Unum” Campbell demonstrates the power of psychodramatic work in navigating the unknown and working through the stress that fogs our ability to make conscious, pro-active choices. And her own story reflects the power of redirecting one’s energy to new goals when the paradigm that supported the old ones shifts. After 11 years in the pharmaceutical marketing field, she attended Fordham University for a degree in social work, worked in treatment centers, then focused her marketing and business skills to create a thriving private practice. “When I moved to LA almost 8 years ago my strong marketing and business background again propelled my business forward. Using social networking and marketing, combined with my medical background, I ended up working at MD Anderson Interpersonal Communication And Relationship Enhancement(I*CARE),”- a continuing education program for both clinical and research faculty, nurses, physician assistants and other health care professionals.
As the demonstration in the TEDx video shows, there are strategic techniques to access creative energy – or “spontaneity” in psychodramatic terms, which occurs in an inverse ratio to our degree of anxiety – increase self-awareness and gain the mental clarity to set one’s own course based on a personal vision. With these competencies we are less vulnerable to the reactive sense of threat triggered by destabilizing events and more empowered to build on what we have within us when the tides of change push and pull us, sometimes kicking and screaming, toward the future.
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