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The Insider-Outsider Perspective and Why it Matters

Updated: Nov 22, 2021



Is this really confidential? Are you sure you don't give feedback to my manager? Just how closely do you work with HR?


The above questions often define the start of our 1:1 sessions with employees and we get it. Seeing a clinical psychologist inside your workplace isn’t the norm but it can bring great benefit.


At Amplify we often talk about how our role as Clinical Psychologists, based in host organisations, makes us Insider-Outsiders. Perhaps more interestingly we also talk about why this position is useful to both individuals and to our host businesses.


For individuals, the value of the Insider-Outsider perspective stems from two things. First, the ‘Outsider’ part of the dyad gives a sense of safety meaning that individuals can talk freely about what is going on for them without fear of judgement, or fear of the information being used against them (a genuine fear for many). This ability to talk freely and in confidence is imperative in being able to build trust but also provide solutions to distress that are accurate and effective. This confidentiality lies at the heart of our role and the way we work - and just like attending a session with your GP it governs both legally and ethically everything we do.


Second, the ‘Insider’ part of the dyad allows our clinicians to develop a deep understanding of the workplace context which both frames and informs an individual's experience. For employees, talking to a clinician who understands implicitly the context of their working life builds confidence and a sense of reassurance. For the clinicians at Amplify, it adds an extra layer of nuance and sophistication to our understanding and thinking.


"For employees, talking to a clinician who understands implicitly the context of their working life builds confidence and a sense of reassurance. "

For businesses, the value of the Insider-Outsider perspective is found in its transformation potential. Specifically, it allows Amplify to provide a feedback loop of aggregated high level ‘clinical themes’ (to ensure confidentiality is maintained) which can be discussed with the host business. Such theme notation and the discussions derived from them can help senior managers more deeply understand the overall experience of their staff and any key areas of concern; whether that's how support for individuals with dyslexia or other neurodevelopmental presentations is managed or a pattern of leaders struggling to manage performance vs mental health.


Finally, whether for individuals or businesses, simply being there consistently over time builds trust. Accessibility, flexibility, confidentiality AND the often neglected understanding and impact of context are all worth thinking about when you think about mental health at work.



Reduce the stress of caring about how you manage mental health

After a 3-months long open dialogue with over 20 HR directors and senior managers, Amplify recently launched the HR and Manager Consultation programme, a pioneering service that specifically helps HR teams and managers reduce the stress of caring about how they manage mental health at work.



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