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OSD Training Program Information


The Organization & Systems Development Program was the first training program in the world to integrate Gestalt theory, system theory, and Organization Development theory. The OSD perspective provides individuals with theory, concepts, methodologies, and tools and techniques for intervening at the individual, two-person, group, and organizational levels. The OSD program offers a unique Gestalt framework for developing professionals, designing interventions, and managing change in the systems in which we live and work.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for individuals with experience and demonstrated professional competence in their fields. Applicants should have experience in and commitment to developing organizations, work teams, communities, governments, or political entities. Many who have attended the program serve as leaders: physicians, educators, lawyers, managers, administrators, and internal and external consultants. However, the professional role of the applicant is less critical than his/her active involvement in ongoing system change and development work.

The Gestalt Center for Organization & Systems Development encourages the participation of individuals from a broad range of organizational settings in order to develop and share a broader perspective on organizational life. Such diversity provides participants with a rich, expansive experience. To ensure a heterogeneous student body, criteria guiding the selection of participants include age, professional background, educational background, typical system with which the applicant works, gender, ethnicity, and personality/lifestyle.

OSD Training Program participants have come from a wide range of organizations, including:

Business & Industry
Abbott Laboratories
American Greetings
Anchor Partnership, UK
Bank of Hawaii
Bell South
Centre de Formation et de Consultation
Chase Manhattan Bank
Commonwealth Edison
Continental Airlines
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Digital Equipment
Exxon Chemicals, Exxon USA
General Electric
GTZ, South Africa
Independent Development Trust, South Africa
International Advantage, Australia
McKinsey & Co., Inc.
Ontrack Data International
Republic Steel
Royal Bank of Canada
Teleos Leadership
TIBA Management, Germany
TRW Corporation
Wheelock, Inc.
Xerox Corporation
Canada Auditor General's Office
City of Palo Alto, CA
Educational Testing Service, NJ
Federal Corrections Institute
Government of Costa Rica
National Women’s Council, Ireland
US Department of Agriculture
US General Accounting Office
USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection

Baldwin-Wallace College
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Institute of Art
Institute for Type Development
Kokomo Center Township (NJ) School System Morehouse School of Medicine
Ohio State University
Ottawa University
Syracuse University
Trinidad State College
University of Chicago
University of Illinois
University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina School of Nursing

Health Care
American Medical Consulting
Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Buffalo General Hospital
Evangelical Hospital Corporation
University Hospitals, Cleveland
Urban Strategies of New York

Curriculum and Methodology

These programs help participants expand their alternatives in influencing systems. The core programs provide opportunities for direct work in skill development in a range of areas. Participants will learn to:

  • Discriminate among observations, interpretations, judgments, descriptions, and evaluations. Pay greater attention to and selectively share observations about what is happening in another person, group, or organization.
  • Pay greater attention to one's own experience of feelings, sensations, and thoughts, and selectively share these, establishing one's presence in so doing.
  • Identify, support, and mobilize energy in the client system as it relates to the emergence of themes or issues.
  • Facilitate clear, meaningful, and heightened contact between members of the client system and between oneself and the client system.
  • Recognize resistance and adopt a respectful attitude in working through it.
  • Recognize when and how to heighten conflict and the expression of conflict, as well as when to diffuse conflict.
  • Help the client complete units of work and achieve closure of unfinished business.
  • Observe and attend to process on three levels of system, and identify choice points related to interventions at each level.
  • Develop appropriate designs for interventions that consider the consequences for individuals, groups, and the organization.
  • Cultivate one's openness to change and development as both a person and a change agent, including the ability to use failures and negative feedback constructively.
  • Recognize and work with broad social issues as they apply, and appreciate, understand, and build upon one's beliefs and values concerning the process of change.
A variety of methods are used in this program, including demonstrations, readings, simulations, role-plays, fieldwork assignments, small group practice, and step-by-step skill building experiences. Participants will work with individuals, groups, and organizations in a laboratory setting, as well as with their own systems or clients, as part of the learning process. They will be required to develop learning projects outside the program, and they will receive consultation and feedback for these projects throughout the course of their work.

Admission Process

Prerequisite: Participation in an Introductory Gestalt Workshop or Interpersonal Interaction Workshop. Admission to the program involves both a written application and an in-person group interview. Early application is encouraged.


GICOSDISC reserves the right to change faculty, program dates, and fees as necessary. GICOSDISC assumes no liability for expenses incurred by participants due to any changes in program dates, including nonrefundable travel and/or lodging expenses.


Mail: 7665 Mentor Avenue #316, Mentor, OH 44060
Phone: 440.205.8606
Fax: 440.205.8606

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