What is the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry? 

The Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry is a think tank of top psychiatric minds whose thoughtful analysis and recommendations serve to influence and advance modern psychiatric theory and practice.

What does their Committee on Work and Organizations do?

We look closely at the interface of the workplace and mental health, identifying issues that directly impact people’s well-being.  We develop and publicize solutions that can be implemented by individuals, companies and other organizations.

Why was this book written?

Work, it seems to us, is an essential, important and influential activity in life.  Too many people we met or spoke with in the course of doing our own work as psychiatrists seemed a bit adrift, unable to realize fulfillment in their jobs. Having also met many people with fulfilling jobs, we noted the many differences in how fulfilled people approached work (and life in general). We decided to study these differences more completely, and that led to the CAREERS project.

We cast a wide net in terms of career paths and consciously sought out individuals who loved their work. We used structured interviews (some excerpts are in the text) and then analyzed the information.  We were quite struck by the many common themes.  The behaviors of fulfilled people in pursuing jobs and working demonstrated an underlying essential wisdom from which we all can learn.

Because the brain best learns many things through models and examples, we decided to bring together the fulfilled peoples’ stories to provide a book of potential templates.   Originally, we thought CAREERS would work best for young people starting out in the world of work, but these principles truly apply to anyone who works.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our interview process – your willingness to share your success in finding fulfillment permeates this book and we are privileged to be able to present it. 

What else might be good to read so I can find fulfillment at work?

  • Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel
  • Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe and Sabin Streeter
  • Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path in Life by Nathan Geghard, Mike Marriner and Joanne Gordon
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
  • Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford
  • What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
  • The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore
  • Harvard Business Review on Managing Your Career in Tough Times by Harvard Business Press
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton
  • Work and Love: the Crucial Balance by Jay Rohrlich
  • Seasons of A Man’s Life by Daniel Levinson
  • A Life Worth Living by Barrie Greiff
  • First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life and Living by Richard Bode

About the Authors

Josh Gibson, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). His clinical and educational work focuses on the neurobiology of relationships. Prior to becoming a psychiatrist, he was a senior consultant for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), specializing for nearly five years in process re-engineering, organization development, and education design and delivery. In addition to his clinical work, he consults to senior executives.  www.joshgibsonmd.com

For three decades, Barrie Sanford Greiff, M.D. was a psychiatrist and faculty member at the Harvard Business School. He pioneered a unique course, the first of its kind in the world, dealing with the juggling of self, family and work life, ultimately publishing the book Tradeoffs. His latest book, A Life Worth Living (now an e-book), focuses on what really matters in a person’s life. He practices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and consults to privately held businesses, professional service firms and senior executives.

Stephen Heidel, M.D., M.B.A. has always been interested in both clinical medicine and business. After practicing psychiatry for several years, he founded a business involved in employee benefits and also provided management consultation to address interpersonal conflicts in the workplace. He currently provides consultation to start-up biotech companies to address conflicts among the founder, CEO and management team.  Throughout his career, Dr. Heidel has continued both his practice of psychiatry and teaching at University of California, San Diego Medical School, where he is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry.  www.heidelandassociates.com

Barbara Long, M.D., Ph.D. is a board certified psychiatrist in private practice.  Her main career focus has been consulting to corporations and to the legal profession about the broad spectrum of workplace problems.  In addition, for 30 years she has worked with young people, both professionally and personally, facilitating their adjustment to college, career, and relationships.  Her recently released book, Keep Your Eye on the Prize! A Young Person's Guidebook to Adulthood, helps young people grow toward being successful, happy, and well-balanced adults. barbaralongmdphd.com

David E. Morrison III, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist. As Director of Medical Services and Director of Individual Consultations at Morrison Associates, his primary roles include leading individual consultations for executives, facilitating seminars, and developing new products.  His current suite of education programs include an in-house program, Making Performance Management Discussions Work for You, that helps managers and their direct reports develop a sense of mastery around tough discussions on performance. His course has been adapted for internal training and education programs at Accenture, Food Lion, Kraft and Motorola. www.morrisonltd.com