About

An expert in motivation, emotion, and irrational individual and group behavior, Dr. Gourguechon brings decades of experience as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and organizational leader to helping clients understand both their own unique psychology and that of the people they’re working with either side by side or across the table.

Prudy has served as advisor to business leaders during times of succession and transition, marketers and political campaigns and as an investor performance coach. She has also advised marketers and advocates on effective messaging and uncovering sources of resistance to messages being received and leading to change.

Dr. Gourguechon is frequently quoted as an expert on the psychological aspects of individual and group behavior as well as social, cultural and political phenomena, appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post online, and Chicago Sun-times among many media outlets.

She is an internationally recognized organizational leader, who served as President of the 3000+ member American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) from 2008-2010, a professional association with a $4 million annual budget. In this position, she  served as the chief executive and public face of the organization, chaired all board of directors and executive committee meetings, facilitated strategic planning, and consensus-building, selected and oriented committee leadership, and managed committees to accomplish organizational goals. Dr. Gourguechon  developed key initiatives for APsaA including creating a Service Members and Veterans Initiative and the 10,000 Minds Project, which created pathways to bring awareness of psychoanalysis to undergraduate students. As Head of APsaA’s social issues department, she built an active and effective leadership group on social issues, created four new advocacy committees and was responsible for promulgation of 13 position statements, overseeing process from concept to writing to Board approval. She also conceived and developed a new Department of Education Outreach to connect with educators from pre-school through post-graduate level.

She designed and helped implement a comprehensive new communications and knowledge management strategy for the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), a professional society with 12,000 members and 72 constituent organizations in 63 countries.

Belonging to a profession whose members were somewhat uncomfortable with modern communications methods she encouraged her colleagues to develop an identity as public intellectuals.  She developed resources and training sessions for her colleagues on building websites, blogging, using Twitter, and speaking to the public about technical matters in a accessible way with minimum jargon.

She knows from personal experience what it’s like to be a leader and to want to make an organization excel in its mission. She also knows, from intimate experience, the challenges a woman leader uniquely faces in an organizational culture.

Prudy has a special interest in the opportunities inherent in a phase of life she calls ‘Starting Older” and is working on a book (with that title) to provide guidance to folks in their 60’s and 70’s who have many productive years of work ahead but wonder exactly what they want to do with them. For previous generations a satisfying career followed by a traditional retirement and well-planned old age seemed to cover the life course. But now, a business owner, finance professional or foundation executive at 64 often has the experience “Ok, I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do. What do I do now?”

She has always seen the value of the right kind of communications for building communities, and edited her kindergarten class’s newsletter, as well as the quarterly publication of APsaA, The American Psychoanalyst.

In addition to her organizational and consulting work, Dr. Gourguechon has had a clinical practice in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Chicago since 1983.  She is currently transitioning to full time consulting and writing.

Dr. Gourguechon was born in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Yale College, a member of Yale’s first class of women. She received her MD from the University of Michigan and her training in psychiatry at Northwestern University Medical School, with postgraduate training in psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago.