Learning from failure: Exploring the psychodynamics of work in a clinical simulation centre

  • Caroline PelletierEmail author
  • Kay Buchan
  • Megan Hall-Jackson
Original Article


We analyse an intervention in a UK teaching hospital designed to enable ‘learning from failure’, using concepts from the Dejourian school of the psychodynamics of work. Whilst much of the English-language literature about and by Dejours focuses on his theoretical elaboration of Freud’s concepts of frustration and suffering in the context of contemporary conditions of work, this article attends to Dejours’ method of action research in workplaces. Our purpose is to consider how speech about the failures of work might be considered a basis for democratic intervention, especially in the context of simulation-based learning for professional development in healthcare.


psychodynamics of work failure clinical education simulation subjectivity workplaces education 


Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Pelletier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kay Buchan
    • 2
  • Megan Hall-Jackson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Culture, Communication and MediaUCL Institute of EducationLondonUK
  2. 2.LondonUK
  3. 3.Simulation and Essential Clinical Skills Lead (Whipps Cross Site)Barts Health NHS Trust, Whipps Cross HospitalLondonUK

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