Organizational consultation

Executive Coaching & Organizational Consultation to Independent school heads & Trustees

I provide executive coaching and organizational consultation to independent school heads, trustees and to other educational and corporate organizations. Working with educational and corporate leaders both, here in Washington DC in “real-time”, and elsewhere via phone and retreats, I offer a unique clinical and organizational lens.

In the clinical arena, I’m a Supervising and Training Analyst, a Board Certified Psychoanalyst, a Licensed (Clinical) Psychologist and a Certified, Master Career Counselor, in full-time, private practice here, on the border of Washington DC in Chevy Chase steps from the Friendship Heights metro. I provide psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Since 1989, I have worked with independent school heads and educational leaders on:

  • school head/board chair relationships (governance)
  • head departures
  • new head transition
  • school dynamics
  • organizational culture
  • navigating change
  • adjusting to significant changes in the independent school market
  • reducing stress for the head of school and their family
  • partnering with parents
  • helping to co-educate an all boys middle school
  • building healthy schools
  • developing preventative wellness programs
  • outreach to the counseling and mental health community
  • community outreach
  • head-parent relations
  • faculty development
  • inclusivity
  • other challenges.

Interested In Organizational Consultation or Executive Coaching with me?

I work with educational and corporate leaders both here, in Washington DC, and nationally. Those seeking consultation or executive coaching are welcome to call me: 301.656.9650.

Consultation with independent school leaders

Dr. Friedman consults to independent school leaders

A Biographical Sketch

Lynn Friedman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalyst, and an executive coach and organizational consultant to independent school leaders. Also, she serves on the faculty of Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Friedman earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1985; she was awarded an NIMH pre-doctoral fellowship, a Provost Development Fellowship, numerous Teaching Fellowships and she was provided with NIMH funding for her doctoral research. Her doctoral research was co-chaired by faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon University. Both her masters, and doctoral, research examined clinical decision making through a broad lens which touched on issue of race and inclusivity. She obtained training in family systems, humanistic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavior therapy, with a focus on middle school children, adolescents, young adults, couples and families in outpatient and inpatient settings.

From 1988 – 1999, she maintained a private practice in Pittsburgh. After several years of clinical experience, Dr. Friedman completed a seven year postdoctoral, psychoanalytic training program. She moved to the Washington in 1999 and opened a full-time, private practice.

Since 1989, she has provided consultation to independent school leaders, faculty and families. She has presented, and written, extensively for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and other educational associations. From 1989-1998, she served as an organizational and clinical consultant to Shady Side Academy Middle School and to other Pittsburgh area independent schools. In 2000, she provided organizational consultation at NAIS. From 2002 – 2015, she provided consultation to the head of the Village Community School in NYC.

Currently, she provides consultation to school heads, both locally, and nationally. Her consultation and executive coaching focuses on: governance (particularly board chair-head relations), organizational change, faculty professional development, new head transition, head departures, school culture, school dynamics, inclusivity, community outreach, developing preventative counseling programs and related areas.

For the last two years, Dr. Friedman has served on the board of the McLean School of Maryland, a school that is committed to an inclusion model ~ their faculty experts teach the way students learn. Specifically, this highly skilled, highly trained, faculty tailor their teaching approaches to each student’s learning strengths and challenges. She loves McLean because the school is so enfranchising of everyone. Also, McLean has a terrific health and wellness program in which students are taught self-advocacy and mindfulness. She is on the marketing committee. Also, she is the chair of the governance committee. She is honored to serve as a Trustee.

Dr. Friedman has been teaching at the university level since 1979. From 1986 – 1999, she taught at Carnegie Mellon University in psychology and in the Heinz School of Public Policy. In the latter setting, she taught principals-in-training; this cohort included independent school heads. Since 1999, Dr. Friedman has taught graduate students at Johns Hopkins University in the business school and in the School of Education. In the business school, she taught courses on Organizational Consultation and Needs Assessment; these courses explored organizational leader/trustee relationships, governance, organizational dynamics, professional development, morale, leading diverse teams for competitive advantage, inclusivity, community outreach and related topics. In the clinical arena, she teaches Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Executive Coaching as well as other courses.

Friedman is a Board Certified Psychoanalyst. She is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute; this means that she has been vetted to supervise, and treat, psychoanalysts-in-training.  From 2014 – 2017, she chaired the Institute’s fellowship program. In this role, she successfully recruited and embraced an unusually diverse cohort with respect educational and economic background, culture and race. In 2013, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year.

In the psychoanalytic and psychological arena, she has presented on workplace and school inhibitions at both the local and national level. Also, she published pioneering work in the area of psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment.

Friedman devotes the bulk of her time to her private practice in Friendship Heights where she sees adolescents, adults, couples and families. She provides a range of services including, evaluation, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and career & executive coaching. Beyond this, Friedman supervises psychoanalysts-in-training and provides clinical consultation to psychologists and other mental health clinicians. In addition to being a psychologist and a psychoanalyst, she is certified as a Master Career Counselor. Friedman has an entrepreneurial spirit and loves integrating her diverse interests to create innovation in education and psychology.

I’ve written extensively on both organizational dynamics in the independent schools and corporate dynamics. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has published my articles on navigating change, building healthy schools, head of school/trustee relationships and more. My Washington Business Journal column, Corporations on the Couch, has been nationally-syndicated. Also, I have presented extensively at educational conferences throughout the United States and beyond.

NAIS Articles On Organizational Consultation In The Independent Schools (A few representative articles)

  • First families: A Toolkit for Trustees The inception of a new head marks a period of transition for the board, the faculty, the students, the parents, and the head. However, virtually no attention has been given to the transitions of the spouses and children of heads. This article is devoted describing how the head and the first family can successfully navigate a safe passage to a gratifying headship.
  • Faculty Professional Development: A Primer for School Leader Effective professional development programs engender an atmosphere of excitement, intellectual stimulation, and collegiality. Yet, many independent schools lack these programs. Why would independent schools fail to develop a “community of life-long learners” among the faculty? How can these obstacles be overcome?
  • Organizational Change in the Independent School: Promise or Peril Implementing organizational changes in the independent school poses some unique and special challenges. What is the nature of these challenges? How might leadership identify “resistances” and increase collaboration? How might leadership mobilize the entire school community to participate in organizational assessment? Each will be addressed in turn.
  • Organizational Assessment in the Independent School: Crisis as an Inadvertent Assessment Tool. This article, was originally written following September 11, 2001, examines how crisis – in the independent school – can be used an an organizational assessment tool. Although it focuses on 911, the ideas detailed can be applied to any independent school crisis.

NAIS Presentations (A few representative talks)

Friedman, L, Wise, V, Saxenian, M, Make New Friends But Keep the Old: Including “Outside” Trustees on Your Board. 2017 NAIS Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, 2017 March.

Friedman L, Wise, V. Not for trustees only: 10 steps to reading your head’s mind. 2013 NAIS Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 2013 February.

Friedman L, Kleger E. From healthy governance to healthy schools: five steps for sustainability. 2008 NAIS Annual Conference, NY, NY; 2008 March.

Friedman L. Creating effective professional development programs: enhancing faculty recruitment and retention. 2006 NAIS Annual Conference, Boston MA; 2006 March.

Friedman L, Kleger E, Skulnik S. Healthy governance for healthy schools: one route to sustainability. 2006 NAIS Annual Conference, Boston MA; 2006 March.

Friedman L, Bassett, B. First families: a toolkit for administrators. Presented at 2004 NAIS Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada; 2004 March.

Friedman L. Creating effective professional development programs: Enhancing faculty retention. Presented at the NAIS Annual Conference, New York, NY, 2002 February.

Friedman L. Organizational change in the independent school. Presented at the NAIS Annual Conference, Boston MA, 2001 March.

Organizational consultation


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