iOS app Android app

Douglas LaBier
Douglas LaBier, Ph.D. is a business psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Washington, DC; and Director of the Center for Progressive Development.

Dr. LaBier’s work focuses on helping individuals and business leaders identify and resolve the mixture of personal, career-related and organizational conflicts that often undermine psychological health and a positive work culture. New conflicts create new challenges within today’s highly interconnected, interdependent and unpredictable world.

As a business psychologist, Dr. LaBier consults to senior executives and senior management teams on ways to integrate personal and career development with positive leadership practices. These include strategies to support individual growth, collaboration, social responsibility, and sustainable practices. Such strategies point the way towards an emerging business model that combines financial success with serving the social good.

As a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Dr. LaBier helps individuals and couples resolve emotional conflicts that impact personal life goals, intimate and family relationships, career development and life transitions. His focus includes building emotional resiliency and self-awareness in the service of internal wellbeing and external success, in the context of today’s turbulent, unpredictable and globalized environment. He helps men and women create greater integration, sense of life purpose and "evolution" in their lives; a challenge that's especially relevant to adults from about 35 onward.

Dr. LaBier’s long-standing focus on the psychology of the career culture, human development and the interplay between work and psychological health grew from the work he first wrote about in his highly acclaimed book, Modern Madness. A pioneering examination of how work and career within organizations affect emotional and values conflict, it was cited by Daniel Goleman in the New York Times as “In the vanguard…offering sobering insights into the costs of modern success.” it explained why personal and career-related conflicts are often caused, paradoxically, by successful adaptation to the roles, pressures, and culture within organizations and careers.

Dr. LaBier has published regularly in the popular press, and his work has been the subject of frequent coverage by national print and broadcast media, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other publications. He’s been a frequent guest on national TV and radio shows over the years regarding issues of psychological health within current political and social culture.

Currently a clinical professor at George Washington University, he's also served as a faculty member of the Washington School of Psychiatry; a Fellow of the Research Council of Healthy Companies, a nonprofit organization supported by the MacArthur Foundation; and previously served on the staff of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. LaBier is currently working on a new book project that rethinks what psychological health and emotional resilience consists of, in today’s world; and what promotes it — in personal lives, in careers, in public policy -- within today's highly interconnected, unpredictable and tumultuous world.

He can be reached at, and followed on Twitter or Facebook

Entries by Douglas LaBier

Managers' Stress and Their Relationships With Employees: Lessons From Norway

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 1:29 PM

Many studies in recent years show the connections between positive, collaborative relationships at work; a positive, supportive management culture; and higher levels of creative, productive work. I think the findings of this recent study from Norway of 3000 managers, conducted by researchers at BI Norwegian Business...

Read Post

Better Sex Through Fighting With Your Partner?

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 6:50 PM

"Of course, we fight!" John said, "All couples do -- that's normal!" He looked at me incredulously, as Mary quickly added with a tight smile, "But then we have 'make-up sex.' And that makes things better." Nevertheless, they sought therapy over their concern about the long-term impact of this "normal"...

Read Post

Working Hard -- And No Need for Vacation? Here's Why

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 3:58 PM


Do you work increasingly long hours, and even pride yourself on taking little, if any, vacation time? If so, you're in pretty good company. Some recent surveys confirm - again -- that U.S. workers tend to take relatively little vacation time,...

Read Post

Does Short-Term Meditation Work? Here's What New Research Found

(5) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 11:47 AM

I regularly encourage the people I work with to practice meditation. It builds a kind of inner "shock absorber" that helps you maintain calm and focus in the midst of daily stress and the multiple demands of living in today's world. While that's not the true purpose of meditation (another...

Read Post

Can Business Leaders Activate These Dormant Capacities?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 2:01 PM

In a business environment where surveys find 70% of employees saying they hate their work; and in which the demographics of leaders and employees are rapidly changing, it's no surprise to hear -- as a senior executive asked me, recently -- "How can I prepare for...

Read Post

New Discovery: Having a Life Purpose Keeps You 'Stayin' Alive!'

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 10:40 AM

In the "all things are connected" department, a large-scale longitudinal study has found that people who have a sense of purpose live longer. The research, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that those who had died over the course of the study had reported lower purpose in...

Read Post

In a Depressing Marriage? Here's Why

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 1:13 PM

This is a no-brainer, but it's always good to see research that confirms what seems obvious -- or resonates with your personal experience. This study found that stress within your marriage can make you more vulnerable to depression.

That is, people who experience chronic stress within their...

Read Post

Another Poll: The Continuing, Debilitating Impact of Workplace Stress

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 12:18 PM

It's déjà vu time once again: A new poll of nearly 7,000 people by the job-search site Monster found high levels of unrelenting stress among workers, which mirror findings form other, periodic surveys. Of course, there are many reasons for work-related stress. But I'm especially struck by the...

Read Post

How You Can 'Grow' Your Mental Health

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 10:23 AM

Despite our advances in understanding and treating emotional problems and the more serious mental disorders, we don't know much about what mental health is, in contrast. I've been thinking about this lack for the last several years, and it was brought to mind again recently by the comments of two...

Read Post

The Rapid Transformation of Business Leaders Is Underway

(3) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 5:54 PM

Some recent studies reveal a dramatically changing face of business leaders already underway; and, what the leadership needs of the future will look like. I see these and other related observations coinciding with a broader shift in our society, and perhaps worldwide. It's towards heightened interconnection and interdependence, desire for...

Read Post

'Your Money or Your Life!'

(2) Comments | Posted February 22, 2014 | 9:23 PM

In one of Jack Benny's classic comedy skits, a robber confronts him, demanding, "Your money or your life!" Benny -- in character as a notorious tightwad -- pauses for a long moment. The robber shouts his demand one more, with urgency. Finally, Benny says slowly, "I'm thinking it...

Read Post

Why Your Therapist Should Go 'Back to the Future'

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2014 | 7:29 PM

I recently spoke to psychology doctoral students about the innovative contributions of some pioneering psychoanalysts in New York and Washington and who collaborated during the 1930s -1950s. Several found commonalities in their work to expand traditional psychoanalytic understanding about emotional conflicts and their treatment. Some were European, having fled the...

Read Post

Caught Between 'Longing' And 'Settling' In Your Midlife Marriage?

(18) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 5:32 AM

Once the world was new
Our bodies felt the morning dew
That greets the brand new day
We couldn't tear ourselves away
I wonder if you care
I wonder if you still remember...

The Moody Blues, "Your Wildest Dreams"

Linda, a 53-year-old psychotherapy...

Read Post

How Serious Fiction Helps You 'Evolve' Your Soul

(5) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 11:41 AM

The recent death of Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing -- one of the most significant writers of our time, in my view -- brought to mind that serious fiction spurs your spiritual and psychological development, your essential soul. It's a gateway to "evolving" yourself during your lifetime, rather than...

Read Post

Take This Job and... Shove/Love It?

(4) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 10:42 AM

So which is it? A new survey finds that 90 percent of older workers, and nearly 40 percent of younger workers are satisfied with their work. But many other surveys report high levels of dissatisfaction, stress, unsupportive management and disengagement from work altogether -- across age groups.

How to...

Read Post

Is Your Workplace In Sync With Its Own Future?

(3) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 12:08 PM

It's clear that we're in the midst of massive transformations in the business world and the workplace. These transformations are underway, for example, in a rising sense of responsibility to society; recognition of the workplace culture's contribution to debilitating stress and life imbalance; the

Read Post

Why Men's Self-Esteem Drops When Their Romantic Partners Succeed

(9) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 9:34 AM

One of the writer Gore Vidal's famous bon mots was, "Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."

Some recent research gives credence to that, at least where men in relationships are concerned. It found that men feel bad about themselves without realizing it...

Read Post

Redefine Success Through Living an 'Inside-Out' Life

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 2:49 PM

My recent post explained that you can't balance work and life because both are part of your outer life, while "balance" comes from guidance by a strong inner life. Since then, many have asked me to describe more about the inner life -- where your true self lies...

Read Post

How Couples Can Get to Divorce -- Real Fast!

(8) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 5:53 PM

Want a fast track to divorce? Paul and Kim can show you the way. Like many couples, they jockey around for power, control and "winning" arguments when there's conflict. And their intimacy fades, as a result. Even when one of them apologizes for their role in the conflict, nothing changes....

Read Post

Why CEOs Don't Want Executive Coaching

(48) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 1:30 PM

A recent study by the Stanford Business School found that nearly two-thirds of CEOs don't receive executive coaching or leadership development. And almost half of senior executives in general aren't receiving any, either. Paradoxically, nearly 100 percent said they would like coaching to enhance their development, as both...

Read Post