The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


23 January 2019| Systemic Coaching

A system reaching its destiny

After having been employed in Mexico City, for twenty years, Mónica moved to Cancún to start her own business. She has the urgent question what she should do to get her business to make profit again. After having been successful at first, she is almost out of work and money now. The way she is talking, I clearly see the image before me of her kicking her company hard to move it forward. She is angry with it. Basically, she is wishing reality to be different from how it is now. She makes an excluding movement towards her company. Which I can understand. At the same time, I am strongly convinced that her problem is a solution that wants to be included. A solution for what? That is what we explore.

My first question is about how long the business has existed. “Two years.” A fairly new venture, which makes me ask: “What was your deepest desire, your dearest wish, when you started the company?” It turns out that she wanted to free herself from employment and move back to where her family lives. She is happy and satisfied that this action was very successful: she now has her own business in Cancún. My reaction: “Could it be possible that your company has delivered what it was meant for? That it has done its job, so to say?” Mónica is not impressed with my contribution and persists that she needs to earn money. “Of course,” and I ask her if I may outline a possible way forward for her. She allows me to do so.

“Your company has done what you asked it to do: Take me out of the situation I am in. By doing that, it seems to have reached its destiny. You may need to think about how you can earn money not with, but after this company.” She is nodding and after a while she says: “Yes, that could make sense. But how do I do that?”

“The basic movement is that you feel gratitude for where your company has taken you so far. Whatever you may create next, in this or a new company, it will be built upon this first one. If you want to take the next step, feel and think about how ‘the old’ can still be seen and honoured as the foundation for ‘the new’.”


From systemic theory we know that systems have basic needs, that need to be fulfilled in order to allow them to flourish. One of these needs is that an organisation ‘wants’ to reach its destiny. Once, it was founded for a very good reason. And, just as human life, one day it is over. The system has done what it was meant to do. And therefor it deserves respect and gratitude. Then, being the business owner, you can move on.

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About the Bert Hellinger Institute

People are constantly evolving. With each other, without each other. In families, in teams, in organizations. Systemic thinking makes us aware of the “why” of our being and doing. Organizational and family constellations create room for movement. The BHI provides courses, workshops and training programs in the field of systemic work, constellations, leadership and coaching. This is how we contribute to the development of people, organizations and society.

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