The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


9 February 2022| Societal


‘A newsletter about all that wants…’ are the words Barbara used when inviting me to make a contribution. In the run-up to Awakening the Field Societal Issues, they evoke memories of Bert Hellinger. A decade ago. We are walking around Amsterdam together. That’s what Bert likes, walking around Amsterdam. “Where to, Bert?” “I trust you, I’ll follow you,” he says, with his warm voice. Then Bert stops somewhere and says, “What you see here is benevolence. People are benevolent.”

And then the memory of Bert doing constellations on social issues in the small church next to the Bert Hellinger Institute comes back to me. About healthcare. About political parties in the Netherlands. About the church. Bert invites a representative. This representative pauses for a moment before entering the stage. Then the representative drops to the ground and starts to weep. “That is God,” Bert says, “and God weeps about the church.”

His voice is and remains full of benevolence. Benevolence, precision and courage.

Now we are on the eve of an online worldwide congress on societal issues. The benevolence, precision and courage are palpable. What are the messages in today’s societal issues? How much benevolence do we need to show in those issues to hear the messages? And how much courage does it take to love what can sometimes be terrible?

I like to imagine Bert looking at us benevolently; at the participants, hosts, interpreters, workshop facilitators and organization. Just as Bert benevolently watches how the Bert Hellinger Institute develops, how I develop, how TeamConnect develops and how systemic work develops worldwide. Everyone on his or her path. Benevolently. Benevolence: the membrane, the container, the bedding and the atmosphere which makes so much possible.

Jan Jacob Stam

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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.

For up-and-coming and established leaders. An initiative of the Bert Hellinger Institute.