The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


Bibi Schreuder

Is stamoudste, mede-eigenaar en opleider bij het Bert Hellinger instituut Nederland.

3 March 2022| Maatschappelijk, Societal

Completely disconnected from those you want to be connected with

For months I felt fear when I thought about the subject of the workshop I was to give at ‘Awakening the field, societal issues’, organized by Jan Jacob Stam on February 19. I already felt that my ideals might tip over. The first exercise would be to look a representative in the eye who represents ‘what my ideals are trying to prevent’, or ‘what my ideals want to protect me from’.

But something else happened: the two very technically experienced hosts could not help but exclaim: “What’s happening here! This is fascinating!”. Every time we were all together in the Zoom, the connection dropped out, sometimes I only had frozen images, sometimes the sound dropped out completely or I had an echo of my own voice of 10 seconds. I changed computers three times in the meantime, but nothing helped. Meanwhile, the participants were in breakout rooms where things were running smoothly from a technical point of view and they were gaining insights from mini-constellations … But we did not get around to doing a constellation about societal issues with the whole group to get an idea of what education now, needs to teach in order that the next generation can contribute to the future  society.

Remarkable was that everyone stayed for the entire workshop!

In the chaos of the technology failure, we came up with more breakout room exercises: one representative for technology, one representative for the future, one representative for education and yourself.

Afterwards, we received reactions about this mini-constellation: the ‘technique’ behaved like a demigod, but later he said: “I need containment from human people”.

Several breakout rooms had had similar experiences, that the ‘technique’ wanted to be guided or limited by human people.

Which immediately leads to a wonderful assignment: how can you teach people, and therefore children at school, to ‘contain’?

Can we still contain the power of algorithms, for example? And how do you teach the containment of a society that threatens to become polarised?

How do you teach children to contain the big ethical questions that we are now putting off (like climate change)?

And that first exercise, to see how your ideals try to prevent something, often produced shocking insights: the ideal picture of education as a filter for wanting to prevent war, for example. All the more shocking that five days later war breaks out…

During the workshop, I could easily imagine how teachers must have felt during the lockdowns: completely disconnected from those you want to be connected with …

So besides frustration, there are also insights and more and more questions that want to be explored further.

So I am going to give another online workshop on 26 March, 10am-12pm (CET):

‘What asks future society from human people, what do we have to teach now?’

A constellation on this societal issue and exercises in Breakout Rooms.

In this workshop, we will elaborate on the insights that may have been gained thanks to this ‘inventive failing’ technique.

Would you like to join? Then the costs for this workshop are €45 and you can register via this link.

Participants of Awakening the Field on February 19 can join without costs (they have already paid). These people will receive a separate email with invitation from Jan Jacob Stam and team.


Saturday 26 March 2022

10-12 hrs CET

Max 300 participants

Subscribe to our newsletter

We send the latest blogs, vlogs and our course offerings monthly through our newsletter. Stay informed and subscribe.


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.