The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


Sandra Hardenberg

Is owner/operational manager at the Bert Hellinger Instituut Nederland.

3 February 2022| Personal

Found by the Bert Hellinger Institute

I first heard about the Bert Hellinger Institute in March 2016. After my previous employer went bankrupt, I was determined to take it easy for a while. The time there had taken its toll, mentally and physically. I didn’t know what I wanted, but what I did know is what I never wanted again…

And so, after only two weeks of taking it easy, the vacancy of office manager at the Bert Hellinger Institute found me. After emailing my application letter, Barbara also found me quickly: she called me within half an hour. After a very nice first interview with Barbara, a second interview with Jan Jacob and with Willemien, the office manager at the time, soon followed. Within a week, everything was arranged and I started work. I can still remember how incredibly welcome I felt, with all of who I was. 

Soon, I was also a participant in an Organizational Constellations workshop. And I finally understood what I had been feeling for a long time, I was finally able to put words to it. After a number of workshops, reading books on systemic work and a course in Systemic Leadership, I will be starting the System Dynamics in Organizations course this year. 

As office manager, I very quickly felt ownership of the office, something Jan Jacob, Bibi and Barbara recognized by including me in consultations and decision-making. On paper, I may not have been an owner, but systemically it felt that way for a long time.

And then, in the spring of 2021, during one of our trainer days, Barbara asked me why I had never really answered her repeated request to join the partnership. Apparently, this question had never really registered with me, perhaps because I was under the impression that it would not be possible or I was just too busy with my family and keeping all the balls in the air. 

But now it hit home! I asked Barbara to ask me again, because I knew the answer now! In the summer of 2021, the question was put to me again, and I wholeheartedly said (and jumped and cheered): “Yes!” 

I am very proud to be the co-owner of this wonderful institute as of 1 January 2022, and that Jan Jacob, Bibi & Barbara are handing it over to the next generation. 

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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.