The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


27 July 2017| Systemic Coaching

Systemic coaching is like muscle training

As a systemic coach, I am aware of and train four different muscle groups.

My first muscle group is my attitude. Without assumption and judgment, I open myself

up to the different systems that the client is bound in. I make space within myself for everything; the good events, the bad events, the painful events and for everything and everybody that has been lost or denied in the system. I do this while I remain rooted in my own system.

I am aware of and train another muscle group: My clear perception. What do I see when I look at the client? Facial expression, breathing, complexion, body language, tone of voice etc.

I am aware of and train yet another muscle group: My body sensations. What am I experiencing while I listen and perceive the client? How is my breathing? Where in my body do I feel tension or pressure? What word or sentence wants to come out of my mouth? How do I experience the space between me and the client? What do I perceive there?

And I also train and use my brain; my knowledge of social systems. What I do know about social systems is that they want to be complete. Everybody and everything has a right to belong in a system. A system flourishes when there is an exchange. When a system reaches its destiny, the flow will stop. So where in the question of the client, is the problem a solution for the system? What patterns or dynamics are hidden in the issue of the client?

And with this attitude, systemic perception in myself and what I perceive from the client and with my systemic knowledge, I sit next to the client.

I listen and ask questions: In which system is the issue relevant? How long has this issue existed? Is there a repetition of the pattern?

I listen and ask questions: What are the possible patterns as a solution from the system? Are the systemic principles of belonging, order, exchange and destiny not in place in the system?

I listen and ask questions: What are the benefits of having this pattern? What qualities were gained?

I listen and ask questions: What are the costs of having this pattern? Where does is benefit and where does it no stop benefiting the client?

I think of a suitable intervention: Maybe a question, maybe a drawing, maybe a constellation in the mind or a constellation with teacups on the table. Maybe something else.

I listen and ask questions: What movement wants to be made or which step wants to be taken by the client?

I listen and ask questions: In what new way is the client probably connected from now on in his/her system(s)?

Then, I’m often quiet, in order to wait for the client to make that movement from within.

And then I say: “Kloar”. Which, in Groningen, means DONE!

So I hope to meet you in our systemic gym, where we can train all these muscle groups.

Yvonne Lonis

Bert Hellinger Institute, The Netherlands

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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.