The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


9 March 2023| Societal

Systemic Perception Muscles

After a few years in the Netherlands it was very nice to train my systemic perception muscles again abroad, Romania in this case. For me it is always a great gift to give our courses abroad, because then you really come into contact with a place that you do not know yet.

What comes to you when you open up in a city you don’t know? Jan Jacob Stam taught me that you can only expose yourself once to a new place, as if it were a ‘crime scene’.

So there I was, the day before training, on the edge of the center of Bucharest where my hotel was. The first thing that occurred to me were the enormous buildings that clearly had a function for the country in other times. And some of those immense buildings are empty, crumbling with the ravages of time. Developments for new destinations are stalling or stagnating. It felt to me as if the history that this city and this country owns, does not want to give way. And they stand there like Landmarks, an imprinted memory of other times.

I shared my observation with Dragos Riti, colleague and organizer who invited the Bert Hellinger Institute to give this training. “Landscars” he said.

The next day, 17 female participants were ready for the start of the System Dynamics in Organizations training. The training was held in a hotel that now only houses refugees from Ukraine. Mostly women and children walked through the building. The war in Ukraine is of course close to Romania and I could feel that the men are now available elsewhere.

What does that do to the women? Systems want to be complete. When I shared this observation in the group and indicated that the women in the training do not have to fill the systemic vacancy for the men, I could hear many women exhale again and I could observe that many bodies could relax.

Also in their personal history, the men were often (by necessity) absent. And that was also visible and tangible in the building where we were.

Actually, this observation was enough to complete the (learning) system. And I, as the guide of the group, took internally all the absent men from then and now into my heart, I enclosed them in. So that the participants were free to just participate in the training. And I experience that again and again: the healing and/or in this case the relaxing movement of recognition.


Yvonne Lonis

Maart 2023

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.