The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


Bibi Schreuder

Is co-owner and trainer at the Bert Hellinger institute Netherlands.

8 October 2020| Crisis, Other, Societal, Transformation

To live or to survive in times of uncertainty?

The moment I write this question down, tears come to my eyes. Are these tears of sorrow or…?

I have noticed that in these times of uncertainty, the tears are never far away, not only with me, I also notice it with the people around me. As soon as someone mentions the possibility of a new lockdown, the tears find their way out. I actually have no idea what emotion those tears represent. I also have no idea whom I might be crying those tears for… or is this my own response to uncertainty? And is it really my response? Or is it a way of survival I inherited from my ancestors? And does that mean that I am now surviving, while I can also still enjoy life so much when I feel the sunshine on my skin and see the last flowers of summer still blossoming.

I’m not even sure if I can feel if I am living or surviving.

And does facilitating an online workshop come from a state of survival, or from a state of living?

I love working with groups so much that something in me is very much against working online.

But I also love learning so much that something really comes to life inside me, that wants to find out what I can do with online systemic work. And now that I write that down, I also feel the stubbornness (an old pattern!) taking the floor: I have been doing online work for such a long time, with telephone coaching; it isn’t anything new! In short, all kinds of voices are screaming inside me.

If I look at it systemically, I can recognize that all those voices are connected to the different “consciences” that run systems and myself.

“I don’t want anything to change, I want the world to stay as it is.” Ah, I can recognize the personal conscience there, the domain of the will: what I want from life.

And the stubborn “I’ve been doing that for such a long time, it isn’t anything new!” (with the stubborn tone, suggesting: you don’t have to teach me anything anymore) is such a typical Schreuder pattern (my family). Those patterns that are connected to how things were, how people survived back then. Oh gosh, are those patterns of the system conscience coming after me again?

And then there is that voice that says: “I really want to find out how it works and whether it will be something for me.” I feel the energy of evolutionary conscience flowing through me. I feel life, but it almost seems as if I have to answer to the voices from those other consciences…

Just writing all this down brings peace to my stomach.

In the workshop on October 31 I will guide you through these consciences to explore your own states of survival and state living. An online workshop, anyone all over the world can participate. When I connect with all those people, I can feel the life in me. Exploring survival brings me to life!

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.