The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


31 March 2021| Personal

What is your job based on?

An internal school supervisor asks a question about a young boy who shows behavior that constantly shakes up the dynamics in the group and determines the atmosphere. The group also experiences so much more peace and quiet when he is not around.

How can I support the teachers? What can I do, there are so many judgements.

We do a constellation and the first image shows a split: on one side a part of the group and a teacher, on the other side a part of the group and the other teacher and the boy in between.

Because the question is mainly: ‘what can I do’, we do not go further into the dynamics in the group, but I ask about the history. A number of years ago, before this supervisor worked here, the director left and “things had to change”. An interim director came and later the current director. We set up a representative for everything that that “things had to change” involved, both the board and also the policy and the reasons for it. Little changes in the constellation actually.

Then the thought occurs to me, “how remarkable, this is already the third time I have heard this competent woman introduce this question.” That thought causes me to ask further about her relationship to this school. “How did you end up at this school?”

Her face contorts for a moment: “The board thought that the previous internal supervisor should be transferred because of something in the personal sphere. And then I was transferred, against my will, to this school, where I am now very happy”.

We let a representative of ‘the story that should not be there’ take his place in the constellation. Immediately all the children’s representatives turn to this story. Then we also place a representative for the current Internal supervisor there. And I let her speak: “My job is based on a story that should not be there. Thanks to the fact that the former had to leave here, I now have my job.”

Everything in the constellation relaxes and the woman who introduced the question now looks at this boy and his group with eyes that see how his behavior rattles the system to give “the story” a place. It is clearly visible that this woman is now giving this a place.

It now remains to be seen whether this was really what the behavior was asking for, or whether more recognition is needed before the system can really relax. But this supervisor now looks at this system with different eyes. Being part of this system she gives the ‘forbidden story’, on which her job is based, a place.

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