From an email forum ...
Tim: Martyn ... you've described where Systemic
Coaching fits in the flow of things - so what is it you actually do?
What are the operating principles of Systemic Coaching?
Martyn: That's a BIG question Tim ... answering it may take
a few cups of coffee, and maybe a web page!
1 Stuff Happens!
We were coaching people to get what they want.
We found that VERY few people know what they want.
Stuff seemed to get in the way.
Stuff like confusion or limiting beliefs or unpleasant
And for those who did know what they want, stuff
also got in the way.
Such as low motivation or chronic aggression or
At first we dismissed the stuff as insignificant emotional garbage
That didn't help at all
So we tried to fix the stuff with massage and diets and
And we tried ignoring the stuff to make it go away
And we tried to fix the stuff with hypnotherapy and NLP
And we talked endlessly about why the stuff was there
And we tried to fix the stuff with magical energies
And we tried prayer - hoping intensely that the stuff would
And we got pretty good at failing (I mean - at
Our fixes often had short term benefits and unpleasant
Later we found that the stuff usually makes sense - but
emotionally, not rationally
2 Stuff hits the fan
We began researching emotions and the rules of emotional logic
And we found relationships ... and relationship systems
And hard questions we couldn't easily answer
"Can emotions exist independent of relationships?"
We started looking at the role of emotions in relationships.
Fortunately, a whole culture had already done that;
the Aloha culture of old Hawaii
And I had spent a lot of time with native Hawaiian healers
Who believe that "Your health reflects your relationships"
And "Heal your body by healing your relationships"
But this type of healing is not scientific
Which is a blessing and a curse and a blessing
As we translated Hawaiian magic into Western concepts
We applied concepts from systems theory;
And systemic coaching was the best name we found so far
3 Stuff is OK if you speak to it nicely
Operating Principles ... sound so ... carved in stone,
and we haven't formalized or even listed ours
Here are a few, and some are straight translations
We are surrounded by ghosts ... of the dead ... and of
And we do not really know who is dead or who is living
- they co-exist
We are influenced by our ancestors, and we carry their
We try to complete what our ancestors did not complete
There are no family secrets - we respond to them unconsciously
And we take our families with us wherever we go
Perhaps especially to work ... where we may forget who
Transferences are mistaken identity; we may be confused
About who is a parent and who is a partner and who is a child
And who is a boss and who is a client and who is an employee
And we may forget who we are, and lose identity
And maybe feel like with someone else, perhaps a
And we may express their angry emotions: victim identified
Or we may say we are possessed - by a dead person
And express melancholy with dead person identification
Or we express our parents' conflicts - by living
in identity conflict
And we found solutions for these ... and more.
Coaching with Martyn Carruthers