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Coaching in Villages & Small Towns
Kosjenka Muk, MA (Systemic Trainer & Therapist, Croatia)

Online Coaching & Mentorship

Kosjenka Muk, MA, is a therapist in Croatia. Kosjenka resides in a village in Croatia, where she assists families of children with developmental problems. Kosjenka also maintains a systemic coaching practice in the city of Zagreb, where she coaches people to resolve relationship challenges.

Would you enjoy private coaching on self-esteem, verbal aikido, solving relationship problems, lasting happiness and better relationships? Kosjenka Muk is bilingual and teaches Soulwork Systemic Coaching and other trainings internationally. Kosjenka wrote the books Emotional Maturity and Verbal Self-Defense


Kosjenka compares and contrasts coaching city people with coaching village people.

Coaching in Villages & Small Towns

Villages are changing all over the world. Increasing numbers of educated people choose to live closer to nature than in crowded cities. Also, many people who grew up in villages now work in towns, perhaps keeping agricultural work as a source of income or as a hobby.

A city offers a wider range of experiences and possibilities than a village. Although many of these experiences are valuable, many have toxic impact. City children are more confronted with violent, manipulative and uncontrolled behavior - it's easier to be rude to people you may never meet again - than in a small community where most people know each other.

Difficult city experiences may motivate a child to better understand the world and people, but a child who lacks the support of a healthy family might follow deviant behavioral models. Children in villages have fewer difficult experiences, which may make childhood easier. Instead they are more likely to follow family traditions and village routines.

In recent years, television programs display and discuss topics which would have been avoided a few decades ago. This trend has advantages and faults. Television is a poor substitute for parenting, and many children are exposed to and influenced by many toxic models of aggressive and superficial behavior, as well as manipulative psycho-commercials.

Coaching in Small Communities

Life in most villages is less challenging than in most cities. Village people are more likely to be satisfied with simple, concrete goals - and will be less open to broader perspective, taking risks, making significant changes – especially in their family and community relationships.

Communication between people living in villages and small towns tends to be more open and kind than between strangers in the cities – yet village people may be less aware of or interested in possibilities to improve their communication or relationship skills. On the other hand, village people are usually less tolerant of different ideas or behavior and a village person who wants coaching might fear community criticism and gossip.

We can expect that the differences between people who have grown up in villages and in cities will lessen. This is already visible in people who are now 20 – 30 years old - and this is the age of village people who are most likely to request life or relationship coaching. Older village people are far less likely to request help, unless confronted by very serious problems.

Village people may avoid dealing with strong unpleasant emotions and avoid questioning the way they were raised or their family traditions. A village person might resist changing common limiting beliefs and behavioral patterns – again, especially in relationships.

As relationships are the most important aspect of quality of life, relationships greatly influence every other area of life, especially the ability to change.

Religion & Politics

Village people tend to be conservative in both religion and politics, especially in areas under stress - whether from threat of war, inclement weather or poor soil. They tends to distrust change of any sort - and may cling to religious or political beliefs long after they cease to be popular in cities.

Through centuries, the authority for village people was religion. While towns and cities were centers of education and culture (even if influenced by religion), uneducated peasants were mentored by clerics, who supported conservative belief systems with guilt, shame and fear. If emotions are labeled as mortal sins, most people soon learn to suppress them.

Many people learn to suppress their emotions and even identity as part of a moral code. Systemic coaching can help these people feel again their emotions and bring back their own sense of identity. Older village people might even be too afraid to take such a risk.

Religious influence contributes to intolerance towards other values and lifestyles. It may increase self-importance while decreasing self-esteem, motivating people to believe that they don’t deserve happiness. Religious influence discourages individualism and searching for personal spiritual experiences. In Istria, village people who don’t attend church service or attend irregularly, report on criticism and covert isolation. Religions encourage adult children to remain bonded to their parents, and encourage women to depend on men.

Although education and mass media help reduce religious influence, some clerics present their own ideas as an absolute truth. They also influence the political choice of the people, using their religious authority as a pretext to affect secular politics.

Social Implications

Younger village people are likely to be attracted to the advantages of city life. Those who don’t  move to a city might have difficulties in finding independence. It’s easier to rent an apartment in the city, than to build or rent a house in a village. Parents often encourage adult children to live close to them, sometimes building big houses, or few close-standing houses for their children. However, many people who live with parents remain in a child’s role, and avoid building independence and identity, sticking to a well-known life-style.

Sexual prejudices are stronger in the village than in the city; a woman may not be independent. A village woman who wants a significant change in life, is less likely to find support from family and friends – or in her own self-confidence. In an unsatisfying relationship, it’s not only difficult to motivate both partners to change, but the partner who didn’t ask for coaching may sabotage it, or become hostile. In such circumstances, it often seems easier to leave things as they are, than to cope with the challenge of change… at least for the short-term.

Educational courses, culture, and a variety of work are less accessible in a village than in a city. In cities, parents often expect or at least hope that their children will finish college, while in the villages the expectations may be lower. A villager is more likely to listen to authorities in religion and politics, with less opportunity to build trust into his own opinion and abilities.

Coaching Communities

Communication between people in villages and small towns tends to be more open and kind than between strangers in the cities – but that often makes village people less aware or interested in possibility to improve communication and relationship skills. On the other hand, village people are usually less tolerant towards too different ideas or behavior and the person who wants coaching might be afraid of criticism and gossiping. There’s a very similar situation with child-raising: village families seem to be more connected and relaxed with children, but they usually stick to traditional and habitual style of their upbringing. Even if we cannot claim that the city families are more advanced considering raising children, they are still more likely to at least consider the possibility to change.

Life in a village is less challenging than a city, and some people might be satisfied with simple, concrete goals; while being less open to broader perspectives, taking risks, making significant changes – especially in relationships. Village clients often avoid dealing with strong unpleasant emotions and avoid questioning the way that they were raised. They might also resist changing common limiting beliefs and behaviors – especially in relationships.

Still, relationships are the most important aspect of quality of life, and influence every other area of life, especially the ability to change.

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email