Soulwork Home Page

Check your spelling

Soulwork Online Help

Soulwork Humor: Funny stories


Soulwork Systemic Coaching: Summary

Soulwork Coach Training

Soulwork FAQ Questions & Answers


Emotional Issues
Anger & Rage

Eating Problems
Emotional Maturity
Grief & Loss
Inner Child

Pain Control
Stress Relief

Toxic Beliefs
Trauma & Stress
Weight Loss


Relationship Problems

Dissolve Conflicts
Emotional Blackmail

Enjoy Partnership
Evaluate Partners
Long-Distance Love
Love & Hate

Past Partners
Sexual Issues
Soul Mates


Family Challenges

Brothers & Sisters
Divorce & Children
Emotional Incest
Family Meetings
Family Secrets

Fathers & Daughters
Fathers & Sons
Learning Disorders
Mothers & Daughters
Mothers & Sons

Parental Alienation


Life Lessons
Bad Habits
Being Alone
Children's Challenges
Observing Feelings

Patterns in Love
Personal Growth
Quantum Leap
Self Esteem
Self Improvement
Self Intimacy
Stress & Relaxing
Therapist and Clients


Chaos Coaching

Inner Conflict
Expert Modeling
Learning Disorders

Sexual Abuse
Soul of Soulwork
Systemic Management
Therapist Abuse
Training Abuse



Interview with Martyn
Fee, Cost, Price

eXTReMe Tracker

When Coaching, Counseling or Therapy Fails
Martyn Carruthers & Kosjenka Muk

Online Life Coaching, Counseling & Mentorship

Many helping professionals believe that their clients should not make decisions about their own treatment - that clients should follow orders or be labeled resistant or in denial.
We've developed some resistance and denial to credentials.

When does HELP Fail?

Sometimes a practitioner just doesn't match a certain client, couple or team. Maybe they have different values or beliefs. Maybe they have a different background or philosophy. Who are your most difficult clients?

We assess individual client maturity, motivation and readiness for change with questions like these:

  1. Are you mostly mature and responsible?
  2. Are you friendly? Do you have good friends?
  3. Are you reliable? Do you finish what you start?
  4. Are you honest? Do you generally avoid deception?
  5. Are you usually proactive to solving life challenges?
  6. Have you suffered enough? Do you want to change?
  7. Can you enjoy using new ways and new behaviors?
  8. Are you financially prepared to invest in your future?
  9. Are you ready to explore and change any self-sabotage?
  10. Do you intend to improve your health, wealth and happiness?

We help many couples with our couples coaching. Yet, we cannot help every couple heal their partnership, especially if they have different values, incompatible habits or unresolved mentor damage. We expect difficulties when:

  1. one or both partners are cult members
  2. the partners are symbiotic or codependent
  3. the partners have reason to distrust helping professionals
  4. one partner tries to make the other to go against his/her will

We coach many teams with our systemic management coaching. But not all teams want to work together cooperatively. Here are some symptoms of common team problems ... how might a competent team leader react?

  1. A team member is overly talkative
  2. A team member continually distracts the leader
  3. A team member says, "Yes, but ..." to every idea
  4. A team member communicates: I am always right
  5. Two team members whisper while the leader is talking
  6. A team member accuses the leader, You make us look bad
  7. A team member provides important information after decisions are made

When Helping Professionals Fail

We find that common reasons why helping professionals fail to help are:

  1. Lack of offers: They do not offer clear choices from which people can choose
  2. Lack of clarity: They do not describe their objectives and models clearly
  3. Lack of flexibility: They are dogmatic and stuck in some technique
  4. Lack of leadership: They want a symbiotic or codependent relationship
  5. Lack of congruence: They are incongruent with people's values or goals

1. Lack of Offers

Many helping professionals advertise that their work increases choice, but is that actually true? How can you check before going through their processes? Many NLP interventions, for example, are intended to create obsessions, and hypnotherapy is based on obedience and compliance.

Many helping professionals believe that they know what is best for you ... and if you object - why - you must be resistant or in denial. We disagree - we would offer you as many choices as possible so that you can choose where you want to go ... and how you want to get there. And if you say yes hesitantly, we assume that there is a no in there somewhere, and we check out more possibilities.

Ask a prospective counselor or coach how he or she determines what is best for you. From a textbook? Using intuition? By some questionnaire? But if questioned, some helping professionals will refuse to accept you as a client! You have shown that you don't intuitively trust them enough ... and it's maybe a good idea to look elsewhere.

2. Lack of Clarity

You can require some conditions for your professional relationship, for example

  • Make a service contract with the practitioner
  • Insist that all information is private and confidential
  • Insist on space to challenge, change and/or veto their ideas
  • You choose your goals - and you decide if their method is helpful
  • No reports will be made to anybody else without your endorsement

If you are confused about about the purpose of your coaching or counseling - prepare for failure. If your practitioner is hired by a third person, parent or an organization, they are likely not coaching ... rather, they are appraising performance, facilitating communication, defining roles or setting objectives. These are all legitimate efforts, but they may not help you improve.

3. Lack of Congruence

Accept help in ways that are congruent with your goals and values. Imagine a sports coach who believes that the other team should win ... for any reason. Does a practitioner:

  • Support your values?
  • Explore what you truly want?
  • Make offers that you can choose between?
  • Explore what has prevented you achieving your goal?

If a helping professional persuades you or insists that you to follow their decision - this is not help, but compliance. Whether you succeed or fail, you are unlikely to enjoy the results. If they accept you as a client, but they serve the needs and follow the direction of a third party, they are not only unethical, but are setting you up for failure.

4. Lack of Flexibility

Is this person a solution looking for a problem? Or is he or she ready to help you define and get what you want? Dogmatic adherence to a single model often leads to failure. We start with listening, exploration and building trust. One dimensional approaches (e.g. prayer, meditation, massage) for complex relationship problems usually leads to short-term good feelings and long-term failure.

Good coaching includes empathy, non-judgmental exploration, diagnostic skills and flexibility. Beware of people who want to sell you a single process. Effective coaches are outstanding listeners; more interested in your hopes, dreams and aspirations than in any model or process.

Beware of people who apply athletic coaching models to life. Athletic coaching is very different to relationship coaching or life coaching. Athletic coaches are expected to be content experts - they know the skills necessary for optimal performance.

Beware of coaches using military models. If a coach talks about killing the competition or defending territory ... you may be just another resource or income stream.

Good life coaches need to be process experts. They may not be experts in a specific emotions, family, problem or service, instead they can help you develop skills to change or manage your life challenges.

5. Coach-Client Dependency & Codependence

An important goal of a coach is to empower and withdraw. Telephone and online coaching should not be "a long term relationship to provide them a steady income!" A professional should not stay in a helping relationship with you only for money. Codependence can hurt you both.

Coaching can be a powerful developmental tool, and it can also be used in shallow, manipulative and harmful ways.

Contact us to manage negative emotions, end self-sabotage
and solve relationship problems.

Online Coaching, Counseling & Mentorship

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



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