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Soulwork Coaching Philosophy
Solving Life Problems Martyn & Kosjenka 2008

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Our Systemic Psychology is about success - it is about clarity, motivation, actions and consequences. It's about knowing where you are now, knowing where you want to be, resolving conflicts, changing beliefs and enjoying relationships.

You are subject to the rules of many relationship systems. You are a member of your early family, your current and past friendships, your current and past teams, your current and past partnerships and your regional and national communities. Do you sometimes feel confused or overwhelmed by your relationship duties?

You are also subject to the often-unstated rules of your relationships, which include what you can do and even what you can believe. And, as human systems are subsystems of planetary ecosystems, you are subject to the consequences of environmental rules that govern the ecology of our planet.

In which of your relationships is it
against the rules to know the rules?

Simple rules cannot provide adequate guidance for relationship behavior. (For example, "Be polite" has little value with people from other cultures.) American rules of  politeness can irritate Europeans and alienate Asians. You can learn cultural values and systemic rules to better reach your goals.

We don't research your past - we explore your present!
You carry your past into your present, and we can help
you change your present to improve your future.

You can explore your relationship rules by exploring your relationship habits, which probably follow patterns set by your parents and schools. We can help you change unwanted habits.

Our Coaching Philosophy

We offer long-term solutions for emotional and relationship problems.

Our life coaching is not about technique - it's about integrity.
"Is a proposed change in the best interest of everybody involved?"
Our integrity requires that we evaluate your relationship ecology first!

Few people ask about our philosophy - most ask about our techniques. Yet obsession with technique often accompanies arrogance, client abuse and therapist damage. Helping professionals obsessed with technique can damage their clients.

Since I entered the world of NLP, hypnotherapy and inspirational self-improvement, my life has changed. I definitely don't like these changes, but I can't get out of them because they were imprinted in me on an emotional level ... Email

Unskilled life coaching and counseling may support short-term success ... and long-term damage. Changing relationship behavior for short-term gains may precipitate lasting suffering. (E.g. Many decisions to abort babies are made oblivious of the consequences of abortion on the parents and other children.)

How we developed Soulwork Life Coaching

(1) We studied how people's beliefs and emotions influence their relationships

(2) We improved our coaching methods with this understanding

(3) We tested our methodology in unpaid sessions

(4) We fine tuned our work and tested again

Limits to Conversations

Attempts have been made to guide, regulate and limit the conversations that are called coaching, counseling and therapy. The presuppositions within those codes, guidelines and regulations usually reflect the ambitions of the writers.

Abstract guidelines lack substance. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) attempted to define coaching relationships in 2002:

ICF Coaching Philosophy

The International Coach Federation (ICF) ... honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work, and believes that every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

From ICF Standards, July 2002

Our experience indicates that:

  • Most people are not expert in but are unaware of their own life dynamics
  • Few people can access their creativity, resourcefulness and integrity
  • Client-generated solutions and strategies are often totally unrealistic
  • Nobody can truthfully discover, clarify and align with all client goals
  • Many adults actively avoid responsibility and accountability
  • Self-discovery often exposes strong unpleasant emotions

Our Life Coaching Philosophy (2003)

We help people improve their relationship behavior as we research the causes, benefits, choices and consequences of similar behaviors with people from similar cultural backgrounds

In our coaching, counseling and training, we offer experience. We teach through demonstration, discussion, exercises and feedback.

From Soulwork Code of Conduct

Life Coaching & Informed Consent

We provide clear information about potential risks, benefits and alternative methods to achieve goals or to solve specified problems. We discuss the risks, benefits, consequences and alternative methods for reaching goals.

As guests of relationship systems, you are also subject to systemic consequences. If you try to make decisions for people without their informed consent, you risk becoming emotionally entangled with those people.

If you try to make decisions for your clients, you risk becoming a substitute for a parent. Although some of your clients may enjoy this ... they may become increasingly dependent or antagonistic as they relive their family drama ... with you.

If you behave in a way that our behavior could be misconstrued, probably some people will misconstrue it. Even if you become enmeshed unknowingly, it may be difficult to sort it out.
Take responsibility to act responsibly!

Many helping professionals take parental roles towards clients - and some try to take partner roles (perhaps in intimate affairs). Although becoming a substitute family member has enormous influence on the lives of both the professionals and their clients, these unpleasant consequences seem to be ignored in most training programs.

Personal Philosophy & Integrity

How were you programmed during your early relationships? What unrealistic beliefs do you still cherish? Have you overcome your childish desires to obey your parents and conform to their values and standards?

Your personal philosophy will reflect your morals and integrity, explain your behavior and influence how you understand people ... how you make decisions, how you relate to various people and how you deal with the consequences of your actions.

Do you use techniques or do you help people develop?

  1. Are your own relationships happy and healthy?
  2. Do you follow a similar formula with every client?
  3. Do you offer people coaching, dogma or good advice?
  4. With what relationship types do you claim competence?
  5. Why do you want to help people change their relationships?
  6. Can you predict the relationship consequences of your advice?
  7. Are you offended or irritated if someone ignores your good advice?

Relationship Coaching & Counseling: Codes of Ethics

Coaching and counseling philosophies can be abstract, while practical ethics are easier to specify. Our practical ethics include:

  1. maintain confidentiality
  2. offer a paid service only if competent
  3. clarify rules and boundaries with clients
  4. claim only qualifications that are possessed
  5. respect every member of a relationship system
  6. make appropriate referrals to competent professionals
  7. use extra safeguards when coaching children and young adults

How to become Whys

Coaching, counseling and therapy are a series of conversations. For our conversations to be useful, and for changes to be both beneficial and lasting, we often educate people about the causes of their relationship habits, the potential consequences of changes, and how to develop appropriate relationship skills.

Questions that explore professional integrity include,
"What does your client want?", "What does your client pay for?"
and "What does your client take away?"

For us to help people get what they want - we must first agree with what they want. We help people befriend unpleasant emotions before we help them change those emotions. We help people begin, improve, maintain and end relationships. We help people recognize and resolve relationship conflicts and other problems.

We coach, mentor and train people to:

  1. define and fulfill their responsibilities
  2. fulfill responsibilities to their relationship systems
  3. manage relationship transferences and identity loss
  4. explore relationship consequences of individual goals
  5. find solutions for cross-generational relationship habits

Do you help people manage emotions and resolve relationship issues
that create life problems - or do you just try to fix the life problems?

Online Life Coaching, Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers & Kosjenka Muk 2008-2018 All rights reserved.

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