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Interview with Martyn
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Coaching, Therapy & Counseling Humor

Online Humor Coaching

True Confessions © Martyn Carruthers
Humor exists. Google it.

My thanks to those of you who showed me the funny side of coaching.
I can repay your kindness by not mentioning your names.

Those who laugh last
... think slowest!

As simple systems that work often evolve into complex systems that don't work, I like to keep things simple ... and funny. Martyn

Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson

Ask us for a helping foot!


Developing, providing and teaching systemic coaching was rewarding on many levels. As we accompanied people through their emotional and relationship journeys, we often found rich humor. Here are some curious and funny stories that I heard while coaching, counseling and training people, especially people from.

>  You not remember me but I come your seminar in Warszawa. You were FUNNY
>  I laugh so much that I nearly not see people healing. I didn't was a demonstration,
>  but my friend was, and now not has the bad problem. Do you heal people by
>  making laughs? Warsaw, Poland
When people can laugh at their own stuff - we're close to solutions ... Martyn

Some of you know that a part of this page is about YOU!

>  i see your nice pictures of sane men and women, good looking no less,
>  but i just am dying to know. are you people aliens? are you the gray
>  aliens that conspiracy theorists always talk about?
     I confess - some days I do feel like an extra-testicle
... Martyn

I worked hard and I denied myself pleasures - and what did it get me?
Hard work and self-denial! Martyn

Heard during sessions

What is it about me that attracts idiots?
Of course I'm unique - like everyone else.
I have a big mouth and I'm not afraid to use it.
I do use my imagination - I'm really suspicious.
I don't want to solve my conflict - I want revenge!
I don't know whether to have a baby or to get a dog.
I took an intelligence test and the results were negative.
A good solution to my problem would be someone I can blame.
I am willing to make mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.

My son doesn't know that his girlfriend is a bad choice.
She's not
like me at all.

How do you spell PTSD?
No matter how cynical I am, I canít keep up.
Why should I suffer in silence when I can complain?
When I want to relax, I think about ways I can get revenge.
I don't care if somebody manipulates me, as long as I enjoy it.
I knew when my husband was lying because his lips were moving.
Who do I blame for my problems? I can always find someone to blame!
I accept my personality problems - without them I would have no personality.
I do take responsibility for my actions ... when they are not someone else's fault.
I do NOT sit in my living room watching television all day. I also have a TV in my bedroom.

First I say nice things to myself, then I do nice things for myself,
then I find someone to buy nice things for me.

I want to change my future.
Please make it didn't happen!
Why can't we have a session while I'm driving?
I don't want to tell so many lies but I do want to keep my job.
My wife helps me appreciate how very wonderful is my girlfriend.
How can I learn from my past when I am worried about my future?
How can I divorce my wife without telling her? She will be very angry.
Of course I find humor in my everyday life ... I look for people I can laugh at.
All I want is a partner who is rich, sexy, educated and who loves me ... especially rich.
My boyfriend had a heart attack while we made love. I didn't know that people could die so happy.

I didn't have any problems until we came for couple counseling.
Then my partner told me what I have to change ... and it's all your fault!

My husband needs help for emotional insects.
I couldn't make him love me, but I could make him leave.
How many children do I have? Should I include my husband?
Only people as intelligent as I am can possibly understand me.
How did I find you? God told me to Google emotional maturity!
My wife made me come to see you. I want you to prove her wrong!
I know that your methods work in practice - but do they work in theory?
I don't want to change anything - I just want to tell you how bad things are.
I want to be wealthy and single ... where can I find a rich bachelor who is dying?
We need a combination of therapy and medication so that we can stay together.

How would I know if we have irreconcilable problems?
We hardly ever talk.

Appreciate diversity ... and blend in!

Lies Told by Trainers

I would never date a student
Exams are only diagnostic tools
Call me any time; I'm always available
It doesn't matter what I think; say what you believe
It doesn't bother me if my graduate students earn more than I do

Humor: laughter is the best medicine

Lies Told by Students

I will pay you when I can afford it
I will solve that problem tomorrow
You're the best trainer in the world
I will do every part of my homework
I have done every part of my homework
I only want to make other people happy

Training Exercises

I asked my spirit guides do the exercise for me
We didn't actually DO the exercise - but we did DISCUSS it
Your exercise was too difficult so we made up our own exercise
My exercise partner was just like my mother - she didn't like me at all
I told my partner what I intuited about her sex life and now she won't talk to me

I didn't do the exercise because ...

  •  I'm a philosopher
  •  We both needed a cigarette
  •  I only do exercises with my boyfriend
  •  None of those bastards will talk to me
  •  I didn't want to learn anything else today

Why Waste Time? Conversational Shortcuts

Soulwork: laughter is the best medicine If you ask, "Is it possible that ...?" - my answer is "Yes"
If you ask, "Is it always true that ...?" - my answer is "No"
If you ask, "Is it this way or that way?" - my answer is "Maybe"
If you ask, "Is it true or false that ...?" - my answer is "Exactly"

I Missed my Appointment because ...

You didn't empower me enough
I discovered a new fear of success
I'm sorry but I started to feel much better
The date on the calendar was closer than I thought
I didn't want to tell you I wasn't coming in case you felt bad

I don't have to understand you to disagree with you!

Difficult Goals

I want to be a virgin again!
I want everybody to love me!
I want you to stop asking me such hard questions!
I want to feel like I'm five years old for the rest of my life (woman aged 40)
I know that you could solve all my problems in one session - if you really wanted to!

No matter how carefully I choose my words - someone will twist them!

"I'm sorry that you trusted me" ... Difficult Organizers

Soulwork - coaching for fun

Every sentence tells a story ... these tiny stories are from my early attempts as a trainer, when I was more naive, less prepared and mostly worked with amateurs. Sadly, I heard some of these comments more than once and remembering them can still make me groan! Martyn

Take this organizer for example ... please!

If it is meant to be - it will happen.
I have few friends and little credibility.
How could I predict that that would happen?
Two of the students are diagnosed as psychotic
Relax ... they are both on medication ... I hope ...
I don't need to promote you - I know all my friends will come.
I'm sure I can put an advertisement in the library and find enough students.

My expenses should be your risk.
Your expenses are your own problem.
I'm sorry that the training room is close to a ...
I told them that you can channel alien life forms.
Your translator is 14 years old (Czech Republic)
I will promote you how I think you should be promoted.
I told them that you can solve all their problems in one weekend.
The audience is a mix of business consultants and intuitive healers.

It's your fault for thinking bad thoughts.
You can solve my problems in the evenings.
All my friends told me that they would come.
At the last moment I decided I wasn't ready.
You can stay with me (in my tiny apartment)
I know we agreed to settle finances today, but ...
I decided that I need your money more than you do.

The ONLY thing I forgot to tell them was the date!
I know I booked the wrong flight - but you should pay for it.
You shouldn't have given me power of attorney on your bank account!
You can sleep in our son's bed - he's in hospital with an infectious disease.
I'm sorry that you trusted me!

Soulwork: coaching for negative emotions

Some days we really need a friend!

I have taught systemic psychology and therapy workshops in many countries. Most students are wonderful people whom I can remember with pleasure, and some have become good friends. Immature students either grew up quickly ... or they quit.

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Lost Integrity (Comments from students)

I protect my clients from reality
Please don't confuse me with facts
I can't teach if there are skeptics in the room
I will accept ANYBODY as a client - who can pay
I don't need to give you credit when I teach your work
Copyright and intellectual property are obsolete concepts!

If I don't know it - it's not worth knowing
If you don't trust me, you are a bad person
If I read an article about something - I can teach it
Why should I demonstrate - it would only confuse them
Of course I'm right - I've been doing it that way for years
I don't demonstrate ... I explain why people must change

I can only work with people who are like me
Don't worry - their unconscious minds will get it
I am giving myself an Elite Grand Master certificate
Privacy and confidentiality are not required in coaching
Clients don't need exercises or homework - they need theory
I am very flexible - people can agree with me any way that they want!

Humor in therapy

"Don't I know you ... didn't we meet in ?"

Some of these comments still cause me to
laugh out loud ... and some remind me of
difficult conversations with interesting people.
And maybe you were there. Martyn

Funny Emails

Would you have half an hour sometime to do a session on
how I can be in the heart of Buddha (state)?

This might be the best compliment I've had lately ... Martyn

Many people email me for help. Some simple questions are hard to answer:

  • How can I coach my mother?
  • What is the best relationship technique?
  • How can I prove to people that I am mature?
  • What do I really need to know about coaching?
  • When is the right time to improve a relationship?
  • How can I measure my return on investment in my marriage?

>  After my last session, existence sent me the material to practice
>  what I worked with you! Next I desire a session to negotiate with 
>  the universe its policies and with myself my self-honesty.

Lost in Translation

In a workshop in Poland, I told a funny story and realized at the last moment that my punch line depended on untranslatable puns. I was surprised when the audience erupted with genuine laughter. Later, when I complimented my translator, she told me that she told them, "Martyn is proud of this story's ending which I cannot possibly translate; it would be polite to laugh."

Translating meditations and interactive metaphors can be challenging if my translator gets dreamy or sleepy. I ask translators to remember, "trance-later!"

I often teach in countries with languages that do not have words for coaching. Some of my translators' descriptions of coaching were hilarious. One was, "telling jokes until people change", and another, "pretending to be stupid until people solve their own problems".

Bonus: Secrets of Practical Coaching

You will never understand your own issues
as well as you understand other people's issues.

  • Nobody asks for only one favor
  • A rich client's jokes are always funny
  • There's no such thing as a family secret!
  • Many personal problems begin with positive thinking!
  • Whatever happens, act as though you are pleased it happened!
  • To err is human ... to blame your clients for your errors is also human
  • Enjoy gratitude while it is still warm. People quickly forget their suffering.
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but itís better than no knowledge at all
  • Take care when provoking clients - you may forget who you are, but they don't
  • When you fully understand a client's problems, your work is probably finished!
  • The essential resources are where you'd least expect to find them!
  • For every suggestion, there is an equal and opposite objection!
  • The traditional reward for work well done is - more work.
  • The solution is always the last thing you try!
  • They who laugh last just got paid!

Nurture Your Inner Comic
Online Humor Coaching with Martyn

Soulwork: humor for group therapy

No owls were harmed during the making of this web page.
These owl images are not original, and can be found in many places on the internet without copyright information.


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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