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Emotional Issues
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Interview with Martyn
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Online Coaching and Alternative Therapy
Emotional & Relationship Problems Martyn Carruthers

Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

Soulwork does not replace life coaching nor psychotherapy. Life coaching is useful when people make decisions in controllable environments with simple objectives. Psychotherapy is useful for people with diagnosable dysfunction.

Our systems coaching is superb for people making complex decisions
in challenging environments or with ambiguous objectives.

Alternative, Complementary & New Age Therapy

Alternative and complementary therapies refer to unconventional treatments used in place of Western psychotherapy, and in preventing diseases and treating illness. Yet alternative and complementary are relative - they depend on the reference system.

In China, for example, Western medicine may be called a new alternative medicine of complementary treatments, as Western medicine has only existed for a hundred years or so, compared to thousands of years of using traditional Chinese medicine.

Terms like complementary and alternative medicine are vague and inaccurate, and do not begin to summarize or describe the work of independent helping professionals. See Evolution of Good Intentions and Is Systemic Coaching New Age?

Therapy & Law

Few Western legal systems try to restrict the expression of thoughts, beliefs and opinions, although legal systems may attempt to restrain expressions of ideas which may harm other people.

Therapist incompetence is not an offence under most laws. It is not an offence to claim to help or alleviate mental health, emotional or relationship problems; otherwise no helping professional could offer their services, no matter how competently.

In some countries it is illegal to claim credentials which you do not have ... especially those of a medical doctor. However, the availability of email degrees and PhDs makes this a gray area. Many popular books about relationship coaching and therapy were written by people advertising their fake PhDs.

Some letters after a name (e.g. MD) are protected by law, although there seems to be little regulation of this in most countries and many people claim 'scholarly' post-nominal letters. (Using post-nominal letters to secure a job may be criminal fraud).

Example Advertisement Get an advanced degree from an
accredited academic institution without doing any coursework,
going to campus, or spending thousands of hours studying!

Some regions have laws forbidding the use of diploma mill credentials. In North Dakota, it is illegal to use a fake degree in connection with a business, and in Illinois, a fake degree must not be used to obtain employment. (The Pacific Western University, famous for selling thousands of fake degrees for high prices, changed its name to California Miramar University.)

Therapy & Conversation

Many people divide themselves into bodies and minds. Whether or not this division is real is a question for philosophers, as many people disagree on if or where or how those divisions should be made.

Minds can be described as being both rational and irrational. We may describe the rational mind as intellect, and the irrational mind as emotions. People who study intellect may be called psychologists, and people who study psychoactive medications may be called psychiatrists. We study human relationships.

Psychologists often specialize, for example in educational psychology or marketing. Clinical psychologists aim to reduce distress and enhance and promote wellbeing. Psychiatrists, broadly speaking, practice two distinct kinds of treatment - medication and conversational. Like coaching, psychotherapy is all about conversations.

Which Conversations are Appropriate?

Many people try to help other people through conversation - this is a function of friendship! Yet ...

  • Dissociated and immature people may not respond to conversations
  • Conversational change requires skill and experience for good results
  • The unskilled use of some conversational methods may damage people

Many people who seek professional coaching are strong and motivated, and seek assistance in a well-defined context. Fewer people may seek assistance for resolving life challenges or achieving philosophical ideals that cross many contexts.

Martyn, would you have half an hour some time to do a session on what is
between the me now and the being in the heart of Buddha (state)?

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

Competence of Helping Professionals

For us, competence, as opposed to credentials, is about successfully helping people decide what they want and then to get what they want. The skills to fulfill these competencies include:

  • communication skills
  • evaluate relationships
  • define goals and objectives
  • create trusting relationships
  • resolve objections and conflicts
  • improve partnership
  • manage identity loss
  • provide short-term coaching
  • manage abuse and/or trauma
  • provide long-term mentorship

Some therapists act as if you are incompetent to decide what you want, and that they must tell you what to want. If you disagree, you may be called resistant ... or worse.

Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

Damage with Good Intentions

Maturity, emotional stability and competence are essential qualities of helping professionals, yet are rarely assessed by professional organizations. Deficiencies in those areas seem to be the main source of damage to clients and patients.

As no institute or organization of helping professionals will test or vouch for the character or stability of their members, it is wise to seek evidence of competence and emotional maturity, to better avoid therapist damage.

Assess a Coach, Therapist or Counselor

How can you recognize a reliable coach, therapist or mentor?
Seek evidence of competence and maturity, rather than credentials.

Watch a potential mentor assisting people, and talk to people who have been clients of this person. Notice if a potential therapist or mentor:

  • walks their talk
  • tries to understand you
  • supports better relationships
  • assesses needs and problems
  • has effective interpersonal skills
  • has good personal relationships
  • is sensitive and genuine
  • is competent and caring
  • is accepting and empathic
  • is trustworthy and credible
  • is friendly and knowledgeable
  • is experienced and supportive

Does this person help people to:

  • evaluate relationships and change entanglements?
  • recover identity loss; lost qualities, expertise and skills?
  • define goals, manage inner objections and plan for success?
  • manage emotional trauma and abuse, and rebuild motivation?
  • end self-criticism and inner conflict, and help recover integrity?
  • repair mentor or therapy damage & find inspirational mentorship?

Contact us to manage your emotions and solve your relationship problems

.Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2006-2018
All rights reserved

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