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

Training: Select Exercise Partners & Clients
 Build a Practice by Practicing © Martyn Carruthers

Online Life Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

We offer coaching, seminars and training on systemic coaching,
healthy relationships and resolving relationship problems.

Our Systemic Training

People studying our systemic relationship coaching and counseling  must exercise many communication skills. Most motivated adults are suitable exercise partners who will enjoy the experience. And some people are unsuitable - practicing coaching with unsuitable people may create problems.

We help our students identify appropriate and inappropriate exercise partners, which also provides guidance for later selecting appropriate clients.

Each of our courses includes homework and between-session assignments, together with specific warnings about what types of people to exercise with and common problems to avoid.

I encourage our students to only exercise with physically healthy people who appear to have happy relationships. These people will probably enjoy the exercises, have fun learning communication skills and use the information about their behavior.

Make a game of choosing names for the duration of the exercise, and choose unusual or funny contexts. Keep exercises light-hearted! For example, an exercise scenario for practicing "dissolving nonverbal objections" might be “Dirk the Turk is criticizing Zeke the Greek that the fish he is selling is not so fresh”.

Setting Boundaries

Mark out a physical exercise space as “separate” from everyday relationships – “Here is our friendship and there is our exercise space! Here we are friends and there we will be exercise partners. Here we are who we are, and there we will be (for example) “Adam and Eve”.

As useful and as fun as our exercises are, some people may be too unstable to be exercise partners. As a general rule - if you're not sure a person is stable - don't exercise with him or her! (The same conditions apply to you - which is why we filter people who request our training - and one reason why our students learn so much material in such short times!)

1. Children

If you want to coach children - become a GREAT story-teller! You cannot practice story-telling too much! Let children remind you how to play! Build a repertoire of fun games! Then children will probably LOVE their time with you.

On the other side, children before adolescence can rarely make independent decisions, and can rarely consider abstract questions such as “What makes sense in life?” Also, our coaching may bring family situations to conscious awareness, and children may be unable to cope with this knowledge.

(We also suggest that a parent be with you and the child at all times. A bit paranoid maybe, but this might avoid some horribly unpleasant consequences.)

2. Childlike Adults

Adults who behave like children make poor exercise partners. If they are responsible and motivated to change - great - explain that these exercises may provide some small assistance. Some adult children play victim-games which involve telling depressing stories and pleading for help.

An “exercise” may become a series of repeated instructions ("OK - I'll explain it again ..."), or a series of requests for help ("Please help me because I can't cope ..."). Practice noticing the nonverbal signals of age-regression! Most people show some childish signals while under stress, although adult children may live age-regressed, frustrated and unfulfilled lives.

3. People in Crisis

People in crisis may be preoccupied and unable to function as exercise partners. Examples of a crisis are a real or threatened loss of income; threatened marital separation or a serious illness in the family. Even "I need to go to the toilet but I'm too shy to tell you" can disrupt a class. Become expert at noticing and responding to nonverbal signals of stress, age-regression and confusion.

4. People with Medical Conditions

People with a disease that affects their minds may be unable to function as exercise partners. Examples are fevers, infectious diseases, disabling diseases, degenerative diseases, senile dementia or the stress of having been diagnosed with a serious illness. Responsible people with minor somatic diseases may enjoy exploring the underlying benefits of the disease.

5. People who Threaten Violence

People who threaten violence to others, to you or to self are inappropriate as exercise partners. They may become overly involved with the role playing and use it as a way to express strong emotions. Recommend that aggressive, anxious or depressed people seek medical or psychological help.

6. People with Mental Health Problems

People who seem lost or out of touch, or who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease etc, or who are diagnosed with mental health problems, are inappropriate exercise partners. They may identify with the role playing and forget that it is a game! Maybe ask them to "just watch" or to seek medical or psychiatric assessment.

7. People who take Psychoactive Drugs

A person taking psychoactive drugs (prescription or otherwise) may be unable to function as an exercise partner. This includes alcohol - one beer can be too much! They may forget their roles, fool around and generally waste time. (If a person asks you whether to continue taking prescription drugs - unless your name begins with Doctor ... refer the person to a physician.)

Most People are Healthy!

Most healthy people enjoy participating in our exercises. Most healthy people can learn or improve some important skills while learning about themselves and their relationships. Most healthy people can offer appropriate and useful feedback.

You will encounter difficult clients, and it is easier to work with them if you have already encountered similar problems during exercise weekends and practice sessions. After you have practiced all the basic systemic skills, play my "Client from Hell" game! Play it a lot!

Developing skills in systemic coaching requires practice, practice and more practice! One result is your increased flexibility. Another is your experience with a wide range of people from a wide range of backgrounds. You will also benefit from the feedback about your abilities and attitude.

For us, the goals of a coaching practice is to develop excellence in yourself and to helping other people reach their goals. We coach coaches to coach ... superbly.

Contact us to resolve negative emotions and relationship problems.

Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

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

Plagiarism is theft. © Martin Carruthers 1999-2018
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