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Systemic Coaching, NLP and Huna
© Martyn Carruthers

Online Life Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

We offer coaching, counseling and therapy
on systemic psychology and Hawaiian healing.

What is Soulwork?

Back in the early 90's, my colleagues and I were exploring therapeutic theories and coaching methods to form an effective methodology for helping people get what they want. All we wanted was a simple methodology through which people can attain life goals and change their habits, relatively quickly and easily.

We found that a golden key was to recognize the structure of beliefs, and another was to help people find a stable experience of integrated connectedness. We called this experience "Soul" or  "Integrity" - and it became so fundamental to our methodology that we called it Soulwork systemic coaching.

I have described the theory and applications of our systemic coaching elsewhere. The roots of Soulwork include traditional Polynesian healing (huna), particularly the groups of rituals known collectively as ho’oponopono, ho’omanamana and ho'omoe. We explored these rituals using expert modeling and we compared and contrasted them with models from psychotherapy, particularly with Ericksonian hypnotherapy, Frankl's Logotherapy and systemic family therapy. See Roots of Soulwork

What is NLP?

NLP offers useful tools for exploring subjective experience, particularly in modeling performance. NLP provides useful methods for eliciting unconscious strategies and coding subjective experience. NLP could be called brief, goal-oriented cognitive coaching that includes some awareness of the consequences of change (personal ecology). See NLP Ecology Redefined.

What is Huna Kalani?

Polynesian traditions are often referred to as Huna, (translation: hidden). Ho’oponopono (my translation: making relationships right) is a healing tradition still used by native Hawaiians, although sadly distorted by Western writers.

Soulwork originated in part when we attempted to model and translate Hawaiian healing into a format appropriate for Westerners. As we began to understand the psychotherapy used by native Hawaiians, we expanded and modified our tool set to incorporate information from these unusual frames of reference. Our improved tools better allowed the modeling of mystical and relationship experience. During this, the Hawaiian healing methods seemed to transform from esoteric rituals into useful models for changing lives.

Soulwork from NLP Perspectives

Our systemic psychology operates at the logical level of Identity, answering the question "Who am I?" with profound experiences - meta-identities - stable, pre-verbal experiences of multi-level connectedness. We often call this integrity.

Interactive access to this often-ecstatic experience seems to effect long term change at the level of Identity, in keeping with a person's long term happiness and sense of life. Then people can dissolve their own guilt, co-dependent relationships, post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and so on. After a deep analysis of goals, people can follow a sequence of meta-positions of increasing abstraction to this pre-verbal experience.

Soulwork through Hawaiian Eyes

An effective teacher (kumu) can utilize a hidden structure of creation, called Kumulipo, mediated by 'aumakua, or family spirits and awaiku or angels. This work requires the blessing of the person's ohana or community-family and of the the person's kupuna – elders and ancestors (including those whose bodies may have died).

The goal is that a person can align with family energies and connects with pono (righteousness) and aloha, the unseen love-energy of creation. As this alignment is not possible if a person has "lost" his or her uhane (spirit), or if a spirit of one or more other people have displaced a person’s own spirit, "spirit-retrievals" may be made.

A step to health is kala (cleansing forgiveness) leading to conscious connection with aumakua (Soul) – using ho’omanamana (energy work) to access the wisdom of kumulipo (universal creativity) to ho’oponopono (change relationships). Next follows a re-evaluation of ele’ele eke (literally "black bags" or past traumatic events) and a re-evaluation of all kupuna (elders, teachers) from a basis of aloha (love).

Why do some people need coaching?

Some people lack motivation, or do not know how to change. People who say that they are unable to change include those who have little internal rapport, people negatively influenced by other persons, people without resourceful internal reference and people with unhealthy life models.

However, we have solutions for motivated people. We follow an overall strategy:

  1. Dissolve guilt, manage dependence, codependence and relationship problems
  2. Define goals, change objections, resolve conflicts; create plans
  3. Resolve Identity Blocks: Lost Identity, Identifications and/or Identity Conflict

  4. Find and stabilize integrity or Soul (the reference for subsequent changework)

  5. Relationships - evaluate significant relationship bonds and influences

  6. Trauma - replace traumatic memories with resourceful internal references

  7. Role Models - evaluate, replace and choose life mentors

Soulwork & NLP Rapport

We accept and uses a person’s objections to increase trust. Conscious and unconscious objections are responded to courteously, as a basis for the profound trust needed to discuss, explore and change existential issues. Soulwork helps people change their objections, transferences, arguments, criticism and conflicts.

NLP rapport is largely based on mirroring non-verbal behavior, to "lead" another person to states that a NLP Practitioners consider appropriate for the operator's goals. A common definition of this rapport is "unconditional acceptance of suggestion".

Goalwork compared to Well Formed Outcomes

Few people can complete an accurate and grammatically correct sentence beginning with the words, "I want..." Instead, people more often give philosophical answers, childish goals; incomplete sentences, conflicting goals, incongruent goals, negative goals or abstract goals. Each objection to clear goals can be resolved. (See: Peeling the Soul Onion.)

Identity Issues

Lost Identity, Identifications and Identity Conflict are not described by psychotherapy nor NLP. Lost Identity refers to a person who has no basic sense of "self". For this person, the pronoun "I" has little meaning. Identification refers to the displacement of "self" by another personality, and Identity Conflict refers to a person with at least two conscious personalities - and a few more less conscious personalities.

Relationship Bonds

My article "Thoughtforms" was published in NLP World Volume 2, 1995, about limiting or negative influences, typically described as unpleasant visual metaphors. People may say "I have a black chain around my legs" or "I have a gray cloud in my heart". Thoughtforms often represent a person's relationship bonds.

Soul Access

At first we used NLP methods inspired by Robert Dilts. A person steps towards an imagined ideal future with a sense of a goal direction (although by itself this has no therapeutic value). If this is preceded by clean goal setting, people can enter a state of transcendental connectedness. If people object to lasting happiness, we incorporate their objections until each step is resourceful, leading to goals that can fulfill life.

Do you want lasting solutions for emotional and relationship problems?

Online Coaching, Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy

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

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn 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