Phone +49 160 9623 2547

Alexander Hohmann

Life Coach & Business Coach in Freiburg (Germany) & near Paris (France)

What is Systemic Coaching? What are the methods and

inspirations?

Systemic” means that the person is not being considered as if it were a statue on an empty square. Because the person is 1.) not cast from a single mould but instead made of many parts. And 2.) the person always is surrounded by a context, with other humans and situations, without which it would be almost impossible to explain what is currently going on within that person. You know that phenomenon: When you successively meet three different people, you become yourself three different people. Each situation calls for certain sides of your personality, abilities and behaviours. Some of these people or situations can trigger stress patterns that keep you away from some of your resources and abilities. Sometimes we feel tall, sometimes we feel small. Therefore each of us is one, but each of us also is many. Originally the Systemic approach came ou from applying systemic theory to family therapy. From there it went to being applied to single persons. Each human was now seen as the result of the interaction of many inner parts that together form another “system” was well. Today, this approach is being successfully applied in coaching, too. And in organisational coaching, a systemic approach seems all the more natural, since organisations obviously are systems with lots of interactions. As any other system, a human being has an inside and an outside. And there is a lot going on inside. Some parts may seem to have a life of their own. For example, they push into different directions. That can cause a feeling of inner conflict or make it difficult to take decisions. This person strives into different directions at the same time. Or these parts can start fighting each other, lock horns and eventually enter polarisation. This can consume much energy and still generate only immobility. In that case, it is a good idea to see a coach to help you bring these parts “to the table of negotiation”. Sometimes parts can als “carry” an old burden so that the rest of this human can have a seemingly normal life - a life that can even become quite successful by common standards but still feel empty from within. People have no idea how many successful persons in leadership positions feel emptiness and numbness instead of fulfilment. At some point, the time comes to take the burden off the shoulders of these carrying parts, so that they can return to their natural place in the wholeness of the person and provide their resources and abilities. Sometimes polarisation in the world out there can rouse inner conflicts that were thought long appeased or were even completely unbeknownst to their holder. Perhaps the inner parts will even start to fan the flames of those outside conflicts (e.g. society issues or political divisions). The downside: It does not feel good. The upside: This makes the inner fault lines visible and they now can be addressed - as long as the person is ready to be very honest with herself or himself. The goal of a coaching sequence always has to do with increasing self-efficacy or self-reliance. This can start with the following realisation: “I am not this way. Instead, I notice that in this particular context, a part of me turns into this.” In that moment the identification of the whole person with one particular, single state of the self starts dissolving and replaced with a healthy distance from which to see things better and work on them. “Creating a distance” for dis-identification purposes is an essential component of Systemic Coaching. Once we have established an observer position from a distance, we can jump between parts and thus see many different perspectives. Then the strong inner parts can take care of the weaker or less visible ones until a healthier wholeness is restored. This way, you can give yourself what you have not received from others in earlier times. You become your own coach. The more parts you get back into the harmony of the whole, the stronger your self-efficacy and self- governance get, and the more virtuosic you can navigate the Oceans of Life.

Coaching Methods

When we meet for a coaching session, there are many methods and models from which to choose. The following are those I use most frequently. Systemic and hypnosystemic conversation techniques There are tons of conversation techniques. Some remain simply verbal. Others include moving around in the room and taking into account the expression of body and posture. To include the body is surprisingly efficient, especially when the person has trouble expressing things with words. So coaching is much more than “just talk”. Systemic Structure Constellations Parts of a system, of a group of people, or inner parts of a person and their interactions can be visualised by signs or objects placed in a room or on a desktop. This can bring up unexpected realisations and allows to experiment with new configurations that are better suited to install a balance where imbalance hitherto ruled. Interactions can become more peaceful. Hypnosystemic development of the central Self and re-integration of parts The hypnosystemic system combines constellation with benign hypnosis methods in order to strengthen the Self of the client and equip it with appropriate self-protective methods. The Self establishes a healthy immune system instead of entrenching itself behind walls that have the effect of isolating oneself from the good things of life. It can then be a better and more accepted leader to the other inner parts of a person. Mindfulness techniques “Mindfulness” can be seen as some fancy “en vogue” term and we got it thrown at us from all sides. But it actually is helpful. Mindfulness provides help in finding back to oneself and getting free from whatever draws us either into the past and the associated pains or the future and the associated fears. A state of mindfulness is excellently suited for deeper coaching work - and for many everyday tasks, too, by the way. Imaginary journeys in a light trance (consciousness activation techniques, formerly known as hypnosis) With these benign techniques, we induce no hypnotic half-sleep but on the contrary activate the consciousness in order to train active awareness control. We then use this active state to go for some imaginary journey or to build metaphors and play around with them. Instead of talking about something at lengths, we produce change by building and modifying inner pictures and scenes. Elements from the Internal Family System (IFS) Some elements and conversation techniques from the systemic therapy model called “Internal Family System” as created by Richard C. Schwartz are being used in my coaching. Affirmations like “one part of me wants this, but another part of me wants that” are taking very seriously and literally. We seek to enter a dialogue with these different parts and mediate between them so that they can find a common ground. Some parts may also have been forgot for long and waiting for all that time to be seen again and relieved of the burden they carry. Age regressions and timeline work from a safe meta position In a state of slightly enhanced awareness (benign trance) we scan the timeline of your life in search of hidden or forgotten treasures and resources. But we also look for some older states of yourself (inner children) waiting at some point of the timeline to eventually be collected and cared for, to return to their natural place in the wholeness of the individual. One of the possible consequences may well be that you become more whole as a human being. Working with inner children There probably is not the one inner children within you, but instead there is quite a number of them. They represent past states of the self whose needs have not been met or that had to experience hardship of some kind. When we start talking to these inner children, then our neglected or buried parts can finally find relief and be tended. Interestingly, it is well possible that some area of life that used to stand still for some time suddenly starts to evolve and blossom, because these inner children are also the wardens of resources and abilities that can return to expressing themselves. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) This derives from the Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), a well established cognitive behavioural therapy. Here we only use those elements of ACT that are appropriate for coaching (coaching is no psychotherapy but there are toolbox overlaps). It is useful for freeing yourself from beliefs and ruminations without trying to “get rid” of them, because getting rid of them usually does not work out. Instead, we shift the focus away from this depreciating self-talk and to your own values. Values - meaning true values, not currently fashionable hashtags - are what is really meaningful to you and gives your life its meaning. Once values are clear, it is them that can henceforth guide your actions and decisions and commitments in order to build a really meaningful life. Introvision Introvision is a protocol well suited when emotional reactions to certain situations or triggers are clearly and repetitively excessive - e.g. panic attacks before talking publicly. We then detect the underlying fears and find ways to confuse the automated reactions the the triggers. This confusion creates for the brain a window of realising that its reactions are excessive and fall back to a more appropriate response. Clarification and development of goals, e.g. with the Walt Disney method or with the cooking plate model Well established creativity methods like the Walt Disney method or the cooking plate model help clarify personal goals in a playful yet enlightening way. Are your current goals sincere and the right ones for you? Or are you on a detour or even in an impasse? What would be possible if everything was possible? And what parts of that everything actually are within a realistic reach? Usually it is more than you thought. Working with parts through Core Transformation The Core Transformation is a powerful technique to turn obstructive beliefs into sources of energy. Even the most obstructive beliefs running in our head only want the best for us (e.g. protect us from pain, rejection or failure), albeit by expressing it in an inappropriate and obsolete way. If we can work out the well-meant goals behind the beliefs, the brain can train new ways to achieve these goals that are more in alignment with our abilities, purposes and maturity. Identifying your true values and taking off role costumes We are often in too strong an identification with certain roles we haven taken over. These roles may often meet a good social acceptance because their vary fabric is made of social expectations. But we end up losing sight on the deeper self and get off track on our life purpose. When we work on taking off these roles, we can identify the true values behind them and find ways to live them more fully, in a more meaningful way, more in alignment with who we are instead of sticking to who others expect us to be. Maturity degree model (Integral approach) for people and organisations The Integral approach sees everything undergo a ripening process that is shaped as an upwards spiral: individuals, organisations, whole historic eras. This process happens in a certain order, the same inescapable one for everyone (a bit like the individuation process defined by C.G. Jung). When changes are introduced, they often fail because 1.) they do not respect this order and 2.) they start from a faulty or over-optimistic estimate of the degree of maturity the person or system has already reached at that time. Degrees of maturity are something where self-evaluation and objective reality tend to diverge quite often. Resistance to change is then blamed on those who are supposed to change instead of seeing that the change process attempts to unduly jump required steps. Leadership Coaching Leaders in organisations, having high-profile positions, sometimes manage unwillingly or unknowingly to project their own inner conflicts on the organisation or enter in resonance with those already in place. Whence it is no weakness but instead a healthy and far- sighted approach to find somebody with whom to explore those blind spots and shadows that might otherwise interfere with leadership duties. Why certain things go well with the people in the company go well and others do not may be a starting point from where to look further. Additionally, there is a relatively new trend for managers wanting to give their role more sense and meaning. And this at a time when companies have an increasing difficulty actually finding people ready to take on the responsibilities of management an leadership roles. A coaching setting is a good place to individually look into whether the role and the person get along well or some minor or major changes should be made. Team models and Organisation models Both teams and organisations present recurring patterns that map to a number of models. In each group of people, there is a certain number of roles. Sometimes these roles cast themselves on the people more than the other way round (just like some roles appear in all school classes). And sometimes certain roles necessary for the success of the group are just not there - the group keeps on failing but does not know why.
What is Systemic Coaching - methods, models, inspirations Ruhige Achtsamkeit im Park von Versailles

Alexander Hohmann

Life & Business Coach in

Freiburg or online

Certified Systemic Coach

(DE / EN / FR)

Systemic” means that the person is not being considered as if it were a statue on an empty square. Because the person is 1.) not cast from a single mould but instead made of many parts. And 2.) the person always is surrounded by a context, with other humans and situations, without which it would be almost impossible to explain what is currently going on within that person. You know that phenomenon: When you successively meet three different people, you become yourself three different people. Each situation calls for certain sides of your personality, abilities and behaviours. Some of these people or situations can trigger stress patterns that keep you away from some of your resources and abilities. Sometimes we feel tall, sometimes we feel small. Therefore each of us is one, but each of us also is many. Originally the Systemic approach came ou from applying systemic theory to family therapy. From there it went to being applied to single persons. Each human was now seen as the result of the interaction of many inner parts that together form another “system” was well. Today, this approach is being successfully applied in coaching, too. And in organisational coaching, a systemic approach seems all the more natural, since organisations obviously are systems with lots of interactions. As any other system, a human being has an inside and an outside. And there is a lot going on inside. Some parts may seem to have a life of their own. For example, they push into different directions. That can cause a feeling of inner conflict or make it difficult to take decisions. This person strives into different directions at the same time. Or these parts can start fighting each other, lock horns and eventually enter polarisation. This can consume much energy and still generate only immobility. In that case, it is a good idea to see a coach to help you bring these parts “to the table of negotiation”. Sometimes parts can als “carry” an old burden so that the rest of this human can have a seemingly normal life - a life that can even become quite successful by common standards but still feel empty from within. People have no idea how many successful persons in leadership positions feel emptiness and numbness instead of fulfilment. At some point, the time comes to take the burden off the shoulders of these carrying parts, so that they can return to their natural place in the wholeness of the person and provide their resources and abilities. Sometimes polarisation in the world out there can rouse inner conflicts that were thought long appeased or were even completely unbeknownst to their holder. Perhaps the inner parts will even start to fan the flames of those outside conflicts (e.g. society issues or political divisions). The downside: It does not feel good. The upside: This makes the inner fault lines visible and they now can be addressed - as long as the person is ready to be very honest with herself or himself. The goal of a coaching sequence always has to do with increasing self-efficacy or self- reliance. This can start with the following realisation: “I am not this way. Instead, I notice that in this particular context, a part of me turns into this.” In that moment the identification of the whole person with one particular, single state of the self starts dissolving and replaced with a healthy distance from which to see things better and work on them. “Creating a distance” for dis-identification purposes is an essential component of Systemic Coaching. Once we have established an observer position from a distance, we can jump between parts and thus see many different perspectives. Then the strong inner parts can take care of the weaker or less visible ones until a healthier wholeness is restored. This way, you can give yourself what you have not received from others in earlier times. You become your own coach. The more parts you get back into the harmony of the whole, the stronger your self-efficacy and self-governance get, and the more virtuosic you can navigate the Oceans of Life.

Coaching Methods

When we meet for a coaching session, there are many methods and models from which to choose. The following are those I use most frequently. Systemic and hypnosystemic conversation techniques There are tons of conversation techniques. Some remain simply verbal. Others include moving around in the room and taking into account the expression of body and posture. To include the body is surprisingly efficient, especially when the person has trouble expressing things with words. So coaching is much more than “just talk”. Systemic Structure Constellations Parts of a system, of a group of people, or inner parts of a person and their interactions can be visualised by signs or objects placed in a room or on a desktop. This can bring up unexpected realisations and allows to experiment with new configurations that are better suited to install a balance where imbalance hitherto ruled. Interactions can become more peaceful. Hypnosystemic development of the central Self and re-integration of parts The hypnosystemic system combines constellation with benign hypnosis methods in order to strengthen the Self of the client and equip it with appropriate self-protective methods. The Self establishes a healthy immune system instead of entrenching itself behind walls that have the effect of isolating oneself from the good things of life. It can then be a better and more accepted leader to the other inner parts of a person. Mindfulness techniques “Mindfulness” can be seen as some fancy “en vogue” term and we got it thrown at us from all sides. But it actually is helpful. Mindfulness provides help in finding back to oneself and getting free from whatever draws us either into the past and the associated pains or the future and the associated fears. A state of mindfulness is excellently suited for deeper coaching work - and for many everyday tasks, too, by the way. Imaginary journeys in a light trance (consciousness activation techniques, formerly known as hypnosis) With these benign techniques, we induce no hypnotic half-sleep but on the contrary activate the consciousness in order to train active awareness control. We then use this active state to go for some imaginary journey or to build metaphors and play around with them. Instead of talking about something at lengths, we produce change by building and modifying inner pictures and scenes. Elements from the Internal Family System (IFS) Some elements and conversation techniques from the systemic therapy model called “Internal Family System” as created by Richard C. Schwartz are being used in my coaching. Affirmations like “one part of me wants this, but another part of me wants that” are taking very seriously and literally. We seek to enter a dialogue with these different parts and mediate between them so that they can find a common ground. Some parts may also have been forgot for long and waiting for all that time to be seen again and relieved of the burden they carry. Age regressions and timeline work from a safe meta position In a state of slightly enhanced awareness (benign trance) we scan the timeline of your life in search of hidden or forgotten treasures and resources. But we also look for some older states of yourself (inner children) waiting at some point of the timeline to eventually be collected and cared for, to return to their natural place in the wholeness of the individual. One of the possible consequences may well be that you become more whole as a human being. Working with inner children There probably is not the one inner children within you, but instead there is quite a number of them. They represent past states of the self whose needs have not been met or that had to experience hardship of some kind. When we start talking to these inner children, then our neglected or buried parts can finally find relief and be tended. Interestingly, it is well possible that some area of life that used to stand still for some time suddenly starts to evolve and blossom, because these inner children are also the wardens of resources and abilities that can return to expressing themselves. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) This derives from the Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), a well established cognitive behavioural therapy. Here we only use those elements of ACT that are appropriate for coaching (coaching is no psychotherapy but there are toolbox overlaps). It is useful for freeing yourself from beliefs and ruminations without trying to “get rid” of them, because getting rid of them usually does not work out. Instead, we shift the focus away from this depreciating self-talk and to your own values. Values - meaning true values, not currently fashionable hashtags - are what is really meaningful to you and gives your life its meaning. Once values are clear, it is them that can henceforth guide your actions and decisions and commitments in order to build a really meaningful life. Introvision Introvision is a protocol well suited when emotional reactions to certain situations or triggers are clearly and repetitively excessive - e.g. panic attacks before talking publicly. We then detect the underlying fears and find ways to confuse the automated reactions the the triggers. This confusion creates for the brain a window of realising that its reactions are excessive and fall back to a more appropriate response. Clarification and development of goals, e.g. with the Walt Disney method or with the cooking plate model Well established creativity methods like the Walt Disney method or the cooking plate model help clarify personal goals in a playful yet enlightening way. Are your current goals sincere and the right ones for you? Or are you on a detour or even in an impasse? What would be possible if everything was possible? And what parts of that everything actually are within a realistic reach? Usually it is more than you thought. Working with parts through Core Transformation The Core Transformation is a powerful technique to turn obstructive beliefs into sources of energy. Even the most obstructive beliefs running in our head only want the best for us (e.g. protect us from pain, rejection or failure), albeit by expressing it in an inappropriate and obsolete way. If we can work out the well-meant goals behind the beliefs, the brain can train new ways to achieve these goals that are more in alignment with our abilities, purposes and maturity. Identifying your true values and taking off role costumes We are often in too strong an identification with certain roles we haven taken over. These roles may often meet a good social acceptance because their vary fabric is made of social expectations. But we end up losing sight on the deeper self and get off track on our life purpose. When we work on taking off these roles, we can identify the true values behind them and find ways to live them more fully, in a more meaningful way, more in alignment with who we are instead of sticking to who others expect us to be. Maturity degree model (Integral approach) for people and organisations The Integral approach sees everything undergo a ripening process that is shaped as an upwards spiral: individuals, organisations, whole historic eras. This process happens in a certain order, the same inescapable one for everyone (a bit like the individuation process defined by C.G. Jung). When changes are introduced, they often fail because 1.) they do not respect this order and 2.) they start from a faulty or over- optimistic estimate of the degree of maturity the person or system has already reached at that time. Degrees of maturity are something where self-evaluation and objective reality tend to diverge quite often. Resistance to change is then blamed on those who are supposed to change instead of seeing that the change process attempts to unduly jump required steps. Leadership Coaching Leaders in organisations, having high-profile positions, sometimes manage unwillingly or unknowingly to project their own inner conflicts on the organisation or enter in resonance with those already in place. Whence it is no weakness but instead a healthy and far-sighted approach to find somebody with whom to explore those blind spots and shadows that might otherwise interfere with leadership duties. Why certain things go well with the people in the company go well and others do not may be a starting point from where to look further. Additionally, there is a relatively new trend for managers wanting to give their role more sense and meaning. And this at a time when companies have an increasing difficulty actually finding people ready to take on the responsibilities of management an leadership roles. A coaching setting is a good place to individually look into whether the role and the person get along well or some minor or major changes should be made. Team models and Organisation models Both teams and organisations present recurring patterns that map to a number of models. In each group of people, there is a certain number of roles. Sometimes these roles cast themselves on the people more than the other way round (just like some roles appear in all school classes). And sometimes certain roles necessary for the success of the group are just not there - the group keeps on failing but does not know why.

What is Systemic Coaching? What are

the methods and inspirations?