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Leaving a Crab Bucket
Helping Hands and Pulling Claws Martyn Carruthers

Online Relationship Coaching & Soulwork Training

Some crab fishermen say that there is no need to cover buckets of live crabs.
If one crab starts to climb out of a bucket, other crabs will pull it back.
Few crabs escape ... most are boiled alive and eaten.

Who holds you back?

Consider your family, colleagues and friends. Do the people you live, work and relax with support your values and goals? Do they support you - or do they attempt to block your happiness and success? Do you feel trapped in a crab bucket?

Do some people limit your choices rather than encourage you to fulfill your dreams? A Philippine lady said crab mentality means, If I can't have it, neither can you! 

Many people raised in unhealthy families consider their families to be normal, and repeat their family's behaviors. Their lives may seem to reflect their family's disappointments. We help people manage their emotions, change the consequences of their relationship problems and move on with their lives.

If family members pretend that they are happy; if colleagues try to dictate how you should behave; if obedience, compliance and power are more common than acceptance and encouragement - then you probably understand crab buckets.

People in crab buckets often prefer obedience to happiness.

Common Myth-Takes

Are you creating your life - or clinging to childish myths? When you try to climb out of your crab bucket, are you pulled back by crabs? Have you given up? And if your children try to climb out of your crab bucket - will you try to pull them back?

Freeing yourself from myths requires that you recognize those myths. Other people may try to stop you, of course, they may even prefer that you suffer. They may use threats and guilt to obtain your compliance. Leaving codependent parents or a symbiotic team may not be easy.

Yet if you want to live your own life, you will probably leave the comfort of your parents' home. If you want to build your own business you will probably leave the security of organizational teams. And, as you build your own life, you can create homes and teams that suit you.

Who holds your future hostage?

We perceive families and teams as living systems - not just groups of individuals. We evaluate relationships in terms of roles and responsibilities, and we explore how people can better work together rather than trying to fix individual members.

If you do not change problematic habits, you can expect your fixations, obsessions and habits - and their consequences - to be repeated by your children. We sometimes talk about family karma and team karma ... about people who avoid their own emotional baggage - or who try to carry other people's dirty laundry.

You don't have to be this way ... we can help you change.

Family Relationships

Your life includes coping with other people's problems: e.g. illnesses, accidents, premature deaths and missing family members. These events not only impact your and your family's lives - if handled poorly these events can upset your descendents.

While families include feelings, beliefs, responsibilities and goals; families are more often affected by their perceptions of their behaviors, beliefs, values and justice. The meanings given to events may be more important than the events themselves.

If a family member is rejected (for any reason) - this may not only hurt and humiliate the rejected member. Family members touched by this rejection, even in subsequent generations, may try to bring back the rejected family members, sometimes by adopting or marrying substitutes for the missing person, or by identification - by expressing emotions and feelings more appropriate for the missing person.

We help people prevent the events and tragedies of their ancestors being repeated by their children and grandchildren. If you want to prevent cross-generational family enmeshment and intergenerational fixations in your family, we can help you.

Medical Doctor's Perspective

We help motivated people improve their relationships. We can help you and your family or team cope with emotional and relationship issues.

Predictable Partnership

Most remedial approaches deal only with symptoms, and not with systemic roots. Following such interventions, the system renews the symptom or creates another, continuing to express the dysfunction. People can be ill from the same illness repetitively, or from successive similar diseases. Systemic coaching resolves the fundamental imbalance; until the symptom spontaneously disappears. Rooted in relationships are: physical illnesses, compulsive-addictive behavior, mental blocks and repetitive life crises. Ana Pejcinova, PhD

We cannot help everybody. Our methods may be too intense for people with medical or psychological disorders. People who may not benefit from our work include those who cannot or will not participate, people in an emotional or psychological crisis and people with cultural or religious values that are opposed to counseling.

Some of our Resources

Learning Disabilities Emotional Incest

Family Spirit

Children of Divorce Post-Abortion Coaching


Parental Alienation

Ending Addiction

Stress Disorders

Mother-Son Fixation

Father-Daughter Enmeshment

Toxic Beliefs

 Enjoying Partnership

Evaluating Partnership

Predictable Partnership

Questions we often ask family members:

  1. What do you want to do together?
  2. How close are the members now?
  3. What would make everybody happy?
  4. What would happen if everybody felt great?
  5. What could stop you all being happy together?

Contact us to solve emotional blocks 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 2011-2018
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


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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