It's easier for health professionals and most patients to use drugs as a substitute for change.
Alcohol, nicotine or prescription anti-depressants and
stimulants are easier than applying intelligence, focus
and analytical skills to complex relationships. Drugs are
also cheaper for patients (in the short term) and more
profitable for health professionals. But there are consequences ...
Dr Martin Daniel (MD)
Tel: +42 060 4506 511
"The Soul of Soulwork refers to integrity and sense of life,
not to a religion or philosophy."
Soulwork provides relationship diagnosis and systemic
coaching that can effectively relieve many symptoms of emotional
and mental disorders.
We provide coaching and coach
training. We help people manage negative emotions and solve relationship
if you would like to organize training.
Requirements for Lasting Change
Martyn Carruthers integrated and developed information from success coaching,
systemic family therapy, Logotherapy, gestalt therapy,
expert modeling, native Hawaiian healing (huna kalani),
chaos theory and Annegret Hallanzy's VoVa). (Click
for more about the origins of this work).
Carruthers modeled these sources using (and improving) the modeling
skills associated with systems theory, neuro-linguistic programming
(NLP) and expert modeling. The result is Soulwork Systemic Coaching
- which appears to be a complete format for resolving or managing
symptoms of emotional and relationship problems, and sometimes even symptoms of physical disease.
I didn't believe this until people with high credentials vouched for it.
I attended a training with Martyn Carruthers in Prague, Czech
Republic. He taught a simple sequence:
that prevents clear thinking
||Dissolve unwanted guilt that
prevents peaceful action
||Resolve conflicts that prevent
||Dissolve unwanted relationship
bonds that restrict choice
||Resolve emotional trauma or abuse
that delay progress
||Replace inappropriate mentors who
inspire senseless action
Soulwork is about solving emotional and relationship problems. Examples of systemic
symptoms include chronic emotions, psychosomatic disease and learning
disorders. These symptoms often seem to compensate for relationship deficiencies,
particularly with (but not limited to) parents, partners and children.
Some relationships appear to require mental, emotional or physical diseases
for those relationships to continue. Without these symptoms, those relationships would
dramatically change. As a conscious awareness of a need for disease symptoms
would threaten those relationships, such awareness is taboo. To avoid this
awareness, people distract themselves from acknowledging their relationship
constraints. Such distractions are called objections in Soulwork.
Many people object to healthy relationships ... and may sabotage their own
happiness to fulfill their objections.
People who attend Soulwork training either
grow up or quit. Most grow up.
Think of objections as “unconscious goals”. Soulwork accepts objections
with kind attention, instead of ignoring or dissociating them. Verbal
objections include excuses,
justifications and blame, and a range of non-verbal
interruptions. (A common objection is “Yes-No” - a verbal statement
accompanied by non-verbal negation. An example is saying "Yes"
while shaking the head "No".) I found that the Soulwork tools for
handling objections were effective in individual and couple counseling, teamwork
and family therapy. (These skills are useful in interviews, negotiations and sales.)
After dissolving all objections, a person is free to make a desired
change, while experiencing a state of integrity, in which a
person can make congruent decisions about all parts of life. This experience is
wonderful - and beyond words. Carruthers calls it connectedness
and sense of life, to which I agree. Many people (even without religious
backgrounds) called this experience Soul, which motivated Carruthers to
call his work Soulwork.
Soulwork includes a format for effective relationship diagnosis. Instead
of focusing on mental or physical disease symptoms, Carruthers focused on the
relationships that generate symptoms. Systemic diagnosis requires an
ability to make distinctions between relationship experiences – amongst the
expressions of love, guilt, conflict, transference, identification,
relationship bonds, trauma and mentorship.
“Recognizing a symptom is easy” says Carruthers “and recognizing a cause may
bring some peace. However, long-term recovery usually requires changing one or
more relationships. Otherwise symptoms return, or new symptoms
arise, to compensate for the confusion”.
An example of a confused relationship would be a partner who
resembles an opposite-sex parent; a partner who rescued
a person from some situation; and a
partner who encourages unhealthy behavior. Long-term recovery
may require that a patient make fundamental relationship changes. The
severity of the symptoms can then be "controlled" by the patient
- and the patient decides how much and how long to suffer.
Patients with advanced acute or degenerative disease may be unable
to control their symptoms. Many people wait until the last moment
before they call for help, and the last moment may be too late.
Soulwork can, however, help terminally ill people prepare for a
peaceful "thank you and goodbye" to life.
An early step of Soulwork is to help people clarify
their relationships. For example, after clarification a patient
may perceive a partner as a partner, not as a parent, sibling or
child. (That may bring immediate relief for some psychosomatic symptoms).
There is more. The result is not only alleviation of symptoms.
New qualities for the family can be found. These new qualities may be
described as peace, calmness, relief, enlightenment and life purpose. This is important in treating depression, as Dr Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy demonstrates.
Soulwork is becoming popular amongst people who offer
for life problems. Carruthers offers sets of procedures
for resolving symptoms of chronic disease, emotional problems, phobias and
obsessions and for resolving personal and business relationship difficulties.
Soulwork is not a panacea for all complaints. Instead it helps clarify
the difficulties and limitations of therapeutic treatment. While it cannot
replace damaged or missing tissue and while it has limited influence upon
dementia or psychosis, it can often resolve long-term emotional conflicts.
Soulwork Systemic Coaching evaluates life from many
perspectives. In the training I attended in Prague, three
perspectives particularly interested me: connectedness,
emotional integrity and mental integrity.
Carruthers proposed that human consciousness represents a system of
relationships - usually of the early family. This relationship system persists
as interconnected, emotionally charged, visual, auditory and kinesthetic images.
Evaluating and changing the representations of a relationship system
automatically changes the perceptual habits that monitor and filter external reality
– and hence changes the experience of reality - which spontaneously changes
values, beliefs and behavior.
The consequences of removing symptoms are generally predictable. For example,
disease symptoms may serve many functions in a family, and the loss of symptoms
by one person (or the loss of one person) may require that another person in the
system become ill, unless the system is changed.
While most representations of relationship systems seem to be
unconscious, emotions are conscious. People often search for ways
to ignore, express, withhold or dissociate negative emotions.
Many people turn to prayer and meditation. Others turn to self-medication,
controlling emotions with nicotine and alcohol, or to obsessive or compulsive
distractions and addictions. Carruthers said that most addictions
appear to be ways that people compensate for relationship problems
and controlling the subsequent negative emotions.
Clarifying a relationship system allows many withheld or dissociated emotions to
be experienced and expressed by its members. Soulwork includes coaching tools
for expressing emotions appropriately.
Ideas are presented on a spectrum of certainty, from vague ideas
to unquestionable beliefs. The importance of beliefs can be presented on a
spectrum of values, from “Who cares?” to “I would die to protect
that belief!” The personalities that identify with values can be
presented as nodes in a relationship matrix – each node with a spectrum
of actualization within a human system. A personality
represents a set of choices about how to survive in the world perceived
through these filters. The perceived world will rarely be the same as the real
world. A map is not a territory.
Theory of Soulwork
"When immature people realize what
healthy relationships actually require,
they often justify their suffering and use
crazy logic to reject healthier possibilities.
Immature people may cling to
their symptoms." Martyn Carruthers
As Soulwork is founded upon observation; its theoretical structure
is still evolving. Carruthers attempts to describe pathological
phenomena in terms of relationship dynamics. In a training
in Czech Republic, Carruthers focused on (1)
Goals, (2) Objections,
and (3) Decisions.
(1) Goals: Many people do not know what
they want, or only know what they don’t want, or have
incompatible goals, or have abstract goals with little
sense of reality. Soulwork includes goalwork
for creating action plans that include both real-life
decisions and therapeutic interventions.
(2) Objections: People censor both
internal and external information, and hide from
consciousness information that may disrupt important relationships.
Attempts to bring this information to conscious awareness will provoke objections
that prevent the discovery of relationship issues. Goalwork utilizes a person’s
objections as inner mentors to goal formation, until all objections are
(3) Decisions: People who repress or dissociate negative emotions may lose
contact with feelings such as motivation, understanding and caring. In Soulwork,
a partial lack of internal perception is called Identity Loss, and a
complete loss is referred to as Lost Identity. (Reduced inner perception
in certain contexts seems more common). Carruthers helps people use their feelings
and thoughts simultaneously when making decisions.
Carruthers described an experience with a woman diagnosed with stomach
cancer. At first, she pleaded for help. As the woman understood her
relationships, however, she realized that she used her cancer to punish her
ex-husband (blaming him for the cancer), to manipulate her adult
children (claiming she had taken their sins into her body) and to follow
her mother (who had died of cancer). The woman decided that she would
rather die rather than attempt to clarify her difficult family relationships.
Family Constellations as taught by Bert Hellinger,
has a resonance with basic Soulwork, although Hellinger's
family constellations did not include Carruthers' models of
goalwork, identity loss, relationship bonds,
trauma and mentorship.
Soulwork Coach Training
Soulwork training includes convincing demonstrations. (Carruthers prefers to
demonstrate Soulwork with volunteers who
do not know what to expect.) Carefully avoiding suggestion, Carruthers elicited
each person’s entanglements and repeatedly proved his claims.
The training includes many fascinating concepts, such as
gentle provocation, interactive metaphors, identity bonds and
mentorship, all of which can be applied in individual, couple,
team or family coaching.
Systemic relationship skills may also be applied in fields in which
relationships are important, such as teamwork, anthropology, education,
history, literature and religion. With its deep insights into relationship
behavior, Soulwork could better connect psychology to other life sciences.
Soulwork Coaching, Counseling & Training
About the author: Dr. Martin Daniel maintains a
medical practice in Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic.
(Telephone +42 0604 506 511 during business hours).