“Problems are our best friends,” the consultants joke, following the greatest practitioner and theoretician of systemic counseling, Italian Virginia Satir. There is no problem, they have no work. Even a dramatic problem is an impetus, a platform for further personal development.
Systemic counseling is an alternative to psychological counseling. The direction arose in the 70s among physicians in Italy and Germany and for almost half a century has become a recognized profession that combines social and natural-scientific approaches, elements of biology, communication theory and sociology. Unlike psychotherapy, which examines the mental problems of youth, systemic counseling works with an individual or group of young people in the context of their social vulnerability, environment, and professional affiliation. Any enterprise, office, administrative body is a system. But the ESK project is a system. Systemic counseling explores a separate pain problem, but in the context of the whole picture of life.
If the psychologist “digs”, wounds the wounds, then the system consultant is not interested in them. The focus is not on the problem, but on the resource, on the inner strengths of the young man. He needs to help get out of the trance, ascend above himself, change the perspective of the vision. For this, a person is invited to the context of "here and now." “What would you do if the problem disappeared for a while?” Describe your condition. Here is a chair. Put your “misfortune" on it. What will you tell her? ” The method of working with chairs is simple and as old as the world, goes back to the theater art of Ancient Greece with its idea of catharsis. The problem is personified, you speak with it as a person, you change its position (you rearrange the chair), thereby processes of abstraction, change of perspective, positive vision occur at the neural level. So a month ago, starting training as a system consultant, my friend “sat down” a smoking problem on a chair, called for an open confrontation, worked with her for about forty minutes, measured her strength, then threw the chair to the window. The problem, and with it the last non-smoked cigarette, remained in that room.
Thanks to the soft methods, the young patient himself comes to a solution to the problem. Internal negative attitudes are transformed at the verbal level into positive ones: “I am a failure” to “You are very self-critical, you have high demands on yourself”. Or “I am a depressive type” in “You are not afraid to pause the flow of life”.
One of the methods is the use of a word, in particular speech turns in the subjunctive mood. Therefore, today a dialogue with a system consultant could be like this:
“What would you do if the pandemic suddenly disappeared?” Just like that. Describe your condition, the procedure.
- I would go to the cottage, to my beloved old garden, where lilacs are already blooming and where lilies of the valley will hatch soon, and then peonies will blossom. It would be a more, much more happy life.
- A garden where lilac blooms. You are a very joyful, bright person and know how to enjoy life!