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Inclusion of the Environment

You can thank systemic counselling for one of the most important expansions in counselling techniques of the last fifty years. Family therapy emerged from individual therapy, because one could interpret the symptoms of the individual as a reaction to the communication patterns in the family. The same applies to problematic employees in teams etc. If a system consists of the system and the environment, then one can intervene, either in the system or in its environment. Therefore, it is important, as counsellor, to see if the problems of the client are also a response to his environment (otherwise one gives him the ‘blame’ for something for which several people carry the responsibility). A counselling technique, at this point, is also to include the environment of the client in the consultation (“Then I suggest that next time we speak as a threesome, you, your boss and I.”). Frequently it is much easier and quicker to interrupt such circular causalities in this way, in order to then possibly process them more deeply in a two-person setting.

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