Tineke Haks

The context of Corona, which affects us all, makes me see people all around, looking for structure and support. This certainly applies to myself. Fortunately, I found this support during a recent peer review where we discussed our experiences and queries. A colleague listened to me and reminded me of the Chilean biologists / important systems thinkers Maturana and Varela and their ideas about the autopoietic system.

Autopoiese literally means “self-production” and is related to self-organization: when all components of a biological system are present under the right conditions, that biological system is formed “automatically” and can maintain itself.

In translation to my conversations and contacts: “Yes, there is a common Corona context that moves and challenges us all”. But this context has many different meanings, and we all respond,  in our own systems,  in ‘our own ways’.

The common feeling I experience during this period in the contact with my clients, or actually with all kinds of people around me that I meet – the man who brings packages, the cashier in the supermarket – is treacherous. It offers a sense of belonging but I should not confuse this with the assumption that we are facing identical challenges!

The context of Corona also makes me so concerned that I start to feel responsible for everything and everyone and it causes me to listen, question and act in conversations in a different way. For example, when I am in a video call with a client, I notice that I am less curious, I mainly devise plans about how I can change the situation of the other. And I notice that my sense of responsibility not only prompts me to structure my clients’ lives, but also, for example, the lives of my adolescent children.

I feel responsible and try to ensure a kind of Peace, Cleanliness and Regularity. Unfortunately, the effect of my strong sense of concern is that it limits me in the questions I pose and in taking a curious stance. This makes it more difficult to differentiate between my own search and the search of the people I speak with, creating a ‘loop’.

The permanent presence of the Corona-context makes it difficult to differentiate between the different ways this context affects people. This great pressure stirs up a sense of responsibility and concern that crushes the curiosity, so that the difference disappears and the experience becomes more and more massive.

I want to break this loop. After all I enter a position that is not necessary and I underestimate the skills of the systems of my own adolescent kids and my clients to create new self-organizations.

I intend to keep an eye out for the differences between people, especially in therapy. When I hold on to that, a new curiosity and an eye for the resilience of systems and people arise. It will help me to hold a position that matches better with my own preferences and values ​​and that helps me to develop a practice of “irreverence” regarding this Corona context.