Marcus J. Carney’s Paper Proposal

Transverbality in Conversation

Transverbality is used in generalization of a scenic method known as systemic-structural constellations (SySt), adding the domain of representative perceptions (phenomenally occurring within SySts) to the domains of natural and non-verbal language. The primary speaker in SySt (as transverbal language) is a group building a model system.

Encouraged by Heinz v. Foerster and building on a range of earlier scenic methods, such as psychodrama, sociodrama, sociometry, sculpture work, family & organizational reconstruction, family & organizational constellations and others, SySt was developed by logician Matthias Varga v. Kibed and therapist Insa Sparrer and is realized as group simulation procedure, in which momentarily relevant elements of a system are being represented by persons or symbols to simulate structures, relations and tendencies for change in said system. “The SySt approach is characterized by combining the scenic methods especially in the style of Virginia Satir with an Ericksonian use of language and trance, systemic methods from the Milano and Heidelberg schools and the Solution-Focused approach. The main emphasis in SySt lies on a constructivist methodology and the possibility of hidden work (where only the client has to be informed about the contents of the work).” (Varga, 2006)

Different from earlier constellational forms (such as “family constellating” or “systemic constellations”, which focused on person systems), ANYTHING – physical, abstract, concrete or even vague – can be constellated in SySt.

In SySt structures are constellated, not systems. The depicted system and its constellated picture share their structure, not particular elements [cf. Wittgenstein, TLP 2.1 ff]. “Imagine four persons constellated in a given space. How can one distinguish whether those four persons represent a family or a team or a body system? What the four persons show is the structure of their relation: You’ll see who is visible for whom, who stands apart, who is oriented towards something else. A person’s expression may tell whether she feels comfortable or miserable. However, whom those persons represent is not recognizable; this is decided by the observer.” (Sparrer, 2010)

The author will focus on
> an introduction to SySt as transverbal language;
> representative perception (what it is, what it is not);
> “hidden work”;
> SySt formats;
> Tetra-lemma work;
and will hint at
> SySt as conversation;

The author proposes a demonstration of a prototypical and/or individual client SySt. Procedural phases include: the solution-focused interview, choosing representatives (volunteers, symbols) by client, constellating first picture, general position reflection,
asking perception differentiations, position work, test interventions, process work, solution picture.
Very generally, all syntactical interventions can be seen in terms of “including what has been excluded”, “distinguishing what has been confounded”; [cf. GSB, LoF, Ch.1, “Distinction is perfect continence”].

Cybernetic traditions:

  • 5) Education and conversation
  • 6) Family therapy; anthropology

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