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What are Interventions?

From a systemic perspective, interventions are ‘something’, an action that you, as a professional, perform from outside, within a system. The effect of successful interventions is that your client, coachee, team or organization gains a new perspective afterward. Or that they can act from a different internal place.

We distinguish between three types of interventions:

First-type, second-type, and third-type


Most systemic guides can perform first-type interventions. The goal here is to keep the system moving. In these interventions, something is made visible within the system, with or without a constellation. First-type interventions often involve an action that creates more flow and allows the system to progress. For instance, making a change in the type where every person or team stands in the right place, leading to less turmoil.


Second-type interventions dive much deeper. While first-type interventions make something visible, second-type interventions also provide insight. Why is something the way it is? What patterns and dynamics have led to the current situation? These interventions dig deep, reaching places the system or person might not easily access on their own. This might be due to painful events, prohibitions, secrets or other reasons. All these causes can prevent potential from flowing freely and keep people and systems stuck. The effect of a second-type intervention is that it finds the kink in the hose, allowing the water to flow again.


Finally, third-type interventions bring the system into a transformative state. They lead to a process where identity and possibly patterns change and renew. These interventions are easier to execute than second-type interventions and might be more appealing. However, all third-type interventions go through second-type interventions.

Art & Skill

The art and skill of second-type interventions bridge the gap to sustainable and long-lasting results. In practice, these interventions are often less straightforward than they seem or than you might know from experience.

You reach places in the system that were previously not (easily) accessible. This can be quite challenging for both you and those you work with. You only know if it has had an effect after it’s done. This requires courage, as well as art and skill.

Masterclass Pro

In the Masterclass Pro, we fully dive into second-type interventions. With theory and, most importantly, a lot of practice. The Masterclass puts you in a second-type mode, helping you to better understand yourself as an instrument of interventions and to master both the art and skill of second-type interventions. What do you need to discover in your professional role to enable interventions that dig deep and reach places where the system or person cannot easily go on their own?

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