Susan Gantt

Systems-Centered Training
21st Annual Conference!

Mike Maher

April 18-24, 2020 • Oakland

Dealing with Differences Differently

At the 2020 Systems-Centered Training Annual Conference we will explore the various ways that human systems work with – or keep out – differences. 

At a neurobiological level, novelty – difference – can evoke curiosity. If the difference is too different, it arouses fear and anxiety. This hard-wired response, while useful in keeping us alert to changing conditions, keeps us from engaging with differences. Instead, we may fight with differences or try to keep them out or get depressed about them. It is the source of conflict among human systems of all kinds – between individuals, couples, families, groups, communities, work teams, organizations and even societies. Curiosity and working with small differences help systems grow and develop.

SCT is a theory-driven practice focusing on dynamics in living human systems. The theory says that human systems survive, develop and transform from simple to complex through an increasing ability to recognize differences and integrate them. The method at the heart of this practice, Functional Subgrouping, helps people deal with differences differently.

As therapists, coaches, consultants, leaders, healthcare professionals, and educators, we develop skills and tools to assist our clients when they are caught up in conflicts over differences. We also build our emotional capacity to be fully present for our clients and fully attuned to the here and now, making room in ourselves to contain all sides of the conflict. The focus of the 2020 SCT Conference will be practical methods for ourselves and our clients to work with differences.

This year's Weekend Institutes and 5-day Conference offer a wide range of training groups, interactive workshops and a large group experience. We will explore the methods and tools that contain emotional experience and support group development as we work with differences through the various stages of development.

Expect to:

  • Experience how the method of functional subgrouping changes how groups typically deal with differences
  • Learn how to recognize and work with group dynamics as they arise, and how to contribute to the development of a well-functioning group
  • See how the world is different when we see systems rather than just people
  • Experience protocols to reduce anxiety and tension and work productively with frustration, all of which are a natural part of any group
  • Learn skills, methods and practical tools to support collaboration so that groups can achieve their goals

Full program and online registration will be available from November.

Our goal is to co-create an open and fun climate that allows us to discover new learnings for ourselves and for our work.

Dayna Burnett, Gayna Havens, Dayne Narretta and Debbie Woolf
2020 Conference Co-Directors