Training is available for a wide variety of people in the SCT training system – people with many different levels of energy, interest and commitment.
For people with... curiosity and interest for exploration and personal development
or people who... want to integrate SCT in their personal and work lives
and people who... want to use SCT as a major orientation to their work
and people who... make the commitment and develop the skills to become licensed as Systems-Centered Practitioners.
Movement through SCT training pathways is paced by each individual’s time, energy and resources, and by developing the skills required at each training level. Each trainee works with training mentors to identify their training path and next steps.
The SCT Training Program
Systems-centered training is organized in four training levels, each reflecting a step in development and adding a new level of challenge and skill.
- Exploration – Exploring SCT
- Foundation training – Learning SCT
- Intermediate training – Applying SCT
- Advanced training – Putting SCT theory, methods and techniques together in practice
Each training level includes:
- Theory group
- Experiential practice
- Skill development
- Observation and research training
You can download the curriculum here.
Overview of SCT Training - Flowchart
- Trainings marked CORE are considered essential for developing understanding of SCT theory and methods, and the ability to apply them in context. These are required for members seeking to become licensed SCT Practitioners.
- Members are free to work at the Foundation and Intermediate levels whether or not they intend to move toward licensing as SCT Practitioners.
Mastery at the Foundation Level
Everyone is free and encouraged to participate in Foundation level trainings for as long as they find them useful and satisfying. For people who discover that they want to move further into mastery of SCT, Foundation level work becomes more focused, leading to mastery of the outcomes required to move to the Intermediate level.
Intermediate and Advanced SCT training require:
- Sufficient skill in using the SCT methods with oneself to contribute to building a systems-centered system
- Commitment to learn and use SCT theory and methods as a primary orientation in one’s work
- Ongoing consultation with a licensed SCT Practitioner
- Commitment to support the values of SCT
- Professional license in one’s field of practice and/or membership in a professional organization
- Membership in SCTRI
Moving Through Training Levels
Movement through training levels is based on meeting the basic criteria and outcome goals of each level of training. Each trainee works with training mentors to identify their training path and next steps. “Readiness” to take the next steps is determined by self-assessment and consultation with trainers, mentors and peers to see where one has met the goals and where one needs more work. Moving through any training pathway in SCT is paced by each individual’s time, energy and resources, and by development of skills appropriate to each training level.
To find out more about each training level, explore the different tab headings above.
In exploring SCT you can attend training events once or as many times as you find useful. Some find the training groups valuable for their own development; others want to learn the theoretical approach well enough to compare it to their own; others use elements of theory and technique in their current practical applications.
At this level of participation, you are your own guide, sipping or drinking deeply as your interest and resources permit. We have open training events throughout the US and Europe as well as on the SCTRI telebridge.
For more information, email us or check the Training pages
Foundation level training in SCT is the next step from exploring systems-centered ideas. The training events are the same – the difference is a change of goal, from exploration to mastery; from following one's personal interests and learnings to preparing to use systems-centered methods with others.
The major outcomes of Foundation level training are:
- Being able to work in a subgroup
- Understanding the shift from a personal to a member perspective
- Skill in using the SCT protocols on oneself
- Sufficient exploration of issues with authority to be able to contain and explore them
Training at the Foundation level includes:
- Experiential practice: Membership in an ongoing Foundation Group to develop the capacity to attune and to contribute to the development of an SCT group by subgrouping. Developing a systems-centered rather than a person-centered perspective of group dynamics.
- Learning and applying skills: Learning to use SCT protocols to undo one's own defenses: social defenses, anxiety, tension and depression. Recognizing one's own pulls to roles and role-locks with other group members and recognizing one's own authority issues. Being able to contain and explore interpersonal and authority issues, rather than act them out.
- Theory: Learning the basics of the Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS) and the methods and techniques of systems-centered practice.
- Observation and research training: Developing the ability to observe and test hypotheses in application of SCT methods and techniques.
The Big Picture
Remember, movement through training levels is based on meeting the basic criteria and outcome goals of each level of training. “Readiness” to take the next steps is determined by self-assessment and consultation with trainers, mentors and peers to see where one has met the goals and where one needs more work. Moving through any training pathway in SCT is paced by each individual's time, energy and resources, and by development of skills appropriate to each training level.
Foundation Level Training Opportunities
- Foundation Level Training Groups at the SCT Annual Conference
- Foundation Level Workshops
- Ongoing Foundation Level Training Groups
- Basic Two-Day SAVI Workshop
- SCTRI Action Groups
For more information, email us or check the Training pages
If you would like to talk with someone about your interest in systems-centered training, contact us. Kathy Lum, our administrator, can connect you with someone who can consult with you about which trainings may help you to meet your goals.
The focus in Intermediate training is on learning to use systems-centered methods and techniques to build working systems with others. This builds on Foundation level work, in which members learn the basics of using systems-centered methods with themselves. Making this shift signals the member's intention to make SCT a major orientation in their work and is the base from which one becomes eligible to apply for licensing as an SCT Practitioner.
At the Intermediate level:
- Skill training and leadership training give intensive practice in basic systems-centered techniques
- Mentor training hones the challenging skill of working in role, goal and context
- Theory and Consultation groups enrich the understanding of constructs and their application
- Experiential learning groups (practicums) continue the exploration of the many driving and restraining forces that members bring to the task of building functional systems for work
Guidelines for Assessing Readiness
Members move from Foundation to Intermediate level training based on readiness. Members have worked in an SCT experiential group sufficiently to have:
- Learned to subgroup, recognizing the fork-in-the-road between explaining and exploring
- Learned how to work with SCT techniques to undo their own anxiety, tension, depression and outrage
- Recognized their pulls to compliant and defiant roles and role-locks
- Developed a sufficient awareness of their own authority issues to be able to contain and explore them, rather than act them out
- Developed a good ability not to take others and themselves "just personally"
- Ability to recognize and shift from a person-centered to a member perspective
- Basic working knowledge of systems-centered theory, methods and techniques
Intermediate Training: A Detailed Description
Two Intermediate Level Goals
- Skill in systems-centered work. Many members enter Intermediate training simply with the goal of honing their work with others. Take as many trainings as you find useful and that you qualify for.
- Licensing as an SCT Practitioner. Some members develop the goal of becoming a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner. The trainings listed here are required for that goal. In addition, the member's own energy and interest are required to seek out learning experiences supporting their own next steps and to shape alternative learning environments if needed, with the goal of integrating theory, skills, and the capacity to work in attunement.
Core Ongoing Settings
Every Intermediate member is responsible to organize membership in three settings:
- Ongoing experiential training practicum. Typically these trainings occur in SCT groups that meet regularly, led by a licensed SCT Practitioner. Members who don't have these groups available to them work with a Training Mentor to make use of intermediate level experiential workshops (for example, the 3-Year Intermediate Group at the SCT Annual Conferences).
- Theory group seminars. The goal is to deepen understanding of the Theory of Living Human Systems (TLHS) and systems-centered thinking. These seminars occur on the SCTRI telebridge, in small groups or in conjunction with an ongoing training group.
- Ongoing consultation with a licensed SCT Practitioner. Consultation is the major environment for developing the ability to apply systems-centered theory, methods and techniques in your work context.
Intermediate Core Trainings
- Intermediate Skills Training
- Mentor Training
- Authority Issue Group
These trainings are significant environments for developing one's skill in using SCT with others. The trainings are a platform for the integration and development of skills through follow-up in ongoing consultation, theory and experiential learning. Intermediate level training groups require applications for the candidates to demonstrate meeting the criteria to join the group. The application ensures both that members are in a training in which they are likely to meet success, and that the group-as-a-whole is supported to work together effectively.
Intermediate Skills Training
This intensive skill training is designed to shift focus from work with oneself to work with others. This training introduces the SCT protocols (often called the “Gold Sheets” or "Core Skills Manual") with an emphasis on the theoretical context within which the protocol is used, the actual steps in each technical skill that make up the protocol, videotaped practice of each skill, and review of each videotaped section with an eye on building the skill of force field development. Many members elect to take this training more than once. Intermediate Skills Training is offered at the SCT Annual Conference (7-day training) and the Annual SCT Training week in York, UK (5-day training).
This is a six-day intensive training that builds on and reinforces the learning from the Intermediate Skills Training with further theoretical discussion, skill building, videotaped practicum session, and force field review. The focus of this training is to enhance the capacity to contextualize, understand what it means to develop a "systems-centered learning organization," orient to different contexts within the "organization," relate to the goal of the context, and take up one's functional role. This training builds on prior mastery of the SCT protocol set out in the "Gold Sheets" (also known as the "Core Skills Manual").
Authority Issue Group
The Authority Issue Group is the first step in the advanced intermediate training track for members who are committed to becoming a licensed SCT practitioner. The twice a year meetings are held in the spring as part of the SCT Annual Conference (seven days, both the weekend pre-conference institute and the mornings of the five-day conference), and in the fall as a five-day meeting held in November in Decatur, Georgia. This group will meet twice a year until it has completed its work at which time the group will transition to a licensing task group. Typically, the AIG process takes three to three and a half years, with additional meetings (2-3) for transitioning and working as a licensing task group. The AIG is a closed group, members can join only at this first meeting.
Joining this group requires making a commitment to membership in the group and to becoming a licensed systems-centered practitioner. Because the work of the group develops from one session to another, missing more than one group of the biannual meetings makes it difficult or impossible to catch up. Therefore, if you miss more than one, your membership is suspended and you are welcome to join the next authority issue group when it forms.
The context of the AIG group includes an observers group, which meets concurrent with the AIG group. This group is Advanced Training for Trainers & Leaders: they observe the AIG meetings and track leader interventions and group development and meet in their own group to explore their observations. Membership in this group is limited to those who have previously completed AIG training. In addition, all meetings of the AIG are taped for research purposes and for use of the group in its learning if the group decides this. The tapes are only made available for research approved by SCTRI and to the observers for their research and observational learning. Transcripts with names and identifying information omitted may be used for teaching, research and articles. You will be asked to sign a release for this at the first meeting of the group.
Criteria for AIG membership:
1) Able to cross the boundary from person into member.
2) Able to be aware of context (watching systems, not people).
3) Knowing the theory chart (understanding how every SCT intervention is related to one of the columns in the chart, which tests both the reliability of the practice and the validity of the theory).
4) Knowledge of the phases of system development and knowing how to recognize each phase and its system dynamics (the SAVI system is a useful tool for identifying the different communication patterns that typify the different phases).
5) A thorough knowledge of the gold sheets and able to apply them in attunement and in context; discriminating between the letter of the law and the spirit of attunement.
6) Able to center.
7) Discriminating between one’s own functional and nonfunctional roles (and able to make functional role shifts) and knowing how to make these discriminations (being centered using one's self-observing system and turning one's researcher on).
8) Discriminating between exploring one’s authority issues and enacting them.
The AIG meets at the SCT Annual Conference and for 5 days in November. Applicants must have completed Intermediate Skills, basic SAVI training, and Mentor Training. If you want to prepare to apply for the AIG, speak to your training group leader, a Training Mentor, or Susan Gantt or Ray Haddock, SCT Trainers.
These events are offered at the SCT Annual Conference, and may also be available in other settings. For more information, email us or check the Training pages.
The Container Role is an intermediate step in SCT training between subgrouping from the SCT member role and taking up a role to build the group-as-a-whole. Containers shift their focus from joining a particular subgroup with which they individually resonate, to resonating with and containing the apprehensive experience of every subgroup in the group. This shift helps containers to track the driving and restraining forces in each phase of group development. An orientation and practice in the container role is offered at the SCT Annual Conference and in most SCT training workshops. Container Training is highly recommended for those intending to move onto the licensing track.
Intermediate Level Workshops
Special topic workshops and intermediate level experiential trainings are resources for deepening your knowledge and skills. A roles workshop is highly recommended for those intending to move onto the licensing track.
A basic 2-day training in the foundations of the SAVI (System for Analyzing Verbal Interactions) communication model, a tool for monitoring noise in system communications. Required for licensing track.
Intermediate Leadership Training
This training focuses on developing leadership in building an SCT context for work using the methods of functional subgrouping, contextualizing and vectoring to create a functional system. This workshop is offered at the SCT Annual Conference.
Three-Year Intermediate Training
This training is for members who do not have access to an ongoing experiential group, as well as those who want to deepen their understanding of SCT. For some, it may be part of preparing for the Authority Issue Group with the goal of licensing; for others, it may simply be part of continuing development. This training is offered at the SCT Annual Conference. Membership requires a commitment to and attendance at all three yearly sessions. The 3-year training combines experiential work with in-depth theory and force field work on the phases of system development (diagnosis, dynamics, driving and restraining forces). Experiential work will focus on moving from person to member in the phases of group development. Membership requires a commitment to and attendance at all three yearly sessions.
Advanced training emphasizes the integration of comprehensive and apprehensive knowledge into functional roles that relate to the goal of a context in application settings. Moving to Advanced level training requires completion of the Authority Issue Group.
The major work of the Advanced level training is:
- Cognitive development (theory). Comprehensive and apprehensive understanding of theory, methods and techniques, and the ability to use the theory in clinical, educational and organizational contexts. Ongoing integration of theory and methods as applied to building working systems-centered work contexts. Understanding the similarities and differences between SCT and other models.
- Experience-based learning. Deeper understanding of taking up the member role in context and how role changes in different contexts. Ongoing work to identify more complex restraining forces to taking up functional roles in context. Ongoing exploration in the work phase of system development with the continuation of the work to free creative energy and direct it into functional contexts.
- Technical skill development. Ability to use the theory and methods to build working systems and task groups. Understanding how to build and work in task groups. Increased ability to discriminate between innovation and drift. Understanding group-as-a-whole dynamics and the impact on a developing system. Ability to adapt SCT methods and techniques to different contexts. Advanced members also work with mentors to develop training opportunities.
- Research. Ability to observe, recognize and code the context of intervention and methods of intervention. Design and implement research that tests SCT hypotheses. Ongoing development of the capacity to observe system process and identify core issues, and plan intervention strategies informed by TLHS and SCT methodology.
Advanced Training Contexts
- Licensing process. One major advanced training track is working as a member of a peer licensing group, developing the criteria for assessment, and implementing a peer assessment process that results in licensing members as SCT Practitioners who take on the responsibility of representing SCT values through the practice of SCT in the larger environment while also contributing to the ongoing development of SCT, SCTRI and its members. It is in the re-licensing process that members focus on the discrimination between innovation and drift.
- Experiential groups. Ongoing leading edge exploration at the person, member, subgroup and group-as-a-whole levels.
- Theory groups. Ongoing exploration of innovations, leading edge thinking, and amplification of different aspects of the TLHS and SCT. Advanced members continue development in this area by forming peer groups or with membership in existing theory groups.
- Consultation. This training context is arranged independently by each member. Using the TLHS and SCT in clinical, educational and organizational contexts and working in consultation to training.
- Research. This training context is arranged independently by each member. Using the TLHS and SCT in clinical, educational and organizational contexts and working in consultation to training.