Eva Wieprecht joins the podcast today to talk about her experiences with Virginia Satir’s work and her personal hero’s journey. She is a Generative Coach/Trainer and Satir Model trainer. She is the Director of the Virginia Satir Institute of Germany. We connected through a Satir Global Community Zoom meeting and with the help of my co-host Sharon Loeschen. She started her career off in the business world with an MBA and in her family’s business, but her authentic Self and her need to learn, be creative brought her to other spaces and adventures. Her work now focuses on using Virginia Satir’s work and Generative coaching for individuals, businesses and offers a variety of training and workshops.
Something in Eva resonated with me. Her genuineness and passion struck me and her curiosity, positivity and interest were strengths in her that were immediately apparent.
1:00 Eva shared a story of when her teacher Judith Delozier first met Virginia. That she was so full of energy of love and connection. Eva love for her family and wanting to heal the pain in her family made her interested in Virginia and first learning about her five freedoms. She was also attracted to Virginia’s wish to be a detective in families.
9:00 What was the problem/puzzle that Eva was trying to solve or resolve within her family context and family business. She shares that she initially blamed herself and identified herself as the problem. Virginia helped her realized that it wasn’t her or her father or the others but the whole interactional pattern that was the problem.
13:45 In trying to fit into the family business, Eva suffered a loss of self-esteem and suffered from physical ailments, cervical cancer, which she took as signs that she was not in the right context for her life.
18:30 Eva struggled to find herself as unique and separate from the family myth. Eva knew that she was loved by her father, but she describes wanting to connect and experience her father’s love through the achievement of success through the family business.
20:00 We talk about the difference between the hierarchical model as compared to the seed model which Virginia talked about as related to what Eva was experiencing with herself and her family business. Eva describes that she also felt value and respect across the corporate structure for every person as being of equal value. Eva
26:00 Eva talks about another teacher, Dr Gunther Schmidt, who met Virginia Satir and how he seemed to sparkle when he spoke of her and that this also resonated with Eva. I interrupted Eva to reflect on this idea of spark and to try to unpack what is it more precisely about Virginia that has been so meaningful to people. Eva talks about the common reflection of felt sensing of presence which included the feelings of warmth, connection.
29:45 We explore the question of “What is embodied presence?” that Virginia seemed to manifest so clearly. What was unique about Virginia was the way she used herself, how she was able to connect to something deep inside of herself to connect with others and how this came across in her sculpting, her eyes, and her use of touch.
30:20 Use of Self is the key to facilitating healing and growth process. Eva describes her hunch that Virginia’s mission for peace within, between and among as part of how she was present. What does it mean to feel peace within myself and peace between us and to live and breath and walk that?
31:45 I ask what peace means to Eva. She talks about doing her own work to learn more about herself and to take her reactions to others as opportunities to grow. By engaging the shadow sides of her psyche, she can own as many parts of herself which creates peace because those parts aren’t projected into the world and creating conflict.
34:00 “We connect at the level of our sameness and grow through our differences.” We talk about how painful our differences can be and that the energy and work of forgiveness can help expand us and eventually create peace. Eva talks about the importance of noticing and acknowledging the parts within us that we have not yet made peace with.
36:20 Eva describes “parts” as different motivations and emotional complexes such as anger, fear, happiness, joy and sadness. These are the many energies inside that can take on many forms. Eva talks about her professional role and her desire to gain validation at this level as being in conflict - something that felt empty and sad inside.
40:00 Eva was yearning to be understood and to have a voice for her deepest sense of Self. She also yearned to have a space for her Self.
42:00 “I needed to lose myself, in order to find myself” We explore whether there’s anywhere around that tension between losing and getting lost and then finding oneself.
“We need to lose and have a crisis to come into alignment,” Eva says.
45:00 Eva calls the moments of crisis and chaos in life as “Kisses of awakening” The universe is saying we have a big plan for you. We’re going to kiss you away. Something that you’re doing here isn’t quite right. For Eva, she experiences painful physical manifestation of such kisses of awakening.
46:50 Virginia message of nurturing and support in the face of such experiences is essential to moving through the periods of chaos. Eva talks about using a circle of support/love that are people can hold and support you when you don’t feel good.
48:30 As we move through periods of chaos, and accept them as moments of awakening of changing our relationships with ourselves and with others, we are also increasing our ability to trust the life process and therefore engage more willingly with chaos and unknown.
49:20 In Virginia Satir process of change model, she normalizes the experience of chaos as part of the journey. Awareness of such a phase in the process gives some reassurance to people experiencing the pain of chaos just as a map can be useful before travelling to a new destination.
51:00 Some reflective questions from Eva during her process of change: “Who do I want to become?” “What is the gift of myself that I really want to share with others?” “How can I heal my wound so that my wound can be in service of the gift?” And therefore become an authentic messenger for this work. Eva believes that if you haven’t been wounded then you can’t really help people going through difficult times.
“Your heart is meant to break open” Buddhist quote.
52:33 Eva shares about her meeting with a group of people at a Satir Global meeting and meeting Sharon Loeschen. She describes the love, wisdom, skill, humility and nurturing in the room.
1:00:00 Virginia developed a model of practice that was systemic and that was simple enough and yet able to account for the complexity of being human. Virginia put into words that which was very difficult to describe but was felt. This helped Eva make sense of her own experience of her self in relation to her family.
1:02:00 Eva highlights the humanistic approach of Virginia and how we have learned to behave and cope with life. The family of origin work helps us make sense of patterns of coping that isn’t about blame but empowering new learnings. Eva describes the perceptual world as out of proportion for young people and this sensory difference can be internalized as a sense of being powerless or of the world being scary for young children over time beyond the period of childhood. For example, all adults are taller than children so children need to look up. Virginia would often have children stand on stools to see their parents eyes directly and this experience would be the first time that parent and child communicated at the same physical level, which also communicates ‘equality of value.”
1:06:00 Virginia awareness, care and use of the body was unique and something that is distinct from other modern models of psychotherapy. Whether it was making contact, building awareness with sculpting, practicing communication by coaching the eyes and ears to observe with judging prematurely, etc.
“The body is a rich resource” Eva explains. The connection to the body allows us to connect to experiences that beyond words and the use of the body facilitates the emotional expression and release.
1:11:30 We explore Eva’s hope for Virginia Satir’s work. Eva hopes for a systemic-relational approach that orients us back to the ‘juice of relationship’. Eva really hopes that the people she works with can really embody and put the five freedoms into practice: These have to do with the freedom to see/hear what is present, to feel what you feel, to say what you see/hear and feel and to ask for what you want and finally to take risks.
We also talk about the emphasis on the process of becoming more conscious rather than getting stuck into conclusions and judgments, which Virginia emphasized and taught.
Here is a link to the Enriching Program that Eva mentions: