Systemic Brief Therapy - Analogue Systemic Brief Therapy

"Amazing how this works, without having you impose something on me, but you’re still moving the process forward" (a client’s comment on this approach)
Director of training

Dr. Ilka Hoffmann-Bisinger

Why might this training be interesting for you?

Interrupting the vicious cycle of problem-maintaining patterns is increasingly relevant in psychotherapeutic and counseling practice. This is especially true for difficulties which have become chronic, and also for the more “acute” challenges in life.

In this training you will learn a new effective and efficient method to disrupt these destructive cycles at a cognitive, emotional and behavioral level. In doing, so your client’s creative resources will be activated, as well as your own.

Analogue Systemic Brief Therapy and Counseling - before known as the EAI Model of Ilka Hoffmann- Bisinger - is an approach which is based on Watzlawick’s, Weakland’s and Frisch’s concept of second-order change (Palo Alto Model):

When (unsuccessful) attempted solutions keep the problem “alive“, it is helpful to interrupt the problem-maintaining pattern and move into a different direction.

New and central in the model developed by Ilka Hoffmann- Bisinger is that the concept of second order change is re-introduced from a "non-expert" stance: Instead of interrupting the client’s unsuccessful attempted solutions through therapeutic expertise, the client’s internal images are activated for change.

What actually is "Systemic Brief Therapy"?

"Brief Therapy" is often confused with "Short Term Therapy". The latter is a shortened version of common therapy methods such as Psychoanalysis or Behavior Therapy.

Systemic Brief Therapy on the other hand is a distinct approach. This method and approach is not primarily about shortening the number of sessions. It is about a certain methodological approach, which ultimately results in a shortening of treatment.

Brief Therapy or Systemic Brief Therapy, as developed by Watzlawick, Weakland and Fisch, is an approach that is very strongly oriented towards the client's concerns and works in a very focused way. This results in a procedure with a certain similarity to what is often understood as Coaching.

Analogue Systemic Brief Therapy and Coaching - The Ask!-Model

Before people seek help, they have usually tried to solve their problem on their own, but have not been successful enough. One reason for this is that these attempts to solve the problem paradoxically perpetuate or even complicate the situation.

Analogue Systemic Brief Therapy and Coaching - the Ask!-Model developed by Ilka Hoffmann-Bisinger - is based on Watzlawick's, Weakland's and Fisch's concept of second-order change: If the previous (unsuccessful) attempts to solve the problem keep it "alive", it is helpful to interrupt the old pattern and take a different direction.

In Brief Therapy and Coaching it is central to distinguish the essential from the non-essential. Clarity about what the client actually experiences as problematic, as well as a structuring of complexity by looking at patterns that maintain the problem, make this distinction possible. In this training you will learn an effective and efficient method to recognize and interrupt patterns in thinking, feeling and acting.

New and central to the Ask!-Model is the inclusion of the analogue (pictorial) level in pattern interruption, as well as a focus on the resulting powerful images. By switching from the rational to the analogue mode, relevant emotional aspects are included, which enable new, individual solutions.

The Ask!-Model combines a clear and respectful view of what clients themselves consider essential with a consequent activation of their own internal resources.

"Ask the client!" is the principle that contributes decisively to sustainable change in problematic patterns of thinking, feeling and acting, both in chronic and acute difficulties.

The Ask!-Model not only activates your clients creativity, but also your own!

Target group and prerequisites

This training program in Systemic Brief Therapy is available for psychologists, medical doctors, social workers and other professionals of the psycho-social field. Training participants are selected in the application process. Besides a university degree, it is required that the participants have an active practice in counseling and / or therapeutic contexts and have the opportunity to work with clients.


In this one-year training program the focus is not only on learning about the theoretical foundations of Systemic Brief Therapy, but also on their practical application. You will learn how you can stimulate a changed perspective within your clients by working with internal images, how to identify blocking patterns and how to disrupt these through internal images. You will activate the client’s individual resources to open up new possibilities.

Likewise, your own creative resources are activated, by introducing you to different modes of internal images and experimenting with these.

Basics - Systemic Brief Therapy

These two basic modules provide an introduction to Systemic Brief Therapy and will enable you to work practically with this approach.

Basics I – Introduction and Basics

    > introduction: Systemic Brief Therapy
    > overview of the model
    > problems and patterns
    > deconstructing problems

Basics II – Basics of Systemic Brief Therapy

    > theoretical foundations
    > pattern identification
    > pattern interruption: “classic”
    > pattern interruption: “analogue”

Advanced training - Systemic Brief Therapy

The advanced training systematically deepens the basic training in order to refine your skills and enable you to work with this model in different contexts.

Advanced Training I – Systemic Brief Therapy

    > the therapeutic stance
    > identifying problems without problem trance
    > identifying patterns and vicious circles
    > deepening the first three phases of the model

Advanced Training II – Working with Internal Images   

    > hypnotherapeutic basics for working with internal images
    > focusing attention
    > implications of language
    > deepening phase four of the model - part I

Advanced Training III - Analogue Pattern Interruption

    > creative possibilities of the analogue mode
    > guiding analogue processes
    > utilizing implicit knowledge for solutions
    > deepening phase four of the model - part II

Advanced Training IV – Special Topics

    > strategic pattern interruption
    > in-between-session tasks
    > phase V of the model
    > working with systems
    > specific topics

Advanced Training V – Case Reports and Supervision

    > case reports
    > supervision


In this training program, Systemic Brief Therapy is learned step by step. The relevant theoretical foundations and the methodological “know-how " are alternately taught with practical individual, small and large group exercises, as well as through visual media.


This one-year training program takes place in Berlin. Group size is limited to 14 participants. The training consists of 200 hours, including seven two-day modules, each on a Friday and Saturday from 10:00 - 17:30 on the first day and from 9:00 - 16:30 on the second day. Participants will receive a qualifying certificate after completing all the requirements for certification.

Training fees and payment

The total participation fee for the whole training program is 2240, - €. The fee of 320, - € for each two-day module is to be transferred four weeks before each seminar or in total at the beginning of the training program. The application fee of 150, - € is payable with signing the contract and deductible from the fee for the first module.

Application and information | Tel.: 0049 (0)30 - 69 81 80 69