Do painful relationships keep your clients or groups trapped?
Learn how to mend webs and help release them from those old
sticky patterns into a new sense of freedom.
Have you noticed that your clients or your groups are often caught up in painful personal, group, or family dynamics that undermine their health, their well-being and their goals? No matter what they do, the group dynamics keep undercutting them and pulling them back.
Whether you’re a leader, a participant, a therapist or other, it seems that whatever progress you might make individually or with a client gets swept away by uncontrollable waves that surge through the group. I’ve seen this over and over: where a leader or participant in an organization or family feels helpless. Despite their personal best efforts, they get undermined again and again.
Or similarly, with therapists, bodyworkers, or other health professionals, do you find that the health of your client or patient gets undone by these group dynamics, no matter how much effort they put into their personal healing?
Even if your client heals an issue with one person, for example, the web of dynamics will cause that same problem to pop up with someone else.
What the heck is going on? Is there a way to heal these group dynamics so they don’t keep stopping any significant progress?
Introducing Mending Webs
An Online Course to help permanently change dysfunctional or painful group dynamics that are undermining the effectiveness and health of the group or individual
Mending Webs is a solution to these problems. Whether you’re a leader, a therapist, a counselor, or other professional, you’ve no doubt seen this. Organizational or group dynamics create a web of relationships that have their own momentum and movement that can powerfully undermine individual efforts at healing.
Relationships are messy. Due to that messiness, the whole web will often need healing. You see it everywhere. Institutions and groups break down, and sometimes even dissolve, due to collapses in communications. Or the person who was leading leaves or shifts into something new, and the whole web has to change or it disintegrates. This work can help with such shifts, and smooth the pathway for adjustments that need to happen.
In a family, for example, sometimes relationships need to be redefined – such as when there is a divorce, or when someone dies. Sometimes a family member is either asked or expected to fill a role that really doesn’t belong to them, and there’s tension in the system. Or there is tension between two or more family members.
I was working with “Greta,” who had been feeling estranged from her brother for the past couple years. As we worked with her family of origin from her perspective, when we energetically placed the family in a circle, the brother was not only not there, but was about 10 feet outside of the circle facing away. She said, “That’s it! That’s exactly how I feel!” In the session we were able, in stages, to bring the brother to face back toward the family, and then to join the circle.
At her next session, she reported that she and her brother had been in contact and that it felt as if all the tensions had melted away. They started talking again and worked through their issues. Several months later, she reported that they had developed the closeness they once had.
I was working with a client who had been diagnosed with diabetes, whose doctor was recommending medication. She asked for six months to adjust her eating habits and to do some energetic work with me. We had been making some progress – she was feeling less anxious overall, and her blood sugar levels were beginning to come down. Then we worked with a web in the pancreas that was all about adaptability. In the next couple weeks, her blood sugar settled in the high normal range and stayed there. But more than that, she noticed that her anxiety was almost gone and that she didn’t worry so much when she got into new situations – she could work out what to do or say with more ease. In short, she was able to adapt to life circumstances more easily.
Mending Webs gives you a group of tools and practices that can benefit your practice and/or your work as a leader exponentially. In your practice, Mending Webs may be the missing piece to a client’s disease or discomfort – physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. For example, a physical disease that has been hanging on may finally heal. Emotional blocks that you’ve been working with may resolve. Or habit patterns that have been getting in the way and which the client hasn’t been able to shift, will start shifting more quickly or dissolve completely.
Clients can also experience a new sense of orientation in themselves and to their families and other groups. This can result in a new ease in relationships, a sense of peace and relief, and/or a sense of deeper belonging. Your clients feel more solid and grounded in their relationships and/or the world.
A few years ago I worked with a family where the father had died. The middle-school-aged son, “Steve,” was having real troubles dealing with the loss of his dad, and had started acting out in class. Each family has two anchors (the ones who have the most influence over or lead a group). In this case, Steve was missing someone to fill the anchor role that his father had filled. Together with his mom, we determined that his maternal uncle was the proper person to fill the role of anchor, and we established that connection. Within the next few weeks, Steve’s behavioral issues resolved, and he reported that he didn’t feel so lost and alone. His mother reported that he seemed much more comfortable in general.
At its best and deepest, Mending Webs can bring personal and spiritual transformation.
Your clients may:
One of my clients, Kim, comes from a long line of worriers and had always used that worry to get through tough situations. Her husband needed unexpected surgery and she needed to have that coping mechanism fully in place to be able to cope with the situation. We repaired her worry web so that she could draw on it for the short-term situation. A few months later, she was ready to move out of that coping mechanism, and we dissolved the web. She is no longer reliant on worry to get her through difficult situations.
For Leaders and those who work with groups
What is true for individuals and families is also true for other groups: religious institutions, businesses, schools, sports clubs or teams, etc. In each of these, each person in the system or web has their own role. If you are a leader of an institution, working with one key person or group can change the dynamics of the entire institution. Fractured or tangled relationships will get mended and/or untangled. The result is that tensions in groups may finally resolve completely. Sometimes people may be in the wrong roles, and simply moving people into the roles appropriate to them can untangle the web.
A few years ago the owner of a mortgage company that was having some difficulties hired me to do some Mending Webs work. People weren’t getting along, the owner suspected some people were in the wrong jobs for them, some employees resisted the leader of one of the company branches, and one person in particular no longer did his job. After my first session, working only with the owner, off the premises of the company, a number of things happened without the owner’s intervention or prompting. Two people traded jobs, the one who was not really doing his job decided to retire, and the person who really needed to step up and head one branch of the company stepped up in a big way. After another session, the company was running well and efficiently again.
I have seen these sorts of results with churches, groups, and especially families.
Wow, you may be thinking, this all sounds good, but how does it work?
Mending Webs is based on working with these six principles:
All things are interconnected. Any group of individuals, such as a family, institution, school, place of work, etc. is a compilation of connections. In addition, every aspect of the physical body is interconnected. For instance, every cell is always in communication with every other cell in the body. The cells work together in synergy to keep the whole body working. In each individual also exists a connection of identities, some of which are primary (male, female). All of these connections weave together like a dynamic web.
Due to their interconnections, groups are much stronger than their individual parts. Yet either internal influences (e.g., dysfunction in one member of the group) or external influences can affect the health of the group and how well it functions. Relationships can get knotted or tangled, which can lead to dysfunction.
2. Even though webs are incredibly strong, they are malleable.
When they become tangled or knotted, they can be rewoven, so they can be healthy.
3. Every point in a web is important in terms of its role and orientation.
What that means is first, that very web has points that have more leverage than others. Webs also have anchor points. The rest of the web finds its role and orientation in relationship to the web anchor(s).
If someone isn’t carrying the role that is most appropriate for the web, it can cause disruptions in the entire web. Or, if someone isn’t oriented in a way that is helpful (such as someone who is turned away from the group energetically, or is partially outside the group), the web will need reweaving.
Reweaving a web can involve shifting, realigning, changing, removing a section, or even adding to a web.
4. Webs can be intergenerational or ancestral.
Present-day webs can also have intergenerational or ancestral dysfunctions that cause tangles or knots in the present-day web. Intergenerational or ancestral trauma and/or dysfunction can be untangled and rewoven. In fact, doing this alone can heal the entire present-day web. You can also connect and work with intergenerational or ancestral wisdom as a resource for untangling or reweaving a present-day web.
5. In terms of healing or reweaving the web, the web is only accessible from the point that a particular person is at in the web.
For example, if you work with the CEO of a corporation, they are an anchor of the web, and have connections with every other part of the web; in this case you can work with the entire web. On the other hand, if you are working with a person who is not an anchor of the web, then you can only work with them in relation to the parts of the web that they are directly connected with. The good news is that doing that may also untangle the entire web.
6. The reason all of this is possible is that all relationships, including webs, exist at an energetic-spiritual level as well as a physical level.
More than that, since the energetic and spiritual aspects of a web affect the physical, you can work with a web energetically and have profound real-world effects.
Mending Webs principles and tools can be applied to and with non-human webs as well: including animals, plants, any kind of eco-system, and the land.
This method of healing is easily learned. When you utilize these six (6) principles, it also integrates powerfully into other existing modalities, such as coaching, counseling, therapy, body work, etc., and can accelerate a return to wholeness.
I worked with a mom who was having problems with her teenage son. She said he was acting rudely, especially in situations where she asked him to complete chores or do anything around the house. He had stopped talking with her and she felt that he was resistant even about letting her know if he had completed his homework or outstanding projects, etc. She finally became aware that she was seeing him as a 5-year-old, and that was impacting how she was treating him. When we did the web work, the energetic web relationship was that of a mother with a very young son. We dissolved that relationship and established a new web relationship between her and her son as a teenager. At her next session, she said, “It was like night and day!” Not only was she able to begin treating him differently, but noted a significant shift in his behavior toward her: she said his rudeness had all but disappeared, he was more helpful around the house (although he still resisted doing chores here and there), and that he was talking more freely about what was going on with him. She said she realized she had been a bit overbearing about the homework and projects, and had made an effort to back off. Now she could ask him about it, and he didn’t seem as defensive.
As Your Guide:
Hi! I’m Mary Shields, and I have been doing web-work in one way or another most of my life.
I bring a unique background to this work, including two educational degrees, and an M.Div., which included training in pastoral counseling and family and group systems. Mending Webs also brings together my broad training as a minister, educator, musician, and several holistic healing modalities, including BodyTalk, Reiki, shamanic healing, and SourcePoint therapy.
However, I realized long ago that working with webs wasn’t just about knowledge. Both the work itself and the healing have to come from the heart level. Therefore I also bring a heart-centred approach to this work.
I started working directly with various forms of webs in 2003, including families, churches, and other groups. I’ve also worked with the land. As a healer, I work with webs in the body as well. Before and since then, I’ve done lots of work to heal and mend my own webs, including my own family dynamics, and my work situation at that time. In the process, I have learned how to heal others’ webs.
One of my gifts is discerning patterns, being able to pull them apart and work with them, to see how the parts of a pattern come together, and then to work with the pattern as a whole.
Since 2001, I have worked with hundreds of clients and students, and am continually awed and humbled by how powerfully and quickly it works. Over time, this work developed such power that — as a teacher at heart — I want to share it with you!
I love singing and dancing; you’re apt to find me at a contra-dance, the Dances of Universal Peace, singing in the car at the top of my lungs, or singing and dancing around my house.
I am passionate about this work and passionate about helping others learn it too. Mending Webs has never been more necessary — from individuals to small groups to communities to the planet.
I was working with a client on the autistic spectrum, whose father was away during most of the time he was in the womb. The somatic web work connected him more closely with his father, and with his entire paternal lineage. In the next few weeks, he made dramatic progress: in this case, he interacted much more with his father and other members of the family, he began to make eye contact with people for the first time ever, and he began to interact with siblings in a way he hadn’t done before.
What can I expect?
As a lifelong educator, I use teaching techniques for all types of learning styles. The class will consist of a combination of PowerPoint presentation, demonstration, and practice. I also believe that learning needs to be fun. Laughter and play help people relax — and when you’re relaxed, you learn easier and quicker — so my classes are full of humor and light-heartedness.
I have been using the Mending Webs techniques in my practice for several years now. With several of my clients, I have observed better clarity of boundaries in relationships and decision making. I have also observed better health as we have balanced the relationship web between parts of the body.
If you are wanting to add a tool to your practice that will enhance the healing process of your clients, I recommend taking this class.
Mary teaches the class in such a way that it is both informative and fun and you leave being able to utilize it immediately.
Debra B. LMT, CBP, Ohio
What are the Details?
Sixteen (16) 90-minute sessions. We will meet via Zoom.
The course runs every other week, with time in between for practice and integration.
We will meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 2 pm eastern time.
Specific Dates: Aug 6, Aug 20, Sept 3, Sept 17, Oct 1, Oct 15, Nov 5, Nov 19, Dec 3, Dec 17, Jan 7, Jan 21, Feb 4, Feb 18, Mar 4, and Mar 18.
Because this is the first time I’m teaching this as an online class,
the size is limited to 18 spaces.
$400 deposit plus $175/month
(total investment $1800)
You will receive an electronic version of the class PowerPoint, as well as handouts on each of the procedures. The handouts are laid out in such a way that you can take and use them as step-by-step recipes when you get home.
There will be lots of time for Q and A. I have also built-in time and space for integration. Additionally, my commitment to you is that we will practice everything I teach. You will be paired with a different partner each time to practice what you learned and bring your questions and case studies back to the next class. In each session, I will also review one of the primary aspects of the class.
Mary is a gifted teacher who presents material in a clear and concise manner. Relationships are the essence of our lives and mending webs offers a different lens to approach this balance. Mary maintains a respectful and insightful environment in which to examine these energetic connections. Her guidance and intuition help clarify each student’s situation creating a new and fresh perspective.
Terry A, PT, Missouri
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this class:
After the first session, which will introduce Mending Webs, each session will begin with a review and Q and A. Then I will present the new material together with a powerpoint. I will demonstrate any new techniques, and if there is time, we’ll use break-out groups so you can practice them immediately. There will be a few sessions that are focused specifically on integrating and applying what you have learned in various situations.
We will pair people to partner and practice together in the week in between. My goal is to have you work with everyone else in the class at some point. When you work together, please write down any questions or case studies.
There will be an opportunity to upload all your personal questions, as well as questions arising out of your practice sessions. Questions will be due a few days before the next class so I can read them ahead of time, and be ready to answer them in the next class session.
I understand that sometimes people need to miss a session. All sessions will be recorded and you can listen any time.
I ask you to listen to session recording before the next meeting, as each session builds on the one before.
Yes, you can start using the principles and techniques I will be teaching as soon as you receive them.
Not at the moment. There will be an optional in-person option after the class is over: to review, practice in person, etc.
What Others Say About Mending Webs
Everywhere you look, you see broken relationships within families and groups. The breakdown of true connections between people is painfully visible – in personal relationships, in communities, in one’s country, and the world at large. Relationship mending has never been more crucial.
If you’re ready:
I would love for you to join me! Together, we can make a difference. in the lives of clients, groups, institutions, and more.
The world needs you — and all of us — to do this work.