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International Coaching Federation Switzerland

Past Events Highlights – September 2021

Zurich Chapter 

Introduction to the “Resonance Image” method, September 8 2021 

In early September, a group of participants from across Switzerland attended an introduction to Gisela Schmeer’s “Resonance Image Method”, facilitated by Annette Schönholzer & myself (Matthias Läubli).  

Gisela Schmeer’s integrative method opens a space in which participants can express themselves and engage in non-verbal exchanges through drawings rather than through language. By sharing personal drawings, new inner images emerge in the viewers. When these responses are drawn and shared, participants relate to each other in a unique way. The method can be used in multiple settings: individual coaching, team or group coaching as well as organizational development.  

What makes the method so powerful? The Resonance Image Method distinguishes between “digital” (abstract & based on language) and “analogue” coaching interventions. Both complement each other. Non-verbal interventions, such as body work, coaching cards or painting are “analogue” and address a different brain area than language-based coaching. Applying both types of interventions supports new connections between these brain areas with surprising results.  

The table below compares the differences (Source: Volker Kiel (2020), “Analoge Methoden in der systemischen Beratung”):  

Digital intervention 

Analogue intervention 

Intellectual 

Intuitive 

Language, words 

Non-verbal, pictures, drawings, body 

Rational 

Emotional 

Thoughts 

Feelings 

“Cannot see the wood for the trees” 

Goes straight to the “core” 

Explains, one word after another 

Perceives a whole entirety in the moment 

How does it work? During the event, the group of participants went together through the following journey:  

  • Welcome & get to know each other 
  • Guided imagination: “What is on my mind today?” 
  • “Initial image”: Draw your “resonance” to the guided imagination in colour (A4 or A3 size paper, coloured pencils or crayons).  
  • Breakout-session: Alternate to present your paintings, ask questions and exchange observations.  
  • Resonance Image”: Optionally, create a simple line drawing either by choosing one element from one of the drawings, or by drawing a symbol / sketch of an image evoked by another drawing. Complete your line drawing by adding a single term or sentence (approx. A5 size paper, black medium felt-tipped pen).  
  • Share resonance images in the group 
  • Final round & closing 

Participants commented on how surprised they were that in a brief session, the drawings supported accessing the core of things quite quickly. In addition, the high density and quality of the exchange was highlighted. 

Find examples of an “initial image” and a “resonance image” below:  

This is the resonance image that the same participant created later in response to the exchange with the other participants. The word “Verbundenheit” can be translated as “relatedness, bond”.   

Authors: Annette Schönholzer & Matthias Läubli (Chapter Leader Zurich)

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