About Family Constellations
Family Constellations uncover the hidden dynamics of your family or relationship in an experiential way. Existing dynamics can be observed and stresses in the system can be released. This gentle and sensitive method allows family or relationship energy to reveal itself through representatives, so that a resolution can unfold, allowing the natural flow of love in the system to increase.
Constellations basically look at two questions. Firstly, what entangles one family member in the fate of another and what might resolve this entanglement? Secondly, what is needed to support a free flow of love? These basic questions unfold in a multitude of different ways in constellation work.
The answers are not sought at the personal, autonomous level of one individual, but in the interconnected relationships of family and society, and the events that influence them. The focus, of course, is always on love.
Jakob Schneider, "Family Constellations: Basic Principles and Procedures" pp 33-34
Constellations are most effective for issues that appear to be systemic in nature. A systemic issue originates in the system, not in the individual. This is not the way that we normally view problems that show up in our lives!
How do they work?
Systemic and Family Constellations are a means of looking at the hidden dynamics of the energies of a system. They are the life’s work of Bert Hellinger, German psychotherapist, who has been facilitating constellations for several decades. Constellations are all about increasing the flow of love in a family.
Constellations are an exciting and effective modality that is adjunctive to traditional counseling. They address the systemic components of issues and problems that show up in a system which other therapies don’t seem to make a dent in. The reason that other therapies may not be effective on a particular problem is that the problem is actually systemic in nature; it arises from pressures exerted by many parts of the system and is not localized to any one person. Constellations look at the system as a whole to find where these pressures and dysfunctions arise.
How does a Constellation work?
We gather as a group with the intention to be in service to our families and to the families of those gathered. One person presents an issue to the facilitator who asks some simple questions about the family of origin: were there any big events in the family? Did anyone die in an unusual way or suffer a heavy fate? Were any children stillborn? Often the issue that the client is bringing stems from what is known as an ‘entanglement’, the intertwining of a person with the fate of an ancestor, even when we don’t know them or their stories. The family ‘soul’ wants everyone to be included, especially the forgotten, excluded, and marginalized. Sometimes the entanglement is the way of being remembered.
The facilitator then asks the client to choose persons to represent family members, one at a time. They gently guide the representative into the working space and place them in the layout that matches their inner knowing. The facilitator asks the representatives to follow the sensations that arise in their bodies; if they feel the need to move, then the representative moves into a new position in relationship with the others. Constellation language is very visual: observing these movements and hearing what representatives are experiencing brings new light to what is being experienced in the system.
When placed in a constellation, representatives are able to accurately report information from the information field of the family’s system. A skilled facilitator adds representatives for other family members or for concepts in order to localize the beginning of the dysfunction, and to bring understanding and resolution to the presenting issue. For instance, representatives for ‘Life’, ‘Love’, or ‘Death’ or even ‘Fate’ can be introduced to help clarify the issue and its effects on the family system. Participants in constellations often find immediate relief, although gradual lessening of family issues is also a norm.
Benefits of Family Constellation
Constellations work is an exciting and effective new therapy that is an adjunct or alternative to traditional counseling, that is well-established and popular in Europe and spreading around the world. It is powerful and effective at illuminating a situation and providing a workable systemic solution.
Most people resolve their issue in a relatively short time using Family Constellations or a combination of therapy and constellation work. It is a relatively, quick, easy and cost effective method. You don’t need the other person(s) in your issue to be present - you may choose either a private one-to-one, or a group session. For many this is a profound life changing experience.
Relationships are perhaps the most important aspect of your life in terms of providing you with warmth and contentment and peace of mind. Your relationships in business, in your personal life and in your family, affect all aspects of your life, including the way you relate to problems. One study has shown that merely thinking of your ancestors, your family system, increases intellect and confidence.
Notable Aspects of Family Constellations
* Most people resolve their issue in just one or a few sessions. It is quick and very cost effective
* You don’t need the other person(s) in your issue to be present
* We don’t need to know what happened in your issue – just some bare facts about the family and fates of family members
* The resolution often appears to ripple out and effects the other people in your issue, even though they didn’t attend
* It is a gentle, sensitive, effective process
* Constellation work goes hand-in-hand with traditional counseling, although it also stands on its own
* This work is often referred to as “Movements of the Soul”
* It is the ultimate in personal development in promoting connection and more contentment.
Applications of Constellations within Other Systems
Constellations, also known as Family and Systemic Constellation Work, also has applications for business, as businesses are also systems which endure systemic pressures. Business constellations can be used to test new products on subsets of consumer markets, branding, pricing, and many other facets. Systemic and Family Constellation work is extremely effective and increasingly popular worldwide, and most of the extent literature has been written in other languages. It is only now being translated into English, and as a result, constellations are now beginning to gain a strong following in the US. Find out what it can do for you and your family or business!
Here's a fantastic article about family constellations from the FamilyConstellations web site in Australia.
What Workshop Participants Say
"I have not had anymore nightmares about my parents and I used to have them every night." - workshop participant, Spring 2016
"I feel lighter and less burdened." - workshop participant, Spring 2016
"Would do it again and recommend it." - workshop participant, November 2015
"Phenomenal! A very new and different healing modality." - workshop participant, November 2015
"Transformational." - workshop participant, November 2015