What is Family Constellation?
The way I facilitate Family Constellation is influenced by the Bert Hellinger method*. The main source of information is the of Represented Perception through surrogates.
In a constellation we can glance at and work with the forces that are operating within a family system. Depending on your request or need I offer group constellations as well as individual setting work. Within a safe environment we approach the issues that may be the reason for your symptoms. We deliberately leave the level of the thinking mind; we don’t know, we just look. A window opens and we can see the otherwise hidden dynamics working within the family system. These acts of seeing and witnessing alone constitute the beginning of the healing.
Within a constellation, the structures and changes within a family system are brought to light by the mannerisms and moves of the surrogates. We attend these working forces with awe and respect. When possible, I facilitate using subtle impulses.
With the term “systemic” I refer to our taking of the system as something alive. The client’s system is a living organism the order and rules of which I acknowledge and respect. This attitude constitutes my approach to the client’s situation, it can be seen as essential to my constellation work – the remembering. Furthermore, if the system permits it, I may implement a second step by subtly utilizing those forces. In acceptance of this mode of the world, the conscious mind remains a mere spectator.
These insights may be utterly surprising, however they are of secondary importance.
What is happening here?
As conscious humans we believe we are free in our decisions, at least to a certain extent. We however remain bound to the dynamic of our family system, subject to forces of which our mind is neither aware of nor in control of by conscious acts. On a deeper level we are free of doubt and simply and truly follow our kin.
If things are as they should be and the system’s laws are taken heed of, this dynamic is beneficial. Many systems however are affected by tragic and fateful incidents or situations. These become expressed by disease or tragic events within their kin.
In a Family Constellation such negative and damaging influences can become visible. I like the image of a trap door that we open, discovering active forces which are first of all surprising!
Witnessing such hidden forces is the first step to loosen their grip and end their negative effects. Relief follows suit. The person is released to her or his own course of life.
When do I recommend having a Family Constellation?
- when we do not succeed in finding a happy and fulfilling couple relationship.
- in the case of conflicts with the former partner or spouse.
- if you have health problems.
- if we do not find our place in life.
- in the case of repeated failure in your job.
- if you are troubled with addictions, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), fears and anxieties.
- when repeatedly burdened with random and unexplainable feelings of sadness, anger, despair, shame.
- when you have difficulties dealing with your parents, siblings, children, other relatives.
Working in a Individual Setting with Family Constellation
The same principle as in a group Constellation is active here: after the client’s telling her or his issue I add a brief interview about the important events. This is however a more private setting.
In a single setting we use toy-figures as surrogates.
We tune into the figure surrogates, resonate with the relevant feelings and share them with each other. Movements and simple sentences likewise affect the system and induce change. The management of time however is easier here. In a single setting we have more control over the flux of time. Here however the tedious and sometimes painful work of uncovering the events remain exclusively with client and facilitator.
*Bert Hellinger made the method of using surrogates to get insight well-known.