What is Family Constellation Therapy?
Family Constellation Therapy was pioneered by psychotherapist and philosopher Bert Hellinger. The modality has become increasingly recognised as an astounding, powerful and far-reaching approach to finding lasting resolutions in cases which before had seemed beyond reach.
It brings to light our deep interconnectedness with our family, our friends and our wider community. This leads to a deep experiential understanding of primordial love at the heart of all kinds of mental, psychosomatic and bodily suffering. Once that love is freed from unconscious entanglements dating back one, two or even three generations, it becomes a force for profound healing.
Family Constellations can be a stand-alone approach to personal growth, or a useful support to other forms of Counseling, Coaching, or Therapy. This work is most profound when it is worked alongside working through trapped emotions held within the chakra energy system of the body.
The actions of others in your family system can have significant (and often deeply unconscious) effects on you - even across generations. In constellation we look at the connection of your current life issues and problems to the past generations in your family.
Usually there will be immediate relief and clarity of your issues , however it is not a quick-fix, short-lived solution.
It can take some months for the full benefits of a single Family Constellation to unfold in your life and the lives of those connected to you, even when they haven't participated in the Family Constellation themselves.
Family Constellations can bring new insight and solutions with the following...
- Relationship issues
- Loneliness & Addiction
- Divorce & Separation
- Death, Loss & Suicide
- Cultural issues
- Depression & Confusion
- Career issues & Conflict
- Incest & Violence
- Health issues
- Secrets, Guilt & Shame
How does a Family Constellation Session Work?
A remote Family Constellation session begins with a brief conversation between the client and the facilitator. During the conversation, the facilitator seeks to understand the client's intention for the session.
For example, if a client is experiencing a relationship issue with their partner and wants this issue to be harmonised and the relationship to be loving and connective, the facilitator may ask
- What situation triggered the relationship issue? Or
- When did the relationship issue start?
- What family members or people are involved in the situation?
After getting a picture of how the issue expresses itself in the client's life, the facilitator moves on to ask questions that uncover the role these dynamics play in their larger family system.
The remote family constellation session plays out on a virtual chess board. Once the facilitator has gathered enough information to begin, the facilitator asks for the clients etheric family members (their mother, father, sibling, grandparent, significant other, boss at work, friend etc) and themselves that are relevant to the situation to step forward and stand on the chess board.
What develops is a 3D representation of the client's view of their problematic relationship, or family issue, that we are examining. What is analysed is the image of where the loved one is standing, in what direction to the client, and their distance, rapour to the client and their body language.
Inevitably, new stories emerge that the client may not have realized were relevant to their intention for the session. As the constellation progresses, new information continues to come to light while the facilitator guides the family representatives on the chess board and the client to test different areas of the client's constellation. The session typically culminates by finding what is required for the configuration that restores order, restores love with family members, and harmonizes the family constellation. Its normal for the client to report feeling these new sensations in their body as the session reaches completion.
When is the best time to do a Family Constellation?
Ideally when one or more of the following has happened:
- an important life event has occurred (such as early deaths or separations of parents or siblings, exclusion or expulsion of a family member, early hospitalisation, major accidents or illnesses or disablements, complications during childbirth, adoptions, abortions )
- persistent body symptoms (such as obesity, anorexia, asthma, panic attacks, ulcer colitis, cancer). This work is complementary to medical care and not a substitute for it: thorough medical assessment and treatment is of course necessary first.
- persistent emotional symptoms (such as rage, depression, not belonging, isolation )
- persistent behavioral symptoms (such as addictions, accident proneness, eating disorders )
- there are patterns that seem resistant to change,
- you feel stuck or weighed down in life, not able to be oneself
- there is a persistent sticking point in your individual therapy
- there is an issue that frightens or plagues you
- when couples first get together or pregnant women before the child is born (preventative constellations).