WHAT IS FAMILY CONSTELLATION?
Family Constellation is easy to describe: A straightforward method for increasing the flow of love in the family system.
The method was created by a German therapist, Bert Hellinger, as a result of his observations of indigenous South African tribes, where he served as a priest. He noticed that in the tribe, family relationships followed an internal order based on intergenerational interaction and the collective field. The individual behavior, feelings, and attitudes are considered and understood in the context of the larger group, as each person is part of a family and assumes certain roles in the family structure. Hellinger gradually developed the systemic therapy work that reveals how the fates of our previous family members influence those who come later.
Every member of the family, including those who have departed through death, abortion or difficult faith, is energetically present and influences the others around him/her. Likewise, emotions or situations that are not dealt with by people in the family can be taken up by those who come later in the system (children and grandchildren).
There is a certain family conscience that preserves the balance of the family system. When the orders of this conscience are ignored, love is being hurt and people in the family, usually children, are under the pressure of the system to compensate for the imbalance. Then they take on many symptoms, adopt certain behaviours or even repeat a destiny that is not their own.
Family Constellation has become a reliable intervention when people are “stuck” or when they have pain in their lives with anxieties, problems, and barriers that seem somehow not to be of their own making. Through Family Constellations we are able to watch family entanglements unravel by observing representatives who stand for members of the family system with the support of an experienced facilitator.
The way to "re-create" the hidden family dynamics is as follows: one of the participants works with a specific topic, which is explored with the help of representatives in a group or individually (via symbols).
The facilitator interviews the client about important facts regarding the family system. The client then selects representatives for each person in the family who is included in the constellation from the people in the circle (without having to have acquainted them before), as well as a person for themselves. He then places the representatives according to his / her inner feeling in relation to each other.
There are a variety of ways for the representatives to be placed and selected. The facilitator usually has a sense of which might be most helpful. The method of choosing and placing representatives does not impact the outcome of the constellation, so each has benefit:
• The facilitator may encourage the client to choose and then place the representatives.
• The facilitator may place the representatives on behalf of the client.
• The facilitator may ask those who are present if anyone has a sense they are “invited” to represent any particular family member, and may encourage the representatives to tune into their felt sense of where it is that representative stands, and to find their own place in the constellation.
• The representatives stand and move in response to an inner knowing and demonstrate a spatial relationship that reveals a hidden dynamic in the family system.
• At times representatives make statements regarding specific aspects in a relationship that may not have been previously known to the client. Confirming and helpful information is often intuitively known to the person who is representing a family member.
Throughout the constellation, the facilitator supports the movements, the representatives and the client to reveal what is necessary to witness to encourage not just a paradigm shift, but a new way of living, a new way of experiencing relationships, love, and the future.
Why are the constellations useful and for whom?
According to Bert Hellinger, the constellations work on the level of the soul. They go deeper than the rational mind and any psychological analysis. A constellation is a recreated model of the family and it allows us to find out what events or people from the past, even a few generations back, affect our lives, and how.
Family system constellations allow us to deal with:
• unconscious mechanisms that motivate our existence
• blockages and beliefs that we have since birt
• "entanglements" from loyalties we might carry to our ancestors
Many different kinds of issues can be explored in this way, not only familial:
• Challenges in communication, in life, work, or relationships
• Diseases and emotional or mental disorders
• Professional and organizational (business) issues
• Parental difficulties
• Internal conflicts of the personality
Constellation work is useful for:
• Clarifying and improving relationships in intimate, family and work relationships
• Finding the “right” place in life, gaining strength and ability to act; reconnecting with resources
• Bringing awareness to a current health situation
• Helping in cases of divorce, separation, departure through death, etc.
• In case of self-doubt or inability to make a decision on a personal or professional level;
• For improving relationships with children and supporting the whole family
Constellations cannot replace either medical or psychiatric treatment, even though they are therapeutic.
The solutions brought about through this therapy work bring relaxation and understanding. When respecting certain order and unspoken lows directing the family soul, then love can flow freely.
Naturally, the success of family constellations depends on the degree of openness of the client, how much he/ she can face, to what degree they can integrate the new level of awareness. A constellation made out of curiosity or a problem that is not really important to the client will be rather superficial and will not have an impact. This can also happen if the client remains emotionally distant and attempts to interpret the constellation in a rational way. In this sense, family constellations are not a magic pill to achieve amazing results. It is also desirable to avoid having too high expectations. What can be realized and what the person will integrate is a very personal journey in the process of his growth. Hellinger says that solutions can only be found if they are in harmony with the person’s soul.
How to make constellation
Family constellation can be done in a group and individually. Some people prefer personal session because they are not ready to reveal themselves in front of a group. Much can be achieved in an individual format (using figures and table symbols). But the strength and impact of the collective field are incomparably greater when participating in a group.
Family constellations can be experienced in three ways:
1. One way is simply to attend, watching the constellations of other participants. It is important to know that we are never quite just an observer when we are in a constellation group. What's happening in other people’s constellations always affects all present, and there is always something that we all can gain towards more understanding, acceptance, and love.
2. The second way to get involved is by participating as a representative in the constellation of another participant. The roles for which you are chosen are in many ways related to you and the experience of standing for somebody else will undoubtedly expand your view of yourself and of the possibilities of the method itself. Sometimes your experience in a role can be extremely intense and transforming, stronger than when you do your own constellation, because you are open to do service to another person and you are not under pressure to achieve anything, as it is the case when you look at a personal issue in a constellation.
3. The third way is by doing your own constellation. It is important you have a clear topic and you are in tune with what the fields wants to reveal.
Check out the current events program to choose a convenient participation format, or contact us for individual constellation!
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR SETTING A PERSONAL TOPIC UNDER THE FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS METHOD
This questionnaire will help you to collect information that is important for working with the family constellation method. The facts and events that happened in your family are important, and the focus is NOT on personality traits or characteristics of the people represented. The questions are valid for both your mother's family and your father's family.
For a current family, the questions apply to you, your partner, your children (+ possible other pregnancies) and sometimes your previous partners.
• Early death:
- Did someone die at an age younger than 25 years old?
- Was anyone left orphan before 25 years of age.
Consider also stillborn children, as well as death at birth. Particularly important are diseases or death during or after birth, even if it happened several generations before.
• Suicides or suicide attempts?
• Crimes, especially murders?
• Has anyone been deceived or cheated, for example, about an inheritance?
• Serious fate or accidents?
• Has anyone been stigmatized or rejected from the family?
• Excommunicated from a country?
• Illegal children or children, who have been abandoned?
• Participation in war?
• Severe illness or disability? Mental illness?
• Addictions and other addictions?
• Sexual abuse?
• Parents of two nationalities? Emigrants? Why did they have to leave their native country?
• Did anyone of the parents have previous important relationships (married partners, fiancés, first loves?) Parallel relationships?
The questionnaire aims to prepare you for a constellation but does not address all of these questions at once. It is important, however, to know and to be able to talk about your family history.
You can try to collect facts without pressure anyone in the family to talk, if they are unwilling. Respect the things that need or want to remain veiled in the family history.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT IS THE "KNOWING FIELD "?
The KNOWING FIELD is the basis of the constellation work. Albrecht Mar, a senior researcher and therapist with the method, gives the name, which means that during a constellation there is a kind of field in which information about the members of a system is available and in which the memory of all significant events and feelings of life is present.
The knowing demonstrates itself in many ways. Some experience knowing dreams in relation to the constellations that are about to happen. Some experience a smell that may specify a moment in the family history. For instance, someone may smell freshly baked bread: it may be that in the family, several generations ago there lived a family of bakers who were impacted by an epidemic and suffered deaths of family, loss of home and business all at once. Such a dramatic level of loss may leave a psychic footprint on the subsequent generations. In one constellation regarding difficulty with relationships, several people in the circle smelled and tasted alcohol. Alcoholism had not been mentioned as factor in the family history, but as indicated by the knowing field, it had a definite impact on the ability to trust. (Mason-Boring. F. 2012:81)
Our ability to trust and gather these points of information in the constellation often has a beautiful and unexpected yield. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has long been in discussion with developers of Family Constellation, researching and encouraging the investigations of morphogenetic fields in which there is a transmission of information between generations. When we work with the knowing field, we trust an older way of knowing. The difficulty for facilitators and participants occasionally lies in supporting the representatives’ ability to trust what they experience in the constellation and allow the client to integrate parts of a constellation that convey peace or information that may not fully make sense in a linear way. All natural systems - birds, bacteria, corals, etc, and people live in and through information fields that instinctively direct their vital functions and movements (such as, for example, bird migration, virus adaptation, crystal formation, etc.). Sheldrake calls them 'morphogenetic fields'. In a very simple language, the knowing field is simply Life that is all around us and within us - a huge creative force that guides us and moves us to the extent to which we allow it. Constellations provide an opportunity for this life force to show the hidden dynamics and the possible movements to change.
2. HOW DO PARTICIPANTS FEEL THE EMOTIONS OF PEOPLE THEY DO NOT KNOW?
For a long time, Hellinger called this strange phenomenon “a secret”. In recent years, there have been many experiments giving some EMPIRICAL explanation for this phenomenon, although it still hides an element of the esoteric.
It is normal to ask ourselves whether the representative really feels something about the person or "fakes it." Thousands of constellations around the world have been observed in clinical and academic setting, and the information is consistent: in most of them, the feedback from the representatives is the same, or very similar, and a constellation happens in similar ways when it is done at the same time in different locations with different representatives. (for further reading - Indra Torsten Preis, Family Constellations Revealed, Mirror Neurons Chapter)
HOW CAN THIS BE EXPLAINED?
According to Sheldrake, people have access to information fields, which he calls morphogenetic (forming) fields. The transfer of information from the morphogenetic field to the species it includes is called "morphic resonance."
HOW DOES MORPHIC RESONANCE WORK?
In 1979, biologist Lyall Watson observed a colony of monkeys in Japan. Years earlier, explorers on the island of Kosima left sweet potatoes that they used to wash before they eat them. The monkey copied the human behavior and began to wash the potato before eating it. The other monkeys, seeing this, repeated the action. One day, when a certain number of monkeys had already mastered this skill, something surprising happened. Just before sunset, all monkeys on the island, even those who had never observed the action, learnt to wash the potatoes before they ate them!. Soon, other monkeys, hundreds of miles away, acquired this skill without an obvious information transfer system. Obviously, when a significant number of monkeys reach evolution of awareness, this affects the general morphological field of the species. Although the exact number needed to reach a turning point of the collective consciousness is not known, it is symbolically denoted as 100. Thus it is believed that it is necessary to reach the "one-hundredth monkey" in order for collective awakening to happen.
Morphogenetic fields help us to raise our consciousness. They transmit information beyond time and without obvious pathways for communication. It is the same with the representatives who feel the feelings of completely unknown people.
Quantum Physics explains the phenomenon of transferring information beyond time and space as "nonlocality" - manifestations in quantum-mechanically separated photons that occur in the same way at different points at the same time, regardless of distance. (read more about “Einstein - Podolski - Rosen" on the Internet).
How do we feel? Our tool is our body. Science has also discovered the presence of mirror neurons in the brain (Franz Rupert). They are responsible for our feelings of empathy. Through mirror neurons, we can sense others, understand their intentions, and empathize. The more we are emotionally connected with someone, the stronger the resonance.
HOW IS THIS THEORY APPLICABLE TO THE CONSTELLATION?
When doing a constellation, the facilitator is in alignment with the client. The client selects the representatives intuitively and places them in the space, and then remains an observer, but fully connected with what is happening. The morphogenetic field creates access to information - the family history of the person. Mirror neurons reflect the feelings and emotions of the participants.
This is just one theory to be considered. The constellations keep an element of mysticism, and that is good in itself. For example, there is no scientifically recognized theory of what electricity is, but we use it every day.
3. HOW TO BECOME A REPRESENTATIVE?
A client might invite participants from the circle on a random basis to represent someone from their family. Every person has the right to refuse going in, if they do not feel that it is right for them to take the role. Usually, however, when we are selected for a role, we find that it is directly or indirectly related to our own issues. So, being in a role, we can be of service to someone else, but also we can get insights for ourselves.
The selected representatives and the client make sure everyone is clear who they represent. Guided entirely by their inner feeling, the client takes one by one each representative by the shoulders and directs them to a place where they feel it is right for this representative to stand.
There are no further instructions about the posture or gesture one has to take. The constellation is done in silence with the full attention of everyone.
The only important condition is that the representatives do not interfere with their personal interpretations and do not try to "help" by directing the process where they think is good. It is important to remain tuned only to their physical sensations, follow their inner impulse to move (if they feel it), and stay aware and sensitive. The constellations do not rely on emotional catharsis, but on the movements that arise in the field, which can lead to solution. Representatives speak only when the facilitator gives them the opportunity by asking them for a feedback.
It is good to remember that "mistakes" are rare. Everything matters in the circle and might carry a particular meaning. Sometimes, if a representative does not feel anything, it is still a valid information and might give a hint to what is needed for the process.
4. IS DOING A CONSTELLATION ENOUGH TO RESOLVE MY PROBLEM?
Constellation can have a lasting and profound impact. Like all therapeutic methods, however, it is not the answer to everything. Sometimes you need to continue with individual therapy or other therapeutic methods that address other possible aspects of your personality and problem.
FOR BEST INTEGRATEGRATION of a constellation:
• Try to talk with others as little as possible after your constellation and give yourself the time and space to integrate your new insights and the new image.
• Avoid questioning the representatives out of curiosity. This will disturb the process and will only distract you and take away the strength of the work.
• Most facilitators advise their clients to forget about their constellation after it is done. What you can do, however, is to remember the feeling you had at the end of the constellation - the feeling and the image of the new gestalt.
This will allow you to remain in resonance with the solution and the force behind the healing movements.
Integration of the resolution from a constellation takes time and the process is different for everyone. One can experience immediate and obvious changes in their life afterwards, while another may experience a process of worsening of all symptoms before things change for the better. This is a phenomenon known in classical homeopathy, where symptoms at first may become more severe when the right medicine is taken.
If this is your case, be patient. Do not start looking for another therapy right away. Instead, check back with the facilitator who guided your constellation. He can best guide you through the process of healing. Of course, this process can never replace any necessary medical treatment.
The best thing you can do is wait a few months before putting your next constellation. Remember that you may need months and sometimes a year to complete the integration process. So relax. Let your soul do the job for you.
To make an appointment for a family constellation with e personal topic, contact us on:
Organizational (business) constellations are a new and very effective method of identifying and showing the underlying causes of organizational problems. It is faster and more efficient than many of the common practices for business coaching that exist on the market.
Constellations can be applied to practically every type of organizational problems, and can be used for:
• Improving leadership and finding management solutions
• Improving team work, cooperation and communication
• Finding solutions to issues such as high rates of absence from work, low productivity or improper workplace relationships
• bringing advice for reorganization topics, and for complex problems during mergers between large and small companies
• Improving customer-product relationships and solving the roots of problematic marketing issues such as customer dissatisfaction and loyalty, slow product distribution, and customer base definition
• Planning and obtaining career development advice in addition to existing coaching.
Today, organizational constellations have emerged as an independent tool for advice in launching positive changes in companies and organizations. The method is ideal as complementary to the traditional set of organizational and business consulting services.
Business constellations are also an ideal tools for counseling and tracking the balance and success of the company. The client does not need to be present when consultants, counselors, or coach professionals use constellations. The insights and solutions that appear in the constellations can easily be perceived and integrated into the company's advice and the coaching toolbox.
Business constellation can be done in an individual or group format.
Please write a request
if you want to look at your business (or your customer's) business topic.