Bert Hellinger was a former priest and missionary, psychoanalyst, body/group dynamic and family therapist. He was also a prolific writer and has authored 83 books in his lifetime. He is best known, world over, for his pioneering method of therapy called Systemic Theory and Practice of Family Constellations.

In a constellation, something profound is brought to the surface in a very simple way…solutions can be found with the love that has become visible…solutions that have a healing effect…

Bert Hellinger in No Waves without the Ocean

Hellinger was a soldier in Hitler’s army at 17 and was captured and imprisoned by the Allies during World War II. He managed to escape however and at the age of 20, joined the Catholic order to realise his childhood dream of becoming a priest. He spent 16 years as a missionary in South Africa, working and teaching among the Zulus. These experiences were the foundations for his work in psychotherapy.

On his return to Europe, Hellinger left priesthood and embarked on long years of study to become a psychotherapist and worked with many leading teachers in the field. He studied psychoanalysis, psychodrama, Transactional Analysis, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Primal Therapy, Transgenerational Psychology, Family Sculpting and other forms of therapy.

Annie Cariapa with Colette Green

Eventually, in the 1990s, after nearly 50 years of work with families across the world, Hellinger crafted a new form of therapy that delved into the transgenerational aspect of trauma and healing. Hellinger passed away on September 19, 2019. His work continues to live, grow and transform the world.

I have trained in Family Constellations with Annie Cariapa (Spanda, Bengaluru) and Colette Green (Ochre, Ireland), both direct students of Bert Hellinger and other masters of this work like Stephan Hausner and Franz Ruppert.

Spanda offers training in Systemic theory and Practice of Family Constellations every year.

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