How do Family Constellations work?
Bert Hellinger discovered that families had an energy field within which they organised themselves in particular ways to ensure the survival and continuation of the system as a whole. Love is the principal force guiding the energy field of a family system.
Hellinger’s phenomenological approach allows for representatives of a client’s family to draw from the energy field of the client’s system and give the facilitator a glimpse into the dynamics of love in that system.
Rupert Sheldrake (biologist, researcher and author) calls this energy field the morphogenetic field. He has observed that the morphogenetic field has inbuilt memory and in a social group like a family this results in the repetition of particular patterns, established in the past, across generations.
This way of working is radically different from psychotherapy. Here, an individual is never alone in her/his life and the facilitator has an unconditional acceptance for everyone in the client’s system. It allows for a dispassionate and fearless observing of unconscious entaglements between members of a client’s system.
What happens in a session of Family Constellations?
A facilitator of FC will ‘open’ a constellation for a client in a group or an individual session.
In a group session, the facilitator will ask the client a few questions to gather basic information about the issue, the client’s family and the outcome s/he wishes for. After this, the client is asked to pick representatives for members of her/his family and arrange them in space according to the internal image the client may have of these relationships.
The representatives then draw from the energy field of the client’s system and report on their experiences, as they arise in the body, to the facilitator. (This is the phenomenological approach.)
The facilitator is informed by the energy field, the representative experience and the facts from the client in seeking a resolution to the issue at hand.
In individual sessions, the same work is done using figures and objects in place of human representatives.
What is the philosophy of Family Constellation work?
There are three core principles around which family systems organize themselves.
Belonging – This principle is about the human need for connection and belonging. All members of a family system hav eequal right to belong.
Balance – This principle is about the human need for equilibrium. All family systems involve giving and taking/receiving of love and resources. Equilibrium is maintained when those who give and those who take do so within their capacity.
Order – This principle is about the human need for order and refers to the hierarchy inherent in nature where those who come first precede those who come after. Thereby, the parents come before children, elders come before the younger ones etc.
Three consciences guide an individual in fulfilling these needs:
Personal conscience which helps a person decide on what is right or wrong for them. It helps them make choices in their lives.
Group conscience is impersonal and amoral and guides the whole system towards balance at all times.
Spiritual conscience is what we experience when we experience a deep sense of wellness and oneness with the world. The spiritual conscience takes us beyond our personal and group affiiations.
How do I know I this is the right kind of therapy for me?
There are many forms of therapy available today and any might work for you. The only way to know if FC is the right kind of therapy for you is to come in for a session and experience it.
Sometimes, many forms of therapy, medication and more (mindfullness, meditation, prayer) seem inadequate and the person feels stuck in a repeating cycle of physical or mental ill health. Family Constellations can help in such cases and is one step towards wellness.
Who can do this work?
Anyone can do this work as long as they have enough physical and mental health to be present for a session. Please get in touch so we can ascertain if this is possible for you.
I offer this work in individual sessions to teenagers between 13 and 18 years and adults. Parents/guardians will need to contact me in case the client is a minor. These sessions can be done in-person or online. Group sessions are for adults only.
Who can benefit from this work?
People struggling with chronic pain/illness/fatigue, depression, inexplicable anxiety and fear, bipolarity, a sense of being lost/directionless, long term grief, stuckness, a lack of joy, failed relationships, financial difficulties, PCOD, fibromyalgia, addictions, trauma and many other physical and psychological health issues can benefit from Family Constellations.
My own exploration of therapeutic work began with grief and loss and the questions they brought forth. People arrive at this work from many different experiences including plain curiosity.
How do I book a session?
Please write to email@example.com to book a session.