Developed in the 1980’s by the German therapist, Bert Hellinger, Family Constellations, also known as Systemic Constellations, and later on, as Spiritual Constellations, has its roots into western psychotherapy, existential phenomenology and Zulu culture.
A constellation is a multi-dimensional group process through which is possible to reveal hidden dynamics, and difficult entanglements which don’t allow us to become conscious of, and eventually transform, our destructive and unhealthy patterns. We can explore and become aware of our personal as well of our collective unconscious, enabling us to free trapped energy, and make it available for our life journey.
In this therapeutic approach, the individual is seen as a part of a greater whole, of a “family” system, where his inner movements and their manifestations could be understood within the context of this system, might it be a relation-ship, a family, a working team, a body, a forest, a nation…..
Group Constellation: Led by a facilitator, Constellations are mainly happening within a group setting. In turn, members of the group, can explore an imminent issue, with the support of the others playing the roles of representatives. The participants are positioned in the “field” (the morphogenetic field), and in relation to each other according to the feelings of the client. By observing the scenic representation and becoming conscious of the dynamics between the components of the system we are part of (family, body, forest……), we can comprehend the origin of the discomfort or symptom and then reintegrate the missing element into the system or place order in it, allowing in this way awareness to be, healing to occur, and love to flow.
Individual sessions: are suitable for those, who find it safer and more grounding to work on a one-on-one setting, or as a step into preparing the ground for a group approach or after a group constellation as a further deepening of the work initiated together.
After a “door opener”, consisting on a guided meditation or the use of art therapeutic tools, the individual session begins with the intention of the client, your intention, to bring light on a specific issue, be it emotional, physical, mental or spiritual. What is holding you back from being fully in your life?
Often the issue, the theme we are confronted with, is a manifested symptom of the hidden dynamics within the larger family field or family soul, we are part of. We will also look at the wider, generational system we belong to and at how the patterns of past events may be influencing our present life and the life our current family members.
A brief gathering of family history will follow in order to have a sense of the “inner image” you have of your current family system.
With Small Figures: As well as the group setting, this approach uses images and body experience to guide us through the process. By using small figures (to take place of what in a workshop would be a live representative), you are going to be invited to set up an outer representation of your inner image. This visual setting of the elements and people that belong to your issue, would reveal the quality and structure of the relationships between the family members and the underlying dynamics.
By working through the “energetic field”, we will begin to have feelings and emotions and by following them, we will allow the constellation to shift, by replacing the playmobile figures in the space. You will be guided through the process, listening to what is happening when the elements of this representation move or when a new element or representative is introduced in the constellation image.
Working with the externalized image allows us to look at the issue at a distance, consenting to ourselves to move away from our habitual reactive patterns and be in a meta-perspective. The attention shifts from the mind into the body, enabling new perceptions, new movements, opening up to new possibilities and new life choices.
Gradually, through these shifts and changes, the entire “inner image” shifts and changes. The hidden dynamics of the family system are revealed, supporting healing. In this way the constellation moves towards a resolution, with a new “inner image” where each member of the family has found is rightful place in the system. A new inner reality is experience and made available to be brought into the world.