Systemic Constellation or Family Constellation was first developed by the German therapist, Bert Hellinger. Bert Hellinger is probably Europe’s most innovative and provocative psychotherapist and a best-selling psychotherapy author. A former priest and a missionary to the Zulu in South Africa for 16 years, as well as an educator, a psychoanalyst, body therapist, group dynamic therapist, and a family therapist, he brings a lifetime of experience and wisdom to his work. The family constellations, which have become the hallmark of Hellinger’s approach, as well as his observations about systemic entanglement and resolution, have touched the lives of thousands of people and have changed how many helping professionals carry out their own work.
In Constellation work, we consider the individual as part of a greater whole – a family system – rather than as a separate entity. His individual behaviour, feelings and attitudes, have to be understood in the context of this larger group. While we receive lots of good things from our families, we are also vulnerable to carrying burdens, emotions, beliefs and traumas that inhibit our potential to make the most of ourselves and our relationships.
The dictionary meaning of the word Systemic is ‘pertaining to a system, rather than an isolated part’. In the context of Family Constellation, the isolated part is the individual and the system is the family.
Looking at an individual is like looking at just a piece or two of a jigsaw puzzle. Putting on the Systemic lens is looking at the big picture. When we look at a particular situation in the context of a larger whole, we gain a much deeper insight into it. When we look at the big picture we can see the interconnectedness of the various parts. We can see where the strings that are attached to the point of entanglement and enmeshment. We can see where the strings are severed, which has led to exclusions.
The family is the first system we belong to. There is a natural order, which evolved with this first system. The system then grew and became a tribe, a community, a culture and so on. It is almost impossible to isolate the individual from the system in physical terms – there is language, shared experience, cultural context etc and beyond this is the collective energy within the system itself. This energy has a life of its own, it re-members and has a conscience. So not only does the group affect the individual but the individual affects the group as well. If the family system is a pond then even a small droplet will cause ripples throughout the water. We may not be aware of the ripples but they affect us all the same.
Family Constellations work is all about relationships. Any kind of relationships. For example, your relationship with your work, your family members, your friends, your boss, your health, your life, your success, your money – your anything.
The Family Constellation session allows you not only to see and feel the dynamic you are caught up in, but also find better solutions with the ability to free yourself in a way that no other process can.
Family Constellations allow us to break these patterns so that we can live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives. In a moment of insight, a new life course can be set in motion. The results can be life-changing.