Systemic Family Constellations

Family constellations work is a therapeutic approach which explores the hidden dynamics and unresolved traumas within a family system.

Developed by a German psychotherapist, Bert Hellinger, it is based on the idea that every family is a system that transmits information to all of its members, even when we are unaware of it on a conscious level. It also helps us see that our ancestors, even those we have never met, can have a profound impact on our lives, influencing our beliefs, behaviors, and relationships.

Sometimes individual members of a family can be unconsciously connected to family members who are still alive, as well as those who have come before. Making these connections visible, so we can dissolve unhealthy loyalties and embrace our present lives, brings healing and new energy not only to the individual who has requested a session,  but often also to the entire family system.

During an individual or a group Family Constellation session, the client works with a trained facilitator to identify and explore their family system and try to identify where things may be imbalanced and out of order. This may involve using physical objects or, when doing group work, other participants to represent family members or ancestors.

The above image shows an example of a Family Constellations individual session using figurines.

Through this process, the client gains insights into the dynamics and traumas within their family system, and how these may be impacting their own life in the present.

Family constellation work can help clients in a number of ways. Some of these are:

– it can provide clarity and understanding about past experiences and patterns of behavior, allowing clients to break free from negative cycles and move towards more fulfilling relationships and life goals;

– it can also help clients heal from ancestral trauma and release negative emotions and relationship patterns that have been passed down through generations. By addressing these underlying issues, clients can experience a greater sense of peace, purpose, and fulfillment in their lives.

Overall, Family Constellation work is a unique and powerful approach that can provide profound healing and growth for clients seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their family system.


“The family system is a closed system. Once you are born into a family, it can never be different than what it is. This does not mean that you cannot be adopted into another family. It does not mean you will be bonded with the people in that family, but biologically, you are a part of this family system. The egg that you came from is the egg that you came from, the sperm that fertilized the egg is the sperm that fertilized that egg. This “point of origin” is just an objective fact, an impermeable truth.
Another truth about all human births is that you were born from the sperm of a man, and an egg of a woman. This is just a fact. It is not sexist, it is biology. Each of us does, in fact, come from a mother and a father. It is important to agree to life. Having a mother does not mean that one was nurtured or “mothered” by that person, and having a father does not mean that one has been nurtured or “fathered’ by that person. Some have endured very difficult fates as children and have been abused or neglected. But the fact remains that if one is alive, there was a mother and a father that contributed to that life. It is life that is acknowledged when there is nothing else. If your parents did not feed you and you are able to read this today, someone did feed you.
Sadly, if one is not able to be grateful for life itself, they may alternatively live their lives in rage, unconsciously punishing terrible parents with their own terrible life. This, in Family Constellations sometimes becomes illuminated. One then has a clear choice. Paradox is possible. “Thank you for my life. It is all that you gave me. What I do with my life is up to me. ”Paradox is painful, but honoring the paradox may be the only true reality that allow us to stand in a gentle and powerful way. If one was abused what is true might be, “You wronged me. And you gave me life. I will make something good of it.”
Francesca Mason Boring, Family Systems Constellations: And Other Systems Constellations Adventures: A transformational Journey, 2015, page 29-30.
Francesca Mason Boring


For more information on the in-person workshops Martha is now holding in Delafield, Wisconsin, go to the Family Constellations Workshops page

Individual Family Constellations sessions can be carried out either in person or online.

I am currently offering in-person Group Family Constellation workshops and you can check out this page for more info.  

Questions? Send an email to for more information and to set up your session today.

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