Below are some common questions about how Family Constellations work, and my answers based on my own experience as a facilitator.

1) What actually happens in a Family Constellations Workshop? 

I first of all ask who has a particular issue they want to work on. The first person to raise their hand comes and sits near me, and describes the problem. As they talk about what the problem is, as facilitator I discern some elements that I see as being important, and I ask the person to choose from the other participants representatives of those elements (they can be people or sometimes even emotions or objects or abstract concepts). 

The representatives then step into the center of the circle, and gently allow their bodies and their intuitive sense to bring forth information about what is going on. For example, a representative may sense sadness, or fear, or joy; they may feel their bodies contract, or perhaps relax. The representatives are encouraged to simply allow these feelings to emerge, and focus on that, rather than focusing on trying to figure it out with their mind. 

As the Constellation unfolds, the representatives gain information about the situation that has been set up. As facilitator, I do not have a preconceived idea of how things are supposed to be; I simply guide the representatives to get in touch with the information they are accessing and to communicate it, so the client – who is sitting watching the representatives from outside the circle – can gain a deeper insight into the situation that has been causing them problems. 

It is a very enriching experience both for the person whose problem is being addressed, for those who are representing, and even for those who are simply watching from around the circle. The insights we can gain encourage a deeper connection between the mind-body-spirit systems that we all are. This in turn enhances our feelings of being grounded in our own lives in a more purposeful way, while inspiring healthier, more satisfying exchanges with others.

2) How long does a Constellation last, and am I guaranteed the opportunity to work on my issue if I come?

A Constellation does not have a set length, because it depends on what the problem being addressed is, and what emerges as the actual Constellation plays out. Each facilitator also has their own guidelines for these things. In larger groups, sometimes facilitators ask that people request to have a Constellation done before the actual session.

In the workshops I have been offering, since the groups have been very intimate, I have been able to offer the opportunity to have a Constellation done to all of those present. 

But even if you don’t have a specific Constellation done for a personal problem, you will benefit greatly from being a Representative for someone else’s Constellation, and even from observing. It is a method that works on a very deep level, and thus nurtures everyone who is present on a subtle level with new ways of seeing problems that can then be applied to their own life.

3) Are there any videos or such available where I can see what happens?

There are lots of videos available on Youtube that show the founder of this method, Bert Hellinger, facilitating Family Constellations. There are many other facilitators who have posted videos of their work, as well, and of course you are free to watch some of those to get an idea. 

One video that is available with Bert Hellinger doing the facilitating and with one of his long-time collaborators, Hunter Beaumont, there as well, is this one. It has a long introduction by a therapist who shared the video, but if you like, you can skip to the 26 minute mark and watch a Constellation done with a Native American woman. It is a wonderful example of how beautiful and healing this method really is. 

There is also a lovely series on Netflix called Another Self that is centered around how Family Constellations can offer important insights that help solve generations-old issues in family systems. I can’t recommend it highly enough! It is a very sweet series and offers hope for how people can evolve and heal even very old and difficult family wounds. 

I have also heard that some years ago Gwynneth Paltrow did a show dedicated to the Family Constellations approach, which greatly contributed to its popularity. 

4) I see on the internet  that there are many different ways people are using Family Constellations, including spirit circles and that kind of thing. Is that your approach?

There are many facilitators who have expanded the approach to use it to try to solve broader world problems, and some also utilize it as a type of oracle, to channel messages from the spirit realm and that kind of thing.

And, as often happens when people experience a sudden relief from persistent and difficult to resolve suffering, some people see this approach as a kind of miracle cure. 

This is not my approach. I personally follow a more basic therapeutic way of working, as I feel that there is plenty of information that can be gained through this more “scientific” attitude.

My over 30 years of both mainstream forms of education and training in clinical psychology and analytical/existential psychotherapy, avantgarde types of energy body work and energy psychology, my extensive experience applying what I learn to my own life and in my work with others, and my over ten years now of working with the Family Constellations method, including a certification process that I am now in, have all taught me many things. 

Over the years of my journey as a facilitator for human healing and evolution I have cultivated a very grounded and practical approach. I feel that the combination of tools I have at my disposal allows me to get to the bottom of my clients’ issues quite quickly, and thus offers relief and resolution to those who are needing some help. 

I consider the various tools I have learned, including Constellations, beautiful tools among the many at our disposal today that can further our healing and evolution.

Nonetheless, I am very enthusiastic about Constellations work because I do feel that it brings together a lot of really important and effective elements, and helps us get to the root of often very hard to resolve situations that have been passed down through generations. As far as I have seen, no other approach offers quite the same level of intelligent and balanced, yet profound and insightful effectiveness as this one. 

But as with many things – you need to see it and experience it yourself to believe it!

 

Family Constellations Around the World
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