Children seldom or never dare to live a happier or more fulfilling life than their parents. Unconsciously they remain loyal to unspoken family traditions that work invisibly [within them]. Family Constellations are a way of discovering underlying family bonds and forces that have been carried unconsciously over several generations.” – Bertold Ulsamer
Family Constellations Faclitation is a psychospiritual body of work developed by Bert Hellinger, one of the most respected and innovative psychotherapists in the world today.
The Systemic Family Constellations theory developed by Hellinger after years of observation and constellations work, suggests that there is an inter-generational transference of beliefs, behaviours, energies and traumas that are unconscious, emotional, psychological as well as physical. These inherited characteristics and energies can be the invisible root of disturbances and imbalances in an individual’s life that can sabotage health and well-being.
Family Constellations Process
Family Constellation Facilitators both group and individual often address the systemic roots of issues such as physical illness, addiction, infertility, anxiety, anger, depression, loneliness, unhappy relationships, failure and self-destructive behaviours.
- Group or Individual Sessions
Family Constellations can be done through a group experience or can be individually facilitated. The same principles of group family constellations are incorporated into individual facilitation.
- Pathways of Exploration
Following are pathways of exploration through which Family Constellations Individual Facilitation seeks to resolve the effect of these unconscious inheritances. Working with these approaches can increase awareness of how our lives and relationships are influenced and can bring a greater understanding of the previously unconscious impact of this legacy:
- Family/ Parental Psychological Bonding
- Loyalty Bonds
- Emotional Burdens
- Family Relationships and Entanglements
- Family Roles and Dynamics
- Inherited Belief Systems
- Alliance with Same Sex Parent
- Alliance with Opposite Sex Parent
- Rejection of Parents
- Exclusion and loss of family members
- Balance in Giving and Receiving
- Orders of Love and Birth Order
- Identification with family members
- Men’s Roles and Women’s Roles
- Masculine and Feminine Energies: Ancestral Lineage of women and men
- Ancestral Empowerment & Honouring
- Qualities of Soul: Inclusiveness, Truth, Allowing, Honouring, Compassion, Clarity, Discernment
- Gift of Freedom
Family Constellations Key Elements
- Orders of Love
Through decades of Family Constellations work with thousands of family systems, Hellinger rediscovered the importance of the ancient, archetypal “Orders of Love”. These forces are described in Family Constellations theory as being embedded in the collective unconsciousness or soul of families. Any disturbances or damage to the “Orders of Love” in the ancestral lineage are transferred inter-generationally to current and even future, unborn family members.
Family Constellations work facilitates a reconnection of these “Orders of Love” and an understanding of the impact that ancestral influences have on individual lives.
- The Family Harmony and Exchange of Energy
In all family systems events have occurred that disturb the balance and harmony of the family.
Another key aspect of the system is the flow of giving and receiving, a primal need for balance and equity that incorporates all systems family, society and more.
- Enmeshment and Triangulation Bonds
A key issue in Family Constellations is the enmeshment of children in the emotions, traumas and issues of their parents and other family members. Often, through this enmeshment, children energetically take on others’ emotions as their own which limits their freedom to reach their potential.
Key Events Impacting Generations
Through Family Constellations theory, events that are perceived to have a profound inter-generational imprint on family members, ancestral, present and future include:
- An early death of parents or grandparents
- Tragic accidents where a member of the family has died
- Perpetrators of violence enacted in past generations
- Victims of violence from past generations
- Unresolved grief or loss from past generations
- Miscarriages, Stillbirths, Abortions, Death of a Child
- A member of the family forced into the role of “Black Sheep”
- Events that impact a culture, race or ethnic group such as slavery or acts of violence and genocide
- A mother who dies during childbirth
The Family Constellations process can produce healing shifts in either a group family constellation or individually with a therapist.
Transformational shifts occur through moments of insight that bring into conscious awareness the bonds, influences, loyalties and connections to ancestral suffering and trauma. From that understanding, it is possible to re-shape and engage life with vigor and joy.