Before Your Workshop or Individual Session
FACTS provide the most significant information in family
constellation work. unlike traditional therapy, which makes
interpretations based on descriptions of character, personality
and interpersonal dynamics. The more effective question is, what happened
in the lives of the members of your present family or the
past few generations of your family of origin, that was traumatic,
unusual, or which significantly altered the course of events
Questions For You To Think About Before The Workshop
Compiled by Gabrielle Borkan
Regarding your Family of Origin:
These questions relate to your siblings, your parents and
their siblings, the grandparents (and their siblings) and
- in cases where they met a dramatic fate - they also relate
to the great-grandparents (e.g. death during childbirth),
as well as any former partners of your parents and grandparents.
Regarding your Present Family:
These questions relate to your spouse/partner, your children
and also to any former partners and any children from a former
marriage or relationship.
Did anyone in your present family or family of origin:
- Die during childbirth?
- Suffer illness or disability resulting from having given
birth to a child (your mother, grandmother, great-grand-mother,
or a former partner of your father or grandfather)?
- Find her life in danger during childbirth (your mother
- Commit suicide?
- Serve or die in military service?
Did you or anyone in your family:
- Have a stillborn child?
- Have an abortion or a miscarriage?
NOTE: Abortions and in some cases miscarriages affect the
couple's or parents' relationship, and may or may not have an impact
on the other children. Children should not inquire about
an abortion or miscarriage, honoring it as part of the dignity and privacy
of the parent's relationship. A stillborn child, however,
is considered a sibling and children do better to to know about it.
- Have an illegitimate child?
- Have a child who was abandoned or given up for adoption?
- Have a difficult birth (including Cesarian)?
- Experience separation from the mother at a young age
(e.g. an illness or hospital stay)?
- Experience a traumatic event during childhood?
- Have a life-threatening event/accident at any age?
- Have a former spouse, fiancé, partner or lover
(the parents or grandparents)?
NOTE: Children should inquire about former partners only
if they were a spouse or fiancé. Other kinds of relationships
may be known about from family "stories" but are
a part of the parents' privacy. However, children do better to know
about children from any former relationship.
- Have a serious illness?
- Have a long-lasting illness?
- Have a physical or mental disability?
- Attempt suicide?
- Commit a crime, including a war crime?
Note: Children should not inquire about war crimes, but
it may be known as part of the family lore.
- Survive or perish in the Holocaust or a genocide taking
place at another time?
- Become a missing person?
- Join the clergy or enter a monastery?
- Encounter prejudice - being slandered, ignored, disrespected,
dishonored, treated with contempt or as an outcast (e.g.,
homosexuals or lesbians, disabled persons, alcoholics, criminals,
street person, war veteran)?
- Complain of being taken advantage of (e.g. with regard
to an inheritance)?
- Emigrate to another country?
- Lose your or their fortune?
- Not marry and/or get belittled due to not marrying?
- Live an unusual life?