With her grace, humor, insight and compassion, Sheila created a space for me to explore the long-held beliefs which were keeping me captive in a narrow life. Being a man, I did not expect to be able to find such an opportunity to explore my shame, my fears and my aggressive response style with a female therapist. Sheila held constant the space for my greatest capacity, while maintaining compassion and acceptance in the face of my denial, rejection and self-loathing. With Sheila's help, my life expanded into areas not previously dreamed of. I am thankful to have met Sheila in time for my work with her to make a difference in my life, in the life of my family, and hopefully, in the world, and my wife is REALLY thankful I met Sheila!
I had lived so long with the debilitating and unrecognized effects of past traumas, that I could not at first integrate the pace and reliability of Sheila's response to me. She, however, did not flinch in her unwavering consistency in allowing me the time, the space and ultimately the option of exploring the long-held beliefs which were affecting each part of my being and my life. Contrary to what I believed possible for so long, I have found a way to use my past experience to become more compassionate with myself and with those I live and work with.I highly recommend Sheila to those interested in trauma healing.
"When I met Sheila, I had been suffering from a jawbone infection for 12 years, as a result of foreign
material left in during periodontal surgery. More than a dozen doctors had virtually destroyed my body with
constant antibiotics and had certainly destroyed my hope by admitting that they had no idea how to help me.
There were times when I was in so much pain that the only thing that prevented me from killing myself was
my need to stay alive in order to care for my mother so that she wouldn't have to go into a nursing home.
(She died at the age of one hundred and five years).
My own health was so precarious that I had picked out the hymns and scriptures for my funeral, and paid
for my cremation and the plot for my ashes. I had been referred to a doctor who was finally helping, but after
so many failures with doctors over the years it was difficult for me to believe that I could possibly get well.
This doctor suggested that I see Sheila. I thought that it was nonsense, but didn't see how it could hurt
anything, so I went ahead. To my astonishment, I realized that not only am I not responsible for my parents
choices, but the ultimate success of their relationship has borne fruit further down the line. My husband
and I have had a very happy marriage for almost half a century. Our children are pretty well adjusted, and
so are their children. With this in mind I have let go of the guilt and am able to direct my energy toward
my recovery. Needless to say, I am truly grateful.
- Oak Ridge, TN
"After 5 years of coping with the debilitating effects of severe anemia caused by a uterine
fibroid, I was ready for a miracle. Never could I imagine, however, the complete resolution that
I experienced within months of addressing this in a family constellation. My constellation showed
me that my illness represented a loyalty to my grandmother and her challenges (including the loss of 5 siblings as a child, as well as having a stillborn child of her own and losing another at a day old), while neglecting her
true legacy of strength, resourcefulness and perseverence. The resolution infused my "blind" love
with "enlightened" love, and allowed me to let go of the negative physical effects of my
attempts at "helping" my grandmother. So dramatic was the physical result, that my doctor,
who knew I used alternative means of treatment, exclaimed, "In 40 years of practice, I have never
seen anything like it. It is simply not there." The fibroid had taken care of itself within
weeks of scheduling invasive surgery, rendering the treatment unnecessary. I am thankful for the
opportunity that Family Constellations provide."
- Asheville, NC
"In the year and a half since my first workshop with Sheila, I have been
tremendously heartened by how progressive this work has been for me. The effects
that were initiated at that workshop have, over time, matured in gentle and
decisive ways. Issues that I dealt with then, that had overwhelmed me for many
years, are diminished by the inner support I felt through my family
constellation. Feelings of the burden of life are being transformed into a growing sense of
life full of possibilities.
"I am fortunate to have attended subsequent workshops here in Western North
Carolina. The work has been incredibly worthwhile - not just my own
constellations, but also those of others that I have gratefully observed or
participated in. I have found the work to be beautifully and personally informative, as
well as profoundly moving."
- Black Mountain, NC
"Twenty years ago I was in graduate school working
on a Masters degree. I only lasted a year in a three year
program. At the time and over the succeeding years I acquired
a whole room full of reasons why I did not finish getting
that degree. The reason that topped the list was "youthful
arrogance." A year and a half ago it became clear to
me that I could easily close the door on that room full of
reasons and go back to school if I wanted.
my first year back working on that degree was filled with
angst, second-guessing, and doubting that caused my enthusiasm
to wane. The school I was in was a good fit and I really
resonated with the studies, but I was at risk for dropping
out again because of a sense of being chased out for reasons
and feelings that never added up or made good sense.
"One evening I had the opportunity to do a constellation, with Joseph Malinak
facilitating, around my return to graduate school. Within that constellation I
discovered that I was going to school and getting this degree
for my grandfather, not for me. Within that constellation
I felt grief, freedom, and fear.
Was this the information
I needed to give myself permission to drop out? The answer
to that question was a resounding, "No!" I am free
now to get this degree because it makes me happy and fulfills
me to do so! As a result of the constellation I have my grandfather's
blessing to live my own life!"
- Boiling Springs, NC
"At the end of my constellation Sheila had me perform
a powerful ritual. She placed a representative for my dad
directly behind me. She then placed a representative behind
him for his father, my grandfather. Behind my grandfather
she placed a representative for my great-grandfather; and,
behind him, my great-great grandfather. She asked me to lean
back against this line of men.
"At first I panicked because
I've lived my life with the sense that there was no one behind
me. There was no man to lean back on. But as I leaned back
I felt a profound shift begin to take place. I began to feel
that for which my heart had been yearning for over fifty
years - a deep, unbreakable connection to my dad and what
my dad represented.
My father represented an unbroken chain
of masculinity that has flowed through tens of thousands
of generations and is now represented in me. In this flow
I experienced for the first time that I did not need to do
anything to prove that I was a man.
I did not need to learn
anything to be more of a man. I just needed to relax into
the flow of life - into the flow of masculinity. Within this
flow the essence of masculinity is freely available to my
- Asheville, NC
"A lifetime of paying attention as a healthcare provider
resulted in a lack of confidence that conventional psychological
approaches, especially talk therapy, were likely to effect the desired
changes in my life. Understanding the problem didn't seem to bring
any relief to me or my family.
I was intrigued from the first moment
I heard of Bert Hellinger's work, and was fortunate to see him at
Esalen Institute in California three years ago, at what turned out
to be just one of his many "last trips to America." I found I
benefited from just being in the presence of other peoples'
constellations during this loving and practical work.
and I were delighted when an opportunity presented itself to have
our family constellation done in 2003. We felt the work took a
"lite" approach that was surprisingly different from our prior
unsuccessful "serious" attempts to understand and deal with a
chronic issue in our lives. It was quickly apparent that the
expressions and movements of the representatives of our family
members, effectively brought to awareness what years of words
had not. The work was loving, simple, and non-threatening.
"In our case, it's effects were immediate, positive and dramatic.
Our son, who was not present and does not know of the work, has
responded with changes that are clearly a result of the constellation,
restoring the previously blocked flow of love in our family. I remain grateful.
- Asheville, NC
"The family constellation work has brought me new light for issues previously not resolved through a
variety of individual counseling & healing approaches. Each time I've participated in a workshop fresh
insights have come both through my own processes and through participating as representatives for others.
Observing others in the role of my family members has brought forth new understanding and acceptance for my
family conflicts and secrets. I've been able to release deep sadness and grief that came through my family
line & really did not belong to me as an individual. I've been able to understand and let go of the family
guilt that arose through conflicting loyalties to the parent country & to the new country, the United States
"As representative, I've expanded my own "feeling repertoire" by acting as mother, sister, child,
unborn child and come to a greater sense of peace with my biologic family. An amazing synchronicity seems to
work with these workshops - bringing together those with a particular issue and providing resolution. A
valuable by-product has been a deepening of my sense of compassion for myself, for my family and for other
- Asheville, NC