Introduction to Constellations
Family Constellations are an effective way of revealing unconscious
connections with the fates of family ancestors. Events such
as the premature death of a parent or sibling, the exclusion
of a family member, a murder of or by a family member, or
victimization of others by a family member can all lead to
"entanglements" which disturb one's life and relationships.
Severe consequences may result, such as feelings of isolation,
depression, mental and physical illness, accidents, financial or relationship issues and even
suicidal thoughts or attempts.
The Workshop Setting
In a workshop, clients come with a particular issue
they want to address. The issues are often long-standing problems
that plague a person's life, regardless of repeated attempts
at change or developing insight. This intractability arises from the "blind"
love of a child towards a family member, and may be resolved
with solutions that come in the form of new images of old situations and ideas - images which invite "enlightened" love to
In setting up a family constellation at a workshop, a client chooses workshop
attendees to represent members of his or her family, then
places them in relationship to each other, without comment,
based on how it "felt" to be in the family. Despite not knowing each other or having much information about the family members or their relationships to each other, the
representatives become a living model of the original family
system. (See "Private Constellations" for further information on individual sessions).
In this work, even small gestures can provide useful information.
Words are kept to a minimum and thus become quite powerful.
When the family members are placed in relationship to each other in the center of the circle, a phenomenon
occurs. The representatives begin to notice feelings and thoughts
which reflect those of the actual family members.
The best explanation for this phenomenon can be found in
the work of renowned author and biologist Dr.
Rupert Sheldrake. A field of energy, called the morphic
field, connects people, places and even animals, and has memory
and influence. Dr. Sheldrake has documented the existence
of this field in a number of books, one of which
is entitled "Dogs Who Know When Their Owners Are Coming
Home". Bert Hellinger, having observed the presence of this "knowing
field" (a phrase coined by Dr. Albrecht Mahr), learned how to use it to modify previously hidden
dynamics, so that the natural order supporting love can be
reestablished and love may flow again.
Growth of systemic constellation work continues around the world as facilitators adapt it to include their own experience and professional backgrounds. Bert Hellinger's original synthesis, called "family constellations", can be seen in innovations encompassing the fields of business, health, education, the socio-political field, and a vast array of other specialties. Constellation work can be found on every continent and in more than 35 countries