WHO STARTED FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS?
Bert Hellinger is considered by many to be Europe’s most innovative and provocative psychotherapist.
Over 50 years ago, Bert Hellinger came to South Africa, Natal, as a missionery, and lived with the Zulu’s for many years. He learned the importance of honouring our ancestors and believed that:
the peace of the dead depends on the living, and the wellness of the lving is dependent on the dead.
Hellinger returned to Germany, where he became a psychotherapist, and discovered that more than 70% of the issues that his clients suffered from were not due to psychological reasons, but systemic ones. He coined the term systemic family constellations to encapsulate the essence of his work – therapy that focuses on the individual in a family system, which has a collective conscience, or soul.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILDREN?
When someone has been excluded from the family a failure, an alcoholic, a child’s father our children often try to bring what’s excluded to awareness by continuing the suffering and behaving similarly to the one who has been left out. Children often express the difficult or negative behaviours of the one we have rejected. Yet when we find our peace with those who’ve hurt us, it has a positive effect on us, and indirectly upon our children, who may now feel more free from having to carry our heaviness for us.
IS FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS A ONCE OFF THERAPY?
A Family Constellation can be a once off therapeutic intervention and does not necessarily require ongoing therapy. However, my personal opinion is that it is helpful to work with what has emerged in the constellation – and this can be done using modalities such as TRE, body work therapy or finding a good personal coach.
WHAT DO I TAKE AWAY FROM A CONSTELLATION WORKSHOP?
A deepening understanding of:
•Yourself standing within the context of your family and community
•What it means to find your place in your family system
•How to access the unspoken, intuitive information in your own family system
•How to identify and access resources for yourself
•Deepening empathy for myself and our common humanity
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM THIS WORK?
Anyone who struggles with illness, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive thoughts, fears, phobias, guilt, bi-polar disorder, persistent anger, lingering grief, meaninglessness, psychosomatic diseases, asthma, colitis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, reproductive health issues, failed relationships, financial difficulties, family violence, addictions, OCD, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, etc. could benefit from receiving a family constellation.
WHAT IS A PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TO THIS WORK?
Phenomenology is a method of perception. It is a way of experiencing the world with conscious intentionality. The ‘knowing’ or perceiving is gained through a direct and conscious experience of phenomena. Phenomena would be objects or occurrences, changes, any experience open to observation by the senses.
When a phenomenological stance is achieved, assumptions and judgements are more easily suspended and there is an acceptance of whatever is to emerge from the family constellation process. In constellation work this is called, working with ‘what is’. There is an allowing of a more open inquiry into immediate reality.
Working with ‘presence’ deepens this awareness. This being present is also known by the name of mindfulness in many Eastern spiritual traditions. Attention is brought consciously to attend to the inner experience of the body, the outer experience of what surrounds, the ‘phenomena’. Information about the family that is hidden may be more easily accessed through working with stillness and presence.