Systemic Constellation Work, or Family Constellations, is a methodology used to identify and resolve difficult life issues – in our family, work, business, health or creativity. The constellation approach takes the ‘widest possible view’ which can include past generations, trans-generational traumas, and epigenetic inheritance – as often it is here that the root of the problem belongs.
What are systemic constellations?
Systemic constellations, developed by the German philosopher and psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, provide a solution-focused process for addressing personal, family, social, creative and organisational problems. ‘Constellations’ work by identifying, illuminating and offering healing resolutions to many seemingly intractable issues. The roots of these issues can lie deep in the unconscious areas of our own family and social systems (hence systemic constellations). This whole-system approach differs from other therapeutic approaches in that it explores each person’s place in the wider and inter-connected groups or systems to which they belong, rather than simply focusing on the individual in an isolated way. These ‘systems’ may be our current family or our family of origin, our body system – ie our health issues, our workplace or even the environment in which we live.
Who benefits from systemic constellations?
Systemic constellations can help with a wide range of issues including family and relationship difficulties, divorce, family secrets, violence and loss, illness, eating disorders, addictions, adoption, abortion, infertility and ongoing emotional symptoms such as unhappiness, rage, limitation, depression or lack of motivation. They can also be used in a business or organisational setting, as a diagnostic tool that reveals what is out of order or alignment and needs attention, or for staffing or departmental issues.
The methodology can also support the creative process and can assist with alignment to our own life purpose and relationship to the emergent future.
Whilst we each have our own personal history we are also, inevitably, deeply connected with our wider familial, social and cultural history which exerts a strong, and often unacknowledged, influence over us. Exploring this connection or ‘entanglement’ through the lens of systemic constellation work can offer remarkable insight and illumination that brings qualities of strength, and then resolution, that enables us to move on.
“When we have passed a certain age, the soul of the child we were and the souls of the dead from whom we have sprung come to lavish on us their riches and their spells.”
Marcel Proust – In Search of Lost Time
What happens at a constellations workshop?
At a systemic constellation workshop, participants wishing to explore an issue are invited to set up a constellation using members of the group to represent elements of whatever system they are working on – this may be in relation to a personal issue, a family issue, a creative issue, or a career or business issue. By creating a “living map” of the problem, dynamic or situation, simple but hidden truths can be revealed and understood, giving new insight and opportunities for change and movement. It is often the case that through our hidden or unconscious loyalties to the generational fates of our forbearers, much of what we carry in terms of repeating patterns and deep suffering, does not belong to us. The constellation process supports us to hand back, with great respect, the trauma of previous generations of our family, so that we can be free to live our own life purpose.
Both representing and holding an issue at a constellations workshop can provide profound insight and offer healing opportunities. It is for this reason that Gaye does not charge more for guaranteed issue-holder places at her workshops, instead, she works with what is arising in the group in the moment.
Constellation work is undertaken with a deep respect for the principles and naturally occurring universal forces, such as time and place, and inclusion, which governs the balance, health and well-being in all families and groups of people.
The comfort and safety of the group is attended to at all times and this is supported by a group confidentiality contract.
Do I need to have any knowledge or experience of constellation work to attend a workshop?
No – absolutely not. Each group will almost certainly have some experienced participants and some absolute beginners. You may come to a workshop without any prior preparation, or even understanding, of the work. You will be guided through the day and by the end will feel as if you have been using this method for years.
Family constellations & other personal development work
A constellation workshop or systemic coaching session can be very supportive and complementary to other ongoing psychotherapeutic, spiritual or personal development work.
A constellation offers insight and healing for our personal issues whilst shedding light on the family patterns and entanglements that influence them. This ‘new view’ of our life, which includes trans-generational influences, can help us to find our own place within all the groups to which we belong.
A constellations workshop is often highly recommended as a ‘next step’ in personal development by many practitioners.
Do I have to attend a workshop to do systemic work?
No. Gaye also offers some individual systemic coaching sessions in person or via Skype for those who might prefer not to work in a group setting. This can be a very useful alternative to workshops and a powerful form of short-term therapy.
Please contact Gaye for further details