The Constellation process was originally developed by German psychotherapist and philosopher - Bert Hellinger
"The criterion for what is good is based on whether it relieves someone, brings joy, or soothes distress."
An evolution of work he did with Virginia Satir integrated with insights from his years in the priesthood and some extensive training in the field of human psychology, phenomenology, transactional analysis, life and people in general.
With growing evidence of the results in it’s transformational process the Constellation art has been steadily gaining in popularity since the mid 1980’s. Since this time it has been refined and developed by a large number of different practitioners and providers and is now used in a wide variety of contexts both therapeutically and organisationally.
Trying to explain the Constellation process is a lot like trying to explain to an alien what an orange looks and tastes like when they’ve never seen or tasted one.
After a long and lengthy explanation the alien will still only have an abstract idea of what you are talking about – that is, until you physically show them the fruit and they actually taste a piece of the orange... At that point, suddenly, it all makes sense, their experience goes beyond the words you have used and into a completely new realm. The understanding becomes a more wholistic experience, one that includes, not just the concept of words, but a somatic, bodily perception, something that is ‘felt’ at a deeper level than just your words could ever convey.
The same is very much true for the explanation of Constellations and their process – while one can explain and outline some of the basic principles and procedures, the best way to understand what they are about is to attend a session or workshop and experience it for yourself. So, if after reading this you still feel confused but called to this work, don’t worry, there are many, who have been in the same position before you and yet still embarked on this adventure.
Explaining the Unexplainable
"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton you may as well make it dance."
George Bernard Shaw
Just as our physical genetic code is passed down from generation to generation, old patterns of behaviour, traumas and difficulty can be passed down from generation to generation too - inherited as a kind of energy genetic code.
"Interventions are only effective when they touch the client's love, activate it, and affirm it - and the client's reaction is the criterion we use to determine the fit of the interpretation."
The effects of these events can send ripples through the system, and impact current generations in subtle ways that seem impossible to envisage until we consider a wider picture.
This same notion can also be applied to a business - After all, a business is like a living system born from an idea/vision, has ‘parents’ with a ‘genetic code’, history, hierarchy and host of other interrelating factors, all of which have an influence in the system whether they are known of or not.
Problems within the ‘genetic code’ of the system, combined with those of the personal individuals who work within it, are often reflected in the workplace and this environment is a place where many dynamics, both individual and otherwise, get played out.
These ‘energy-genetic’ codes are like ‘fields’ of energy that exert a subtle influence on behaviour and relationships within the personal or organisational system. This would be similar to the action between the moon and the tides, where we can’t physically see the forces at play but we can witness the consequences of those forces in the physical movement of the tides.
In the personal or organisational system, we witness the actions of these ‘fields’ on the physical system either in flow, or, in the presentation of behaviour that adversely affects the system.
The Systemic constellation process explores the subtle relationships between and within different systems, and the Constellating practice itself is the way of making these previously unconscious/invisible influences visible.
Though we cannot ‘see’ these forces in action, there is often an unconscious somatic experiencing of them within our body - a little like having once blind tasted the orange, but having no explanation as to what it was - the body has the physical ‘experience’, but no context in which to relate this to.
Inviting the client to create a physical, spatial representation of their issue, including people and events that may have previously been overlooked, ignored or excluded, this internal somatic experience becomes more apparent, spotlighting the hitherto unseen relationship dynamics that may have become entangled.
In 1-1 Constellating this process is done using objects, floor markers or paper to represent the elements involved.
In group Constellating this process is done using people. We do not need the actual people involved to be present, it is enough that there are representatives for the ones that are not there.
By witnessing what effect the elements that have been set up have on each other, the Skilled Facilitator, guided by their knowledge of the systemic field and process, then proceeds to gently and respectfully work with what’s now possible with this newly revealed information.
This might involve sentences that state a truth, or highlight an entanglement, it might involve the guidance of a further movement that creates a space for resolution or disentanglement, or it could involve some other intervention. In each case the guidance is offered without prejudice, and merely seeks to relieve the pressure on the system to create some movement where previously there was none.
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible"
The applications of this work are numerous and variable. Ideal for issues that are stuck or repeating, this work is useful in both personal and professional challenges
"I want you to be everything that's you, deep at the centre of your being."
Difficult relationships between couples and family members
Relational and professional problems at work
Chronic illness, addictions, depression, lack of motivation
Bereavement, loss, suicidal tendencies
Adoption, abortion, illegitimacy, incest, rape
Ancestral issues, family secrets, ruptures, divorce, violence
Life changes and choices, assessing strategies and solutions
Finding and feeling our own resources and strength.
Company development - structure, goals, vision...
Management and Staff relationships, building the right team...
Finance, marketing ideas, potential customers, sustainability, direction...
Creativity, plot and character development...