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  • Elaine

Which one is best?

One to one session or a group workshop?

And, if it’s a one to one session – Telephone, Skype, or in person?

I often get asked these questions in relationship to the systemic work that I offer and so I thought I would take the opportunity in this blog to address these in a little more detail.

One to one sessions –

  • Useful introduction for those new to systemic work who might be a little shy or nervous about being in a group.

  • Good place for those who have something that they feel they don’t want to bring to a group workshop for personal or professional reasons.

  • Convenient to follow up with something that may have come up in a workshop and that needs a bit more attention.

  • Much more flexible timing options as you don’t have to wait for a workshop before addressing something pressing.

Variations of the one to one –

In person

More personal and direct interaction than a phone or video link - I would recommend this way of one to one if times and locations permit.

Via a video or phone link

Modern forms of communication have opened up a whole new way of working in a one to one environment, and while different again to the one to one in person, it still has it’s merits in systemic work. While if you can see me physically in person then it is recommended that you do, this is not always practical or necessary. I have many clients whom I have only ever worked with over Skype and it is great for working with international clients, although I do have to watch those time zones!


In a one to one session where the person is actually present in my session room, the most common methods I use for representatives are floor markers (generally cushions, but can be bits of paper), and myself. The Client will then be invited to set themselves up in relationship to these elements and we will go from there – offering sentences or guidance from where we find ourselves or the feelings and impressions that come up in that moment.

In a skype or phone session I may invite the client to use visualisation of the relevant elements. Inviting them to notice what happens or any changes in their body as we bring in new elements and offering sentences or insights from there.

I have also been known to set up small models or objects that I have to represent the different elements, checking in with the Client as to where feels the best placement, and moving the objects on their behalf. It is amazing the perception even from a distance of ‘what feels right’ when a clients sees an object placed or moved – I will often get a ‘no, a little bit further forwards’, or ‘just facing the ? a little bit more.’

Group workshop

  • Group spaces are powerful places to work and those with family or business constellations are no exception. This doesn’t necessarily make them better or worse than one to ones, just different. It depends whether the individual feels ready enough or not to put themselves and their ‘issue’ in this position and there is no merit in trying to force something that is not ready yet.

  • Useful for someone who might already have been having some one to one sessions, but where they now need information from a little bit of a wider sphere.

  • Handy for getting a different perspective on an issue as often someone else will be representing the Client to start off with so there is a chance to sit back and watch with a different set of eyes.

  • Great place to explore systemic work in a wider context and there is no requirement to have your issue constellated. You can just turn up as a Representative for others constellations, dipping your toe in the waters of the wider experience, without full on immersion. (Of course we are never ‘just’ Representatives in others constellations and often someone else’s work can touch us very deeply and we can get a very profound learning.)

  • A good way of highlighting personal entanglements in contexts such as those that are social and/or cultural. As this method involves actual people who can move and talk, unlike static floor markers, this means that the constellation has the potential to reveal a little more in depth information than one might get from a cushion or floor marker.

  • You get to meet other like-minded people on a similar journey to you.


See here

At the end of the day whichever form you choose, it’s ‘horses for courses’ and what suits one person might not suit another. Equally, what is right for you at one time might not be right for you at another - each method is designed to work with you and at your pace.

In all cases, whether one to one, or group workshops - the guidance offered is done without prejudice, and merely seeks to relieve the pressure on the system to create some movement where previously there was none.

Wishing you all the best on your continued journey to wholeness and if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.



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