Family Constellations Therapy was created by Bert Hellinger over 30 years ago.
This psychotherapy practice is formed around the Orders of love, personal conscience and our feelings of guilt and innocence.
“ In all our various relationships, fundamental needs interact in a complex way:
- The need to belong ( for bonding )
- The need to maintain a balance of giving and taking ( for equilibrium)
- The need for the safety of social convention and predictability ( for order)
These needs constrain our relationships, and also make them possible, because they both reflect and enable our fundamental human need to relate intimately to others. Our relationships succeed when we are able to fill these needs and to balance them with one another, and they become dysfunctional and destructive when we can’t ”
Loves Hidden Symmetry by Bert Hellinger, Gunthard Weber and Hunter Beaumont ©1998
“Waking up is the best protection against manipulation. Helping people to consult their own experience honestly is far better than getting their mindless agreement” Bert Hellinger
Family Constellations Therapy has developed and changed over the years, however the core themes still underpin this therapy: for example when we are not in our right place in the family, we and the members of the family are out of order, illness, depression, fear, anger, failure to succeed in life can be experienced.
In a constellation, placing the members of the family including the client in their correct order ( who comes first comes first ), corrects disturbances in the family soul and in the individual, usually providing a platform to return to good health ( physically, mentally and spiritually ).
In Systemic Family Therapy ( or Constellations therapy ), the facilitator is interested in discovering people’s entanglements in the fates of previous members of their families. When it has been discovered they can find a resolution of the entanglement more easily.
A client came to see me because she was uncomfortable being touched by anyone other than her mum or dad. It was affecting friendships as she would recoil from friendly hugs and connection and it was preventing her from having any kind of intimate relationship.
We start by taking the family history ( on both sides ) capturing as much information as is known that could be key. In this instance it was revealed that her paternal great grandmother was raped during World War II, also her grandmother was very distant, not affectionate and struggled with physical contact.
Here we see that out of blind love for her Great Grandmother, this client also recoils from physical contact.
We placed the client, her father, his mother and her mother.
The client bowed to her grandmother and great grandmother and said,
“ I see how hard it was for you and how you became afraid of physical contact after you were raped. Out of my love for you I don’t enjoy physical contact either. This is affecting my life and friendships and blocking the opportunity for intimate love.”
We then placed many many generations of strong women from the family behind the Great Grandmother and then the client gave back the fear of physical contact to her.
Client “ What happened to you was not ok, but I am carrying it for you and it is not mine – I leave this with you now, please feel all the strong women in our family lineage supporting you and please look kindly on me Great Grandma and Grandma as I face my life and welcome friendly, caring physical contact and the opportunity for a loving physical relationship into my life”
The great grandmother was very happy to take back the fear of physical contact.
The client turned to face her life and felt the support of her Grandmother, Great Grandmother and all the generations of strong women behind her”.
When a client has had a constellation the affects can be immediate or can unfold in them and their family system for up to two years.
This particular client experienced a change in her reactions to physical contact in that very week and 8 moths later was able to enjoy a loving intimate relationship.
Biological science is catching up with Psychotherapy and Phenomenological therapy
The science of Epigenetics now informs us that the history you share with your family begins before you are conceived, as an un-fertalised egg you already share your grandmother and mothers cellular biology. When you Grandmother was five months pregnant with your mother, the cells of the egg you developed from was already present in your mothers ovaries.
Science now tells us that both pre-curser eggs and sperm cells can be imprinted by events with the potential to affect subsequent generations.
The pioneering cell biologist Bruce Lipton demonstrates that our DNA can be affected by both negative and positive emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Bruce spent decades as a medical school professor and research scientist, he is a Stanford scholar and researcher and according to him “ the mothers emotions, such as fear, anger, love, hope among others, cab biochemically alter the genetic expression of her offspring.”
His work pre-dates and is supportive of the emerging field of epigenetics- the study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA.
All this supports what Systemic Family Constellations therapy has been achieving with clients for over 30 years.
For a deeper understanding you can book in for a session or attend a weekend workshop.