Family Constellations. Your collective family unconscious is the key to your life troubles.
Systemic family constellations method told in a story
Family constellations is a method developed by Bert Hellinger to help people deal with difficult relationships and life situations in general. Bert Hellinger is still alive (age 93) and has in recent years reframed the name Systemic Family Constellations to what he now calls Movements of the Spirit-Mind.
Like with all therapeutic methods that I describe, I will also be sharing my personal experience and opinion about it.
The method of Family Constellations, or Systemic Constellations is used by a lot of psychologists today. It is, as a matter of fact, among their main tools to help clients.
So, what is that exactly? I know it sounds sophisticated but the underlying logic is simple:
Every family interacts among its members based on unconscious patterns. Whenever we notice a pattern, it is usually negative, right? Otherwise, it would not stand out and be noticed. These patterns are formed when an Order of Love was broken either in our family of origin, or even back to 12 generations. Usually, family constellation facilitators work with up to 4 generations back.
An order of love can be broken, if a family member was outed, or excluded from the family, for some reason. It could be death, exclusion due to cheating, new marriage, addiction, you get the picture.
The main facets of the Orders of love state that Love can only succeed, if it follows certain orders. Firstly, no family member can be excluded. Next, all family members have to be treated with respect and be given equal dignity. This means, you cannot love your mother more to compensate for giving less love to your father, because he is an alcoholic and gave you a hard time as a teenager. This simply doesn’t work on an energetic level. You see, every person in the constellation has dignity, and is due respect. So, whether you consciously judge them, or not, should not prevent you from seeing this person as an eternal being that is put in this setting, just like you are. This is what the family constellation method helps you see, and once you see it, you embody it gradually in your family system.
So, how does a usual therapy session go. Let me tell you how I saw it.
Some years ago, I attended a two-day constellation seminar in Bulgaria.
As I am sitting in the quiet room, looking at an inner yard of an old but beautiful house, I have absolutely no clue what to expect. In the room with me are 10 other participants, two facilitators and one trainee.
The facilitator is asking who wants to go first. (Let me insert here that I felt so insecure about this thing and about sharing my problem, that I waited to be the very last one on the second day).
The person, whose problem is being worked on, takes a place standing in the middle of the room and briefly states the problem that is most burning in their life at the moment. Stating means no self-analysis allowed. If you think that your husband is cheating because he is simply a womanizer, wait and watch… Next, the facilitator will ask you to pick some people from the participants to represent the major players in your life story. They are most often family members. Even if you have a problem with your boss, the root cause will stem in the dynamics of your family of origin. It’s like in astrology, if you have a square aspect between Mars and Saturn, you probably have a conflict with your father but you are also likely to have clashes with authority in general, a pattern is a pattern!
x-wife completely but is also looking slightly away from his family. The ‘mother’ seems anxious and is constantly turning backwards to check what the ex-wife is doing and the ex-wife keeps looking in the direction of Maria’s ‘father’. Now, the facilitator asks everyone one by one, how they feel about each of the other people. The ‘father’ states he feels guilty for leaving his ex-wife and feels anger towards his current wife. He states he feels he loves Maria but is not fully interested in her life. Maria’s mother says:
“I don’t feel loved by him, I want his attention but he seems disinterested, I have the feeling he wants to turn around and look at his ‘ex-wife’”.
The ‘ex-wife’ adds:
“I am angry at him, but feel like he and Maria should have been my family”. I want to move closer to them.
The facilitator then asks each representative to move around the room and take the position that they want to be in, in respect to the other ‘actors’.
Slowly, a new pattern appears and the story starts to envelop. The faces of the ‘family members’ glare with a different vibe. It seems the bodies of the participants have been plugged in this family matrix and now represent the energies of Maria’s family. They look like puppets come alive.
Marko, who represents the father, is no longer Marko but someone who feels emotions not his, emotions that on unconscious level drive the “father” of Maria, and emotions that directly influence Maria.
The next couple of minutes go by mostly in silence. The father turns to his ex-wife and looks her in the eyes for a while, then hugs her and repeats the words prompted by the facilitator:
“Thank you for having been my wife. You are my first wife. I now have a new family. This woman is now my wife and this is our daughter.” And he returns to his second wife and daughter. Now, his eyes are smiling. He hugs his wife and tells her: “I love you, you are my wife now.” Then he stands next to her, shoulder to shoulder. The wife, Maria’s mother, releases a sigh of relief.
“And how do you feel now, Maria?”, asks the facilitator.
“I feel supported, I feel that my dad loves me, I feel good.”, responds Maria. It seems she didn’t think too long. Her true feelings, if they are genuine, are supposed to surface within 3-4 seconds of the question. This is the time before our analytical mind plugs in.
So, now that the love order is respected – everyone in the family has been paid the due respect, the balance is recovered. The representatives can return to the audience and with this the case is concluded. Maria’s love life should see improvement soon. Her energy is programmed to ‘feel’ loved and supported and this should translate to all areas of her life, notably to her love life.
The facilitator goes on to explain that the energetic matrix is rearranged and it will rearrange the reality accordingly. This process requires time, sometimes up to 6 months. In any case, within this period of time, none of the participants in the audience is allowed to speak about their experiences, nor of the stories of the other participants they have witnessed. In this way, the energy will not be dissipated.
It seems there are mixed opinions about the effectiveness of family constellations. What bothers me more is that, this, although a therapeutic method used by psychologists, is still energy work. Apparently, at least according to energy healers, during such works, there is exchange of energies happening among the participants, where some may pick up energies that do not belong to them that can potentially harm them. So, before you give your energy off to mixing with others’, make sure to pray to protect your energy. Even if the facilitator is putting out an intention to protect the energies within the group individually, there is no guarantee that this is actually done.
You are the ruler of your own energy.
Watch my related video The family constellations method | How to start talking to your mom again and please subscribe.