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Conversation on Family Constellation

I think by now if you’ve heard anything about Family Constellation, you probably know the factual history of it being a Systems Theory based therapy and that Bert Hellinger was the father of Family Constellations.[i] You might even know that his unwavering trust and loyalty to one’s own soul and the insistence on seeing what is, as opposed to blindly accepting what we’re told, forms the basis on which his work is built.

All this is great you would say, but why do I need it or even give it a try?

Let's see if I explain more clearly.

Family Constellation works on a soul level, which is hard to describe, but we look at what your soul needs and try to restore balance and healing on this level.  In Family Constellation someone else basically steps into the gap for you, literally walking that mile in your shoes so you don’t have to relive the intensity of all the trauma.

We all know that we carry genetic similarities to our parents through our DNA, but what a lot of us might not know and might still struggle to believe is that we also carry our parents and forefathers’ trauma, their pain and their fears in our genetic make-up. 

Carl Jung years ago already discovered that what lives in our unconscious does not dissolve, but is experienced as fate.  You know that feeling that you are just doomed to never find happiness in a relationship or you will always struggle financially or in your love relationships. There is nothing to be done, it is just your fate.  Sound familiar?  Ever had this thought or felt this way? I think we all do, in some way or another.

In recent years, Prof Rachel Yehuda of Mount Sinai School of Medicine who is an expert in post traumatic stress disorder studied the neurobiology of PTSD in holocaust survivors and their children and discovered that children of holocaust survivors were actually born with lower cortisol levels, predisposing them to relive the PTSD symptoms of the previous generation.[ii] So, even though these children never directly experienced the trauma, they were more likely to develop major depression, mood disorders, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome and other associated pain syndromes and stress-related diseases. This field is called epigenetics.

Is it any wonder then that our society today is so full of anxiety, stress and diseases?

This is where we as Family Constellation Facilitators come into the picture.

As with everything in nature, there is a natural balance, a structure, a striving to return that which is out of balance to its rightful place so that there can be peace and harmony.  So, also your soul always strives for balance, finding its rightful place in the world so that it can find the peace it seeks. 

The family system has a natural order, which we call the “Orders of Love”, who belongs to the family system and in which order. If something is out of place in this regard eg. a child who died in childbirth who no-one talks about, an absent father, the youngest child acting as if he/she is the eldest, this will cause imbalance and strife.  At the end of the day, a system out of order is a system always in conflict with itself.  All is not lost though, the order can be restored.

Even in business there is a certain order, if one employee starts acting like the employer, guaranteed there will be problems between co-workers. Even here then Family Constellation can help. (The name should maybe rather just be 'Constellation Therapy' as the 'Family' leads one to think it is only effective in family matters.)

Secrets in a family or in any relationship can cause so many problems and as with everything in life, nothing just disappears, it finds somewhere else to go. If it is not talked about and it is not in the knowing mind, it will find its way into the body, or the family system and start festering.  We help to bring secrets to light and root out the physical destruction it can cause.

Maybe you, yourself experienced trauma earlier in your life.  Trauma or abuse that you have tried to deny, don’t talk about and have pushed very deep down. I think these days it is accepted that some cancers and autoimmune diseases are a direct result of earlier trauma or immense emotional pain.

So, although you may try to forget or pretend it didn’t happen, the trauma will move into your body and stay there until eventually even the body itself becomes too weak to carry the load. The wounds on your soul will forever permeate through your life, infecting your body, work and relationships.  In Family Constellation we deal with this trauma and remove the pain associated with it, freeing you to live the life you were destined to live.

The wonder of this therapy is that even if you are not ready to deal with your own issues, offering yourself to step into the gap for someone else can be just as healing.

We learn from each other and after a Family Constellation session we leave with more insight, clarity, hope and peace. There is not a person that will not benefit from this therapy, no matter what issue you come with.

“The heartbeat of this work is helping people learn to distinguish what the Soul loves and needs, from the blind pressures of social condition, religious prejudice and political ideology.” – Hunter Beaumont



[i] A well-known psychotherapist born in Germany who escaped the Gestapo at a young age, ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1952 and spent his time in South Africa as a missionary. His unique ability to perceive systems in relationships and his interest in human commonality made him realise that the priesthood was not his future. He defrocked in 1971 and furthered his studies in psychoanalysis in Vienna where he drew on varying theories until he eventually developed his own form of therapy called Family Constellations.

 [ii] This is a very short and simplified summary of her research and more on this can be read in ‘It Didn’t Start With You’ by Mark Wolynn

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