Date Published: 10 February 2004

What is Family Constellation ?

An article by Ali Duiker-Post

Doing Family-constellations is a very impressive way of dealing with problems that you would like to solve. This method has been developed by Bert Hellinger and during this process he found out most of the problems people have, are related to family patterns. Most of the patterns are unconscious, so the best way to deal with them is on an energetic level.

Bert Hellinger was experimenting with the idea of family-constellations, he found out which events within the family are able to disturb the harmony.

For instance it is very important no one in the family is excluded or forgotten.
And another point is the balance between giving and taking in relations, which should be fairly equal. There is only one relationship that cannot and ought not to be in balance. That is the giving and taking between parents and children. Giving life is one issue you only can give to your own children again.

Above all everyone has his of her own place in the system of the family. It is important to be seen. Most of the time there is at least one member of the family who is unconsciously not seen at the time and possibly is still not seen by other family members. In fact you will do things to remember him who was forgotten. The system wants the family to remember the forgotten member. This entanglement can be shown in a family-constellation and then it can be released.

Events with great influence on family patterns:

  • Early death of one of the parents
  • Early death of a child
  • Someone excluded in the family
  • Serious accidents or traumatic events
  • A previous love relationship
  • Situations including war and violence
  • Divorce
  • Guilt, for instance with crime
  • Roots in different countries

Working method:

The person who guides the family-constellation is called the accompanist, there is a group of participants that might or might not be part of the constellation. The participant comes to the session and brings in his own theme or problem they want to work on. The accompanist asks about the theme and about facts within the family, then the accompanist will decide which individuals from the family are needed in the constellation. The participant then chooses stand-ins out of the group to represent the people of his or her family needed for the constellation. After this process the stand-ins are placed in the room such as you think and feel is right. The stand-ins will get access to the feelings and relationships between the people they represent. The constellation comes alive and disturbances and entanglements become visible and perceptible.
By speaking about the feelings and sensations felt by the stand-ins and the accompanist, and by forcing changes in the way the stand-ins stand, the best place for everyone in the system can be found. Often there are ' releasing sentences' that can be spoken to facilitate the process. When those sentences are verbalised, love and power can float in the family system once again.

Participants have the possibility to be stand-in, to have their own constellation or just be there as a spectator. In any case it is a very profound experience and most of the time it gives a good insight to your own family system, even though your problems have not specifically been worked on.

If you are interested in having your own constellation done, it is recommendable to do some research for facts and important events within your family. Just look for the list above.

Why should you join this workshop?

The problems in your family will have a knock-on effect on events that will happen in the future, but can also remain in the family for generations influencing the way people relate to each other within the family. You may want to change it, but it may feel like you walk into a brick wall every time you make changes. Coming to a family constellation can help you get insight into the reason for some of those problems. If you have a constellation done on your family, the cause of the problem will be worked on, on an energetic level and result in actual changes occurring within the family. Because you are looking for a solution of complaints or unclear feelings you had for many years.

Ali Duiker-Post is based in The Netherlands.

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