I've spent the spring and summer training in a new modality I am excited to tell you about called Family Constellations and am now offering this as another service to my clients.
I'll use the words of two experienced facilitators in this work to describe what it is to you, no need to re invent the wheel as they do such a good job of putting into words what is so indescribable ~ to 'get it' fully one must experience this work for themselves. Hope you will come dip your toe in with me soon!
From her book "In the Presence of Many" Vivian Broughton says.....
"Family Constellations is the development of Bert Hellinger a family group therapist and self described empiricist and philosopher. His later life included 16 years as a missionary in South Africa working and living with the Zulu tribes. During this time with the Zulu peoples he learned from their traditional culture respect for one's ancestors, viewing them as having influence on the present, providing strength, support and wisdom that could be drawn upon.
He subsequently explored psychoanalysis, gestalt therapy, transactional analysis, primal therapy, hypnotherapy, NLP and family therapy, eventually leaving his ministry in the church. In the early 80's Hellinger began to combine his group and family therapy experience with the family re-construction work of Virginia Satir.
In the process of setting up group members as role-play representatives for a persons family Hellinger began listening to what representatives were saying from a more existential and phenomenological base. Taking things way beyond just Psychodrama alone Hellinger began to observe deeper more hidden dynamics & existential dilemmas within family systems.
From his close observations of the subtle body and facial movements, impulses & other reported experiences of the representatives he developed an understanding of what he later called the Orders of Love: that, as in all things, there is a certain order to relationships & living processes, particularly in closely bonded systems such as families, and disturbance to this order, disruption or non observance of the principles of this order, have effects on system members, sometimes over many generations."
John L Payne in "The Healing of Individuals, Families & Nations" goes on to explain that ....
"The Orders of Love state who belongs, and who doesn't to a family system. What Hellinger saw was that there is an undeniable & almost measurable effect when the Orders of Love have been disrupted in some families.
The Orders of Love prescribe who comes first, & describes a natural flow of love from Grandparents to parents to children. These orders span countless generations but tend to be experienced as having the greatest influence within three to seven generations. So how do the Orders of Love become disrupted? As these ancient orders dictate who belongs and how, disruptions take place when individuals or groups have been excluded, either deliberately or as a result of family members not being able to embrace the difficult fate of another family member. The overriding principle of the Orders of Love is that parents give life, and that children receive life. Therefore, when a child - no matter what age - is motivated to place himself above a parent, or equal to a parent, there are consequences in terms of the natural flow of the Orders of Love towards him. The cost to the child with such posturing is usually evident in disruptive life patterns.
The most common disruptions are caused by the early death of a parent or grandparent, the death of a child, miscarriages, abortions, an individual being ousted from a family in the role of 'black sheep', or if a murder or other injustice has taken place. All these events can be felt and observed to have a deep residual impact on our lives today, even when they have taken place three, four or five generations back. On encountering these ancient Orders of Love, seasoned therapists are not only amazed by the efficiency of working within this new concept, but are also humbled by the power of working in this innovative and fresh way, inspiring them to find new solutions for clients that have hitherto eluded them.
When we look closer at the Orders of Love, we enter a realm that is beyond traditional psychotherapy, and initiates a movement to cross the threshold into the dominion of the Soul. The Soul by its very nature is equal to, and inclusive of, all things. At the heart of the Soul is the acknowledgement and acceptance of what is. This is the basis and power of love. Through this nature of love, we become liberated to belong without entanglement in the fate of others.
Family Constellations restore the Orders of Love in family systems through allowing an respecting the fate of each family member, thus allowing each individual to be strengthened by their fate and their responsibility for it. Often physical illness or difficulties in relationships can be attributed to an interruption in the Orders of Love, as well as to the difficulty that some individuals have in allowing the fate of another to remain where it ism instead of taking it on as their own. Often the client has little or no conscious awareness of his/her entanglements with the fate of others and this can be revealed through a constellation.
In Family Constellation work we use representatives to stand in for members of our family and ancestors; this is where we engage in the unseen presence that is known in this work as The Knowing Field. This phenomenon is that representatives have access to information and feelings of the individuals they are representing. This for the representatives, can be a powerful and life-changing experience in its own right as they step into another's shoes and 'become' someone else, with little to no knowledge of the personality and circumstances of the individual they are representing.
During a constellation process, a representative is asked to stand in for the cleints' grandfather. On being placed in position, the representative lifts up one foot and rests it behind the knee of his other leg, therefore standing on one leg. The client gasps and utters, "My grandfather lost his leg in world war I!"
Everyone taking part in Family Constellations for the first time is amazed, deely touched and altered in some way by means of their exposure to what they see unfolding before them, as well as by their own often intense experiences when asked to present a complete stranger.
The Knowing Field as expressed through representatives brings order to chaos and resolution to disharmony."
I have been offering Family Constellations on an individual basis to much success. If you'd like to know more please do give me a call so I can answer your questions.