What is Family Constellations?
It is group practice created by Bert Hellinger in the 90s, which aims to reveal unconscious hidden patterns and traumas within families.
There is a facilitator and a holding circle. Someone requests to be the “issue holder”. The issue may be a long held desire or longing such as finding a life partner, or it maybe a more day to day issue such as a problem at work.
The facilitator listens to the issue holder then asks them to “set up” representatives for people or concepts relating to their issue. The client then asks members of the holding circle to represent these people/ things, and positions them in the circle. The representatives then move or stay still intuitively. The facilitator may ask representatives how they are feeling, may reposition them, or may bring in new representatives. Sitting with the client, observations are made about what is happening with the representatives. Sometimes healing sentences are offered by the facilitator.
What happens in a group?
There will be constellations, and there may also be rituals, visualisations and small group or partner work. These will complement the work and are also very powerful in and of themselves. Although there is a chance that you won’t get to do a constellation for yourself during the group, the experience of being a representative can be equally or even more powerful.
What happens in a constellation?
This very much depends on the person who is the issue holder, where they are in their journey and how they are feeling. Usually they will come and sit with the facilitator and speak briefly about their issue. The story of how this has affected the issue holder is less important than what events have happened that family members have been involved in. This may include traumas like war, emigration, separation, early deaths and so on. The issue holder will then be asked to choose representatives from the group and to place them in the circle. The facilitator then helps the client to look at what unfolds next.
What happens in an individual session?
We will usually use markers on the floor in the room, or Playmobil figures on the table top to replace the people who would normally represent people in a group.
What happens if I feel overwhelmed by what comes up?
You are welcome to arrange a time to speak with me or to email me, however, I am not a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. If there are issues relating to your process which come up, I recommend that you see a professional. You are responsible for your own process.
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For more information on where I did my training: www.cominghome.org.uk
And more information about Family Constellations:
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Poppy holds Family Constellations Workshops in South West London regularly.