Family Constellation Therapy
Family Constellation Therapy is a group therapy style developed by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger in the 1990’s and is a gentle and profound way of looking at and bringing healing to situations that hold us back and create unhappiness, grief, pain or illness in our lives.
Family Constellations is based on the idea that certain issues and patterns we encounter in our daily lives (either on the surface or in the subconscious) are connected to and deeply rooted in our ancestry. What often is missing is the awareness of these connections.
The power of this practice is that it can uncover hidden dynamics and loyalties which entangle us with others, helping us to discover ways of healing and resolution, whether it be related to family, friendships, professional life or community.
I run Family Constellation Therapy workshops and also use the principles in my therapy work with clients.
How does it work?
Workshop participants will sit in a circle, offering their attention and presence in a way that is no different to any group gathering, be it corporate or therapy. The ‘field’ that arises is present in any gathering but in this arena, it is used for healing blocks, deep seated grief or life challenges.
The process can be deeply moving, transformational and evoke lasting change from the inside out (talk therapy is from the inside, in).
It will shift not only the participant but members of their family or those in relationship with them – even if they are not present.
What happens in a session?
A person from the group will highlight an issue with the facilitator then they will select members of the group to represent those within their situation. Alternatively they could be called in to become a representative in other group members’ constellations. The representatives then move around the circle and will report back to the facilitator what arises for them.
Representatives will often feel like the people they represent without knowing them, but at no time will they feel ‘possessed’ or overcome by another’s presence.
This work is subtle, safe and often joyful.
What is it for?
You can bring any challenge or issue to a FCT group session. Such as:
- Family based challenges
- Career or work
- Challenges with family members
- Grief & loss
- Fertility challenges
- Divorce or separation
- A ‘stuckness’ in life and inability to move forward
- Depression and anxiety
Do I have to do a constellation if I attend a workshop?
There is NO pressure to do a constellation of your own. You will learn so much about yourself by bearing witness or being a representative in others. The work simply offers insight into the hidden dynamics at play, eventually leading to significant healing movements. The process is intuitive, dogma-free, and helps people connect with their own authenticity, inner wisdom, and soul force that build the foundation of change. It is not drama therapy.
Participants can either do their own constellation or function as representatives in other people’s constellations. It is highly encouraged to participate either way when attending a workshop but no one is required to do a constellation in order to attend. It is important to note that this work goes very deep and does not live or function in the head but in the soul/the inside. In German it is called “Seelenarbeit” (“soul work”).
The difference to other therapy models is how a client comes to understand their block or challenge, in that the awareness or understanding emerges from the inside out, not from the outside in. Even if a participant doesn’t do their own constellation, by bearing witness to other’s processes, one can begin to understand how intrinsically similar we are: how connected. This modality enhances belonging – which for many of us can be profoundly life-changing.
This work is not a theatre or an encounter or a channelling, rather it is deep group embodiment of story, revealing the human condition the bigger picture at play.
Who is it for?
An FCT group session is best for:
- Those curious about the connection between family and personal
- You’re willing to learn a new way is possible
- You’re open to possibility
- You understand emotions ebb and flow
- You have support around you outside of the workshop
It’s not suitable for:
- Those not ready to know themselves fully
- Those have no other support in place
- Those unprepared to sit through other’s constellations
“Family constellation work requires the leader to balance strong boundaries, intuition & compassion so everyone feels safe and held throughout the process. Kimberley does all of this so brilliantly that I’ve signed up for a third workshop. She said and did all the right things at the perfect time, it was like watching a great symphony. I’ve witnessed years of baggage get dropped within half an hour, it’s truly powerful work.”