The dynamics underlying personal difficulties are explored and illuminated and a new perspective is gained.
A constellation helps us to see entanglements and to separate from them. In the words of Bert Hellinger it helps ‘separate what’s been wrongly joined and join what’s been wrongly separated’. The work is essentially about broken connections that might be restored and unconscious hidden loyalties – bonds that inhibit people’s capacity for development and growth.
There are many different ways of facilitating a constellation.
Usually group members are chosen as representatives for people or other elements of the system of the ‘issue holder’ (client). These representatives are used as ‘mapping pins’ to map out relationship between the elements. When we set up a constellation, we create an energy field, known as ‘the knowing field’, which gives information through the embodied experience of the representatives. Unlike other therapeutic methods such as psychodrama or sculpting, there is no acting out of a ‘story’. Instead, attention is given to the emotional, visceral and physical experiencing of the representatives. This provides new insights into hidden forces underlying issues. Sometimes this insight resolves the issue immediately. We do not offer a magic wand, however and more often the person who has brought the issue finds that as their perception of the issue changes they feel a greater sense of peace and connection to themselves and to others and a sense of the next step they need to take, if any. This movement has a beneficial ripple effect on their system.
A constellation can take a few minutes or over an hour and, on average, during a workshop, there are four constellations. On our one day workshop, 10 is the maximum number of participants.
The constellation process puts people in touch with a sense of a deep inter-connectedness.
Whether bringing an issue, taking part in someone else’s constellation or witnessing the work as part of the holding circle, all participants in a constellation group find the work very clarifying and healing. Frequently someone who had a burning issue that they wanted to constellate at the start of the workshop finds that, as a representative or a witness to someone else’s constellation, they get some clarity or even complete resolution of their issue. If those who are energetically most ready to do their personal work have a constellation, this seems to serve the whole group and when we let the energy flow naturally we often find that a theme common to several participants in the group emerges. Since everyone benefits from the workshop experience, whether or not they have their own issue constellated, everyone pays the same fee.
Where does this approach come from?
Bert Hellinger, drawing on Western psychotherapies, phenomenology and Zulu culture developed this method in the 1980’s in Germany. Since then he and many other practitioners have continued to develop this work.