Family and Systemic Constellations
by Bert Hellinger
Only what first was hidden can be revealed,
but every revelation conceals more than it shows.
Family Constellation work is a solution focused process with various psycho-therapeutic influences.
Everything is connected
Everything we do and every event in nature has an effect on all of the individual systems in the Universe. None of us are separate from each other and none can exist without the other.
The systems we are most closely connected with are our family systems, work systems, friendship systems, body systems and environmental systems.
We are bound to our family system through conception, birth and the unconscious need to belong to a group.
These systems can be any systems that we are connected to through out our life such as our family, our school, workplace or relationships.
This bond is primarily a bond of love and the bond of love follows some natural orders as Hellinger has recognized.
These orders are:
- Every member of the family (or system) has a right to belong equally and is respected regardless of personal qualities or fate
- Whoever came first will take the first position and all others will follow in order
- Each person has to carry his or her own fate
- There is a need for balance and compensation which includes justice, the balance in giving and taking, and a sense of rights and responsibilities
When one or more of these orders are disturbed through a member of the system or through circumstances imbalance is created.
With constellation work these dynamics and imbalances come to the surface and can be dealt with. Healing takes place on a heart and soul level.
The work began in South Africa, where the founder Bert Hellinger lived with the Zulu people as a missionary for more than 16 years.
He witnessed how the Zulu acknowledge, honour and respect their ancestors for what they had given to the people, as well as for the support the ancestors were able to give when they needed them.
He noticed that within the family the elders were respected by their age and position. Respect was given to all who came before and this respect was carried beyond the family of origin into the entire tribe. The realisation that the connection to the elders and the ancestors is lost in the western world had a big impact on Hellingers work.
After returning to Germany , Hellinger left the church and studied a variety of therapeutic modalities, which are the roots of today’s Family and Constellation work.
The approach of Constellation work is to work systemically and phenomenologically .
Constellation work is based on understanding basic principles like bonds of Love, order and entanglements. It helps quickly reveal underlying dynamics that may keep a person bound to a system in unhealthy and conflicting ways.