“Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” – Linda Hogan
We are all born into a story and often we live out our stories without ever knowing what they are. The people who make our stories, who have shaped our lives, are standing right behind us: our parents; behind them stand their parents and so on back through the generations; there is an unbroken chain of connection. And through this chain we receive: what was given and what was not given, what was passed on, for better or for worse: the influences that have shaped our lives. Acknowledging this, we can begin to find our place and make sense of our lives.
Family Constellations, created by Bert Hellinger, is a way of making explicit the role our ancestors play in our lives and helping to resolve trauma which has been passed down the generations. In the process of Family Constellations we ask others to represent members of our family. Setting these representatives out physically in a room, we begin to map out the relationships between family members. This process continues as the representatives’ experience begins to provide more information about blocks, entanglements and omissions in our family system. Secrets that have been buried in the family, people who have been excluded: all have their influence on subsequent generations and, as we begin to see what has been hidden or forgotten, so the process of healing can begin.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
We may notice the presence of trauma in our family history: early deaths of parents or siblings, separations, violence and abuse, the influence of war. Or we may notice the symptoms of trauma: addiction, depression, anxiety, chronic ill health, mental illness. Seeing the influences that shaped our parents may help us to accept their shortcomings with more compassion. We are all connected, and when we can fully accept our parents as they are, then we can truly accept ourselves and walk our path with joy.
Family Constellations is often done in groups, but it can also be done as a one-to-one session. A 90 minute individual session can bring awareness to complex issues and family dynamics that may be inter-generational.
“Julie, thank you for my first Family Constellation session with you a couple of weeks ago. At the time, it felt a bit surreal and simultaneously simplistic, using Playmobil characters to act out particular family dynamics! But even at the time I was aware of a shift occurring that – while having been aware of for a long long time – had not managed to shift successfully in any other way previously. The session was revealing and the changes in my perception began immediately. And in the days and weeks since, other revelations have come to me, and I feel real and useful change is continuing to happen. Not deliberately or forced. Just very naturally, step by step… I’m not sure where it’s taking me, but I have no concerns about that. My relationship has changed for the better with my Dad, and I feel I am now much freer to simply pursue my own desires and paths, with no subtext or hidden agendas, or need for approval from anyone other than myself. The doubts and uncertainty that have plagued me in my pursuits for decades seem to be gone, and I am now free to pursue whatever I wish, to my heart’s content.” Liz, Sussex
For further enquiries or to book a one to one session in London or Sussex click here
For upcoming Family Constellations workshops see Events