When Bert Hellinger first created what we now call ‘Family Constellations’, the name he gave it was the Orders of Love.
In his work with individuals, Hellinger had begun to see that the whole family system played a part: when one family member develops a serious illness, has mental health problems or experiences misfortune, that individual is playing something out for the larger group. Often the triggering cause is in a previous generation – It may be someone long dead, who they have never even met. Our ancestors have an influence on our present reality: This is something that has been acknowledged in cultures around the world. In the West however, our excessive focus on the individual has caused us to overlook this.
We are born loving and generally all parents love their children. But many things can interrupt the flow of love in families. There can be deep wounding and conflict and in the face of that, the love may not be perceived at all. These wounds have been likened to boulders in the river – they interrupt the flow of love. In Constellation work we take a look at the boulders; some of them can be moved. Others may be there to stay, but we can change our relationship to them and in doing so, restore the flow.
The Orders are a set of principles that support the flow of love and the main ones are as follows:
- Everyone in the Family system has an equal right to belong, regardless of what they have done, or the manner of their death. This includes, for example aborted children. Traditional practices of honouring the ancestors recognise this principle of inclusion.
- There is a hierarchy in terms of who came first. This applies, for example, to birth order of siblings and to marriage partners (e.g when someone has remarried) and this hierarchy needs to be acknowledged and respected. When a family member moves out of the natural order it creates conflict. The main hierarchical relationship is between parents and children. Parents come first; they give and children take. But sometimes this order is inverted causing frustration and grief for the children.
Constellations will reveal when a family system is dis-ordered and a more harmonious order can be re-established. When this happens, everyone in the system experiences a feeling of relief.
Julie Ulbricht is an Ayurvedic Practitioner working in London & Sussex. She became interested in trauma and family systems as part of the underlying causes of ill health and began to explore methods such as Feeding Your Demons to begin to look at and address the root causes of ill-health. Julie trained as a Family Constellations Facilitator and has regular supervision with Barbara Morgan. She has also studied with Stephan Hausner and Ty Francis.
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